Who, What, Wear Polarized Lenses
I’m sure we’ve all heard of polarized sunglasses. I’m sure we all know someone who swears by them. But, what are they? How do they work? Well, all you have to do is read on, and by the end of this blog post you will become an expert on polarized lenses. Or, at least pretty close to one.
How does it work?
Polarized lenses were invented in 1936 by Edwin H. Land after the discovery that light waves, which are usually erratic and vibrate in many directions, become aligned in one direction after bouncing off of a surface. In other words, after light hits a flat surface, such as the water or road in front of you, light starts moving in the same direction: horizontal. That horizontal light is what we perceive as glare.
Polarized lenses work by blocking out all of that horizontal light. Kind of like a mattress trying to fit through a doorway. The mattress (light) cannot pass through the doorway (polarized lenses) if you turn the mattress horizontal (glare). But, if you turn the mattress vertically (good light), it will pass through, no problem.
Benefits of Polarized Lenses
- Blocks Glare
This is the most talked about, but also, most important benefit of polarized lenses. Not only does blocking glare improve your vision, it also improves your safety. If you drive on a sunny day, and light bounces off of something just right, the glare can blind you for up to 5 seconds. Which, in a car, is the length of a football field. A lot can happen in that time.
- Increases Color Contrast
Beyond blocking glare, polarized lenses can allow you to see the world like never before. Through polarized lenses, everything looks crisp and clear, which can vastly improve the details you perceive in everyday objects. It opens up your eyes, quite literally.
- Reduces Eye Strain
Another perk of polarized lenses are that they do open up your eyes! Everyday squinting into the sun as you walk down the sidewalk or across the beach is often commonplace. Well, not anymore. With polarized lenses, you can finally give your eyes a break and give yourself a more comfortable viewing experience in the process.
- Steps up your Fishing Game
You may notice that many fisherman or water-sports enthusiasts are also polarized lenses enthusiasts. This is because there is a whole world just beneath the surface of the water that you don’t know about without polarized lenses. Because they block the glare and haze caused by light bouncing off of the water, polarized lenses make water-sports more enjoyable because you can see into the water and out to objects in the distance
Tinted Lenses v. Polarized Lenses
Tinted lenses (non-polarized) are great for reducing brightness, but they do not eliminate blinding glare like polarized ones do. Plus, despite common belief, even darker tinted lenses do not help with glare any more or less than their lighter counterparts. So, with all of the benefits that polarized lenses have to offer, why do tinted lenses still exist? Well, there are just a few instances where polarized lenses can be unsuitable:
- Pilots – Because most LCD screens use the same polarization as your lenses, they can interfere with one another, causing the screen to black out. While some airplanes do not use LCD screens, you will definitely want to check before take off.
- Sensitive Eyes – Because we view the world differently through polarized lenses, some people with more sensitive eyes can experience headaches or nausea and do not adjust to the change. If you experience only minor issues, you can often combat them by making sure that you are buying high-quality polarized lenses.
Are my lenses polarized?
After learning about all of the glare-blocking and butt-kicking abilities that polarized lenses possess, you might be gazing at your sunglasses wondering if you have them. Well, lucky for you, it is SUPER easy to find out! Try either of the following methods:
Pop ‘em out!
First, find a sheet of bright white paper. With your lenses removed from your glasses, hold one lens over the other on top of the paper. Then, start to turn the top lens. As the top lens turns vertically, you should be seeing it get darker and darker. Once the top lens turns completely vertical, you should see it completely black out! This is because the bottom lens in still blocking that horizontal light, and the top lens is now blocking vertical light. This means that where they intersect, no light can pass through.
Grab your computer
If you don’t feel like popping out your lenses, you can leave them in place for this test. Just find a back-lit LCD computer and look through your lenses at the screen. Next, start to rotate your glasses. If they are polarized, the lenses will start to get darker and black out at some point (typically around 90 degrees). The point that they black out at just depends on the angle of polarization. This test works for the same reason that pilots often can’t fly with polarized lenses – because LCD screens use the same anti-glare technology as your lenses.
There you have it! That’s everything you need to know about Polarized lenses. We hope you are now an expert and will spread the knowledge to friends and family! But, if you do still have questions, feel free to reach out to our customer service, or just leave a comment below! We don’t mean to brag, but we pretty much live and breathe lenses here at Fuse Lenses.