What are polarised sunglasses?

What are polarised sunglasses




What is the difference between Polarised and non Polarised sunglasses?

Polarised sunglasses do more than just your pre-holiday pair of airport add-ons.

Just like regular sunglasses, they protect your eyes from UV whilst filtering-out unpolarised sunlight.

And thanks to the sun, unpolarised light is pretty much everywhere you happen to look.

This is what makes polarised sun lenses pretty much the best you can buy when it comes to the best sunglasses for 2019.

Scroll down to learn about polarised sunglasses benefits.


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    Man wearing black polarised sunglasses frame


    Why are polarised sunglasses better?

    As sunlight beams towards the ground, it’s neatly aligned and travelling in the same linear direction.

    But, as it meets molecules in the air it becomes all disorganised and is no longer aligned. It becomes scattered.

    Those damn molecules...

    This scattering results in irregular angles of light which is otherwise known as unpolarised light.

    For you, this results in reduced visual clarity and loss of definition.


    So what are the benefits of Polarised sunglasses?

    Polarised sunglasses filter unpolarised light.

    Free from glare and reflected light, your vision through a polarised lens is very consistent and smooth.

    Across the entirety of the lens, left to right, up and down, the viewing experience is enhanced by a nearly flawless picture.


    Visual comparison between polarised sunglasses and non polarised sunglasses


    How do polarised sunglasses work physics?

    That polariser we mentioned? It's chemical film that's sandwiched within the layers of a sunglasses lens.

    Upon this film are hundreds of chemically aligned molecules in neat little rows. These rows create a slotted axis through which light can pass, only if it's travelling parallel to these rows.

    When the lens is cut and fitted to your sunglasses frame, these rows must be positioned vertically to the frame.

    By doing so, this vertical alignment prevents any horizontal light from entering through your sunglasses which drastically reduces glare from flat reflective surfaces.



    So what are polarised sunglasses going to do for me?

    Reflected sunlight from your car bonnet, water, snow or ice are usually horizontally orientated.

    When you're out and about, these are the most common causes for glare.

    These large shiny surfaces reflect large amounts of sunlight acting like a very large mirror which produces dazzling horizontally aligned light.

    By reducing reflected glare, polarised sun lenses are a superior option for prolonged visual focus which makes them perfect for driving glasses.

    It's these benefits that's popularised polarised sunglasses for fishing, skiing, sailing or cycling when glare can detract from physicical performance and lead to visual fatigue.


    How polarised sunglasses reduce glare illustration


    Are polarised sunglasses better for you?

    • Do you drive your car in sunny conditions?
    • Do you go sailing, skiing, fishing or running?
    • Do you have sensitive eyes?
    • Do you require good visual clarity in sunny conditions?

    These are just a few of the questions you should consider if your looking into polarised sunglasses.

    For sports-people, the performance benefits are obvious but for the average-Joe, you can certainly reap the rewards of this premium lens-type.

    All year round, casual strolls or daily driving commutes are unavoidably going to expose you to glare and bright sunlight.

    Summer or winter commutes can throw all kinds of reflected light at you which regular sun lenses simply don't filter out.

    More than a few minutes of this glare can lead to eye fatigue, headaches and in extreme cases, temporary blindness.

    If this happens, you've sun-burnt your corneas. Ouch.

    Miraculously, polarised sunglasses can block nearly all of this glare by filtering about 40% of sunlight to pass through the lens.


    Caucasian male wearing black polarised sunglasses and a black Tshirt


    Disadvantages of polarised sunglasses

    • Unavailable as bifocal lenses
    • Unavailable as trifocal lenses
    • Higher cost than regular sun lenses
    • Sometimes distort LCD screens.

    For the extra performance, polarised sunglasses come at a slightly higher cost.

    But remember, these super-sun-lenses work hard to give you better optical clarity, especially if you’re lucky enough to spend a lot of time out in the sun.

    For the extra investment, these lenses are the ultimate partnership with our handmade polarised sunglasses frames.

    What a way to see the wold with high-quality acetate frames and the best type of sun lenses.





    Brunette female wearing polarised sunglasses


    Is Polarised sunglasses better?

    Arguably, yes.

    Regardless of your lifestyle, polarised sunglasses give you uninterrupted clarity on bright sunny days.

    Assuredly, polarised lenses are a popular choice amongst active sports people who spend long periods near water or snow. The double whammy of reflected light is a good reason for sailors and skiers to opt for this type of lens.

    But, are polarised lenses worth it for the average Joe?

    You don’t have to be sailing a transatlantic voyage to notice the benefits of polarised sunglasses.

    Even on a casual holiday or walking in the sun, the benefits of polarised lenses will help you enjoy your well-earned holiday in full glory.


    Tortoise polarised sunglasses frame standing upright on white background


    Do sunglasses need to be polarised?

    Don’t forget, regular sun lenses still protect your eyes from UV light.

    But whilst regular sunglasses work fine, they’re simply… regular.

