When choosing the perfect pair of sunglasses, you should consider more factors than just making a fashion statement. While using sunglasses will definitely make you look good, it should also provide the necessary protection that your eyes need. Factors such as the right fit, as well as the correct tint should be a priority when choosing the best pair of sunglasses. This guide will walk you through the most common lens colors for your sunglasses.
The Importance Of Choosing The Lens Colors
The tint of your lenses serves a variety of purposes such as enhancing your vision, improving your perception of depth, reducing eye fatigue, and much more. Tints filter light in various ways, some may do a better job than others or vice versa depending on the light source. Different situations calls for a certain tint color which will help you see well.
Many sports enthusiasts rely greatly on their lenses to support their performance. For example, cyclists choose the best eyewear which will protect their eyes and let them see the road ahead clearly. Each color is beneficial in different ways, particularly to the kind of outdoor activity you will be performing. Many sports and performance eyewear brands like Randolph Engineering and Wiley X offer frames with interchangeable lenses, so you can see clearly no matter what light or weather condition you are in.
When choosing a lens tint, it will help if you consider your activity and the kind of environment you will be in. Certain lens colors perform exceptionally well in a certain environment, for example, brown tints are great if you will be looking at a lush green background.
Gray lens colors is one of the most common lens colors for sunglass lens. Basically, gray is considered an all-purpose tint. This tint does not change the value of an object’s color but is dark enough to screen out bright light during sunny or bright days. In addition, gray lenses do not impair your vision because it is not very dark. Polarized gray lenses are effective in reducing glare, which makes it great for almost any kind of outdoor activity. Gray lenses also do well in protecting your eyes against fatigue, a common condition which can happen when you doing outdoor activities. Gray lenses are the choice of most military and law enforcement agencies because it provides safety against the UV rays of the sun and comfort against glare.
Benefits Of Using Gray Lenses:
- Reduces eye fatigue effectively
- Can be used in most outdoor activities
- Provides true color perception
- Best if you want to view scenes in their natural condition
- Good if you are performing water sports
- Best for sports like baseball, tennis, soccer, water sports, and driving
- Variable weather tint – good for sunny or overcast skies
Green colored lenses can also be used for almost all kinds of outdoor activities. Green tinting works exceptionally well in any weather condition including sunny, cloudy, foggy, and low lighting. Many athletes prefer using green tints because it makes them look naturally cool while still providing the color protection and support that they need. Green can improve contrast and preserve color balance well. Furthermore, green lens colors are effective in lessening the effects of glare while brightening shadows.
Benefits of Using Green Lenses
- Can be used for almost all kinds of outdoor activities including water sports, driving, and hiking
- Available in most eyewear where prescription is needed
- Just like gray lenses, green can improve your vision no matter what the weather condition is
- Best for sports like baseball and golf
Brown, Amber and Copper lens colors are great if you are into sports or activities which will require you to calculate distance. For example, when light conditions are low, such as fishing during early morning or dusk. Brown lenses will provide the necessary support to let you see better against blue skies or green grass. It can provide exceptional visual acuity and heighten contrast. The copper tint is particularly effective in letting you see changes in the road surface or texture, a wonderful effect if you are biking, motorcycling or driving.
Copper is also exceptionally great for golfing as it enhances the color white (such as a golf ball) against a blue sky, tan sand, or green fairway. Professional golfers love copper tints because it allows them to clearly see critical areas of the course. Several known brands like Kaenon, Tifosi, and Oakley has developed specialized golf eyewear in copper lenses. Similar tints like Brown and Amber will allow you to see golf balls underwater.
Benefits of Using Brown/Amber/Copper Tints
- Best for weather conditions that constantly changes
- Enhances contrast
- Contains a red element which is helpful in improving depth perception
- Effective in reducing glare
- Good for low light conditions like early morning, late afternoon, foggy, or hazy
- Good for activities which require you to focus against a green or blue background
- Great for sports like golf, tennis, fishing, shooting, and soccer
- Most brands have prescription ready brown tints
Yellow and orange lens colors help increase contrast in foggy, hazy, or other low light conditions. It is exceptionally helpful in improving the eye’s ability to focus by filtering out blue light. Eyewear with yellow lenses works well during dawn or dusk because it provides good visibility in low light environments. Yellow light is very good for people who are always in front of a computer screen or other electronic devices. In addition, yellow and orange tints help enhances orange targets, which is why this is the common choice of tint for many target sports enthusiasts.
