Protect Your Vision With This Season’s Best Photochromic Glasses

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Having to carry two pairs of glasses around depending on the light intensity can be a pain. Not only will you likely misplace or forget the pair that’s not on your face, but always having to carry around an extra pair is super inconvenient. Thanks to the evolution of eyewear technology, light-adaptive (or auto-tint) photochromic lenses allow you to use one pair regardless of where you are. The lenses automatically tint according to the lighting to give your eyes the best protection and prevent eye fatigue. We've found the top photochromic glasses in 2022 and listed our favorite picks to narrow down the search for you. They come in a great variety of frame designs, shapes, and colors, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for functionality.

Reviewing the Leading Photochromic Glasses of 2022 in Detail

YIMI Driving Glasses  —  Best Overall

photochromic glasses reviews

Key Features

  • Light metal frame design
  • Blocks 100% harmful UV rays with a UV400 protective layer
  • Lenses automatically adjust according to reduced or increased light
  • Silicone nose pads for a comfortable fit

These stylish glasses have a sporty look and are great for driving and outdoor activities. The protective lenses prevent glare and protect your eyes from UV rays without affecting your color perception. The photochromic lenses adapt naturally to the sunlight and UV intensity, becoming lighter or darker as required to prevent eye fatigue. This style features a gorgeous metallic brown frame with spring hinges, however, the brand does offer other frame colors and styles as well.

ROCKBROS Sport Sunglasses  —  Best for Sports

photochromic glasses reviews

Key Features

  • Rubber frame with polycarbonate lens
  • Available in black with blue, red, or green accents
  • Unisex design suitable for men and women
  • Lenses change from 80% to 18% transmittance

Rockbros photochromic sunglasses are ideal for keen sportsmen and women. Whether you’re hiking, cycling, running, climbing, skiing, or fishing, these lightweight glasses have a UV protective coating as well as intelligent shade-adaptive lenses. There’s no need to change eye wear in different light conditions, such as when the sun rises on a morning ride or as you move through dark areas. We love that you can fully focus on your performance since your visibility is completely taken care of.

Feisedy Square Glasses  —  Best for Casual Wear

photochromic glasses reviews

Key Features

  • TR frame for good heat dissipation and pressure resistance
  • Available in black, matt black, and chrome detail
  • UV protection coating
  • Lens width is 53mm, frame width is 63mm, and bridge is 20mm

With a slightly retro style, these polarized photochromic glasses offer 100% UV protection. Their casual square design with a spring hinge frame make them great for work, travel, driving, and outdoor events. The photochromic lenses adjust light transmittance automatically, while the light and durable TR frame reduce visual fatigue and are comfortable to wear.

YIMI Glasses  —  Best for Indoors

photochromic glasses reviews

Key Features

  • Light grey lenses with lightweight metal frame
  • Blocks 100% harmful UV rays
  • Lenses automatically adjust according to reduced or increased light
  • Silicone nose pads for a comfortable fit

These metal-frame polarised sunglasses from YIMI have photochromic lenses that allow the tint to adapt according to the sunlight and ultraviolet intensity. The bright outdoor light will cause the light grey lenses to darken, protecting your eyes without interfering with color perception. They minimize glare and haze to keep your vision clear, and the lenses are highly protective against UV rays with UV400 protection. They can be worn indoors but are also ideal for driving, cycling, running, hiking, and fishing.

EJ Store Glasses  —  Honorable Mention

photochromic glasses reviews

Key Features

  • Dimensions: 54mm lenses and 20mm bridge
  • Lenses automatically adjust according to reduced or increased light
  • Wire lock hold for headphones
  • Purchase comes with a protective bag

These awesome glasses come with a matte black plastic frame, polycarbonate lenses, and metal hinges. When exposed to direct sunlight, the auto-tint lens can tint up to 70%, which is slightly lighter than regular sunglasses. The depth of the tint will vary according to the light conditions. These glasses are ideal for activities in direct sunlight such as outdoor work, golfing, and walking. They will not tint in bright indoor or covered areas.

