Written on Tuesday, September 22, 2009
You already know that safety glasses are a necessity for protecting your eyes from potential injury caused by impact or flying debris. You may even know the exact style you want, but do you know which lens tint is right for your application?
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 lenses because of their low cost and high functionality. Another benefit of clear safety glasses are 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 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. Polarized lenses prevent blind spots by blocking glare.
Amber Lenses are recommended in low light conditions where enhanced contrast is needed. 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 or Smoke Lenses provide general purpose sunglass protection in sunny, outdoor environments. These lenses are great for landscaping, construction, utility workers, airplane pilots, transportation and many other applications.
Brown or Espresso 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, mirror lenses reflect light, reducing even further the amount of light that passes through the lens.
Vermilion Lenses sharpen visual acuity and provide a contrast similar to amber lenses. Some people prefer vermilion lenses for indoor applications because they are better are reducing glare from fluorescent and halogen lighting without compromising color perception. These are great for inspections because defects are easier to see. Vermilion lenses are not recommended for driving or for use as general purpose eyewear.
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. They are 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 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 a variety of different lens tints.