Safety Glasses: The Right Tint

You already know that safety glasses are a vital part of personal protection, protecting your eyes from potential injury at the work place. But you have many options to consider when choosing your safety glasses. In addition to finding a style you like, you must also select an appropriate lens tint for your safety glasses.

There are many different lens tints available for safety glasses, and each tint is suitable for different applications. Clear lenses, for example, are recommended for general purpose (mostly indoor) work environments, while polarized lenses are ideal for outdoor applications.

Below is a brief description of some popular lens tints available for safety glasses today – because choosing the correct safety glasses is just as important as choosing to wear them.

Clear Lenses are recommended for general purpose mostly indoor (and some outdoor) work environments where normal to low light conditions exist. These are the most popular type of safety glasses lenses because of their low cost and high functionality. Another benefit of clear safety glasses is their ability to provide true color recognition.

Indoor/Outdoor (I/O) Lenses offer protection for both indoor and outdoor environments because they are light enough to wear indoors, but dark enough to shade you eyes in the daylight. These lenses can be described as being darker than a clear lens, but lighter than a gray lens. The I/O safety glasses tint is ideal for a person who is constantly changing environments.

Polarized Lenses are ideal for outdoor applications because they block reflective glare so wearers see more clearly and experience less eye fatigue. Glare produced from snow, water, cement, ice and other reflective surfaces can cause “blind spots” that may impair vision. Safety glasses with polarized lenses prevent blind spots by blocking glare.

Amber Lenses are recommended in low light conditions where enhanced contrast is needed. Safety glasses with amber lenses are perfect for working at dawn and dusk, or on a hazy, overcast day. However, they are not recommended for night driving or bright light environments.

Gray Lenses provide general purpose sunglass protection in sunny, outdoor environments. Gray safety glasses are great for landscaping, construction, utility workers, airplane pilots, transportation and many other applications.

Brown Lenses are similar to gray/smoke lenses, but provide enhanced contrast and depth perception.

Mirror Lenses also provide general purpose sunglass protection, but feature an enhanced lens color. In addition, safety glasses with mirror lenses reflect light, reducing even further the amount of light that passes through the lens.

Blue Lenses are commonly used in work applications where there are high levels of yellow or sodium vapor lighting and glare. These conditions exist in the semi-conductor industry and sometimes in food processing plants.

Orange Lenses offer high contrast and low light image resolution. Orange safety glasses offer high visibility, and are perfect for target shooting or other activities where clarity is a must.

IR 3.0 and 5.0 Green Lenses block infrared (IR) light and are designed for certain welding affiliated operations such as brazing and cutting. These safety glasses tints are the darkest lenses available.

Anti-Fog Coated Lenses are ideal for humid environments or when moving from one extreme temperature to the next. Anti-fog coatings are usually available on most safety glasses.

Written by Carissa Kelley

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