Save hundreds of dollars in heat transfer fluid using OptiSource’s water-based Dye-Master 9.

One dye tank and a few gadgets are all it takes to begin a fun and profitable lens-tinting experience.

You think it’s time to situate a tint area in your back office space? It’s easier than you might expect. All you need is a small amount of counter space, a tinting unit, some dyes, and little else to begin tinting lenses in-house.

The footprint necessary is rather small, yet the profit you’ll yield isn’t. If you have limited space to set up a tint station, don’t fear. Super Systems Optical has a Space Saver 3, measuring only 10.5-in. H x 14.25-in. W x 8.25-in. D. This little unit has three one-quart dye tanks, and you can purchase extras to keep on hand for quick replacement of your extra colors.

In the computer age, why not go digital with your lens dyeing operation,

The Vortex Digital Tinter 4 from Phantom Research brings lens dyeing into the computer age.

even if it is small? Phantom Research Laboratories, Inc. offers the Vortex Digital Tinter 4, an advanced-generation, four-tank tinting system.

This unit has bright LED displays showing the desired temperatures of each tank along with an individual digital process timer to monitor tinting times. This is a handy feature because as you gain tinting experience, you’ll discover that different dyes require slightly different dyeing temperatures. It also incorporates variable speed stirring, which avoids the problem of dye coagulating in the bottom of the tank and causing splotchy lenses. You’ll also find the specially coated easy-to-clean stainless steel tanks a welcomed feature when it’s time to clean up. One helpful feature is the hinged lid on each tank that does not need to be removed when tinting lenses. Vortex 4 is simple to use and a good machine for fast absorption of tints and UV into coated polycarbonate, high- index, and CR-39® lens materials.

TINTING ACCESSORIES If you are tinting lenses, you’ll need a light meter to verify the amount of visible and UV light transmitted through each lens. Phantom Research Laboratories, Inc. has a Digital UV/Visible Transmission Meter Model Spectrum 700 VU. With the flick of the UV or visible light switch, the percentage of light transmitted is easily seen on the digital screen. With it, you can check the light transmittance of a lens all by itself or while it is still mounted in the frame. Thinking outside of the box, use this light meter to help drive sales by showing patients that their current lenses are not as protective or as absorptive as they should be.
When dipping lenses into a UV bath, the last thing you want to do is contaminate the solution with dyes coming off of the lens clamps. Western Optical Supply has a UV Lens Clamp that has a white handle to distinguish it from your other lens holding units. Keep this holder solely for dipping into your UV bath.
Make your tinting process as easy as possible by adding OptiSource International’s Lens Holders. Available in black and white, they end the confusion and frustration of contaminating valuable lab chemicals. They are compatible with gradient systems and hold lenses with a compression grip. Able to treat two lenses at once, they are made of high-impact Delrin plastic. Use the White Lens Holder for all of your UV and neutralizer solutions, and use the Black Lens Holder for all of your dye colors. What could be simpler?

Want to start tinting in a snap? Western Optical Supply makes it simple to begin your tint experience with its GR8*Tint IX Tank Kit that includes all the equipment needed to create professionally tinted lenses. The kit consists of the GR8*Tint base unit with nine dye pots, 15 qts. of heat transfer fluid, one qt. of neutralizer, nine one-qt. stainless steel tanks, nine tank lids, two tank-spacer bars, and a dual lens clamp that holds your lenses while dipping. Keeping dye pots at just the right temperature is important with dyeing lenses, so a precision glass thermometer is also included. All you have to provide are the dyes, lenses, and artistic flair; the GR8* Tint IX Tank Kit will supply all the rest.

OptiSource International’s Dye-Master 9-Pan Water-Based Lens-Tinting System is a cost-effective alternative to tinting systems that use heat transfer fluid. In fact, the company suggests you’ll save hundreds of dollars in heat transfer fluid that other tinting systems use, and perhaps more importantly, you’ll be using an environmentally friendly substance (water) to heat your lenses instead of heat transfer fluid. This unit provides precise heat control for darker colors in faster times. The hidden heating element design allows for leak-free operation, and the Underwriters Laboratories certification assures years of reliable service.

With so many polycarbonate and high-index lenses sold to patients, it might make sense to consider Turbo Tinters from Brain Power, Inc. (BPI). According to the company, these units are heated by infrared light from ceramic heating chambers (except in the BPI® Turbo 6™, which utilizes heat transfer fluid) to tint high-index, hardcoated, and polycarbonate lenses better and faster than conventional systems. This method of heating causes the surface of the lenses to be heated higher than the boiling point of water, allowing for better and more even tint penetration. The dye is kept in constant motion by the unit’s automatic stirring mechanism.

Planning on getting into the tinting business in a big way? BPI also offers

The GR8* Tint IX from Western Optical Supply comes complete with almost everything you need to start tinting.

the BPI Master Color, which holds 10 dye tanks. Think of the possibilities with a unit like this—a wide assortment of tint colors, color neutralizer, lens prep, tints, neutralizers for high-index lenses, specialty colors for sports enthusiasts, and more. The possibilities are endless. You’ll also save time by keeping your favorite colors in their respective dye tanks instead of having to replace one or more colors due to not having enough tanks.

Tinting gradient lenses can be a challenge for even the most patient eyecare professional. Standing and dipping a lens slowly up and down

Turbo Tinters from BPI use automated stirring to keep the dye in constant motion.

into a dye tank is no fun either. However, making gradient tints is a snap using Super Systems Optical’s Little Dipper. This gradient unit has a timer, adjustable stand for all lens tint unit sizes, and a unique double eccentric cam for virtually line-free gradients.

With a tinting operation in place, be sure to have an attractive tinted lens display showcasing popular lens colors as well as a few fun fashion tints. One or two lens tint orders per day will pay off your investment in no time, with pure profit in your rosy future!

Debra R. White is a former opticianry professor. She is currently an optical consultant, lecturer, and writer.

Brain Power, Inc. (BPI)
800-327-2250 •

OptiSource International
800-optisource •

Phantom Research Laboratories, Inc.
800-225-5559 •

Super Systems Optical
800-543-7376 •

Vigor Optical, A Division of
Grobet USA
800-847-4188 •

Western Optical Supply
800-423-3294 •


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