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View Poll Results: Aura or Phillips

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  • I've used both enough to know I love my Aura lenses.

    22 24.18%
  • I've used both enough to know I love my Phillips lenses.

    8 8.79%
  • I've only ever used Aura.

    20 21.98%
  • I've only ever used Phillips.

    41 45.05%
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Thread: Aura Lens or Phillips?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    i used auras daily for 12 years and now i use phillips(2 years). i love how much lighter they are on my nose.

    i don't feel there is a difference in protection, but the glass temps read a little different.

    you are gonna need more ambient light to see around you better, the auras seem better in low light studios.

    i think my eyes are always strained after an 18 hour session behind my delta, no matter what...but i feel no different working 50 hours behind the torch a week with either
    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
    No really I was taught that way. It is venetian. That is how lampworking was invented. Back 5000 years ago, it was to enslave women and children and make them make christmas ornaments wile the men worked in the hotshop.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    to those worried about the different tint between glasses heres my experience. yes you will probably notice a difference when looking through different brands of glasses but after a few minutes of wearing them my eyes adjust to the tint. haven't really noticed any difference in protection tho like pj said after working for 12 plus hours my eyes usually are tired no matter what glasses i've used. when i first started my teacher had me making mushroom marbles, one night when i was trying to sleep, i closed my eyes and all i could see were glowing mushrooms spinning, at first i freaked out a little but then when i recognized what they were i was like oh shit. hasn't happened again, i was told it was some of my cones being burnt out.not sure but anyway peace

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    I feel the Philips lens doesn't filter enough sodium flare.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    I like my aura lens goggles. I got lucky and didn't have too much trouble buying them. They are Rx as well split 3/5 lens. I went to repaint my frames yesterday and cracked the frames in the front, which I hope a little epoxy will remedy. They were pricey and are not perfect being the frames were clear and the lenses fog up but I do like the quality of the lens and the prescription is spot on. I actually used them for snowboarding once but when dusk came they were a little too dark. If I needed to replace them I would love to stay Aura but for the already mentioned reasons I would likely avoid this company in the present.
    Blazin Away!
    Merrimack Valley, MA

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    I have 3/5 splits on both and have regularly used them both. The phillips do seem a tad darker but I would put eye fatigue at about the same. Honestly I wish they weren't so damn expensive because I would really like to play around with different shades a little more. I used diddy's for a long time and feel that because of that I have overly sensitive eye. I think as I get older I would like 4/6 splits or something like that but would need to try them out, one big issue I notice with darker shades and why I view splits as a must, is it becomes harder to notice chill marks and other imperfections. This is probably why I would vote for the aura lens because I can see more with what feels like similar protection.

    On a side note there was another thread up here about blacking out sports goggle frames which I just recently did, I have to say that is some of the best advice ever, It cuts down on the eye fatigue at the end of the day considerably. It will be interesting to see how the high heat bbq paint holds up over time, especially during the summer when I'm a sweaty pig.


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    Last edited by Master Yoda; 01-28-2013 at 07:51 AM.
    -= Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny =-

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    I had the pleasure of being at the IFC in New Jersey last year for Jesse Kohl's safety presentation. The information he had gathered on the differences in the lenses was immense. Far more than I can regurgitate. I wish there were video archives of that sort of thing, as I was also working our booth while his talk was going on. If you're out there man, this would be a great place to divulge that info.

    Going purely on my experiences with both companies, and both lenses, here are my thoughts. The archives clearly tell the story of Aura's history with customer service. Phillips has always been good in that area. They are almost always prompt with their replies, and rarely are out of stock on product. I will put that aside to answer the question of the lenses comparison. I wore Auras from the time I started, around 98 or so, until about 4 or 5 years ago. I broke my old Aura's, and replaced them with Phillips. I liked the Phillips, but always noticed a slight orange flare that just wasn't there with the Aura's. Luckily, I was able to try other pairs of Phillips, and that flare actually seemed to vary with different lenses on. I found that interesting.

    Eventually, as Aura's weren't available to even distributor's it seemed, I just grew to ignore it. Got to the point I didn't even notice it. Then about 6 months ago, all these Aura Lens biker wraps and goggles started pouring in. We have them set back up, and on the website. Just wraps and goggles though. If the stock dries up, we'll take them down. But, for now, we've had good and consistent contact with Mike. He seems to be stocking us well, and seems to be restoring his production. I will have several pair with me out on the road the next month in Tucson and Vegas. If anyone wants to check them out, please stop by and see me.

