When it comes to sunglasses, the term “polarized” gets thrown around quite a bit. But product descriptions aren’t always enough to fully understand the benefits of polarized sunglasses. In many cases, you might be left asking, “What does polarized sunglasses mean?”
Here we will dive into the specifics so that next time you're trying on sunglasses you know exactly what to consider before making a purchase.
What are Polarized Lenses?
The function of polarized sunglasses is to neutralize the glare from the sun and surfaces that give off harsh reflections. This makes them ideal for people who live an active lifestyle, especially around water or snow. These lenses also help drivers maintain safety by minimizing glare from the road, mirrors, and other vehicles.
When it’s especially bright, a great pair of polarized sunglasses have the added benefit of preserving the surrounding colors and improving visual sharpness.
And from a health perspective, they prevent headaches caused by glare-induced eyestrain.
How Do Polarized Sunglasses Work?
The geometry of most objects either scatter or absorb light. Think rocks, trees, or brick buildings. However, certain flat or reflective surfaces differ by allowing for light to be concentrated in a single direction. This effect is known as glare, which is overwhelming and potentially harmful to our eyes.
Polarized lenses counteract glare by passing light through a filter. Specifically, they block horizontal light rays while allowing vertical ones to pass through. You can picture the mechanism of a polarized lens like slats on a fence. By refining the light that reaches your eyes, polarized lenses selectively minimize the parts of your visual field that are too bright without casting a darkness over the whole image.
How do you know if your sunglasses are polarized? One way is by looking at your computer or smartphone. Most of these devices use a back-lit LCD screen, which already includes a polarized filter for the purpose of keeping the display sharp in sunlight. And since the horizontal rays are already being filtered out, turning a polarized lens 90 degrees to the screen cancels out the remaining vertical rays.
Therefore, the way to perform a polarized sunglasses test is to change the angle of your lenses relative to the screen. If the display appears to darken or disappear, then your sunglasses are polarized.
Polarized vs Non-Polarized Sunglasses
A good pair of regular sunglasses will provide a high-level of UV protection from the sun while reducing overall brightness and eyestrain.
However, polarized sunglasses have the same benefits but include glare reduction. The result is a crisp image no matter the circumstances. This makes them a great choice for surfers, fisherman, backpackers, and those who routinely seek the outdoors.
Glare from snow and bodies of water are common sources of eyestrain and headaches. So, having polarized sunglasses allows you to see clearer and stay out longer.
What Makes OTIS Polarized Lenses Unique?
Polarized lenses are assembled by sandwiching an anti-glare film between two pieces of glass or plastic. But for most sunglass brands, each option comes with its own unique drawbacks.
Standard crown glass is heavy. This means polarized lenses made from this material are twice as heavy, since they require two pieces to encase the polarized film. Many sunglass companies have tried to overcome this by producing plastic lenses. The issue is that plastic isn’t durable. It easily chips and scratches, in addition to being bad for the environment.
OTIS sunglasses are different in that we use neither of these materials. Instead, our eyewear is made from mineral glass. This high-quality material is half the weight and twice the strength as standard crown glass, as well as 12 times more resistant to scratches than plastic. Mineral glass is also eco-friendly and distortion free. This amounts to having all the benefits of premium, polarized sunglasses without any of the usual compromise.
For those interested in the best sunglasses money can buy, OTIS L.I.T. Lenses (“Light Improvement Technology”) are polarized lenses taken to the next level. They not only minimize glare but also lift the color profile of your surroundings to make your vision more vivid and precise.
To learn more about OTIS L.I.T. Lenses, head here.
Are Polarized Sunglasses Worth It?
For those interested in an outdoor lifestyle, polarized sunglasses are the best way to enhance your experience while minimizing glare and the harmful effects of the sun. In this category, both standard crown glass and plastic have inherent drawbacks. But our premium eyewear makes use of mineral glass as an all-encompassing solution.
The superb quality and lifetime warranty on all OTIS sunglasses means that our products not only look and feel fantastic but are made to go the distance.
Before your next outdoor adventure, consider our range of polarized sunglasses showcased here.
Article written by Geoffrey Leong