Transition glasses–also known as light-adaptive, variable tint, and light-adjusting lenses – feature lenses that are clear indoors and automatically darken when exposed to sunlight. These lenses are excellent at protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays and blue light from digital devices–both known for causing eye problems later in life.
If you are wondering ‘What are transition glasses good for?’, the answer is simple: they are good for your eyes. They provide the protection you need from harmful types of light, UV rays and blue light from digital screens. They are also good for children’s eyes – most of the sun damage people acquire in their life happens before the age of 18.
Photochromic and transition glasses are actually the same thing. The best-known manufacturer of photochromic lenses in the U.S. is Transitions Optical, which is the reason photochromic lenses are often referred to as transition lenses.
Wearing transition reading glasses at night shouldn’t be a problem, even while driving. The lenses are designed to darken only in response to UV light, so headlights won’t have any effect on them. However, they can be problematic under some conditions such as heavy snow conditions and low setting sun – when light levels are extremely variable and there is a lot of contrast.
Transition lenses traditionally add hundreds of dollars to the cost of prescription eyeglasses, but with EyeBuyDirect lenses can cost as little as $100. Combine that with our affordable frames, and you’ve got yourself a great deal! We even carry special frame packages that automatically include transition lenses for a lower price.
Most transition glasses go completely (or almost completely) clear indoors, away from UV light. Some transition lenses have a slight tint indoors to provide additional light protection. It will take transition glasses two to five minutes to return to a clear state after being fully dark outdoors and may take even longer in extreme temperatures.
No, transition lenses change color due to the molecular composition of the lens itself, so there is no coating that can transform normal glasses into transition glasses. You would have to have the lenses in the frames swapped out to make your glasses into transition glasses. EyeBuyDirect offers such great deals on photochromic lenses that you might as well keep your daily drivers and add a new pair of transition glasses to your collection.
Most transition glasses will last for the average lifespan of a pair of glasses – three years. When the clear lenses develop a yellowish hue at their edges and are less dark in full sunlight, they’re on their way out. However, bear in mind that transition lenses don’t change behind the windshield of a car, and will change slower and get less dark when they’re hot. Luckily, once your transition glasses are old enough to show signs of wear, it’s likely time for a new prescription anyway.
There are several different types of transition lenses, but here at EyeBuyDirect we offer a basic photochromic lens, the Transitions™ Signature lens, and Transitions™ XTRActive® lens. You can get transition lenses in prescription or non-prescription glasses and they come in two different colors, gray and brown.
You should be able to tell if you have transition glasses by stepping outdoors and seeing them darken over the course of a couple of minutes. However, testing them behind the windshield of a car will not give you the same result. You must expose them to UV light directly from the sun, as transition lenses even work on overcast days. If your lenses show no sign of darkening after exposure to sunlight, you’ll know that you do not have transition lenses.
While transition glasses are wonderful for protecting eyes from UV light in the absence of sunglasses, they are not considered a replacement for sunglasses. Transition glasses are perfect for running errands where you move in and out of the sun throughout the day and are a tremendous improvement over mere prescription glasses.
However, for prolonged outdoor activities in very bright conditions–especially high glare conditions where light is reflecting off of water or snow– polarized sunglasses are your best bet for eye protection.