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Guide to Sunglasses Lens Technologies

Sunglasses are available with many different lens technologies, so we have put together a guide of the most common lens technologies available to give an idea of what each lens can do.

Polarised Lenses

To understand how polarised lenses work, it’s helpful to understand a little bit about how light works. When light is reflected from a smooth surface, it's horizontally polarised. That's why these lenses are ideal for driving or fishing. The horizontally polarised light decreases visibility and creates glare. polarised lenses work to combat this glare by blocking horizontal polarised light. The result is a reduction in annoying, and potentially harmful glare.

Polarised lenses reduce glare and give colours a more vibrant look.

Left: Non-Polarised Lens Right: Polarised Lens

Polarised for Driving

Polarising lenses offer increased safety. They eliminate the glare produced by reflections on wet road surfaces, dashboards and other cars.

Polarised for Sports

Particularly useful for water sports (sailing and fishing in particular) and winter sports, whenever the eyes are under constant stress from the sunlight relected by flat surfaces (water, snow and ice).

Polarised for Greater Comfort

In both summer and winter, wearers can rediscover the pleasure of better vision under all circumstances, with colours appearing more vibrant than with normal sunglass lenses.

Graduated Lenses

Many designer sunglasses feature Graduated Lenses which are darker at the top to filter out bright sunlight and lighter towards the bottom. However, the downside of Graduated Lenses are that they are not as successful at reducing glare from road or water surfaces than that of polarised lenses.

Please Note: Graduated Lenses are not to be confused with Varifocal/Progressive/Multifocal Lenses found in Prescription Glasses.

Graduated Lenses are darker at the top to filter out bright sunlight

Photochromic Lenses

Also known as "Transition" or "Reactolite"

Photochromic lenses are lenses that darken on exposure to UV radiation. Once the UV is removed (for example by walking indoors), the lenses will gradually return to their clear state which are almost as clear as standard plastic when deactivated (approximately 15% absorption). Typically, photochromic lenses darken substantially in response to UV light in less than one minute, and then continue to darken very slightly over the next fifteen minutes. The lenses fade back to clear along a similar pattern. The lenses will begin to clear as soon as they are away from UV light, and will be noticeably lighter with in two minutes and mostly clear within five minutes. However, it normally takes more than fifteen minutes for the lenses to completely fade to their non-exposed state.

A photochromic eyeglass lens, after exposure to sunlight with part of the lens covered by paper.

Tinted Lenses

Tinted lenses can soften harsh, bright light to relieve eye strain. All of our tinted lenses are 100% UV protected, so why not use them as sunglasses!

These are our standard tints:

  • Grey (Dark/Medium/Light tint)
  • Brown (Dark/Medium/Light tint)
  • Green (Dark/Medium/Light tint)
  • Blue (Light tint)
  • Pink (Light tint)
  • Yellow (Light tint)
  • Graduated Grey**
  • Graduated Green**
  • Graduated Brown**

**Please Note: The term Graduated is not to be confused with Varifocal/Progressive/Multifocal.

Infrared Lenses

Infrared Lenses offer great protection for high mountain activities where protection against infrared radiation is very important. Cebe offer a selection of Sunglasses with Infrared protection.

Clip On Lenses

Some of our popular designer ranges including Rudy Project feature additional Clip On lenses included in the price. These simply clip on in front of the prescription glasses when required without the need to have two separate pairs of glasses.

Rudy Project feature Prescription Glasses with Clip-On Lenses