Sunlight, fluorescent light, blinding snow, blue light – different kinds of lighting bring their own sets of challenges. And at some point, in the safety eyewear selection process, you may wonder if it really matters if you have Clear lenses versus Amber tinted lenses on your safety glasses. The short answer is yes – it absolutely does.
Just as one pair of safety eyewear does not fit all, one tint isn’t good for all environments. The right tint on your lenses is essential to increase the clarity of vision and help lessen eye strain and fatigue; all things that can have a long-term effect on your eyes’ health – and your safety – on the job and working at home.
A cut, a hand, or even a life could be saved with improved depth and contrast perception when using the proper lens tint. So, how do you choose the right kind of tint for you?
The number one way to figure out adequate eyewear tint is to understand the environment you will be performing most of your work. Pay close attention to:
Now, let’s find you a tint.
To help you figure out which safety eyewear tint may be right for your environment, we’ve created a quick reference guide below to help steer you in the right direction.
The first and probably most common tint is Clear. Clear lenses are ideal for most activities and are typically the standard lens tint for most safety glasses. Primarily used indoors, safety glasses with a clear lens are often worn to protect the wearer from an impact.
Clear lenses offer 100% consistent optical clarity across the entire lens, giving wearers as close to natural vision as they can get.
If you’re consistently in situations where there is less than perfect lighting, like an older barn or garage with low-quality lighting, you may want to consider amber-tinted lenses.
Amber tint enhances contrast in poorly lit working conditions. By partially filtering out the blue end of the light spectrum, the Amber tint brightens and adds contrast to shapes and shadows by sharpening detail in challenging conditions that otherwise would be hard to discern. This helps lower the strain of focus on your eyes. Amber lenses are typically used in poorly lit working environments including nighttime and early morning outdoor activities.
However, be cautious, if color sensitivity is important when you’re working, then the Amber tint is probably not the best choice for you, as it filters out and shifts some color from its natural state.
For environments with changing light conditions or frequent movement between indoors and outdoors, a Silver Mirror tint with 53% light transmission is ideal. Often called an “indoor/outdoor tint,” Silver Mirror 53% allows 53% of light to come through the lens, reducing the need to squint, which can cause strain and fatigue on your optical muscles.
Think of a Grey tint like your favorite pair of sunglasses; it’s used to make your surroundings less bright without distorting color.
If you work in any outdoor environment with prolonged sun exposure, whether bright or partially sunny, the Grey tint blocks natural glare and sun glare so that you’re not putting constant strain on your eyes.
Variomatic lenses, also known as photochromic, self-tinting, or transition lenses, are used when you’re primarily indoors but go outside on occasion (or you’re outside before sunrise and into the daytime).
Variomatic lenses are designed to darken when exposed to UV light of a certain intensity, starting as nearly clear, allowing 86% light transmission, and progressively darkening within 10 seconds to about 14%. When you go back inside, they progressively lighten within 30 seconds. HexArmor safety glasses with Variomatic tint have the fastest transition times in the industry. Some lenses can take up to two minutes to fully transition – making it difficult to see.
However, if your job calls for prolonged work outside in intense sunlight throughout the day (versus bright or partially sunny conditions where a Grey tint would be appropriate), the better option would be Variomatic Dark. These lenses start at 37% light transmission and darken in 10 seconds or less to allow only 6% light transmission as the UV light intensifies.
If you work in bright artificial light environments, like a warehouse or showroom, or are constantly looking at screens, the CBR65® absorbs up to 50% of harmful blue light, while at the same time offering better contrast for a clearer vision to help reduce strain on the eyes and therefore increase comfort. The 65% visible light transmission delivers a relaxed field of vision and prevents the eye from getting tired too fast.
CBR65® is ideal for people working indoors under harsh light conditions, such as strong LED lighting, neon, or very bright environments; for those in changing light environments, either indoor or outdoor; and for those that require high levels of concentration or undertake close inspection work.
The good news is that regardless of which tint you choose; you will get 100% UV protection with every pair of our safety glasses. Additionally, our tints come standard our permanent anti-fog coatings – which you can learn more about here.
Are you feeling more confident about the tint you’re considering? We hope so! If you need more assistance picking the right tint, don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Need help with the selection process?
You’re in luck – it’s one of our specialties. Let’s connect and discuss how we can best help reduce or even eliminate your eye injuries. Reach out to find the frame and tint that works best for you.
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