This weekend at the Aquatic Experience in Chicago we caught up with America’s most infamous traveling hawker of reef wares Dirk, who showed us a novel new product which has been flying off his temporary shelves. Reef Glasses are essentially colored safety glasses but somewhere along the way Dirk or someone noticed that the colored plastic dramatically altered the way corals look under aquarium lighting.
So now Dirk’s Reef Glasses are starting to be distributed across through his traveling store wherever he sets up shop and people are seeing their newly bought frags in a totally different light. In a way the colored Reef Glasses are not that much different from the color-filtering glasses that are offered with NightSea’s UV viewing kits, except that Dirk’s Reef Glasses come in three colors that can be paired up with any kind of lighting.
We’ve been reefing for a really long time over which we’ve come to develop a “mental filter” – first for imagining what corals would look like under more flattering lighting back when bright white tanks were the norm, and now we imagine what corals look like under more daylight spectrum when we see them under windex lighting conditions. For those of us who’d like to see corals under “corrected” color lighting, Dirk’s Reef Glasses are a neat option for either intensifying coral colors, or normalizing them when the fluorescence is just too much.
Interestingly, Dirk’s Reef Glasses are hitting the reef scene just as similar color-correcting eyewear is starting to be introduced into the hydroponics industry. When growing “tomatoes”, the light selection may be overly yellow de to the use of high pressure sodium lights which are usually about 3000 Kelvin but other growers have trended towards using a magenta spectrum of red and blue LEDs – there’s now companies that specialize in providing color correcting glasses to the tune of $80 a piece, or more.
Dirk’s color shifting reef glasses are an absolute novelty but at only $5 a piece, it’s nearly impossible to have buyer’s remorse for a fun reef viewing toy that literally shows off your corals in a whole new light.