Diffraction and kaleidoscope glasses both have a home in the electronic dance music rave scene, and they have ever since the 90s. You may have seen rave glasses before when you went to see your last DJ play, but may not have known exactly what they were if you hadn’t tried them on to experience them yourself. The purpose of both of these types of glasses is to enhanced the visuals during a light show a step further beyond what normal human vision can do for you. Both glasses alter the way lasers, lights, and strobes look at a rave by producing a trippy effect. Where they differ though is in the way the make light shows look and in their intensity levels. Based on your liking, you can choose which one you’d prefer for your next show, or you can get both if you don’t want to miss out on double the fun. We won’t get into the technicalities between the two glasses, but we will explain the notable differences in visual effects both of them have.
When lights at a show hit the lenses of diffraction glasses, what you see is a blast of rainbow color streaks emitting from the light source in every direction. The effect is kind of like space travel where you can see the visual light trails of the stars and galaxies blur into streaks of light as you pass them traveling at the speed of light. Sounds pretty cool, right? In the example photo above to the left you’ll see what diffraction glasses effect have from a light source in a controlled dark room setting. Does it look like space travel to you? In the photo to the right you can see diffraction glasses being used in a live rave setting. Wherever on the stage there is a light source, the effect for the user wearing diffraction glasses sees an intense stream of rainbow rays. Without getting too technical, what’s happening here is the light from the users surrounding hits the lens, which acts as a prism that diffracts the light rays into individual colors from the light spectrum. This is why we see a rainbow effect. This is the most common type of diffraction glasses, but there are a variety of other types that produce the different effects such as hearts or spiral shapes. To see a variety of other diffraction glasses check out our article on the different types of diffraction glasses.
Kaleidoscope glasses are trippier and more intense than diffraction glasses. With diffraction glasses, visuals are enhanced with extra color beams, but you can still make out visual cues around you with them on. With Kaleidoscope glasses though, expect your visual experience to be completely different. Kaleidoscope lenses break up the visual field into a bug-eyed experience as shown in the photo examples above. The effect of these glasses is like your seeing your visual field broken up into many different pieces and angles. Often times the lenses are tinted on kaliedoscope glasses to give a colored effect to your visuals, however, they will not diffract color beams in every direction from a light source like diffraction glasses will. If your looking to purchase kaleidoscope glasses for your next rave experience, first read our article on the different types of kaleidoscope glasses out on the market!