Polarized Lenses

Who, What, Wear Polarized Lenses

I’m sure we’ve all heard of polarized sunglasses. I’m sure we all know someone who swears by them. But, what are they? How do they work? Well, all you have to do is read on, and by the end of this blog post you will become an expert on polarized lenses. Or, at least pretty close to one.

How does it work?

polarized

Polarized lenses were invented in 1936 by Edwin H. Land after the discovery that light waves, which are usually erratic and vibrate in many directions, become aligned in one direction after bouncing off of a surface. In other words, after light hits a flat surface, such as the water or road in front of you, light starts moving in the same direction: horizontal. That horizontal light is what we perceive as glare.

Polarized lenses work by blocking out all of that horizontal light. Kind of like a mattress trying to fit through a doorway. The mattress (light) cannot pass through the doorway (polarized lenses) if you turn the mattress horizontal (glare). But, if you turn the mattress vertically (good light), it will pass through, no problem.

Benefits of Polarized Lensesquite-literally

  1. Blocks Glare
    This is the most talked about, but also, most important benefit of polarized lenses. Not only does blocking glare improve your vision, it also improves your safety. If you drive on a sunny day, and light bounces off of something just right, the glare can blind you for up to 5 seconds. Which, in a car, is the length of a football field. A lot can happen in that time.
  2. Increases Color Contrast
    Beyond blocking glare, polarized lenses can allow you to see the world like never before. Through polarized lenses, everything looks crisp and clear, which can vastly improve the details you perceive in everyday objects. It opens up your eyes, quite literally.  
  3. Reduces Eye Strain
    Another perk of polarized lenses are that they do open up your eyes! Everyday squinting into the sun as you walk down the sidewalk or across the beach is often commonplace. Well, not anymore. With polarized lenses, you can finally give your eyes a break and give yourself a more comfortable viewing experience in the process.
  4. Steps up your Fishing Game
    You may notice that many fisherman or water-sports enthusiasts are also polarized lenses enthusiasts. This is because there is a whole world just beneath the surface of the water that you don’t know about without polarized lenses. Because they block the glare and haze caused by light bouncing off of the water, polarized lenses make water-sports more enjoyable because you can see into the water and out to objects in the distance

Tinted Lenses v. Polarized Lenses

Tinted lenses (non-polarized) are great for reducing brightness, but they do not eliminate blinding glare like polarized ones do. Plus, despite common belief, even darker tinted lenses do not help with glare any more or less than their lighter counterparts. So, with all of the benefits that polarized lenses have to offer, why do tinted lenses still exist? Well, there are just a few instances where polarized lenses can be unsuitable:

  • Pilots – Because most LCD screens use the same polarization as your lenses, they can interfere with one another, causing the screen to black out. While some airplanes do not use LCD screens, you will definitely want to check before take off.
  • Sensitive Eyes – Because we view the world differently through polarized lenses, some people with more sensitive eyes can experience headaches or nausea and do not adjust to the change. If you experience only minor issues, you can often combat them by making sure that you are buying high-quality polarized lenses.

Are my lenses polarized?

After learning about all of the glare-blocking and butt-kicking abilities that polarized lenses possess, you might be gazing at your sunglasses wondering if you have them. Well, lucky for you, it is SUPER easy to find out! Try either of the following methods:

Pop ‘em out!

First, find a sheet of bright white paper. With your lenses removed from your glasses, hold one lens over the other on top of the paper. Then, start to turn the top lens. As the top lens turns vertically, you should be seeing it get darker and darker. Once the top lens turns completely vertical, you should see it completely black out! This is because the bottom lens in still blocking that horizontal light, and the top lens is now blocking vertical light. This means that where they intersect, no light can pass through.

