July 27, 2017

Temporary blindness. Have you heard of it? Chances are, you’ve probably experienced it. Think of a time on the job when you’ve gone from inside a building to outside and it’s extremely sunny. The change forces you to squint while you wait for your pupils to constrict and properly adjust to the brightness. During this time, you’re temporarily unable to see. Do this several times in a day and your eyes start to become strained and fatigued, which inevitably can cause eye irritability and headaches.

Add in the safety element – the hazard of not being able to see for those few seconds– and things become much more serious. When you’re wearing safety glasses and need to be both inside and outside at work, or you’re in different light conditions throughout the day, what’s the single best solution? Is there one? No one wants to carry around multiple pairs of safety glasses.

Depending on the situation, you have options.

Option 1: Silver Mirror Tint

Picture this: you’re working on a construction site moving in and out of shaded areas often, going underneath overhangs or stepping inside to grab additional equipment. When you need to read something in these situations, the last thing you want to do to is take off your safety glasses because the tint on them is too dark and you can’t read. If this situation sounds familiar, you’d benefit from safety glasses with a Silver Mirror 53% lens 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 going between the two. Silver Mirror keeps pupil change and eye strain to a minimum.

Option 2: Variomatic Lenses

For situations where you’re primarily indoors but go outside from time to time (or you’re working before sunrise and into daytime), a regular Variomatic lens is the way to go.

Variomatic lenses (or, as some call them, photochromic or self-tinting lenses) are designed to darken when exposed to specific types of light of certain intensity, particularly UV light.

HexArmor® Variomatic lenses are nearly clear when they’re not exposed to sunlight, and progressively darken when they do become exposed. If you’re working inside, you can wear HexArmor Variomatic lenses comfortably all day. When you go from inside to outside, these lenses progressively darken within 10 seconds from 86% light transmission to around 14% light transmission. They then progressively lighten up within 30 seconds when you go back inside (versus other lenses that can take up to two minutes). 

If you’re primarily outside on the job site and working in intense sunlight most of the day, a HexArmor® Variomatic Dark lens is the best option. These lenses start at 37% light transmission and darken in 10 seconds or less to allow only 6% light transmission as the UV light intensifies.

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, quickly.

Which Type Do You Need?

Like anything else, there are several factors to consider when choosing which of these lens tints is right for you, but it helps to think of it this way; if you’re frequently moving between the indoors and outdoors or between light and shaded areas, a Silver Mirror tint is likely your go-to. If you work primarily indoors but need to go outdoors occasionally, consider a regular Variomatic lens. But, if you’re outside in the sunshine most of the day where the intensity of the sun gets higher during various times, Variomatic Dark is the way to go.

If you’re unsure of which lens tint may be right for you, contact one of our Solutions Specialists today at 1-616-459-4144 or at info@hexarmor.com.

At HexArmor®, we believe every worker should go home safe, every day. We work alongside companies to develop safety solutions to help redefine their safety culture. Our industry-leading safety products and processes help keep workers compliant and injury free.