The primary purpose of sunglasses is to protect your eyes from the sun’s intense rays: reducing eyestrain and creating a more comfortable viewing experience. There are different types and styles of sunglass lenses including polarised, tinted or bifocal, and gradient sunglasses have always been a popular choice.
But what are gradient sunglasses? This particular style has a distinctive two-tone tint, consisting of a darker shade at the top of the lens fading into a lighter shade at the bottom. Although they do not block harmful UV rays, they do bring a lot of additional benefits for the wearer.
How do gradient sunglasses work?
A metal oxide is added to the lens which creates that ombre finish from dark to light. The top layer consists of a darker shade which is designed to limit the sun’s rays from above, whilst the lighter or clear shade at the bottom allows you to easily look through and focus on close-up details such as your phone, menus or your car’s dashboard.
The two types of gradient sunglasses
What’s great about gradient sunglasses is they’re available in a selection of tints and in two different levels of gradient:
Single Gradient Lenses have a darker shade at the top of the lens to protect your eyes from overhead rays, whilst the lighter shade at the bottom removes any colour distortion with day-to-day things such as reading.
Double Gradient Lenses have darker tints on the top and bottom of the lens with a lighter tint in the middle. This protects you from the sun’s glare above as well as reflections off the ground.
The benefits of gradient sunglasses
Gradient lenses are extremely practical as they provide protection from the sun’s blinding glare whilst allowing you to still see things clearly, especially within low-light settings. They’re great for transitioning from dark to light environments or from moving inside to out; the two tones reduce distorting colour contrasts and clarity and avoid you having to remove or switch glasses.
In general, they make viewing more comfortable, especially with particular activities such as driving, reading outside or playing outdoor sports; the darker tint limits light and eyestrain, whilst the lighter tint enables you to safely see and enjoy the activity.
They’re also an extremely versatile style as you can choose gradient lenses in any colour and fit within any variety of frames. Aviators are a popular choice, but they work with any frame or colour that suits you.
What’s the difference between gradient and polarised sunglasses?
Both options are designed to limit the amount of light reaching your eyes, minimising eyestrain and squinting, and creating a better viewing experience. Polarised sunglasses have a unique chemical applied to the whole lens which blocks the horizontal light beams which bounce off surfaces and create that blinding glare. Whereas gradient sunglasses partially shade your eyes from the sun with the darker tint reducing lights from above. If you’re looking for more permanent protection from the sun’s glare, polarised sunglasses may be a preferred option.
If you feel you’d benefit from both features, then a dual gradient and polarised coating would cover all bases.
Are gradient sunglasses for me?
Do you find yourself moving between different environments where the level of light differs? Then gradient sunglasses may be a great option for you. They continue to provide a level of protection from the sun without impacting or darkening your sight, and you can choose between a range of colours or additional finishes to customise your gradient sunglasses.