To answer this question properly, we need to understand what causes a reflection. Reflections are caused by light bouncing off a surface and into your eye. This is why shiny objects like mirrors and windows, and still bodies of water produce the most detailed and complete reflections; a high proportion of the light is reflected as opposed to being absorbed.
Non-reflective glass typically has a unique coating which absorbs light, thus reducing the amount which bounces back to the eye of the viewer. Glass conventionally used to frame pictures reflects approximately 8% of light, but the coating can reduce this to as little as 0.5% or one sixteenth as much.
Particularly effective when used to display darker pieces, specialist anti-reflection glass also serves to ensure perfect colour. When light is reflected, it can often be tinged a certain colour dependent on glass quality and the angle it is being viewed from as well as what is underneath.
As such, museums and galleries around the world frequently utilise non-reflective glass in order to ensure their visitors can fully appreciate the items being exhibited. The benefit is two-fold as certain pieces can be susceptible to damage from UV rays, which are also dispersed by the anti-glare coating.
Standard Artglass has a UV filtering capability of approximately 70% but specialised Artglass UV increases this figure to 92%, keeping artefacts safer for longer. For the most important, most public, and most vulnerable display pieces, TruVue Museum is as you may expect a type of glass specifically designed for museum use. This achieves an astounding 99% UV light filtration, keeping anything displayed behind it as safe from UV rays as possible while still being on show. Short term UV damage may not be noticeable but over time ink or paint can fade and disappear before your very eyes, so it is of course sensible to take precautions, particularly when it comes to those most significant pieces.
On top of this, of course, the glass is applicable for domestic use by art enthusiasts and collectors, or anyone with a piece they want to display in the best possible (unreflected) light.
Anti-reflection glass is something most people have likely come across before without even thinking about it– which means it must be working!