There's quite a few things to consider when buying new sunglasses
beyond the obvious cosmetic factors. Here's a rough guide to choosing
the perfect pair:
First of all, the size of the frame is important.
You need to ensure
that your sunspecs provide good coverage from strong sunlight. However,
you shouldn't choose anything too big or with too much wrap around.
Curved lenses exhibit a greater amount of troublesome reflections.
you're having your glasses made up to prescription, your
lenses might be unnecessarily thick (and if they are varifocals,
suffer from increased peripheral distortion).
Secondly, you need to consider which lens type to go for. We offer standard, polarised and photochromic.
Standard tints offer the greatest flexibility because you can have your
lenses as dark or as light as you want. However you need to choose
carefully. Many people make the mistake of choosing the darkest tint
possible, perhaps with a forthcoming holiday in mind, then finding
their new glasses completely unsuitable in more temperate climates or
for driving. You should choose something which will perform well in all your day to day situations.
Polarised lenses give you
the best protection against reflected glare. Hence they are an
excellent choice for driving, fishing or any water-based
activities. When light hits a flat surface, the reflected light
is horizontal in orientation. Polarised lenses block the "bad"
horizontal reflected glare but allow the "good" vertical light through.
Note that polarised lenses come in one tint strength only (generally around 85%) - you can't have them any darker or lighter.
We also offer photochromic lenses.
These allow you to have just one pair of spectacles that adapts
to changing lighting conditions outdoors, so they are usually a very
cost-effective solution. Note, however, that these generally don't work
very well behind glass, so they won't be of much benefit for driving.
Reaction speed is also reduced in exceptionally hot climates, so
they're not recommended for tropical holidays. We supply all the
major technologies, including Transitions (Standard & Xtractive variants), Rodenstock Colormatic (six different tints available)and Zeiss Photofusion.
The next choice you need to make is the actual tint colour. We typically offer brown, grey and green. Your choice will be influenced by
The colour of the frame. Obviously, if you choose a brown frame, a brown tint is going to be a logical choice.
Personal preference (some people prefer the 'feel' of a particular colour)
What you intend to use the sunspecs for. Certain colours have a
slight advantage in specific situations. For example, grey works well if you plan on
reading outdoors with them (it reduces the contrast between the bright
page and dark text). Brown is good at reducing blue light so this works
well for distance use on bright days with no cloud (it's particularly
good for cataract patients who may be especially sensitive to this).
Green doesn't reduce your contrast or colour perception as much, so is
good for driving or certain sports.
Other shades are available, but they're generally not suitable for
sunspecs. Blue, for example, is likely to increase the amount of glare
rather than reduce it, while orange/yellow will feel too bright.
Finally, you need to consider lens coatings/treatments.
You may wish to have an anti-reflection
coating. This is particularly beneficial for bigger or curved frames
because it reduces both reflected glare and 'ghosting' from the
back surface. A mirror coating can also help reduce reflections. A hard coat
will also be useful to extend the lifespan of your lenses- sunspecs
tend to experience a bit more wear and tear than your main pair of
Note that all our sunspec lenses have UV protection as standard. This is absolutely essential - If you wear a pair of dark shades, your
pupils will be much bigger than they would otherwise be. Without UV
protection, this would allow a greater quantity of UV to enter the eye,
risking damage or deterioration of your retina or crystalline lens.
Sunspec lenses can be fitted to virtually any ophthalmic frame we have
in stock. However if you're looking for something more high-end, we recommend Maui Jim
sunglasses. Maui Jim lenses are
polarised to eliminate glare, offer optimum colour perception and
provide maximum UV protection. Find out more here(external site)