What are Polarized Lenses?

With sunglasses being a popular accessory, brands from across the globe have worked to innovate their lens technology and bring these sunnies into the future. In addition to having a competitive edge with their products, sunglasses manufacturers strive to provide lenses that can accommodate different activities and environmental conditions. Currently, sunglasses with polarized lenses are one of the most popular variants on the market. Valued at $59.3 million, most recognized sunglasses brands like Maui Jim, Costa Del Mar, Oakley, and others contribute to developing these lenses and innovating them for different use cases.

In essence, polarized lenses were designed to help you see better in environments where you would otherwise squint or feel discomfort from bright light. As such, they play a vital role in the sunglasses industry and can enhance vision comfort for various activities.

What makes polarized lenses stand out?

There is still a wide variety of lenses available for sunglasses in the market today, such as plain tinted lenses, which are recognized for enhancing color contrast to promote vision comfort while doing outdoor sports or driving a vehicle. There are also variations like anti-reflection, photochromatic, and scratch-resistant lenses.

Different lens technologies serve their own purpose for any sunglasses wearer, but polarized lenses stand out since they reduce reflected glare from surfaces such as water, snow, and glass. Glare results from light hitting a reflective horizontal surface that makes it scatter horizontally. This phenomenon can overwhelm the photoreceptors in your eyes and damage vision when unavoidable.

Besides discomfort, glare can make it difficult for your eyes to distinguish color and make you feel like you’re being “blinded” by a white light. To address this, polarized lenses are created by applying a special chemical to the lenses in a vertical pattern to block out the effects of scattered light. Polarized lenses are popular because they reduce eye strain, prevent squinting, and increase overall visual comfort. With light conditions constantly changing, it is ideal for anyone who wants to protect their vision and enhance visual comfort outdoors.

Types of polarized lenses

You may think that all polarized lenses work the same since they all protect a person’s vision from glare and bright light. On the contrary, polarized lenses can be applied with different tints to maximize their use in a variety of activities. Costa Del Mar shows how its performance technology lenses come in different colors to help enhance vision while exposed to the outdoors.

Their blue polarized lenses are optimal for boating, fishing, and other aquatic pastimes, as these activities would otherwise leave you vulnerable to open reflective water that can cause glare. Or if you’re someone who loves to do road trips or drive off-road, copper polarized lenses are perfect since they are color-neutral and can reduce road glare, leading to a more comfortable driving experience. These lenses can be fitted in various stylish frames from Costa Del Mar, including the Reeftons and Cat Cays, making them a perfect accessory for outdoor adventures.

Benefits, style, and function

Furthermore, some brands innovate polarized lenses by incorporating them into different frames to maximize their benefits further. Oakley polarized sunglasses often come in semi-rimless designs like the Radar EV, which is breathable and lightweight to help athletes perform in different sports. They also fit their line of snow goggles with polarized lenses to help combat snow glare, which is often considered more strenuous on the eyes than on other surfaces.

In line with this, some brands like TruWood use real wood to provide a refreshing design to house polarized lenses. Their Icon frames are made from walnut wood, which our previous post on popular wood types also highlighted as one of the top woods used in crafting. With these lenses, you’re protected and have a stylish edge that can get people talking.

With the benefits of polarized lenses, it’s no surprise that different brands have brought their creative innovations to make the most out of their benefits for eye protection. Ultimately, though, the best kind of polarized lens is the one that will keep your eyes comfortable while outdoors and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by bright light.