Polarized Lenses

Grab your computer

If you don’t feel like popping out your lenses, you can leave them in place for this test. Just find a back-lit LCD computer and look through your lenses at the screen. Next, start to rotate your glasses. If they are polarized, the lenses will start to get darker and black out at some point (typically around 90 degrees). The point that they black out at just depends on the angle of polarization. This test works for the same reason that pilots often can’t fly with polarized lenses – because LCD screens use the same anti-glare technology as your lenses.

polarizedcomputer

 

 

There you have it! That’s everything you need to know about Polarized lenses. We hope you are now an expert and will spread the knowledge to friends and family! But, if you do still have questions, feel free to reach out to our customer service, or just leave a comment below! We don’t mean to brag, but we pretty much live and breathe lenses here at Fuse Lenses.

Posted by Jessica

Jessica is a caffeine dependent life form that can often be found helping with Fuse events, sending out emails, watching cat videos, giving away all of our stuff, or answering your questions on social media.

7 comments

I never used to wear sunglasses at all. When I did get into wearing sunglasses, every pair I bought had polarized lenses (Oakley, Smith, etc.). I loved the reduced glare and improved clarity. Certain activities like hiking, fishing, driving and frisbee golf were so much more entertaining and enjoyable. However, I am a golf professional, and I’m now spending 60+ hours a week at a golf course. Whether I am teaching, playing or just chilling around the golf course, I have realized that polarized lenses aren’t necessarily the best thing for golf.

I have tried my hardest to adapt to using polarized lenses on the golf course. I have about 12 different pairs of shades all polarized. I even have Oakley’s new Prizm Golf specific lenses and they to are polarized.
1. I think glare is a good thing when tracking a golf ball in mid ball flight. I’ve noticed with polarized lenses you miss out in seeing this glare off the golf ball. And at times, the ball can be lost without the glistening sun reflecting off of it. I’m sure I sound picky, but take it from someone who watches thousands and thousands of golf balls being hit.
2. When I fit golfers for equipment, I use an iPad or iPhone to track data. When I have my polarized sunnies on, the screen becomes to dark to read. Very impractical to take my shades on and off every time I look at the screen.
3. Something is off about depth perception with polarized lenses. It’s probably just a fraction off, but fractions make a huge difference in the game of golf. Sometimes I feel like the golf ball is closer than it really appears. Also, I notice that my distance control on putting greens is way off when using polarized lenses.
4. Reading greens. One of the most important aspects of golf is putting and reading the break in greens. Something about polarized lenses alters the perception of the slope or the reflection of the sun off the grain of the grass. If you watch the really good golfers (pga tour golfers) they all take their sunnies off around the putting greens.
5. Nausea and headaches usually after viewing lcd monitors through polar lenses.

Why the rant?
I just felt like us golfers were kind of forgotten when reading about all the benefits of polarized lenses. The benefits for sure outweigh the cons, but after years and years of wearing polarized. Polarized just seems impractical in most golf situations.

Also, I noticed all of fuse standard (non polarized) lenses didn’t come with all the bells and whistles (anti reflective coating, greater hardness/durability, and the dust/water resistant coating). Maybe it’s something for fuse to think about in the future. I know I sure would love some non-polar lenses with all the cool features that comes in the fuse+ lenses.

Cheers! I will be receiving my lenses on Monday. I am stoked to give them a try!

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[…] If your glasses aren’t polarized, they aren’t blocking glare – they are just darkening. This can mean that sun glare can still get you. For days when driving toward the sun is unavoidable, make sure your driving pair of glasses is polarized – that way it actually combats glare. If you don’t want to take my word for it, check out how polarized lenses work here. […]

[…] tinted sunglasses simply darken the world around you. To help combat the effects of rain, only polarized sunglasses will do. This is because Polarized sunglasses do more than just darken your view and block UV. […]

[…] tinted sunglasses simply darken the world around you. To help combat the effects of rain, only polarized sunglasses will do. This is because Polarized sunglasses do more than just darken your view and block UV. […]

[…] This is why not only regular sunglasses are so important for snow days, but also why upgrading to polarized lenses can make an even more important difference in your day! Polarized lenses not only kick glare’s […]

[…] If your glasses aren’t polarized, they aren’t blocking glare – they are just darkening. This can mean that sun glare can still get you. For days when driving toward the sun is unavoidable, make sure your driving pair of glasses is polarized – that way it actually combats glare. If you don’t want to take my word for it, check out how polarized lenses work here. […]

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