Post: How to Select the Correct Welding Shade

How to Select the Correct Welding Shade

Whether you’re a seasoned welder or just starting out, safeguarding yourself with the appropriate welding shade is paramount. Welding poses various risks, particularly concerning exposure to metal fumes, ultraviolet (UV), infrared (IR), and intense visible light. Potential injuries range from eye damage to burns, and even harm to extremities. The concerning aspect is that some injuries, particularly those related to light exposure, may go unnoticed as UV and IR aren’t visible to the naked eye. Thus, taking all necessary precautions is crucial to ensure safety during welding tasks. Neglecting these precautions exposes you to significant risks.

One of the most effective precautions is the use of welding shades, which are essential for protecting your eyes under challenging conditions. But how do you choose the right one? Let’s delve into the process to equip you with the confidence needed for your purchase.

Understanding Welding Shades

Welding shades range from 3 to 14, offering a spectrum of darkness levels to suit different welding applications and light intensities. Lower shade numbers, such as 3 or 4, are suitable for lighter welding tasks, providing sufficient protection against minimal light radiation. As the shade number increases, so does the level of darkness, with shades 10 to 14 offering maximum protection against intense light emitted during high-amperage welding processes. Welders must select the appropriate shade based on the specific welding operation and light intensity to ensure optimal visibility and eye protection.

Shade 14
Shade 13
Shade 12
Shade 11
Shade 10
Shade 9
Shade 8
Shade 7
Shade 6
Shade 5
Shade 4
Shade 3

Acting as effective filters, welding shades facilitate safe observation of the welding arc, enabling the creation of precise and high-quality welded seams. Given the intense brightness emitted during welding, which can rival that of the sun, these shades are indispensable for preserving vision. Available in various forms, including safety glasses, goggles, welding helmets, or welding face shields, they offer versatile protection tailored to the diverse needs of welders across different working environments.

Selecting the Right Shade

Choosing the appropriate welding shade is essential for ensuring adequate eye protection while maintaining visibility of the weld zone. OSHA recommends starting with a shade darker than necessary and gradually adjusting until achieving optimal visibility without compromising safety. Factors to consider when selecting a welding shade include the type of welding application, the intensity of light emitted, and personal preferences. Welders should refer to OSHA’s guidelines and consult with safety professionals or experienced colleagues to determine the most suitable shade for their specific needs.

OSHA Guidance

OSHA provides detailed guidance on selecting welding shades, outlining minimum protective shade numbers for various welding operations. These recommendations are based on the type of welding process and the level of light radiation generated during the operation. OSHA’s guidelines help ensure that welders are adequately protected from harmful light exposure while performing their duties. Welders should familiarize themselves with OSHA’s recommendations and verify that their chosen welding shades meet or exceed the minimum requirements outlined by the agency to mitigate the risk of eye injuries and other related health issues.

Additional Equipment

Additional equipment, such as welding glasses, face shields, or helmets, is often used alongside the welding shade. When selecting this equipment, it’s crucial to exercise discretion and ensure compatibility with the chosen welding shade for comprehensive protection. For more information on available options for welding protection, check some options below:


Our welding glasses feature cobalt blue and athermal green lenses, providing enhanced visibility and protection during welding operations. These lenses are specifically designed to filter out harmful light radiation while allowing for optimal clarity and color perception. With durable frames and comfortable designs, our welding glasses offer both safety and comfort for welders in various working environments.


Our range of welding lenses includes flat lenses for goggles, helmets, and masks in standard sizes and shades. We offer specialized lenses with added protection from sodium flare, ideal for working with materials like cast iron, aluminum, and stainless steel. From cobalt blue to athermal green lenses, we provide options to meet diverse welding needs, ensuring both safety and clarity in various working environments.


Choose from three different materials for your welding window: glass, PVC static film, or polycarbonate. Our welding windows offer reliable protection against harmful light radiation while ensuring clear visibility of the welding area. Available in various shades ranging from 3.0 to 14, our welding windows come in different colors such as clear, green, cobalt blue, orange, or red, allowing welders to select the shade that best suits their preferences and working conditions.


Our laser welding face shields provide comprehensive protection for the face and eyes during welding tasks. Constructed from high-quality materials, our face shields offer superior durability and impact resistance, ensuring long-lasting performance in demanding environments. With its adjustable head strap and ratcheting nape strap, this shield offers a personalized fit for optimal comfort and safety. 

Investing in welding shades is an investment in your safety and long-term well-being. While it may seem like a financial burden initially, the protection they provide is invaluable. By prioritizing eye safety, you not only safeguard your vision but also enhance your ability to deliver quality work with confidence.


Becoming a welder is a rewarding career choice, but it comes with inherent risks. Prioritize your safety by investing in high-quality welding shades that comply with safety standards. At Phillips Safety Products, we’re dedicated to ensuring welders have the protection they need. Visit our website to explore our range of products and safeguard your vision for years to come.

If you still aren’t sure which welding shade 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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