Benefits of Using Yellow – Orange Tints:
- Good for daytime activities
- Can be used for early morning or dusk driving (low light conditions)
- Enhanced depth perception
- Improves vision performance and clarity
- Good for indoor sports like darts or racquetball
- Good for pilots, tennis players, mountain bikers, hikers, snowboarders, shooters, hunters, and skiers
- Ideal for almost any kind of eye conditions
- Light gathering color, not a contrast color
One of the most common reasons why people choose blue lenses is that they are fashionable for many outdoor activities. Blue lenses are also very good in reducing glare from bright light. It does the job exceptionally well that the US Professional Tennis Association endorsed this eyewear for their line persons during the 2000 French Open. Blue is a contrast lens colors, so it is effective against reducing glare during difficult weather conditions like mist, fog, and snow. Blue and Purple lenses are also a favorite tint for many skiers and snowboarders because it is helpful in navigation.
Benefits of Using Blue and Purple Tints:
- Effective in blocking out glare
- Good for difficult weather conditions
- Helps define contours
- Trendy for outdoor use
- Improves color perception
Red tint is very good in increasing contrast because it can easily block out blue light. Red and Pink lens colors are known to provide soothing effects to the eyes. It is comfortable to the eyes even after prolonged use. It also improves visibility while driving and reduces eye strain. Since they can be used for a long time, many computer users also prefer this color.
Benefits of Using Pink and Red Tint:
- Great for prolonged use
- Reduces glare effectively
- Reduces eye strain
- Enhances visual depth
- Provides good road visibility
Special Lenses Option
Other than the lens colors or tint of your lenses, there are also additional options which you can consider to make your sunglasses even more functional. Since there are different kinds of lenses available, it is a good idea to talk to your optician about your usual activities. They are the best people to help you choose the perfect lens. Special lenses can be combined with your choice of lens tint, for example, you can choose a polarized gray eyewear for your fishing hobby.
Blue Blockers are one of the newest types of lens colors in the market. It is effective in blocking out blue light and usually has amber lenses. Blue Blockers are widely popular among hunters, skiers, fishing enthusiasts, and pilots who rely on this eyewear to heighten contrast. However, if you do not have a special use for this type of lens colors, it is not likely to be recommended. Some research on this lenses indicates that blue light may be harmful to the eyes and increase the risk of developing macular degeneration or eye damage.
Mirror coated lenses is effective in limiting the amount of light that enters your eyes, so you are comfortable even under bright lights. Mirror coating is also known as flash coating. The highly reflective coat is applied to the front surface of your sunglasses which reduces reflects the light, letting a very small amount of light enter your eyes. This makes mirrored coating eyewear a great choice if you are involved in activities that have a bright light condition, such as skiing.
Nowadays, mirrored coating can be any color, including gold, silver, or copper metallic. Choosing the color of your mirrored coating is purely a cosmetic choice and has no bearing on the effect of the coat. You can also match it with any tint of your choice to enhance the effect. For example, if you are an avid fishing enthusiast, you can add a mirrored coating to your brown lenses to give you the ultimate visual effect and support.
Polarized lenses are effective in blocking out light rays that normally enters your eyes once they reflect off of surfaces. The light which enters into your eyes after they are filtered through a polarized lens will let you see objects and colors differently. Polarized lenses are your top choice if you want to remove glare. It is effective in blocking reflections, so glare is minimized drastically. Roads and water sources are major contributors of glare, so drivers, surfers, fishing enthusiasts will greatly benefit in using polarized lenses.
