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Transition Lenses: Your Guide To Light-Adaptive Eyewear

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Yesglasses
Light responsive glasses

Do you ever wish you had a single pair of glasses that can both protect your eyes on the brightest day while still working just as well indoors? Sounds like you need transition lenses, which offer the benefits of both eyeglasses and sunglasses in one convenient package.

You may come across several different names for these lenses in your search for more information. We’ll clear that up for you and get you the details you need to decide whether transition lenses are the right fit for you.

What are transition lenses and how do they work?

To put it simply, photochromic lenses automatically darken when exposed to UV light. This is thanks to photochromic molecules (typically silver chloride or some other silver halide) that are manufactured into the lenses.

The result: You get a clear pair of eyeglasses while indoors, plus a protective set of sunglasses when you step outdoors. When you go back indoors, the lenses turn clear again. If you step outside, that’s when the tint kicks in.

Do transition lenses have other names?

Transition lenses are scientifically known as photochromic lenses. The name “transition” comes from the Transitions® company. They produce the most popular brand of photochromic lenses in the United States. Over time, the company name became synonymous with the lens type, much like Kleenex® and tissues or Q-tips® and cotton swabs.

You may also see transition lenses called photochromatic, variable tint, and light responsive. Here at Yesglasses, we commonly refer to them as light-adaptive lenses.

That’s a lot of names! Luckily, they all mean the same thing.

What are the benefits of photochromic lenses?

Having a pair of transition glasses means no need for a separate pair of prescription sunglasses. Since there’s no need to switch between glasses and sunglasses, you limit the risk of losing your glasses. This makes them incredibly convenient.

Some people may like to wear lightly tinted sunglasses to get protection both indoors and outdoors. In harsh sunlight conditions, having a pair of sunglasses with a darker tint is more beneficial. The adaptive tinting of transition lenses gives you added protection you might not find in less dynamic lens types.

How quickly do they change when you step inside or outside?

The speed and darkness of the transition process depends on how much sunlight hits the lenses.

If you are in bright, direct sunlight, the change will be quick, and the lenses will become quite dark. With indirect or weaker sunlight, the change will be slower with a lighter tint.

Do I need special frames for photochromic glasses?

Nope! Transition lenses are available for a large selection of frames. At Yesglasses, any of our frames can be fitted with a pair of light-adaptive lenses.

We also include special coatings, such as anti-scratch, anti-reflective, and 100% UV protection in all of our photochromic lenses.

What are the disadvantages of transition lenses?

Though transition lenses may seem perfect, there are some minor considerations.

Lower temperatures affect the photochromic molecules in the lenses, so they don’t work as well in cold weather. Likewise, depending on the brand, they could take longer to lighten or darken. If this matters to you, consider pairing your frames with a higher end set of photochromic lenses.

They are also not an ideal choice for driving. Your windshield blocks a large amount of UV light, so even though you may be getting blinded by reflections or the sunset, the lenses will not activate.

We recommend a pair of polarized lenses, if you’re looking for the best pair of driving sunglasses.

How long do light-adaptive lenses last?

Transitions® and other light-adaptive lenses will typically last around two years. The photochromic molecules in transition lenses have a lifespan that will determine how long they continue working.

After about two years, you may notice your lenses aren’t getting as dark or changing as quickly as they normally do. Fortunately, two years is around the time you should update your prescription and begin looking for a new pair of glasses.

Get high-quality photochromic and light-adaptive eyewear at Yesglasses

Finding a “must-own” frame for your transition lenses is easy with Yesglasses. We have a handy tool to help you find your face shape, which makes buying frames online easier than ever before.

Browse our large selection and find a fashionable pair of “all-in-one” glasses with transition lenses. Just choose your favorite frames and pick the option for “Light-responsive Lenses” when customizing your selection.

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