What is “Photochromic Lens”?

Terminology on some eyeglasses websites tripping you up?

What is “Photochromic Lens”?

What is "Photochromic Lens"?You probably know photochromic lenses as “Transitions“, but that is a bit of a misnomer. Transitions® lenses are a brand of photochromic lenses, and there are other brands of photochromic lenses. This is similar to the fact that cotton swabs are commonly referred to as Q-Tips, which is just a popular brand of cotton swabs.

Photochromic lenses change color in the sunlight. Typically, they are clear indoors and at night and change to gray or brown when exposed to direct sunlight. There are other specific types of photochromic lenses that never turn clear, such as Drivewear.

If you’re looking for a great pair of all-around glasses, photochromic lenses are the way to go. Here are a few answers to the question, “What is photochromic lens?”

  • Photochromic lenses change color in sunlight. Specifically, they darken when exposed to UV rays.
  • Most photochromic lenses don’t change behind the windshield of a car. There are few exceptions, described later in this list.
  • Most photochromic lenses are clear indoors and at night, and turn gray or brown when in direct sunlight.
  • Drivewear lenses are a type of Transitions. They start at a light green color and turn dark rust in sunlight. They are a daytime-only lens that increases contrast and visual acuity. They are also polarized. They’re great for driving, golfing, and active sports.
  • Transitions XRTActive lenses turn dark in direct sunlight and behind the windshield of a car. They are also the darkest Transitions, even when it’s hot out. Other photochromic lenses are less active in hot weather. These lenses never get totally clear, but indoors they will have a comfortable “hint of a tint,” which is fine even for nighttime driving.
  • Transitions Vantage lenses turn dark in the sunlight and polarize in the presence of glare. This is pretty incredible technology: they are not polarized except when they need to be. They also will have a “hint of a tint” indoors and at night, which shouldn’t impede your vision in dark conditions.
  • Standard photochromic lenses are also available in glass lens material for those seeking the scratch resistance of glass.

If you’re looking for the best lenses to wear 24/7 (rather than having to get a separate pair of sunglasses), photochromic lenses are for you.

Shop Photochromic Lenses

If you were wondering, what is “photochromic lens?” hopefully you now have enough information to shop with ease. Our web site features all of the photochromic lenses mentioned here.

If you’re looking to learn more about photochromic lenses, having a hard time deciding what’s right for you, or ready to order, just give us a call, leave a comment below, or visit our online store.

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