Sunglasses and Lenses: What You Might Not Know about Colors
At Olympic Eyewear in Salt Lake City, designers are known to dabble with color for both lenses and frames. But there is actually more to coloring lenses than just creating something that looks good. Different colored lenses do different things for the eyes.
It is probably safe to say that most people who choose colored lenses do so for aesthetic purposes. It’s probably also a safe bet that the average person has no idea what colored lenses do with the possible exception of scientists, optometrists, and handful of others who have a fascination with light. So in the interest of educating the consumer, a list of the five most common colors for eyewear lenses are found below, along with an explanation of what each color does.
Gray and black are the two most common lens colors. Indeed, Olympic’s wholesale fashion sunglasses utilize gray and black more than any other colors. So what do gray and black do? To begin with, they offer the most amount of light reduction. They are also the most effective at reducing brightness without significantly distorting the other colors in a person’s field of view. Gray and black sunglasses are recommended for driving and generally spending time in bright sunlight.
The next most popular color for lenses are hues of amber and brown. These are good for outdoor sports because they block blue light, thus improving contrast. A good pair of amber or brown sunglasses makes it a lot easier for baseball player to see the ball in the grass, for example. Baseball players, golfers, hunters, and skiers are among the kinds of athletes that prefer amber and brown. The only downside is that they distort certain colors, like yellow.
Up next are varying shades of yellow and orange. Lenses in these two colors can improve contrast when light conditions are not all that great. That makes yellow and orange lenses a good bet on overcast days when you might want to block a little light but still get maximum UV protection. They are not a good choice when doing things that rely on accurate perception of color. Yellow and orange distort everything. They are the preferred colors among hunters and sports shooters though.
Believe it or not, green lenses are the best of all at reducing glare. They are also fairly good at blocking blue light. Both these properties make green lenses very good for providing high contrast vision without a lot of color distortion. They are not all that good in the snow, though.
Sunglasses with lenses in purple or red are the least popular among all color choices. Both significantly distort natural colors, making it hard for some people to wear them for prolonged periods. However, they do work well in partly cloudy and overcast conditions because they offer good contrast.
Whether you wear colored sunglasses for fashion, eye protection or both, the one thing to always remember is the need for UV protection. No color applied to eyewear lenses protects against UV rays in and of itself. UV rays are color neutral. Therefore, you still have to look at labels to determine how much protection a pair of sunglasses offers.
From a medical and scientific standpoint, you are still better off wearing the darkest possible shades with excellent UV protection than a pair of sunglasses with colored lenses. But if your fashion sense demands a splash of color, there are some excellent products out there. You just have to decide what color lenses you want to look through.