If you have decided to buy new glasses and your choice is between polarised and photochromic lenses… this is your post! We have already dealt with the importance of protecting the eyes with the proper glasses. Here, we will analyse what activity are polarised or photochromic lenses more appropriate for.
None of them stands on top of the other, it all boils down to your needs.
Polarised glasses vs. Photochromic glasses
Polarised glasses mount lenses with a special filter that eliminates the reflections produced by the sunlight on plain surfaces, such as water, snow, asphalt, etc. The result is a vision with a natural colour and contrast and without reflections.
Havana-coloured polarised glasses by Dolce&Gabbana
This type of lenses provides a vision without reflections (prevents blinding), improves clarity and contrast, reduces ocular fatigue and protects from UV rays.
On the other hand, photochromic glasses adapt to the environment's UV radiation, which means they are transparent when the light is low but become darker in broad daylight. That is the big advantage of the photochromic lenses: adapting to the existing light at all times and always offering a good visibility.
It is important to take into account two photochromic features: these lenses do not become darker and lighter instantly, they do it gradually,and not all of them have the same photochromic range (it varies depending on the lightening and darkening degree of the lenses):
- 0-2 category photochromic lenses are suitable for low light conditions or overcast days;
- 0-3 category photochromic lenses are suitable for from low light conditions to days of intense sun;
- 1-3 category photochromic lenses are suitable for from middle light conditions to days of intense sun;
- 2-4 photochromic lenses are mainly suitable for the high mountain and the days of blazing sun.
When to use polarised or photochromic glasses
Polarised glasses are perfect for outdoor activities such as running, cycling, fishing or water activities in the summertime (when it gets sunnier). But be careful, if you are going to participate in a fishing competition, you need to know that this type of lenses is strictly forbidden. Why? Because they allow catching glance of the fish in a luminous day, which would be disadvantageous for the other participants.
Black ink-coloured polarised glasses. Oakley.
On the other hand, photochromic lenses are perfect in winter or in cloudier days. That is why running and/or cycling lovers have to use polarised and photochromic glasses (or at least having the possibility to exchange the screens) for being able to practise these sports safely and comfortably throughout the year.
Jawbreaker sport glasses by Oakley. These allow lens exchanging.
For snow sports, they are a similar case as the previous one. The best thing would be having glasses with an exchangeable screen so they could be used in low visibility days and in sunny days.
If you are a tennis and/or paddle tennis fan, purchase a pair of photochromic glasses. They will be good for playing outdoors and indoors. And the same happens with golf: photochromic lenses will prevent light changes from playing a dirty trick on you.
Steel-coloured photochromatic glasses. RADAR EV PATH by Oakley.
Polarised sunglasses for driving
Polarised sunglasses are a good safety element when driving. They prevent accidents and grant a comfortable and clear vision, which turns into:
- a better focus;
- a better capacity to react to the changing traffic conditions before happening;
- a reduction in the reaction time;
- a shorter braking distance.
Black-coloured Aviator-style polarised sunglasses. Persol.
The ideal thing is to always have a pair of sunglasses in your car. However, it is not advisable to use photochromic glasses when driving because, since you are behind the windscreen, light does not fall on the lens directly and, therefore, it cannot darken in an optimal way.
Remember that at Eyewear Concept you will find a lot of polarised and photochromic sunglasses manufactured by the best brands with up to a 15% discount. Besides, if you buy a pair of Oakley glasses through this link, you can get a 10% discount for your next purchase at Eyewear Concept.