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What Is Vlt In Sunglasses

Basics About Ski Goggle Vlt Ratings

Ski and Snowboard Goggle Lens Tint Guide | SportRx

The VLT rating of an individual lens will range anywhere from 0 percent to 100 percent. Lower percentages mean that a pair of ski goggles will allow less light to pass through. Higher percentage ratings indicate that a pair of ski goggles will allow more light to pass through.

Usually, certain lens colors go along with certain VLT ratings. For example, silver, dark gray and red lenses are typically used with lower VLT ratings. At the same time, higher VLT ratings are typically seen in lenses that have colors like amber, green-blue and red-orange.

A Guide To Picking High Quality Polarized Sunglasses

Sunglasses provide eye protection against the rays of the sun. They are available in various styles and densities. Care in choosing the right sunglasses is a sensible move, regardless of the budget constraints and level of protection needed. The type of work and level of sunlight the wearer is exposed to are important factors in selecting the right pair of sunglasses. Read on to learn more about the benefits and considerations of high quality polarized sunglasses for women and men.

Anyone who spends a great deal of time outdoors should be aware of the extended protection needed for eyes to maintain health, clarity and focus. Some professions, such as pilots, are more regulated than others. Polarized sunglasses may not be the right fit for pilots, because they interfere with windscreens and device displays. People who engage in outdoor work, such as gardening, recreational activities like fishing, or sports such as tennis also need adequate eye protection, and may prefer polarized sunglasses. High quality sunglasses, whether they are polarized or non-polarized, offer immediate protection against glare and UV rays, and ensure that vision is protected over the long term.

Visible Light Transmission

Lens Filters

Lens coatings and how they help eye protection

Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B protection

Style, Appearance and Composition

High quality sunglasses are an investment in your eyes. The right sunglasses can prevent eye strain and improve the long-term eye health.

Best Lens Colors & Tints For Overcast/snowy Days: 65

The last VLT range is reserved for dark cloudy to snowy days as well as some night skiing situations. High VLT lenses range from 65 90% to let in more light, making them useful even in most night skiing situations. You will need all the help from your lenses that you can get because visible light and brightness will be at a premium on these days.

It may be obvious but this range of lenses should never be worn during bright days for the risk of severe eye strain or even eye damage caused by bright sunlight and harsh glares.

Almost all high VLT lenses are some variety of light pink/rose or light yellow in color. These colors are known to provide adequate protection against minimal sunlight while drastically increasing contrast for low light or flat light snow conditions.


VLT: 45 55%


VLT: 50 60%

VLT: 90 95%

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Light Sensitive Lenses And Driving

While many people like to wear sunglasses with light sensitive or ‘photochromic’ lenses which see tint density change depending on the degree of UV light exposure, standard photochromic or Transitions lenses are not suitable for in car use. The presence of the windscreen can block up to 40% of UV light and delay the speed at which the lenses change colour, meaning drivers could end up driving with unsuitable shades on at any point .

However, Transitions Xtractive or Transitions Drivewear are specifically designed for use behind the windscreen and are safe for use when driving. These lenses are great if you drive in varying levels of sunlight, although they will not go completely clear indoors.

The Importance Of Visible Light Transmission

Julbo Renegade Spectron Polarized S3 (VLT 12%)

I live in Michigan, so because we have four seasons we have days with bright sunshine and other days with haze.

Today it’s a beautiful, bright sunny day outside, the weekend is here and we decide to spend some time outdoors. Perhaps we will mow the grass, have a barbeque or take a drive to the lake shore and spend the day.

But before I head out the door for the day there are a few things I need to consider including wearing a pair of sunglasses to protect my eyes. Most of us are aware of the danger of uv radiation to our eyes, but do we know whether or not our sunglasses will adequately protect our eyes?

Many times the choice of sunglasses is based upon how they look and fit into our wardrobe, but the truth is the main purpose of any pair of sunglasses is to protect our eyes from damage, injury or disease. This is where understanding the importance of visible light transmission comes in.

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Our Pick: Ryders Seventh Photochromic

After cycling, running, trail running, hiking, or snowshoeing daily over the course of two months, constantly swapping out and comparing more than a dozen brands and some 40 models of sunglasses, we believe that the Ryders Seventh Photochromic represents the best choice for eye protection in a wide range of activities, and at a great price. A photochromic lens changes the amount of light it allows to pass through depending on light conditions, and Ryderss windshield-like lens provides protection and sharp contrast. We found it to be extraordinarily versatile.

We wore the Seventh for foggy-morning bike rides and a mountain peak climb that entailed equal parts sunny exposure and forest shade. The lenses, with a visible light transmission range of 74 percent to 25 percent, adapted beautifully. Almost unnoticeably, in fact. That kind of light-transmission range means you can wear the Seventh sunglasses while youre getting ready for your activityprepping a bike in the garage, for instanceand simply keep them on as you emerge into the day. The lenses then darken to suit the circumstance.

The Seventh is not currently available in a prescription model. Ryders offers a three-year warranty against material or manufacturing defects and a generous crash-replacement policya 50 percent discount to replace sunglasses should you face-plant with them, sit on them, or subject them to any other destructive horror.

