Post: Photochromic Lenses: A Closer Look at the Positives and Negatives of Light-Adaptive Eyewear

Photochromic Lenses: A Closer Look at the Positives and Negatives of Light-Adaptive Eyewear

The introduction of photochromic lenses, also known as Transition lenses, in the eyewear industry has offered remarkable transformation. These lenses possess the incredible ability to darken when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, while effortlessly transitioning back to a clear state when indoors or during nighttime.

This revolutionary feature has effectively eliminated the need for individuals who require corrective eyewear to invest in two separate pairs of glasses—one for regular use and another specifically designed to shield their eyes from intense sunlight. As a result, transition lenses have not only simplified the eyewear selection process but also spared users the inconvenience and financial burden of managing multiple pairs of glasses.

Although photochromic lenses have brought significant advancements to the eyewear industry, they have not rendered traditional lenses obsolete. It is important to carefully consider the benefits of photochromics in comparison to their potential drawbacks, as they may not be the ideal choice for everyone. To determine if transitions lenses are the right fit for you, let’s evaluate their pros and cons.


Photochromic lenses offer effortless adjustment to changing lighting conditions, requiring no action from the wearer. Available in two different colors, brown and gray, both variations function equally, allowing individuals to choose based on personal preference.

Regardless of their tint level, photochromic lenses provide complete protection against UVA and UVB rays, ensuring optimal eye safety. These lenses react exclusively to ultraviolet light, eliminating the risk of accidental darkening when exposed to most forms of artificial lighting, whether indoors or outdoors.

Moreover, transition lenses seamlessly integrate with Anti-Reflective coatings and are compatible with various lightweight lens materials and designs, providing flexibility and customization options. They are widely accessible in both prescription and non-prescription forms, catering to diverse needs, including specialty applications like bifocals and progressive lenses.


It’s important to note that transition lenses do not adjust instantaneously. When transitioning from sunlight to a darkened room, or vice versa, there is a brief period where your eyes are exposed or shaded, respectively. While the majority of the darkening process occurs within the first minute, it can take up to fifteen minutes for photochromic lenses to reach their maximum tinted state and an additional fifteen minutes to completely clear again.

When wearing transitions lenses inside a vehicle, their darkening ability is often limited due to the ultraviolet-blocking properties of many automobile windshields. As a result, achieving the desired level of darkness may require a separate pair of sunglasses or clip-ons specifically designed for driving.

Furthermore, the reaction of photochromic lenses varies in different climates. In colder temperatures, these lenses tend to darken more extensively compared to warmer temperatures. This temperature dependency can affect the overall performance and level of tint achieved by photochromic lenses.


In conclusion, photochromic lenses have revolutionized the eyewear industry by offering the convenience of light-adaptive eyewear. They eliminate the need for multiple pairs of glasses, provide protection against UVA and UVB rays, and seamlessly integrate with various lens materials and designs. However, it’s important to consider their drawbacks.

By carefully evaluating the pros and cons, you can determine if photochromic lenses are the right choice for your specific needs. Ultimately, the decision rests on finding the perfect balance between the benefits and limitations of light-adaptive eyewear.

If you still aren’t sure which transition safety glasses are right for you, it’s a good idea to give us a call at 1-866-575-1307 or talk to us through our chat or e-mail us at

Our experts will be able to tell you what you need for your application.


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