Although summer has (unfortunately) come to an end, the sun’s damaging UV rays are still shining brightly, and protecting your eyes from the sun on those bright autumn days is still essential. However, in your pursuit of a fashionable new pair of sunglasses for men or women, you tend to forget that their most vital function is to shield your eyes from harmful UV rays. Because, no matter how flex-worthy your sunglasses are, wandering about soaking up the sunshine at the cost of your eyes is never a good idea, no matter how stylish.
As a result, it is critical to understand what you are purchasing. While sunglasses are a practical accessory, there is an overwhelming amount of technical language to go through to comprehend what goes into a pair of sunglasses properly. Read on as we break down the most crucial terminology to know when buying sunglasses, from lens colours to frame materials and filter classifications.
Sunglasses protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun and may cause harm to your vision. UV (short for ultraviolet) rays are among the few phrases most people are aware of regarding sunglasses. In today’s world, practically all sunglasses provide complete UV protection, but what you should be searching for in your sunglasses for men or women is something known as the ‘protection index.’
The protection index, a number between zero and four, relates to a lens’s filtering ability and shows how much light is let through a sunglass lens. Regarding visual light transmission (VLT), grade zero lenses are clear or barely tinted with 80-100 per cent VLT, and grade four lenses are very dark with just 3-8 per cent VLT. To be safe, while purchasing sunglasses for daily use, seek ones with a protection index ranging from one to three.
Treatments for the Eyes
In addition to the protection index, various lens treatments may impact the appearance of a lens and its degree of protection. The most often used technology is polarisation, which is generated by embedding a polarised film into the natural lens of eyewear. Think of those Oakley sport sunglasses. When you wear sunglasses, they assist in reducing glare from the sun, allowing you to maintain crisp and clear eyesight even in strong sunshine.
In addition, photochromic lenses change their appearance depending on the strength of the sunshine they are subjected to. Then there are photo-polar lenses, which are a mix of photochromic and polarised lenses designed to prevent glare while also adapting to shifting light conditions.
Last but not least, there are mirrored lenses. These lenses have a mirror coating (also known as a flash coating) applied to the surface of the lens, which creates a one-way mirror illusion when seen from one direction. Consequently, light reflected from the surface of the lens does not reach your eyes.
Colours of the Lenses
Full coloured lenses were all the rage last summer. Still, before you rush out and buy a pair solely based on whether or not the colour complements your ‘fit, it’s essential to understand that various coloured lenses offer different advantages for different people. In addition, much like Instagram filters, the tint of a lens may influence your entire mood by altering the way we look at things.
Contrary to popular belief, blue lenses enhance colour perception and aid in defining the contours of objects in the environment. On the other hand, green lenses enhance the warmth of the colours you perceive while also improving contrast, which helps to lessen eye strain and fatigue. In terms of depth perception, yellow and brown lenses are the most effective, and they also aid in the perception of green and red tones while limiting the amount of blue light. If you want to view the world in its most natural form, grey lenses are the best choice since they provide the most accurate colour perception.
Lenses may be fully coloured or have a gradient effect applied to them. The faded appearance isn’t only for aesthetic purposes; it also has health advantages for your eyes since it makes it easier to see in various lighting situations.
Materials for Lenses
In most cases, lenses are either glass or plastic. Glass lenses provide the clearest vision and are robust and scratch-resistant. Nevertheless, they are heavier and may fracture if dropped with enough force to cause them to shatter. Plastic lenses are commonly constructed of one of three materials: polyamide, polycarbonate, or CR-39, a combination of the first two. For example, polycarbonate is the lightest and most robust plastic available as an alternative to crystal glass, yet polyamide is the most common material that delivers the highest visual quality. CR-39 is the most extensively used and prefered material for polarised lenses, yet it is also the most expensive.
Materials for the Frame
Now that you’ve mastered the lens vocabulary, the next component of your sunglasses to master is the framework. Most sunglasses are constructed of one of three materials: metal, nylon fibre, or acetate, to name a few. Wood is also becoming more popular since it is a natural material that can be sustainable.
Nylon fibre, sometimes known as plastic, is one of the most durable and adaptable materials available, making it an excellent choice for frame construction. The method of creating nylon fibre frames is time-consuming. It entails heating granules to 518 degrees Fahrenheit so that they melt, putting them into moulds, pressing them, spraying them with colour, and then allowing them to cool before solidifying them again. Many of these tasks are automated, but human talent is still necessary. For this reason, a brand name that has better technological competence behind it will cost you more money in the long run.