Polarised Lenses: A Game Changer For Anti-Glare

30th April 2024

With summer fast approaching, adventures like fishing by a shimmering lake, hiking along scenic mountains, or simply driving on a sun-drenched road are able to be enjoyed again.

Have you noticed the annoying glare your glasses can cause? As sunlight reflects off surfaces like water, roads, and even snow, it can not only strain your eyes but also hinder your ability to see clearly, posing risks in various situations.


Polarised lenses


To avoid the glare, polarised lenses can be a real lifesaver. Polarised glasses are the secret to seeing clearly as they protect from irritating glare, along with harmful UV rays. In this article, we will explain what glare is, what polarised lenses are and what advantages they offer, as well as how they compare to their non-polarised counterparts.

What is Glare?

Light bounces off of a surface and its waves travel in all directions. Some light waves travel horizontally, while others travel vertically.

Light waves are typically absorbed and/or reflected randomly when light hits a surface. If light hits a reflective surface such as water, snow, or reflective objects (cars or buildings), at the right angle, however, some of the light becomes “polarised”. In other words, vertical light waves are absorbed while horizontal light waves bounce off the surface.

This polarisation leads to glare, a concentrated and intense light that can almost feel blinding and cause discomfort as well as strain your eyes. Only polarised lenses can address this glare effectively.

What are Polarised Lenses?

The key component of polarised lenses is the polarising filter. It’s usually made from a special material that contains microscopic vertical lines. These lines act as a barrier to horizontally oriented light waves, effectively blocking the light waves that bounce off of reflective surfaces, significantly reducing glare. Meanwhile, vertically oriented light waves can still pass through this filter.

Polarised lenses

Despite their ability to reduce glare, polarised lenses do not compromise overall visibility or darken the surroundings excessively. On the contrary, by eliminating glare, polarised lenses enhance visual clarity, contrast, and colour perception. This means that you can see objects more clearly and in better detail in bright outdoor environments, making them a great choice for a wide range of outdoor activities.

Advantages of Polarised Lenses

Glare Reduction

The most notable benefit of polarised lenses is that they effectively eliminate glare caused by sunlight. This results in enhanced vision, especially when you’re looking at reflective surfaces such as water, snow, and roads.

Enhanced Visual Clarity and Contrast

By eliminating glare, polarised lenses improve overall visual clarity and contrast. This means you can enjoy your favourite outdoor activities with greater definition and less eye fatigue.

Improved Eye Comfort

Continuous exposure to intense glare can be tiring, especially for your eyes. With glare reduced, polarised lenses offer increased comfort, particularly during long periods of outdoor activity. No more squinting to avoid glare.

Better Colour Perception

Polarised lenses also preserve the true colours of the surrounding environment by reducing the distortion caused by glare. This helps maintain natural colour perception, which means you can still enjoy vibrant and true-to-life colours without the harsh glare.

Advantages of Non-Polarised Lenses

Compatibility with Electronic Devices

Non-polarised lenses are beneficial for anyone spending a lot of time in front of digital screens such as smartphones, tablets, and TV screens. Polarised lenses may cause screen dimming or distortion while non-polarised lenses allow for clear and unobstructed viewing.

Affordability

If you’re on a budget, non-polarised lenses might be the way to go as they are more affordable while still providing basic eye protection and vision correction.

Wider Availability

Non-polarised lenses are also more widely available than polarised lenses. They can usually be found in more styles and varieties as well as brands and lens materials.

Better Visibility in Low-Light Conditions

Non-polarised sunglasses usually offer better visibility indoors and in other low-light conditions. Polarised lenses are primarily made to reduce glare in bright sunlight, so they might not offer great visibility when there is little light to block.



Woman on beach


Which Should You Choose?

Deciding which one to get can be tricky. If you’re not sure polarised lenses would benefit your lifestyle, it might not be worth it to spend the extra money on them.

Outdoor Activities

The first thing to consider is outdoor activities. If you engage in outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, skiing, or driving often, polarised lenses would be the ideal choice. They provide extra comfort and optimal vision for all of your favourite outdoor adventures.

If your outdoor activities are primarily casual or usually don’t involve glare-inducing conditions, non-polarised lenses might be all you need. They offer basic protection against UV radiation and bright light, making them the ideal everyday pair of sunglasses sufficient for the occasional outdoor activity.

Visual Comfort and Clarity

Polarised lenses can provide significant relief if you tend to suffer from discomfort and eye strain whenever you’re exposed to glare from reflective surfaces. By eliminating glare, polarised lenses offer more comfortable outdoor experiences and reduce eye fatigue.

While non-polarised lenses may not provide the same level of glare reduction as polarised lenses, they still offer basic protection against bright light and UV radiation, making them a great option for everyday use.

Electronic Device Usage

If you frequently use electronic devices such as smartphones or laptops, polarised lenses might not be compatible with your lifestyle. The polarising filter in these lenses may cause screen dimming or distortion when looking at digital screens at certain angles.

Non-polarised lenses, on the other hand, are a great option with electronic devices as they don’t interfere with the visibility of digital screens. If your work or even leisure activities centre around electronic devices, non-polarised lenses are not the most practical choice.

Budget and Availability

Polarised lenses are typically pricier compared to non-polarised lenses. However, the investment might be worthwhile if you’d benefit from the glare reduction on a regular basis.

If you are not too concerned about glare reduction and its benefits, non-polarised lenses are more affordable. At Glasses2you, we ensure you receive the best price for your polarised lenses and only charge £30 extra compared to normal sunglass tints.

Conclusion

Both polarised and non-polarised lenses have their benefits and the choice between them needs to be carefully considered. While polarised lenses offer significant advantages in reducing glare and therefore provide superior comfort in bright outdoor environments, they are not always the best choice. Ultimately, it’s up to your unique lifestyle, activities, visual needs, and personal preference if polarised lenses are worth the extra penny or non-polarised lenses are more than good enough for your needs.

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