We got our hands on the Re-Timer glasses, a futuristic-looking pair of light therapy glasses, and put them through some testing to see how they stacked up against the competition!
Let’s dig in!
The Re-Timer Glasses
The Re-Timers are light therapy glasses invented by Professor Leon Lack and Dr Helen Wright.
These glasses underwent hundreds of design iterations and years of development and what they came up with is just wild looking!
The idea with the design was to eliminate the eyebrows from blocking any light.
What we’re left with is a strange pair of headwear you probably won’t want to wear in public, unless you want a lot of attention…
We’ve done a video review too if that’s more your style:
The Re-Timer comes packaged in its own carrying case…
Inside you’ll find:
- The Re-Timer glasses
- Soft carrying pouch
- Mini USB charging cable
- And the trusty instruction manual
If you let out a gasp at “Mini-USB” I wouldn’t blame you, I have to admit I was quite disappointed with this… USB-C, please! Or lord at least give us Micro-USB, who has a mini USB nowadays?
At least the battery life is good!
The rated battery life of 6 hours should give you at least a week of usage in between charges, plenty for most trips if you need it for that.
The carrying case they come with is quite large but if that doesn’t bother you it’s nice that it comes with one!
- Weight: 75g
- Warranty: 1 year
- LED Color: Green-turquoise
- Session time: 30-60 mins
- Battery life: 6 hours
- Charge time: 3.5 hours
- Guarantee: 30 days
To give you an idea how the size of the case, here it is compared to the AYO’s case:
So if you’re low on space and are looking for a pair of light therapy glasses for traveling, the AYO would be the better choice!
How Effective Is the Re-Timer?
The team behind the Re-Timer glasses has done a splendid job putting these through numerous studies. But before we go over some of those, let’s do some testing of our own!
In order to compare the Re-Timer glasses to other options on the market we put it on our test mannequin Henry!
This allows us to get lab-grade spectral readings at eye level.
The Re-Timer uses 4 slightly diffused green-turquoise LEDs to activate your circadian rhythm.
Here’s a spectral reading of these LEDs which seem to be peaking at around 501 nm, which is just to the right of the melanopsin bell curve peak.
We took various reading of the Re-Timer glasses using Henry and got the following specifications:
- Brightness: 260-530 lux
- Total Power: 85-172 µW/cm2
- Circadian Light: 619-1311 CLA
- Circadian Stimulus (30 min): 0.454-0.566
- Melanopic EDI: 539-1098
This varies depending on how you adjust the Re-Timer and which setting is used.
As you can see, if you compare the Re-Timers to something like the AYO, it’s immediately apparent just how much brighter the Re-Timer’s are, by up to around 5x!
However the total power they put out is fairly similar with the Re-Timer’s peaking at 172 µW/cm2 and the AYO’s peaking at 148 µW/cm2.
The reason the Re-Timer is so much brighter than the AYO at very similar power output levels is that the human eye is far more visually sensitive to green light than blue.
To get that kind of power at eye level from the Re-Timer however you have to be uncomfortably close to it, so I’d say under normal circumstances, the AYO actually wins here.
The Re-Timer’s exceed all minimum circadian requirements with these specs, definitely nothing to worry about here.
Where the Re-Timer glasses really shine (no pun intended) is that they’ve been used clinically in a large number of independent studies.
On their website, you can find eight different independent studies their glasses have been used in.
These studies range from treating PTSD depression symptoms to enhancing sports performance, cancer-related sleep disturbance, postpartum depression, decreasing jetlag, and more!
So be sure to check those out if you’re curious!
Re-Timer also links to several of their own research papers.
One such study involved the final Re-Timer glasses and 12 total participants.
The participants were split into two groups, one group would use the Re-Timer glasses for 1 hour at the high setting, while the other group used nothing.
It was shown that using the Re-Timers in this manner shifted the dim light melatonin onset by about 46 minutes over the course of two days of use, while the control group shifted by only 3 minutes.
What’s It Like Using It?
Using the Re-Timer is pretty straightforward. To turn them on you just have to press the large round button on the inside right of the glasses.
This will turn on the half brightness mode, simply press this button once more to get to full brightness, and once more again to turn them off.
These weigh in at around 75g making them about two and a half times as heavy as the AYO glasses we reviewed.
A Few Things I Didn’t Like…
I found the 4 LEDs a bit glaring. It’s not too bad on the half-brightness setting but I found myself left with temporary photobleaching or retinal staining.
These are basically dark spots in my vision where the green LEDs once were.
So suffice it to say I found the high brightness setting mildly uncomfortable.
Beyond the actual brightness, I found the location of the LEDs to be very inconvenient.
They’re right in your way if you’re reading, typing, or using your phone, I’m just not a big fan of the design personally.
I also found that I couldn’t rest the glasses on my ears as the thin plastic began to cause my ears to ache. So I had to make sure to tilt them slightly upwards.
As long as I didn’t jump around they stayed where I put them.
Unlike the AYO glasses, you certainly won’t be exercising in these due to their weight and design, they’ll just come flying off!
The last issue I have is with the slightly flimsy nose adjustment piece. It’s not horrible, but it’s rather easy to accidentally bump the glasses and lose your adjustment as it doesn’t stay in place very well.
For example, if I was digging out eye gunk after waking up, I would almost certainly mess up my positioning of the nosepiece, which can get a little annoying.
Overall, the Re-Timer glasses aren’t for me, while they’re definitely effective, I’m just not a big fan of the form factor and the LED placement.
These would however be a great choice for anyone who wears prescription glasses.
Since they emit a more green 500 nm wavelength light, the blue blocking film on most glasses nowadays won’t have an impact on the light coming from the Re-Timer, unlike the AYO for example which is negatively impacted by glasses.
Re-Timer Light Therapy Glasses
- Effective 30-minute sessions
- Excellent for prescription glasses users
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Most independently studied light therapy glasses on the market!
Now check out our guide on 19 Ways to Align Your Circadian Rhythm for more tips on how to get better sleep!