Visible Light Vs Ultraviolet Light

Notwithstanding the dark coating, the reduced transmission of visible light does not safeguard you from UV rays. This is because visible light isn’t the same as UV light. UV has an invisible frequency range, because of which we can’t see it.

UV wavelengths range from 10 to 400 nanometers and these are classified as UVA, UVB, and UVC. These are the most harmful light frequencies, posing the foremost risk to your skin and eyes. Hence, UV requires a different sort of screening than visible light to prevent irreversible damage to your eyes.

ALERT: Even an extremely dark sunglass may not improve UV protection.

Another critical element of light transmission is that sunglasses with no side covers or a low base curve allow light to enter from behind or above the frame. Allowing light to travel through a lens can sometimes be beneficial, but only if it is directed in the correct direction.

Mountaineering and cycling sunglasses are specially designed to almost completely hide the eyes. However, standard sunglasses frames designed for daily use do not completely cover. As a result, light reflects into your eyes, causing uncomfortable and distracting reflections. We know this phenomenon as bounce-back, and it can be frustrating and damaging.

An anti-reflective coating can allow “intrusive” sunlight to pass through from behind your lens to prevent this. However, the light passing through the front of your lens is restricted.

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Whats The Best Polarized Sunglasses

What Are the Best Polarized Sunglasses? Ray-Ban 4340 Wayfarer. Courtesy Persol Steve McQueen. Courtesy Sunglass Hut. Warby Parker Haskell. Courtesy Warby Parker. Oakley Holbrook Polarized. Ray-Ban Aviator Polarized Sunglasses. Carrera Polarized Aviator Sunglasses. Oliver Peoples Finley Vintage Sunglasses.

Consider All The Choices In Lens Tints

Best Maui Jim Driving Sunglasses | SportRx

When choosing a tint for your lenses, it is essential to consider all available options. Lens shades vary from clear to dark, and there are different colors of tints, each with its benefits and applications.

The VLT of a tint is also vital to consider. This measures how much light the tint allows through and is expressed as a percentage. Tints with a higher VLT allow more light, while those with a lower VLT allow less.

The benefits of different lens tints vary depending on what you need them for. For example, if you need glasses for reading, you may want a tint with a higher VLT to see better. On the other hand, if you are looking for sunglasses, you may want a darker color with a lower VLT, so it blocks more sunlight.

Also Check: Where Can I Donate Reading Glasses

Does Vlt% Affect Uv Protection

To control the VLT of a lens, a darkening tint must be applied in form of a coating or a film.

For sunglasses, tint coatings are applied by dipping the lens in a coloured liquid solution inside a heated tint-bath.

Despite this dark coating, the reduction of visible light transmission does not protect you from ultraviolet light.

This is because visible light is not the same as ultraviolet light

Sure, theyre both on the electromagnetic spectrum. But UV inhabits an invisible range of frequency which is why we cant see it.

Its invisible.

UV ranges from 10 to 400 nano metres which is sectioned into UVA, UVB and UVC. These are the most damaging frequencies of light which are the biggest threat to your skin and eyes.

Because of this, UV needs a different type of filtration to visible light in order to prevent you from permanently damaging your eyes.

Even if a sun lens is really dark, this doesnt improve it’s UV protection.


UV protection has nothing to do with VLT%.

Instead, you need to check the UV rating of sunglasses to ensure theyre suitably protective. Under European law, sunglasses must be physically CE marked and come with a UV rating of 99-100%.

Most often, youll see a label that states UV40 or UV400 which means that the lenses are capable of blocking ultraviolet light up to 400 nano metres.

If you see this rating, youre good to go.

At Banton Frameworks, all our polarised sunglasses are CE marked, 100% UV protective and have a VLT of 14%.

What Lenses Are Best

As mentioned, most sunglass lenses are made of polycarbonate, and its a fine choice. The material is extremely strong and resistant to shattering, and can be formed to provide excellent optical clarity. But not all polycarbonate lenses are equal. Better lensesincluding all of the lenses in this revieware injection-molded in a form that is preshaped. For wrapped lenses, this is critical for ensuring optical quality. The mold pre-establishes the degree of wrap and allows the maker to make them decentered, a process that adjusts the thickness of the lenses toward the edges to compensate for the light-bending effect of wrap. You dont have to understand the process to appreciate it. Better lenses dont strain the eyes. Theyre a pleasure to wear.

Cheap lenses are simply produced in sheets, cut as with a cookie cutter, and then bent into shape. The result is optical distortion. Cheap lenses, worn for more than a short period, are almost certain to cause eyestrain. You get the sense that something isnt quite right. They might seem fuzzy, dirty, or foggy, but theyre not, said SportRxs Rob Tavakoli. Theyre just not good lenses.

When we speak of tint, we mean base tintwhat you see from the inside of the lens. Coatings and mirrors can alter the exterior look of a lens, but its the inside that counts. Gray and green base tints offer the most neutral view. Colors are true, and these tints are the most restful to the eye.