    Back in November, I was making a bunch of ornaments and gifts for family. I was working with my Phillips shade 5 on. Just for shits and giggles I decided I would throw a pair of the new Auras on. Immediately I noticed a difference. There was no more orange flare, and the color seemed very crisp and clear. I occasionally get headaches and eye strain when I work long sessions, and I felt those two things decreased. I don't have all the technical details that others can maybe get into here. But, I really felt the difference. I think that if Mike can present this product, and match it with good service for our industry, it is a good thing for lampworkers in general. I still think the judgement is out on lenses in general also. Lampworking while ancient, is in a new age so to speak. With all the new color formulas and different materials going into making our glass, there must be new research done to cover the wide range of flares and effects.

    If there is one thing everyone can do for themselves, it is LIGHT YOUR SHOP WELL!!! Every time I visit a shop, and I see people working with like a desk lamp in a dark garage, I cringe. Good lighting is important for a ton of reasons. The most of which is your eyes and the strain you are putting them through.

    I've always valued my eyes, as I am someone who has had some pretty frightening vision issues over the years. You only get one pair. If you are careless, you can really harm them. Lampworkers especially should take note of that.

    I feel Phillips provides great service, and their lenses provide adequate coverage. I am just simply commenting on a recent comparison I was able to make myself. I think everyone has different eyes, and they react differently to different lighting, lenses, etc..... So, everyone will have different results. It's a broad and interesting topic, and one I'd love to see researched heavily.



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  7. #27
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    Default

    Seems odd. Only one company I know of makes lens blanks of ace glass. So I would have to think both glasses use the same base lens.

    I know Phillips found a stash of tinted didymium which started off the whole glass war. I think those lenses may have been off or second quality (old stock). This let a lot of subpar lenses into the world. It's possible Phillips failed in the grinding polishing phase which led to the lack of clarity. I really don't know.

    Mike seemed to find the same old stock to produce a non laminated shade 3 didy without the distortion. That points to lens finishing more then just bad filters.

    We have both in house in my personal opinion Mike's glasses have better workmanship on the lens contours and grinding. Clarity seems about the same now a days. I'm no expert but I prefer Aura glasses and give them the leading edge.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    Yes, only one source for the blanks. It's a process difference, must be.



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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    I'm not a fan of Mike's customer service, but to this day i use a 13 year old pair of auras, because I like the lenses much more than anything I've seen since. They're shade 3, and seem to block more bad light than Phillips shade five, while letting me see more. At least that's the way it seems.......

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    i used aura 5 goggles made 7 years ago for a year. bought phillips 5 clipons and have used them since(5 years). the phillips are slightly darker but weigh much less. i do feel like i can see clearer throught aura but im 99% sure its just because they are lighter shade of 5.

    with either brand shade 5 i dont get eye fatigue from average* size work.

    with either brand shade 5 i will get eye fatigue from staring at work long hours, just as u would a computer screen or anything else.

    there is a difference while working large hot glass. without a blast shield the phillips lens itself gets hotter and the metal frame gets very hot. with just a little breeze the lens and frame run much cooler than the aura with a breeze. i believe the aura allows more ir to pass through thus getting less hot than the phillips (while working with either without a breeze.) the plastic frame doesnt absorb heat like the metal frame so it doesnt get as hot but also doesnt help pull heat from the lens. which may be affecting the cooling affect of a breeze.


    i like my phillips; they work well. aura isnt a better product to me.

    side note: use a blast shield to cut down the heat enormously. i dont think ir absorption tech is the best way to go for near the eye protection.

    i have no idea what im talking about, just observation and basic knowledge how some stuff works.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    i thought i could see clearer through my aura lenses too. interesting.i will do a side by side with my new phillips.
    you will shank me later

    Quote Originally Posted by FifDeez View Post
    I like the idea of burning water. Sounds mystical even tho I understand it completely.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    OK, this is a response to Misha's response: Eye fatigue is one of the things I noticed. With the Aura's, I had much less fatigue. I remember (since the Aura's have been packed for 3 years now) that I always was amazed that when I was done with a long day (10 hours) that me eyes still felt great. The philips just are not the same. After the same long day my eyes feel sore. I like the Philips, and they are serviceable, but are not quite as clear. This is probably why my Auras are still in a drawer, cuz I always felt I could find an op/tech to reframe them, then just kinda forgot. Both have pros and cons, Auras are heavier, so I don't recomend the really large ones with the metal frames (like what I got), but slightly smaller ones with plastic frames. The philips are lighter, but don't seem to block as much heat, and eye strain is slightly greater for long durations.

