If you’re a thrifty sort, you’re going to love their two-in-one benefits: they look like regular clear lenses fitted on regular eyeglasses while you’re indoors but automatically darken when you step outdoors into the sunlight. Magic you think? Not so! Clever engineering no doubt. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun affect the molecules in photochromic lenses, making them change color, making them darken even on overcast days when you step out because as we know, UV rays can penetrate clouds. Thanks to these nifty photochromic lenses, your eyes will always be protected from harmful UV rays.
What’s more, photochromic lenses provide you with the best possible vision in all lighting through different shades of tint, without you even realizing that you need it. Also known as ‘transition lenses’, ‘adaptive lenses’ or ‘auto-tinted lenses’ photochromic lenses serve multiple purposes. Not to be confused with polarized glasses (sunglasses) that only provide superior glare protection, especially on the water, that block intense reflected light outdoors. These only have a set tint that isn’t changeable and don’t adapt to light the same way photochromic lenses do.
How Do Photochromic Lenses Work?
You might be wondering why would you need these when you have a perfectly good pair of sunglasses. Regular sunglasses block specific wavelengths of light with either colored filters or via polarization. However, since photochromic lenses are carbon-based, the molecules react to UV rays to become darker. The more intense the UV rays, the darker the lenses get. So, they adapt from clear (while indoors) to different shades of dark depending on the levels of UV light. It can take up to 30 seconds for the tint to darken on photochromic lenses and between two to five minutes to return to normal when you go back indoors.
Usually made from either plastic, glass or polycarbonate, photochromic lenses are available as different prescription glasses for people who wear corrective prescription eyeglasses. Plastic photochromic lenses are usually favored over glass because of their molecular structure because the tint on plastic lenses tends to be more evenly distributed than on photochromic glass lenses. Invented in the 60s, photochromic lenses didn’t gain popularity until the 70s, but they are all the rage today, thanks to their ability to double up as eyeglasses and sunglasses.
Who Needs Photochromic Glasses?
Since they can be worn all day, every day, like regular glasses, anyone who wears glasses for vision correction would benefit, but especially those who regularly move from indoors to outdoors. Particularly good for children who are unlikely to be able to handle two separate pairs of glasses, and definitely need a pair of sunglasses given how much time they spend outdoors playing.
So, Are Photo Chromatic Glasses Right For You?
Here are some facts to help you make up your mind.
1 Money Matters
Photochromic lenses save you money. Traditionally you buy two pairs of glasses; one pair of prescription glasses and another pair of power sunglasses. If you opt for photochromic lenses you end up saving money by buying just one pair. Check out our top picks of photochromic lenses right here
2 Assured Comfort
Photochromic lenses make you go hands-free. You don’t need to carry two pairs of glasses or go through the trouble of switching between glasses and sunglasses. Photochromic lenses do deliver on their promise of convenience, stepping out no longer means stepping out of your comfort zone.
3 Protects Your Eyes
Photochromic lenses are not just glasses that function as sunglasses, they protect your eyes too. Exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause headaches, eye strain, blurred vision, dry eyes and even cataracts. Photochromic lenses filter out ultraviolet rays and keeps your eyes healthy.
4 Reduce Eye Strain
Photochromic glasses keep your eyes comfortable while you drive, as the tint increases and decreases depending on the intensity of the light. Moreover, the adaptive nature of photochromic glasses means they’re better for your eyes as it reduces squinting and eye fatigue, especially if you’re an outdoorsy sort who spends long stretches of time in the sun.
5 High On Style And Smile
Photochromic lenses come in different shades and colors appropriate for your taste and style. The shade changing ability makes it a pleasant experience for not just you but also for people around you, it has been noted to activate an instant smile on the observer. It heightens your fashion statement. Take a quick style check here
6 Driving Made Easy
Most car makers around the world add a UV protective coating on their windshields which stops harmful UV rays entering inside the car. The advanced photochromic lenses available do not change shade inside a UV protected car keeping the drivers vision sharper and help concentrate on the road.
7 Safer Indoors
The new photochromic lenses block blue light emitted through computer, TV or mobile screens. They are the perfect protective layer for your eyes when you shuffle between indoors and outdoors as they protect your eyes from UV rays outside and from blue light inside.
8 Built To Last
Contrary to some beliefs photochromic lenses do not lose their power or intensity or quickness over a period of time. They are as permanent as your spectacle is.
9 Photochromic V/S Sunglasses
The darkness of the shade of photochromic lenses is directly proportional to the intensity of light around you, it adapts to the light condition giving you the perfect shade while sunglasses are permanent with their level of tint. As photochromic lenses are adaptive to light conditions they reduce squinting and eye fatigue too.
10 Sun And Screen
Photochromic lenses are useful as zero power glasses too as they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays from the sun and blue light from the screens.
Photochromic lenses guarantee comfort, protect your eyes and enhance your style. If you want best of both worlds rolled into one then you should go for photochromic lenses. Follow the link to request a personal home consultation with our opticians