Gradient lenses for sunglasses are a popular choice nowadays. It is known for meeting both function and fashion especially for those who are concerned about the overall effect of wearing sunglasses. Gradient lenses are tinted from top to bottom so that the top of the lens appear to be darker than the lower portion. Gradient lenses are perfect for driving because the upper half your eyes are shielded from the sun. Since it is lighter on the bottom area of your sunglasses, you no longer need to take off your sunglasses if you have to look somewhere else, for example, on your dashboard. This is the same reason why pilots love gradient lenses because it is easier to look at the instrument panel and the skies.
Gradient lenses also make it easier to wear sunglasses during parties or for clubbing. In the past, it is never practical to wear sunglasses in dark because it greatly reduces your visibility. Using Gradient lens colors have provided a wonderful solution because you can use the lower portion of your sunglasses to see well even in the dark.
Photochromic Lenses and Other Light Adaptive Lenses
Photochromic lenses are clear or nearly clear lenses when used indoors and automatically darken when exposed to sunlight. Photochromic lenses are also known as light adaptive lenses or variable lens colors. Since this is a new kind of lenses, not a lot of brands carry this type of eyewear. Photochromic lenses darken when they are exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun. The only downside to this type of lens is that it does not darken inside a vehicle, mostly because the windshield will already block most of the UV rays.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lens, Tints, and Sunglasses
The Sun Doesn’t Bother My Eyes, Do I Still Need Sunglasses?
Yes. Even if you are okay with the sun in your eyes, using sunglasses is still very important. The ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause a myriad of eye diseases including macular degeneration and retinal damage. Whenever you plan to go outdoors, eyeglasses with UV protective lenses will help you see clearly and protect your eyes.
What are UV Rays?
UV rays are also known as Ultraviolet Rays. These are rays that are located on the last portion of the visible light spectrum, and the sunlight being the main source. UV rays are typically divided into 3 types, the UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA has longer wavelengths and typically passes through glass easily. UVB is considered the most dangerous. UVC do not reach the surface of the earth because the atmosphere can block it.
A lot of people think that they are only at risk of the UV rays during sunny days. Unfortunately, UV rays can go through clouds, so when you are going outdoors always use sunglasses. The sun’s UV rays are strongest in between the hours of 10 am to 2 pm.
Which Lens Colors Are The Best For Me?
Colors of the lens are your personal choice. The best way to figure out your choice of lens color is to match it with your regular activities. For example, if you love to do water sports like water skiing, surfing, or fishing tints like green, brown, blue, and gray performs great against water light reflection. If you are a shooting enthusiast, tints like brown and yellow will help you analyze distance and depth better.
Athletes often choose the lens colors which will enhance their performance. They know which colors will work best for the kind of sports that they are into.
I Am Not Into Sports, Which Lens Color Are Best For Me?
Generally, gray tint sunglasses are the best option if you are simply looking for an eyewear for your day-to-day outdoor activities. Gray sunglasses do not change the color of an object but can effectively reduce glare and eyestrain. It is perfect for everyday outdoor use from driving, going out to the park, or tending the yard. Most brands of sunglasses have gray lenses, ask your optician about it.
I Don’t Go Outdoors Often but I Use My Computer All The Time, Do I Still Need Sunglasses?
Nowadays, there are special “sunglasses” which are specially made for heavy computer users. Brands like Gunnar Optiks, have created special eyewear which gives protection against eye strain, a common condition those who uses the computer for prolonged periods.
I Wear Glasses or Contacts, What Are My Options?
Ask your optician about prescription sunglasses. Many eyewear brands are prescription ready, meaning they can specialize your sunglasses, so you can always see clearly even when outdoors. Prescription sunglasses are usually available in almost any kind of prescription lenses including bifocal, trifocals, and progressive lenses. Many contact lenses users have switched to prescription lenses when doing outdoor activities because it can be more practical. Prescription sunglasses has come a long way and are available in many forms including sports goggles (for snowboarding and cross country skiing) and underwater goggles for swimming.
Contact the people at Heavyglare Eyewear with more questions about which sunglasses/eyewear will work best for you.