    Mike is a wackadoodle science guy, and that is probably part of what causes his customer service problems. But at least his wackadoodle science is right on.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    @ daveABR!!!!

    I was under the impression that you guys don't have aura in stock. I thought I had a standing order with you if any came in.. through SKY glass where I currently work. We called numerous times (Zach called 4 mnths ago). I was actually pretty disapointed that they were always listed on your web site but never in stock. Maybe we dropped the ball somewhere? Zach no longer works there. My specs are in rough shape!!

    As for the OPs inquiry... I tried some phillips and returned them immediately. I have auras bought in 96 or 97. They are 5 mil thick. No welding shades. The sodium flare looks lavender through mine and with phillips even with #3 shades the flare was bright orange. I then went around my shop trying everyones glasses on. In my opinion there's no comparison. The auras seem to be a better filter. Maybe it's because they were all thicker?(5mil) I could barely tell the difference between Philips and the pair of crumby buddy holly 35 dollar didiums at the bottom of my toolbox.
    Last edited by big tom; 02-02-2013 at 09:56 AM.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    I don't have much experience with Phillips. I have aura 4/6 split. I ordered an uneven split so I could have the dark shade on bottom, but still see my bench without dipping my head in the flame. mike sent a 50/50 split. When I called him on it he denied it. Ive been making due with the periodic frustration for about 5 years. Not using phillips Either. pretty stupid that this large community relies on mike, especially considering we have been aware of his issues for at least a decade. Interesting that there isn't more competition in eye protection, but so much in tools/color.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    Just wanted to say I did a side by side comparison between my Phillips shade5 and some aura 3/didy split.........ill be buying some auras in Vegas if I can get um. Way more clarity, better 'tone' or 'hue' and a visible difference in sodium blockage.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    i did the same with two pairs of shade three phillips and one pair of #3 auras. i agree with the same comparison statements made by alex, to a T. my aura frames are like frankenstein but i went back to them for now. lol. full length of reinforcement wire across the top and stuff.
    you will shank me later

    Quote Originally Posted by FifDeez View Post
    I like the idea of burning water. Sounds mystical even tho I understand it completely.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    Ok, so here is an update. I tried on a pair of shade 5 Aura goggles in Tucson during the AZ project. I really liked them. In Vegas I bought them. I have this horrible habit of looking over/under my glasses at my tool, at my colors, and at my flame. I bought goggles hoping to cure that habit. It worked, but in a wierd way. Obviously I can't look over/under my goggles, so I don't. As soon as I put on my glasses, I catch myself looking over/under. Didn't break the habit, but still get the benefit as if I did. I realized that not being able to look over/under made it hard to see my colors, tools, etc, so I added a bunch of light to my station. I fucking love it. Good lighting and shade 5 goggles from Aura are my new favorites. There is more clarity and I have less eye fatigue than with my Philips. Also, for disclosure, I use a Blast shield with the ir/uv coating most of the time.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    The only time I've ever flash burned my eyes was with aura lens shade five and I wasn't looking over or under. So i gave the aura another try got anothr pair of 5s and flash burned my eyes again. Ill wear Philips from now on.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    I still managed to get the occasional eye singe with my 5's but someone once suggested I'm not blinking enough; it's possible they're right, but I also have a bad habit of working kind of close to my flame. Working on it.

    If you're doing something that you *do* need to look over occasionally, you can loosen the strap a little so you can look over them. It doesn't happen much but it did come up at least once for some reason.
    Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down. Never gonna run around, and desert you.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Aura Lens or Phillips?

    I bought Aura shade 4 about 5 years ago and I love them. I got the sport frames - I think. They ran me $250 or something back then. I had been wearing welding shades (shade 3) for a few weeks when I first started. I put on the darker shade Auras with way more protection and I could see 300% better out of them. They are just a little heavy, but I have never had a problem or really thought anything of it.

    I do feel a little delirious after working for a number of hours, but I think that is just a result of staring at a bright light for a long period of time, not because my shades dont offer enough protection.

    I love my auras and would never think of switching. They are easy to see out of, comfortable, and my eyes never hurt.

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