How many of us have simply taken a pair of sunglasses off the store shelf, without giving much attention to the color of their lenses? It isn’t just about how they look- different tints serve very different purposes, and suit the needs of everyone differently. Luckily, we are blessed with choice. Here is a guide to the most popular lens colors that are available.
Benefits: Grey lenses almost always provide more light reduction than those of any other tint, and for that reason they are the best choice for spending long periods outside in the sun. Grey is a neutral color, and these lenses do not alter the way the eye perceives color. Still, this does mean that grey lenses provide less contrast, and certain colors and objects will not “pop out.”
Popular Styles: Grey lenses are almost the standard for general use, and so just about any style from sport to fashion is available in a grey tint. It is recommended to start with a grey pair, and to branch out from there as you add more sunglasses to your collection.
Red, Rose, or Pink
Benefits: These lenses do not provide as much light reduction as grey lenses, but do provide more depth and contrast than any other tint. For drivers, the way in which the lenses alter color can certainly increase visual awareness on the road.
Popular Styles: Rose tinted lenses are usually set in lightweight frames designed for driving and sports, but they can be found in general use styles as well. Many sunglasses designed for sports like golf, skiing and snowboarding are made with these lenses as they provide excellent contrast with snow, even in hilly areas.
Brown, Bronze, or Amber
Benefits: Bronze lenses are almost said to provide a little bit of everything. They provide enough light reduction for most outdoor conditions, and a portion of the depth and contrast provided by rose tinted lenses. In this way they are considered to be the most versatile, which explains their increasing popularity.
Popular Styles: As with grey, bronze lenses are designed for sports as well as everyday use, and a wide range of styles set with bronze lenses are available. You might find lightweight jogging frames, or heavy styles set with thick, bronze colored lenses.
Benefits: Green lenses are the most sensible choice for low light or foggy conditions, in which UV rays from the sun can still cause damage to the eyes. Like grey lenses they will not alter color perception, and the difference is the decreased light reduction. Often with grey lenses, the field of vision will seem “too dark” in cases where they sun is not at its brightest.
Popular Styles: These lenses are relatively new, but are increasing in popularity. Though they had their start in the sporting world, you can expect to see more general use styles with green lenses in the near future. Green is a great color lens for fishing or other outdoorsy sports.
Benefits: These lenses are great in low light conditions, and in some cases provide for even better vision than green lenses. However, they will not provide as much protection from the sun. Yellow lenses are great for those who spend a lot of time at the computer, as they target rays of specific color that are harmful to the eyes after long periods.
Popular Styles: Yellow lenses are not typically found in general use styles because of the low amount of light reduction they provide, but they are gaining in popularity among sporting brands and companies that make lenses specifically for office workers and video or computer gamers.
The truth is that there is overlap between some of these tints, and for many of us there are more than one that will do just fine for our needs. The average sunglass wearer will be happy with a grey or green, and the difference in contrast between a rose and a bronze might not be immediately noticeable. Still, making an informed decision can benefit your own safety and eye health, and in the world of sports can even help to give you an edge over your opponents.