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How To Choose Adaptive or Photochromic Lenses

When it comes to eyeglasses, photochromic lenses are one of your alternatives. They are the lens that darkens when exposed to UV radiation from the sun or other sources.

Photochromic lenses are also known as:

  • Transition lenses
  • Light adaptive lenses
  • Variable tint lenses

Wearing prescription glasses and sunglasses in the summer can be inconvenient since you must always carry both sets and switch between them when traveling indoors and outside. On the other hand, light-adaptive photochromic lenses allow you to wear only one pair all the time. These innovative two-in-one glasses adapt to the illumination, protecting your eyes while saving you the hassle of constantly changing lenses.


Photochromic glasses are clear indoors but darken automatically when moved to a brighter environment. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays cause the molecules in photochromic lenses to change color. Even on gloomy days, they will darken in the light since UV rays penetrate clouds.

This gives you the most excellent possible eyesight in all lighting conditions by using multiple tint hues without you having to think about it. Because Transitions is the most well-known brand of photochromic lenses, these glasses are sometimes referred to as ‘transition lenses.’ They are also known as adaptive, auto-tinted, and variable-tint lenses. Photochromic glasses are not the same as polarised glasses (sunglasses). These feature a fixed tint that shields against glare but isn’t variable; they don’t respond to light as photochromic lenses do.


  • By blocking up to 100% of UVA/UVB light, they help prevent eye strain, eye damage, and the chance of cataracts later in life.
  • Convenience – no need to carry glasses and shades and switch between the two.
  • Although photochromic glasses can be more expensive than regular prescription glasses, they are practically two-in-one, so you won’t have to buy separate glasses and shades.


Regular sunglasses use colored filters or polarization to block out specific wavelengths of light. Because photochromic glasses are carbon, the molecules respond to UV; they change form and absorb light, making the lenses appear darker. The darker the lenses grow, the more UV rays there are. Depending on the intensity of UV, they will change from clear to various deeper colors. It may take up to 30 seconds for the tint to take effect on the glasses, and it may take up to five minutes to restore to normal upon returning indoors.

They shield your eyes from UV radiation, which benefits your overall eye health. Photochromic lenses, made of plastic, glass, or polycarbonate, are available as prescription glasses for persons with vision problems. Plastic photochromic lenses are commonly prefer over glass photochromic lenses due to their molecular structure; users frequently find the tint on plastic lenses to be more evenly distributed than on photochromic glass lenses.

What Are Photochromic Lenses Made Of?

Glass lenses are now significantly less popular than newer synthetic materials. The majority of lenses are comprised of plastic or resin. The rationale for this shift is that resins are lighter and more durable than glass. They are also less prone to scratching and are simpler to coat or infuse with photochromic molecules uniformly. There are several methods for producing resins and infusing them with the appropriate colors. This makes them a more versatile material to work with than glass.

There are several photochromic lens brands to select from. Different companies make their lenses with various base materials and colors. While all photochromic lenses function roughly the same way, material differences impact the lenses’ features, especially their rate of color change. There are many materials that you can use to make frames for your lenses, including metal and plastic.


Photochromic lenses, like regular spectacles, may be worn daily. They can assist anybody, notably those who frequently go from interiors to outside.

Photochromic glasses are especially beneficial for youngsters unlikely to handle two distinct pairs of eyewear – ordinary and sunglasses. It also benefits their eye health from a young age by shielding them from the sun’s UV radiation.


Photochromic lenses adjust to light automatically, whereas sunglasses maintain the same amount of tint, implying that sunglasses may not always provide the optimal quality of vision (e.g., they may be too dark in some situations). These glasses are convenient and time-saving, which may help you save money. Some polarised sunglasses filter the light to make it more comfortable to wear.

When driving, sunglasses and photochromic glasses, such as Transitions Xtractive, assist keep the sun out of your eyes. Since of their adaptive nature, photochromic glasses are healthier for your eyes because they prevent squinting and eye fatigue, but for persons who spend extended amounts of time in direct sunshine, good quality sunglasses may be preferred.


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