Today’s sunglasses offer a lot of variety. In addition to different frame shapes and features, consumers also have plenty of choices for color. Tinted lenses cover the entire spectrum from grays and blacks to bright pinks and reds. The question is, does color matter?
No doubt some colors are chosen for fashion purposes. But beyond fashion, there are legitimate reasons for making lenses in multiple colors. Different colors and tint densities offer a different perspective based on the wearer’s activities. In short, some tints are better for a given activity than others.
Below is a list of the most common tints along with descriptions of their benefits. But first, a word about lens color and UV radiation from Salt Lake City’s Olympic Eyewear. According to Olympic, color and tint density have no effect on UV protection. The filter that protects against UV rays is transparent. Color and tint are only effective with visible light.
The vast majority of sunglasses offer lenses in black or gray. Considered general, all-purpose products, gray and black tinted sunglasses are suitable for a variety of outdoor activities ranging from driving to water sports. They offer exceptionally good protection against glare, especially when polarized, and are known to reduce eye fatigue.
As an added benefit, black and gray lenses offer the truest color perception among all of the options. You will see color more naturally in black or gray than any other color.
Various shades of blue can have a very comforting effect on the eyes. Blue lenses are said to improve color perception and clarity, especially around the edges of objects. They are particularly appropriate for reducing glare on the ski slopes. As a side note, they are not effective in filtering out blue light.
Brown and amber sunglasses are preferred among people whose outdoor activities require significant clarity of depth. Take golfers, for example. They need a clear view of the hole from the tee. Amber and brown lenses tend to improve depth perception under sunny skies. They also improve contrast between sky and landscape.
Different shades of green have been popular for decades. Like black and gray sunglasses, green shades are considered all-purpose. They offer a number of benefits including consistent color perception, reduced glare, improved shadows, and reduced eye fatigue.
Green lenses are ideal for people who spend a great deal of time outdoors under changing conditions. That’s because they work equally well under both sunny and overcast skies. Green lenses even work well on foggy days.
Red and pink lenses provide a more comforting contrast as well as improved depth perception. They are welcome on the ski slopes, where trails can easily be washed out by bright sunlight. Reds and pinks also filter out blue light, making them attractive to gamers and computer geeks.
Yellow lenses can make it easier to see moving objects. That is why you see baseball players preferring yellow shades. Yellow makes it easier for the eyes to pick up objects, especially on hazy days. Yellow is also preferred by pilots who depend on visual clarity.
Indoors, yellow sunglasses can filter out blue light as well. They might be appropriate for computer users who suffer significant eye strain due to sitting in front of their screens for hours on end.
Is there a particular color you prefer for your sunglasses? If not, maybe the knowledge gleaned from this post will change your mind. Suffice it to say that colored sunglasses are not just a fashion thing. There are particularly good reasons for producing different colors and tint densities.