SoftLight Expands 'SoftLites' with PALs, Semi-Finished Lens Offerings


TROY, Mich.--SoftLight, maker of photochromic lenses and matching photochromic frames, has expanded is offerings with the addition of SoftLites, a line of semifinished and progressive photochromic lenses, targeting independent wholesale labs as customers. The new lenses debuted at OLA 2004 in Nashville in November.

SoftLight is offering the lenses as a standalone product, as well as part of a frame-and-lens offering. Sadia Benhajla, SoftLight's chief executive officer, told VM, "More than 50 percent of our customer base was wholesale labs before OLA 2004. Last year, we led with frames, but in 2005, we will lead with lenses." The company has customers nationwide, and intends to grow its presence through increased marketing efforts, which include point-of-sale items, and ultraviolet demonstrators that show customers how both the frames and the lenses change under increased sunlight.

Benhajla said that customers have been responding to the product as both standalone lenses and frame-and-lens packages. "We're giving them more prescriptions now in photochromic. A big part of our plan is to have our semi-finished and PAL lenses become one of the preferred choices for our customers. SoftLight also plans to introduce more photochromic materials and accessories to increase the value package, "and ultimately, our customers' profitability," Benhajla said.

Sadia Benhajla

The new PALs and semi-finished lenses are being introduced in four colors--blue, pink, gray, and brown--with plans to add to more colors (yellow and purple) in the near future. The PALs have a 12-mm corridor that fits in with consumer demand for short-corridor PALs. The semi-finished lenses come in 1.56 index. The photochromic PAL blanks are available from plano base to 10.00D base with progressive adds from +1.50D to +3.50D. The ultraviolet demonstrator is available for purchase from SoftLight, and is free with a minimum quantity purchase.

According to the company, the inmass photochromic lens technology provides faster activation and deactivation times, and uniform depth of colors across the complete lens.

SoftLight, which debuted last year, also offers AuroraLites with flexible hingeless frames, the titanium Aurora Metallica collection, and MagicLites photochromic children's eyewear. 

--Seth J. Bookey