Also Check: Telescopic Glasses For Low Vision

Other Lens Options Affecting Vlt

Polarized Goggle Lenses

Polarized lenses work by blocking out harsh glares and reflections that occur in bright sunlight conditions. More specifically, polarized lenses contain a horizontal filter element that blocks out glare when it becomes condensed or polarized on horizontal surfaces like water, roads, snow, and cars. Polarization naturally blocks out more light and can be used by manufacturers to dramatically lower VLT while increasing contrast and clarity significantly.

The only drawback of polarized lenses are their increased cost, but everyone at Eyewear Genius always highly recommends them whenever they are an option. You can check out a curated collection of our favorite polarized ski goggles if this is an option you wish to explore further.

Mirrored Goggle Lenses

Drawbacks can include a higher price tag, especially when polarized, and a more sensitive outer lens surface. Most mirrored lenses wont scratch more easily than regular lenses, but scratches will be much more noticeable.

Have Multiple Lenses To Quickly Swap

Why Vlt Tint Safety Glasses Are The Best Way To Protect Your Eyes

Julbo Noumea Spectron Polarized S3 (VLT 12%)

by Jaime | Nov 21, 2022 | Glass Types

Wearing the proper safety gear is important when working with any sort of machinery or equipment. VLT tint safety glasses are a type of safety eyewear that helps to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. These glasses are made with a special tint that helps to reduce the amount of light that enters your eyes. This can help to reduce the risk of eye damage and improve your overall vision.

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Visible Light Transmission In Relation To Laser Safety Glasses

Buyers Guide | Visible Light Transmission in Relations to Laser Safety Glasses

Most eyewear offer protection from specific wavelengths and allow other wavelengths in the visible light spectrum to pass through for unhindered vision. Visible Light Transmission is the amount of light that can pass through the lens of a pair of glasses. With increase in VLT, more color passes through the lens. An example of this phenomenon is distortion when wearing sunglasses to block the sun. Inexpensive sunglasses do an effective job of blocking the sun, but over-filter the light creating a darker vision. Higher quality sunglasses are typically priced higher, but effectively filter out the blinding rays of the sun while maintaining the natural brightness of the surroundings.

Dielectric coated glasses are far better than polycarbonates as they have a higher VLT relative to the amount of wavelengths they block out.

It is important to note that the diversity of visible light being let through should also be a factor one should consider while shopping for glasses and goggles.

How To Choose Perfect Sunglasses

There are two important things you should consider when finding the perfect pair of sunglasses, UV protection and the category of the sunglasses!

Sunlight contains ultraviolet rays that are harmful to our eyes and skin. You can read our article on UV400 protection here to learn more and also get tips on how you can check if your sunglasses have UV protection at home.

Another important factor to consider while buying sunglasses is the percentage of visible light transmission . The higher VLT percentage – the more light that comes through the lenses to your eye.

There are 5 categories of Visible Light Transmission :

Category Zero: 0% these models are suitable only for wearing indoors or safety glasses. These lenses are passing 100-80% of the light.

Category 1: 80-43% light transmission This category is mostly used for fashion eyewear. It will offer a slight tint but nothing that will give much protection outdoors.

Category 2: 43-18% light transmission These are okay for cloudy/overcast conditions. They are not highly recommended for sunny days.

Category 3 : 18-8% light transmission Cat.3 is a great all-around pair of sunglasses, which is why we use these on all our frames! These are good for sunny days and arent going to be too dark in cloudy/overcast days.

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What You Should Know About Polarized Ski Lenses

In your research, you may have come across this term for a special type of snow goggle lens. However, before you can understand what polarized lenses are, you have to know a bit about the science of visual light:

Usually, when light is reflecting off of the world around you, it reflects and scatters in many different directions, allowing you to see the world around you in three dimensions.

However, when light reflects off of a smooth, flat surface such as a car windshield, a still lake, or a smooth bed of snow, it reflects altogether at one sharp angle. This is what is known as glare.

How To Choose The Best Lenses For Your Sunglasses

SMITH ChromaPop Goggle Lens Guide | SportRx

The selection of the best pair of sunglasses can be difficult for many consumers. Finding the right lens type and VLT rating can be difficult to discern. Weve broken down the various types of lenses and the VLT ratings for each into simple steps so that the process can be completed more quickly. If you only need one pair of lenses for all situations, a VLT of 25%-60% is the best choice. If you are going to wear lenses on bright sunny days, look for those with a VLT of 5%-20%. If you are skiing, goggles with a VLT of 60-90% should be used. For sunglasses, a VLT of 15 to 25% is considered standard. Following that, youll need to find a new pair of sunglasses.

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Realize The Benefits Of The Right Lens Tint

We have by no means covered every lens tint possibility in this article. We encourage you to do your research and begin by reviewing this Lens Tint guide and this Guide to Sports Sunglass Lens Tints. Then, peruse the many options available online. Finally, analyze your situation with the questions above and experiment with different lens tints before making your eyewear investment. You wont regret the time or money spent, especially when you experience enhanced performance and reduced eye fatigue during your most important activities.

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