Best safety eyewear options for indoor/outdoor work environments

Best safety eyewear options for indoor/outdoor work environments header image

Chances are you’ve probably experienced temporary blindness without knowing exactly what it was.

Think of a time when you’ve gone from inside a building with low to normal lighting to the outside where it’s extremely sunny... the lighting change forces you to squint while your pupils constrict and properly adjust to the brightness.

During this time, you’re temporarily unable to see. If done several times per day, your eyes will start to become strained and fatigued, which can lead to eye irritability, headaches, and even more severe vision issues over time.

And from a safety perspective, not being able to see for those few seconds is a huge hazard.

The right indoor/outdoor safety eyewear

Instead of carrying around multiple pairs of safety glasses to combat changing light conditions, finding the right tint or technology can be the difference between a hazard or a non-hazard.

This is where indoor/outdoor safety glasses come in. These are meant for workers to are constantly switching between indoor and outdoor applications. Most transition safety eyewear has a coating or tint that helps reduce the amount of glare without distorting the original color.

HexArmor® recommends a few safety eyewear solutions when working both inside and outside or in variable lighting throughout the day.

Option 1: Silver mirror tint

A Silver Mirror tint is halfway between a clear lens and a gray lens and helps with brightness and sun glare, but also allows you to see well in shaded areas. Many workers in the safety industry refer to this as an “indoor/outdoor” lens tint. Its main purpose is to help with clear vision when you’re frequently moving between the indoors and outdoors or between light and shaded areas. Silver Mirror reduces the need to squint, keeping pupil change to a minimum, which can cause strain and fatigue on your optical muscles.

HexArmor® has two types of Silver Mirror lenses:

  • Silver Mirror 12% - Allows 12% of light to come through the lens. Ideal for outdoor environments with changing light conditions. For example, working in the sun at a refinery with big metal tanks that reflect light or even working in road construction where the blacktop gives off glare, HexArmor’s Silver Mirror 12% lens are perfect.
  • Silver Mirror 53% - Allows 53% of light to come through the lens. Ideal for environments with changing light conditions or frequent movement between indoors and outdoors. For example, if you’re working on a construction site moving in and out of shaded areas often, or driving a forklift in and out of a building to move materials, HexArmor’s Silver Mirror 53% lenses are perfect.

Option 2: Variomatic lenses

Variomatic technology from HexArmor® (also known by some as photochromic or self-tinting lenses), is designed to darken safety lenses when exposed to specific types of light with certain intensity, particularly UV light.

Nearly clear when not exposed to sunlight, Variomatic lenses progressively darken when they do become exposed, so there’s no need to change safety eyewear in different light situations – making working both indoors and outdoors comfortable, efficient, and compliant all day. In addition to the convenience factor of not having to carry around multiple pairs of safety glasses, these fast transition times also help lessen the strain on your eyes and allow you to see safely, and quickly.

HexArmor® has two types of Variomatic lenses:

  • Variomatic (regular) – Lens progression from light to dark takes 10 seconds – from 86% light transmission to around 14% light transmission. Lens progression from dark to light takes up to 30 seconds when you return inside. Works best in situations where you’re primarily indoors but go outside from time to time (or you’re working before sunrise and into daytime).
  • Variomatic Dark – Lens progression from light to dark takes 10 seconds – from 37% light transmission to around 6% light transmission as the UV light intensifies. Lens progression from dark to light takes up to 30 seconds when you return inside. Works best if you’re primarily outside on the job site and working in intense sunlight most of the day, where the intensity of the light gets higher during various times.

Option 3: Indoor-specific tint (with outdoor capabilities)

HexArmor® also has another tint option designed to be used indoors but can also work in outdoor applications – CBR65®. Some safety programs disapprove of tints on indoor safety glasses, however, some blue light-blocking lenses – like CRB65® - do not have a mirrored front and can, therefore, be seen through to the worker's eye.

CBR65® absorbs up to 50% of harmful blue light with a maximum absorption of 450nm, while at the same time offering better contrast for clearer vision to help reduce strain on the eyes and therefore increase comfort. The 65% visible light transmission delivers a relaxed field of vision and prevents the eye from getting tired too fast.

CBR65® is ideal for people working indoors under harsh artificial light conditions, such as strong LED lighting, neon, or very bright environments; for those in changing light environments, either indoor or outdoor; and for those that require high levels of concentration or undertake close inspection work.

Not sure what you need? HexArmor® can help

There are several factors to consider when choosing which lens tints or technology is right for you. HexArmor® offers several tints for various applications and environments.

Plus, all of HexArmor's safety eyewear is Z87+ approved, so you know you're getting the best eye protection on the market - see our safety eyewear technology.

Let us know if you need help - our Solution Specialists are ready to work with you. Call 1-877-MY ARMOR or send us a message.

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