Transition prescription lenses are a specific brand of lens that “transitions” from a clear lens to a colored sunglass tint when they are exposed to UV rays. These lenses are great value lens as they essentially give you an eyeglass and sunglass lens for the price of one. They are a great option for the individual that wants one pair of prescription glasses that work both indoors and outdoors without having the hassle of switching lenses in and out when changing locations. However, with that kind of versatility there are a few key factors that are important to note. Our goal with this article is to hopefully help you decide if Transition lenses are the right choice for you.
The first thing to consider with Transition lenses is that since they are activated by UV light rays they will not transition when you‘re driving in your car. This is because 99% of our car windows and windshields block UV rays which is what triggers the lens to transition from clear to grey or brown. With that said if you intend to wear your Transition lenses while driving in the car and would like them to work as a sunglass there is a solution, Transitions Xtra Active lenses. These lenses will transition to a lighter sunglass tint while you’re in your car but the flip side is they will never transition to completely clear when indoors. Even when inside there will always be a slight tint to them. If you are going to be in a well lite room the slight tint shouldn’t bother you, but it is important to be aware of. Another plus to the Transitions Xtra Active lenses is that they will be darker when outside that a traditional Transition lens which is about 15-20% lighter than a standard sunglass lens tint. In short if you have sensitive eyes or are looking for a really dark sunglass lens we recommend either the Transitions Xtra Active lenses or to avoid Transitions all together.
Also, Transition lenses typically come in two color options. Clear to Grey and Clear to brown. If you like your lenses to be on the darker side of the spectrum we recommend the clear to grey option over clear to brown. While brown lens tints offer higher contrast which provides greater definition between objects they put more strain on the eye as the eye sees contrast as additional light making them feel brighter. Brown transitions also offer more light transmission through the lens which means more light will pass through the lens than in a grey transitions lens tint. Our personal opinion is that the clear to grey Transitions work better as a sunglass tint than the clear to brown as the brown doesn’t seem to be dark enough.
Lastly, with Transitions it takes about a full minute for your lenses to transition completely when you are outside. When you go back inside it can take up to 3-5 minutes to go completely clear. They do not transition back and forth instantly.
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