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Can anybody tell me about tinted/polarised/drivewear lenses please?

(13 Posts)
HamsterPoo Mon 18-Oct-10 16:28:12

I needglasses for driving and struggle with brightness and glare. Baffled by different lens types, wondering whether it is worth paying lots for the"best" and which are also suitable for use at night...
Many thanks smile

AMumInScotland Mon 18-Oct-10 16:34:04

Tinted is basically sunglasses - they cut out the light, but are no good at night, and in fact I think its not even legal to wear them. There is a legal maximum of how "darkening" they can be, but the shop will be able to tell you if you say you're going to drive in them.

Polarised ones cut out some of the glare, without reducing light levels.

I drive in my prescription sunglasses most of the daytime, except when is really overcast, and polarised ones at night.

DBennett Mon 18-Oct-10 17:02:49

AMumInScotland has got the gist of it.

Polarised light cuts out most reflected light but does tend to reduce general light levels as well.

Various tint levels but some aren't legal for night, tunnel or all driving.

Photo-chromatic (ones that go darker in sunlight) don't tend to work as well in cars as the wind screen cuts some UV light.

Anti-reflection coatings might also be mentioned, their main advantage is to make the lens look clearer/better but it does cut down some causes of bothersome reflections as well.

Personally, I don't notice a lot of difference with polaroids.
But I know some who swear by them.

And I always have an anti- reflection coating.

EauRouge Mon 18-Oct-10 17:13:31

I am one of the people that swears by polarised lenses grin I find that normal sunglasses make everything dimmer without cutting out the glare.

I am not exactly rolling in it but I think a decent pair of sunglasses are well worth the investment.

HamsterPoo Mon 18-Oct-10 19:11:40

Thanks all of you smile
Polarised ones sound pretty good. Are they okay to use at night?
I havea tinted windscreen but still struggle! confused

DBennett Mon 18-Oct-10 23:48:45

They don't tend to be, the tint is often too dark.

And almost certainly not a good idea with a tinted wind shield.

HamsterPoo Wed 20-Oct-10 17:03:07

oh....really don't know what to do. What would you recommend? I find bright sunlight excruciating and struggle sometimes even on dull days, despite the tinted windscreen confused

sandripples Wed 20-Oct-10 17:11:40

I find the photo-chromatic ones fine for driving.

scurryfunge Wed 20-Oct-10 17:17:14

Can you take advantage of a two for one offer, somewhere like specsavers and have a daytime pair and a night time pair?

HamsterPoo Wed 20-Oct-10 17:52:46

That's a good idea Scurryfunge

Are those the same as the "drivewear" ones, Sandripples?

AndyCop Thu 02-Jun-11 11:30:13

Hope you don't mind me jumping in as I found this site by accident.

I am a dispensing optician and can give you some accurate advice.
Polarised lenses will cut out reflected glare off of horizontal surfaces such as the road. This is especially great when the sun comes out after rain. I am not aware of any polarised lenses that are faint enough to be driven in at night legally (sorry AMumInScotland).

The maximum amount of tint you are allowed to drive with a night allows 85% of light to travel through the lens and this will be a very light 'cosmetic' tint and will be of no use when the sun is out and bright.

Photochromatic lenses work for some and not for others tbh; someone said, quite rightly, earlier that your windscreen will filter out some of the UV that activates the lenses although the manufacturers are trying to improve the functionality in cars with some success.

I have Maui Jim sunglasses for the bright days and I wear Drivewear (a polarised transition lens) on the more overcast days and I swear by polarised lenses too.

So, going back to the OP's question 'Which lens type(s) should you go for?'
That really is impossible to answer properly but here are a few things to consider;

1. How often are you going to wear them? All the time then maybe it is worth spending a bit more on them.
2. Is this your first pair of specs? If so, then I normally advise to get something cheapish as you really don't know what suits you (both visually and cosmetically) and when you do then you can then maybe get another pair and keep the first as spares.
3. Re: Sunspecs; Do you like to control when your lenses are dark? Do you want to carry around a second pair?

You're right, it is a minefield and that is why you have people like me to help you decide. Whatever you do, make sure you are having your glasses dispensed by a fully qualified Dispensing Optician (not one of them fancy Ophthalmic Opticians, we like them to stay in their exam rooms where they are best, lol).

Hope that helps and sorry to waffle on for so long.

JBellingham Thu 02-Jun-11 11:41:18

ScurryFunge's idea is best.

AndyCop Thu 02-Jun-11 16:09:20

ScurryFunge's idea is sound indeed, I just wanted to add a little more detail ;)

The point about asking to be seen by a DO is still valid for wherever you go.

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