What are the colours of Transitions® lenses?

What are the colours of Transition lenses?

Transitions® Generation 8 lenses are currently available in seven different colours including;

  • Grey
  • Brown
  • Graphite green
  • Sapphire
  • Amethyst
  • Amber
  • Emerald

              Gone are the days where Transitions® lenses only came in a single, uniform shade. Today, you have the option to choose from a range of colours that not only suit your style but also provide different benefits. Check out the previews and descriptions of each colour below.


              Transitions GEN8 lens colour menu



              Animation of woman wearing Grey coloured Transition lenses


              Grey Transitions® lenses are versatile, ideal for all lighting conditions from bright to cloudy. Their neutral tint ensures true colour perception, making them perfect for driving, hiking, or activities near water. They also match well with any frame color, enhancing style without clashing.

              The key benefit of grey lenses is their ability to reduce eye strain and squinting, easing eye tension on sunny days or in changing weather, thanks to their anti-fatigue properties.

              Grey Transitions® are a 'standard' colour option.


              Animation of woman wearing Graphite Green coloured Transition lenses

              Graphite Green

              Graphite Green Transitions® lenses are versatile, reducing glare and improving contrast in all light conditions. They minimize eyestrain on bright days, similar to grey lenses.

              Aesthetically, they match well with various frame styles, particularly black, crystal, or tortoise shell.

              These lenses are perfect for sports, enhancing visibility and brightening shadows, making them favoured by tennis players and golfers for the better contrast. Their adaptability also suits everyday use.

              Graphite Green Transitions® are a 'standard' colour option.


              Animation of woman wearing Brown coloured Transition lenses


              Brown Transitions® lenses are ideal for bright sunlight as they effectively minimize glare. Perfect for everyday wear or for those particularly sensitive to light, brown lenses offer minimal colour distortion while enhancing contrast.

              From a style perspective, brown lenses are a timeless option, complementing a wide range of frame colours, including brown, green, and tortoise shell patterns, with sophisticated elegance.

              Brown Transitions® are a 'standard' colour option.


              Animation of woman wearing Sapphire coloured Transition lenses


              Sapphire Transitions® lenses offer outstanding visual contrast in dim lighting, enriching color perception and depth. The blue photochromic lenses excel in misty conditions, though they may not perform as well under intense sunlight exposure.

              Aesthetically, blue lenses pair exceptionally well with neutral acetates such as crystal, grey or black and have fashionable 'Hollywood' sort of look to them.

              Sapphire Transitions® are an upgraded colour option.


              Animation of woman wearing Amethyst coloured Transition lenses


              Amethyst Transitions® lenses present a bright and vibrant purple hue. Similar to the Sapphire colour variant, these purple photochromic lenses are ideal for those who appreciate a pop of colour and wish to stand out. The amethyst lenses improve visual quality and colour perception while providing a unique look.

              Amethyst lenses pair exceptionally well with neutral acetates such as crystal, grey or black.

              Amethyst Transitions® are an upgraded colour option.


              Animation of woman wearing Amber coloured Transition lenses


              Amber Transitions® lenses provide a warm, golden hue that enhances depth perception and contrast in low-light conditions. These are an excellent choice for individuals who drive a lot, especially in the evening, as they can help improve visibility.

              Amber lenses are lighter than brown Transitions® but pair nicely with black, tortoise shell, Havana or plain crystal acetate colours.

              Amber Transitions® are an upgraded colour option.


              Animation of woman wearing Emerald coloured Transition lenses


              Emerald Transitions® lenses are a vivid shade of green that gives enhanced visual accuracy and depth perception. These lenses are perfect for nature lovers and individuals who engage in outdoor sports.

              Emerald photochromic lenses are more obviously green than the Graphite Green variant which matched well with black, crystal, or tortoise shell acetate colours.

              Emerald Transitions® are an upgraded colour option.



              What are Transition lenses?

              Transition® lenses are a branded name of photochromic lenses, which are a type of eyeglass lens that darken in the presence of UV light. This means they automatically adjust and adapt to changing lighting conditions, providing optimal vision, visual comfort and eye protection.


              Illustration diagram of a Transitions optical lens construction

              How do Transition lenses work?

              Transitions® use a photochromic layer containing microscopic molecules of chloride and silver halide within the lens construction. Worn indoors or in low light, these molecules remain transparent and unchanged making the lens appears clear. But when exposed to the sun's UV rays, they react and cause the lens to darken. This provides greater visual comfort from bright sunlight as well as protection from harmful UV rays.

              As a reminder, sunlight is both visibly and invisibly harmful to your vision.

              Visible light is what makes it difficult for you to see, causing you to squint or shade your eyes. This is why sunglasses absorb visible light, to make your visibility more comfortable.