    On the other hand, polarised sunglasses means you’ll benefit from superior optical clarity, uninterrupted from glare. Frankly, these lenses are the superior choice for prolonged outdoor activities in the sun.

    Furthermore, they’re becoming an increasingly popular choice for driving as they reduce distracting summer glare or low-level winter sun.

    For more adventurous activities such as skiing, sailing and cycling, polarised lenses are perfect for filtering harsh reflections from snow, ice and water.

    Thanks to their multi-layer construction, these super sun-lenses are more efficient for blocking-out polarised sunlight.

    Sounds good right?


    Men's polarised sunglasses

    Women's polarised sunglasses


    Polarised sunlight hitting car windscreen


    Is Polarised lenses good for driving?

    Long drives mean long periods of concentration.

    If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel, polarised sunglasses are going to alleviate eye strain.

    With less glare and distracting reflections from the road ahead, you’re going to reap the benefits of polarised sun lenses. Ultimately, these superior sun-lenses are going to help you to see the road and hazards more clearly.

    Polarised sunglasses are often related to sporting scenarios but driving is a far more common and relatable application for polarised lenses.

    If there’s one reason to invest in polarised lenses, driving is certainly the most common.


    “Polarised sunglasses can be helpful for driving, too, because they reduce glare-causing reflections from flat surfaces, such as the hood of the car or the road's surface”.

    Erinn Morgan: Allaboutvision.com



    Polarised light


    Unpolarised light, what's that?

    As polarised sunlight enters our atmosphere, it reflects off molecules in the air, land and sea.

    It is no longer travelling on a liner path and becomes scattered.

    Reflected at many different angles, this scattering is what makes the light become unpolarised.

    Regular sunglasses aren’t so good at handling this scattering. As the light enters your eye at numerous angles, it results in reduced optical vision.

    During tasks such as driving, this unpolarised light glare can begin to strain your eyes and can eventually lead to headaches.

    This is why polarised sunglasses have their name as they can filter-out the non-linear light so it's entering your eyes in an organised, filtered manner.

    These lenses provide you with a far greater view and consistently give an uninterrupted viewing experience, free from glare.

    “Light coming to us directly from the sun is not polarised. It is the part of sunlight that is scattered by molecules in the air that is polarised. The greatest polarization is produced when the light is scattered by 90 degrees.”

    Robert Reiland: Quora answer.



    Man wearing polarised sunglasses with winter clothing


    What are polarised sunglasses good for?

    Besides being more effective to reduce glare, polarised sun lenses can a beneficial for certain ocular ailments.

    • Cataract surgery
    • Photophobia
    • Extreme light sensitivity
    • Corneal abrasion

    Polarised sunglasses can help to mitigate the effects of strong sunlight by reducing the amount of light entering your eye.

    These benefits are particularly beneficial for those who are trying to let their eyes recover from recent surgery. As a means of self-protection, your eyes can become light sensitive as a result of trauma.



    Looking at an LCD phone screen with polarised sunglasses


    What are polarised sunglasses doing to my phone?

    Yea, about that…

    Due to the chemical film inside polarised lenses, they can also filter the light from liquid crystal display's (LCD's).

    Depending on the make of certain mobile phones, the light they emit can be blocked by polarised sunglasses.

    This means your phone screen can look distorted or blackened, depending on the brand and it's age.

    If you happen to experience this distortion or screen-blackening, you've got a couple of options to get around this issue.

    • Try rotating your phone slightly until the screen becomes visible again. For quick-viewing, this is pretty handy if you want to keep your sunglasses on. An angle of 45 degrees usually does the trick.
    • Glance under of over your polarised lenses to see your phone.
    • Get off your phone


    Looking at a modern LCD phone screen with polarised sunglasses


    Modern screen, modern viewing.

    LCD technology has improved over the years, without us even realising it.

    Updated filters in most modern phones are now far more compatible with polarised sunglasses.

    Previously, most phones were fitted with an in-built polariser to reduce glare and reflections in bright sunlight.

    This worked great... unless you were wearing polarised sunglasses.

    Since about 2015, modern phone companies changed these polarisers which are now far more compatible with your sunglasses.


    Tortoise acetate polarised sunglasses leaning against a white backdrop


    The best polarised sunglasses test

    Polarised lenses look pretty similar to regular ones.

    Here's two handy ways to make sure your lenses are legit.

    In the shop: Overlap two sunglasses frames so they're facing each other. Looking through the overlapping lenses, rotate one of the frames by 90 degrees or so. The light should fade or brighten as your rotate the frame. This is because the axis or polarisation are working together to block nearly all of the light.

    With your phone: Hold your phone behind one of the sun lenses. With the screen illuminated, rotate the sunglasses frame to check if the light becomes darker or lighter. If the lens is polarised, you'll be able to nearly block all of the light from the screen.

    Check the label: Most sunglasses frames with polarised lenses will make a point of this selling point. Look out for any labelling that indicates the certification and compliance of any sunglasses lens, whether it's polarised or not.


    Grey sunglasses frame worn by black male model



    Blonde female wearing black polarised sunglasses frame and grey polo neck jumper