Although it’s true polarized lenses have been popular for many years among boaters and fisherman, they have been becoming increasingly more popular as people see the benefits of polarized lenses in their everyday lives.
What are polarized lenses and how can they help me? Polarized lenses work by blocking out glare. To truly understand how polarized lenses can benefit you, first you must understand what glare is.
Light usually travels in all directions, both vertically and horizontally. While the vertical light helps us to see, the light traveling horizontally creates glare. So, think of light reflecting off flat shiny surfaces ie. Water, car windshields, snow etc. The light hits these surfaces in all directions, it intensifies and is reflected causing glare that is sometimes painful and blinding. Polarized lenses contain a filter that has darkened parallel lines that are invisible to the human eye, that when applied uniformly to the lens allows the vertical light that helps us to see to pass through, while absorbing the glare inducing horizontal light. Effectively eliminating up to 99% of glare. This is different than regular tinted lenses because tints only uniformly reduce the amount of all light getting through the lens doing practically nothing to reduce the glare. Therefore, polarized lenses are allowing you to see true, unmuted colors and not miss any details of your surroundings while still blocking harmful UVA and UVB rays.
The down side of polarized lenses? LCD screens and Head’s Up displays. Since heads up displays function by reflecting light off the windshield horizontally, polarized lenses make the display disappear. Also, LCD screens use polarizing filters that can go dark when light passes through polarized lenses in the same orientation. But not to worry, a simple head tilt will bring the image back! This is also a simple way to test if your lenses are polarized or not. Just simply hold your lenses in front of an LCD screen, like a computer monitor, and turn them 180 degrees. If the lenses are polarized, the image will go black, if the lenses are only tinted, the image will stay clear the entire turn.