Photochromic sunglasses – lenses that change tint depending on the weather
20th November 2017
We thought a good follow-up to the last post about lens colours would be an overview on lenses that change tint depending on the weather or surroundings. There are some proprietary brand names like Transitions, Reactolite and Reactions but the generic term for this type of lens (and the one we use) is ‘Photochromic’. Most of the sports eyewear brands now have photochromic sunglasses in their range. In the early days only glass (or ‘mineral’) lenses could be made to darken when exposed to ultraviolet light but technology has moved on and now it’s now possible to have polycarbonate photochromic lenses.
The benefit of photochromic lenses is that in overcast weather or darker surroundings (like running or cycling through woods or early / late in the day) they will lighten, usually to a category 2 or even a category 1 lens tint. But in bright, sunny conditions they will go dark to a category 3 (and sometimes category 4). It’s also now possible to have photochromic polarised lenses (we have several such models). Photochromic lenses can come in brown, grey, rose or orange tints. In less expensive models with polycarbonate lenses (e.g. under £50) they may lose some of their photochromic properties after 2 years. But more expensive polycarbonate models and all glass photochromic lenses should never lose their photochromic effect.
Photochromic lenses are most popular with cyclists, runners, skiers, tennis and fishing enthusiasts. It’s worth noting that all Serengeti sunglasses come with photochromic lenses. See our range of photochromic models in our Photochromic Sunglasses section.