              Invisible light is much more dangerous as it cannot be detected. If you leave your skin or eyes unprotected, UV (ultraviolet) can cause long term damage such as macular degeneration or even cataracts.

              This is why sun lenses or indeed Transitions® provide UV400 protection against invisible electromagnetic waves ranging between 10 and 400 nanometres. These are the most destructive frequencies of UV light which would otherwise cause damage to your eyes.



              Animation of how Transition lenses work

              What is best colour for transition lenses?

              The best colours of Transitions® lenses are typically brown, grey or (emerald) green. These popular colours are designed to enhance contrast and depth perception, making it easier to identify objects in bright conditions. This makes them ideal for outdoor activities in changeable light conditions.

              For a guide to the various sunglasses tint colours check out this helpful article.



              Are transition glasses also blue light?

              No, Transitions® lenses don't protect you from high energy visible blue light (HEV). However, this protective coating can certainly be added to your lenses if you'd like additional protection from digital screens/displays.


              Is there a downside to Transition lenses?

              While Transitions are a very versatile type of lenses, they do have their drawbacks.

              Whilst driving, the windscreen of your car blocks/reflects a lot of the UV light from the sun. Subsequently, this hinders the darkening effect of Transition lenses which rely on UV light to adjust. This may leave your lenses in a more transparent state, thus providing a less comfortable visual experience compared to regular tinted sunglasses.

              Overcast weather has the same effect on Transition lenses due to reduced levels of UV light. This slows their ability to darken in bright light thus reducing their absorption. You may find that your Transitions are slow to react on rainy/cloudy days, even if it's quite bright outside.

              Transition Gen 8 lenses aren't available with polarisation. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, especially near on on water, this drawback may be a deterring factor. However, fear not, as Transitions do in fact have a polarised range of lenses which you can choose from.



              How dark are grey transition lenses?

              In their darkest state, Generation 8 Transition lenses have an average visible light absorption of 70%. This means that only 30% of visible light is transmitted through the lenses, whilst 70% is absorbed by the lenses.

              For context, category 3 tinted sun lenses range between 43-80% absorption which puts fully darkened Transition lenses firmly in the realm for 'recreational use'.

              But please bear in mind that Transition lenses vary from 0 to an average of 70% absorption depending on the ambient brightness of sunlight.



              Is it better to get prescription sunglasses or transition lenses?

              This depends on your lifestyle, optical preferences and budget.

              Prescription sunglasses are a fantastic and specific option for wearing in bright sunlight. Not only do they provide visual correction via your prescription, but they protect your eyes from the sun with consistent visual comfort. No matter how bright it is, they'll remain consistently dark unlike Transition lenses. Options such as polarisation, tint darkness and additional coatings make prescription sun lenses a stand alone solution for prescriptive visual tasks in bright light.

              Transition lenses on the other hand are a two-in-one solution, acting as both spectacles and sunglasses. This saves you from investing in two frames with two sets of prescription lenses. In terms of budget, this option is certainly appealing but has the drawback of delayed reaction times. (Transitions can take a few minutes to fully adjust to sunlight, depending on your surrounding UV levels.)

              If you'd prefer having specific frames for specific tasks, it's best to have one set of prescription spectacles and another pair of prescription sunglasses.

              However, if you like the versatility and simplicity of one frame, then Transition lenses are definitely worth considering. The technology has advanced to the point where they can adapt quickly and effectively to outdoor environments, providing you with clear vision without needing to constantly switch between two pairs of glasses.



              Do I need sunglasses if I have transition lenses?

              You don't necessarily need sunglasses if you already have Transition lenses. Transition lenses are designed to adapt and darken in bright sunlight, providing UV protection for your eyes. However, there are some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to invest in an additional pair of sunglasses with your transition lenses.

              Firstly, the darkness level of your transition lenses may not be enough for intense sunlight, especially if you have sensitive eyes. In this case, it may be beneficial to have a separate pair of shades you can rely on, regardless of the day's brightness.

              Additionally, Transition lenses do not darken as much behind the windshield of a car. If you spend a lot of time driving in bright sunlight, wearing sunglasses can help reduce glare and provide better visual comfort.

              Lastly, if you frequently engage in outdoor activities that involve water, snow or sand, polarised sunglasses may be a better option as they provide superior glare reduction and clarity compared to Transition lenses.

              Ultimately, whether or not you need sunglasses in addition to your Transition lenses is a personal preference. It's always best to consult with your eye care professional for personalized advice based on your specific needs and lifestyle.

              Hopefully you found this article helpful. If so, please check out our other informative sunglasses blog posts.

              Thanks for stopping by.