Six years on with colorblind glasses

Six years ago I got some Enchroma colorblind glasses. Last year I got some Pilestone. I also have some specific wiring related colorblind glasses. I learned something pretty interesting from this, for at least my eyes. Unfortunately you’re never going to see color like other people do, or at least I’m not going to.

The world is a much more colorful place as these glasses shift to enhance colors and bring things out that you’d never see before, but what I’ve seen and what I’ve tested against people with color vision is that while the glasses work extremely well to help me identify greens vs browns and blues vs purples, my ability to correctly identify the scale of the colors is comically abysmal.

I’m red/green colorblind. I see very diminished dark versions of red, I don’t see the “pop” people talk about without glasses, and greens start and end in a very limited area. I suspect this has something to do with blues as well as I don’t identify cyan from white very well either. With colorblind glasses on reds, such as a coke can, suddenly look a bit orangish to me and stand out.

I’ve tried multiple colorblind tests out in the sun, and various color charts. Sometimes my identification of color is enhanced, but mostly I’m looking at something and thinking “well, the world sure is color shifted pretty.”

The reason is that the world is color shifted pretty.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that these do nothing. They do. My Pilestones are amazing for driving and determining if my children are getting sunburnt. They’re worth more than I paid for them. My Enchromas… I don’t use them as much any more due to needing prescription and not wanting to spend $400 on new Enchromas, but damn they make the world look like a painting. My colorblind wiring goggles… uh, help me see the wiring slightly better if I need to do a punchdown and that’s it.

I really had hoped six years back that I’d get that “er mah gerd the werd is purty” sobbing level that I saw in some videos. Maybe some people get that, but at best any colorblind glasses have made my life a little easier. They make people a little more attractive. They making driving and identifying cars and safety situations slightly easier. I can tell when my kids are overheated on a playground but refusing to admit it.

For that, they’ve been good. I’ll stress as a safety measure I think they’re keen. But in the end these are frames, some glass, and a coating that shifts the visible spectrum of light. For me, I’ve found I can get similar results with lighting gels… not as good mind you, and holding those in front of your face while you play around with a test you have no way to metric is something only weirdos do.

The world is pretty, and it’s more colorful with colorblind glasses, but don’t think you’re going to not be colorblind.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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