Finding the Perfect Pair of Photochromic Glasses: A Buyer’s Guide

The importance of taking good care of your eyes cannot be emphasized enough. Whether you’re traveling, working on a building site, or enjoying a barbecue, protecting your eyes from UV rays is just as vital as protecting your skin from sunburn. If you’re tired of carrying two pairs of glasses around for indoor and outdoor use, there’s no more reason to skimp on eye care. Photochromic lenses allow you to use the same pair, automatically adjusting their tint to the UV rays. They also have other benefits. So, without further ado, here’s what you need to know when choosing the top photochromic sunglasses for comfort, protection, and convenience.

What Are Photochromic Glasses?

Photochromic lenses are also referred to as transition lenses, auto-tint lenses, or adaptive lenses. Although they look like regular, clear (or almost clear) lenses, they have what seems like a magic ability to get darker when you move into a brighter area. The sun’s ultraviolet rays cause molecules in the photochromic lenses to change color, providing you with the most ideal eye protection and vision in all lighting scenarios.

Polarized and photochromic glasses are not the same thing. Polarized lenses filter direct light penetration to the eye to protect it but are not necessarily photochromic.

Specialized auto-tint lenses are available in most lens materials, including bifocals, high-index, and progressive lenses. The great benefit of photochromic technology, however, is that they protect your eyes from 100% of harmful UV sun rays. This can help to prevent cataracts later in life.

Benefits of Photochromic Glasses

  • They block up to 100% of UV-A and UV-B light, which can be very harmful to your eyes
  • They assists in reducing eye strain and heightened risk of cataracts
  • Convenience is king, even when it comes to eyewear. There’s no need to carry two separate pairs around for indoor and outdoor use
  • Since you’re only using one pair, you’re probably also saving money
  • Adaptive lenses also protect your eyes from blue light. (Keep reading for more info)
  • Since auto-tint glasses come in a variety of styles and colors, you can stay fashionable while protecting your eyes
  • They can be designed to meet most prescription needs

How To Choose Adaptive Glasses

Functionality

As with regular reading glasses, sunglasses, and sports eyewear, photochromic glasses come in a range of different styles, shapes, colors, and are designed with specific activities in mind. Not all auto-tint shades work inside cars, as the light is different from being directly outside in the sun. If you are planning to use your pair mainly when driving, make sure the design is specifically geared towards this. These types may not be as clear indoors as others since they are made to augment contrast and enhance visual performance for driving.

If you are looking for a pair mainly for cycling, you will want to look for a design that will also shield your eyes from wind and won’t fog up.

Light sensitivity

If you are light-sensitive indoors, you’ll need to consider getting a pair designed with a slightly darker lens. These lenses will have a tint for indoor use as well, which will reduce eye strain from fluorescent lights, digital screens, and glare.

Tint level

Some lenses darken to a higher degree than others. If you are wearing the glasses both indoors and outdoors, you will want something that has a minimal indoor tint and can transition 70 to 80 percent. Lenses that transition faster may cost you a little more. Some are also temperature sensitive and the rate at which they adjust can be affected by cold temperatures.

Clarity and color perception

There are brands that offer photochromic lenses that not only adapt the tint but also maximize clarity in different scenarios. This may be according to the climate or temperature. Whether or not you opt for a more pricey pair like ones that consistently enhance clarity or not, one thing that should be consistent across the board is color perception. A change in the tint according to light should not interfere with your perception of colors.

Anti-reflective coating

Getting a pair with anti-reflective coating, or having this applied separately, can further enhance the performance and protection of your glasses. An anti-reflective coating will allow more light to pass through the lenses in low-light conditions, such as driving after sundown. This offers sharper vision and decreases reflections from the back of the lens.

Blue light protection

Computer, smartphone, and tablet screens, as well as some television screens, project images and content using blue light. The light rays on the blue end of the range have shorter wavelengths and stronger energy. This is only harmful with excessive exposure. Considering that we spend so much time in front of all types of screens and often in dim light conditions as well, it's no surprise that people suffer from digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. The oxidative stress in the retina can lead to headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, neck, shoulder, and back pain, as well as increased risks of macular degeneration.

Photochromic lenses designed to reduce stress on the eyes caused by blue light-emitting devices and glare were manufactured to combat this problem. Although these will be beneficial for anyone who engages in a lot of screen time, you should consider getting protective glasses especially if you get a lot of screen time at night or in a poorly lit environment.