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    What are Photochromic Lenses?

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    Image result for eyeglass lenses
    Photochromic (Light Sensitive) Lenses

    Protect Your Eyes From UV Light

    If you wear glasses, you’ve probably heard the term “transition lenses” before. “Transitions” is one specific brand of photochromic lenses (like Kleenex for facial tissues, or Band-Aid for adhesive bandages). Other common names for photochromic lenses include “light-adaptive,” “light-responsive,” or “variable tint.”

    What are photochromic lenses?

    Photochromic lenses adapt to changing UV light conditions. They provide protection against glare when worn in bright outdoor conditions, and then return to a transparent state when the wearer moves indoors. This transition doesn’t happen immediately, but instead can take 2-4 minutes to fully occur.

    When will photochromic lenses turn dark?

    The lenses turn dark when directly exposed to UV light and can darken even on overcast days, because UV light penetrates clouds. Once you’re in a vehicle, however, they return to clear because of the UV-blocking properties of the windows. 

    Temperature also affects the lenses — the lenses darken better in cooler temperatures. A very hot day (hotter than 80 degrees Fahrenheit) may result in the lenses changing slower. Regardless of the temperature, they won’t get as dark as regular sunglasses, and for prolonged periods of harsh sunlight or very hot climates, we recommend prescription sunglasses for UV eye protection.

    Are photochromic lenses comparable to prescription sunglasses?

    While photochromic lenses block 80% of incoming UV light from the sun, polarized sunglasses offer even more protection. Think of them as an intermediate step between regular glasses and prescription sunglasses—if you spend long periods outdoors for work or play but also need a pair that works indoors as well, this all-in-one solution is for you. 

    If you spend prolonged periods outdoors or live where there is frequent very hot weather, prescription sunglasses are a better option.

    What work or lifestyle factors should I consider before getting photochromic lenses?

    These lenses are not recommended for people whose jobs require constantly moving from indoors to outdoors, as they will not have enough time to adjust completely. 

    They are not recommended for frequent daytime drivers as well, due to car windshields and windows blocking UV light. Prescription sunglasses would be more beneficial for daytime drivers.

    Wayfarer Sunglasses on Sand Tilt Shift Lens Photography
    The glasses will be dark when they come into contact with UV rays

    Can I get photochromic lenses if I also have a strong prescription?

    Yes, prescription strength has no bearing on whether you can get UV protection lenses. We offer Standard, Mid-Index, and High-Index photochromic lenses, along with single vision, bifocals, and no-line bifocals (progressives).

    What are photochromic blue blockers?

    While photochromic lenses protect the eyes from UV light, blue blockers protect eyes from HEV light (also known as “blue light”). Blue light comes from natural sources, like the sun, and man-made sources such as mobile or computer screens. Taking in too much blue light can cause migraines, eye strain, and in some cases, insomnia. We recommend blue blockers for anyone who uses a computer or mobile screen for long lengths of time. We recommend blue blockers for the same set of folks who also spend long periods outdoors.

    What are photochromic lenses made of?

    Photochromic lenses are typically made of glass, polycarbonate, or another type of plastic. They are available in most designs, including high-index lenses, bifocals, and progressive lenses. At Payne Glasses, we offer a variety of photochromic lens options, including photochromic blue blockers.

    Do you also offer Transition lenses?

    Yes, we offer brand-name Transition lenses as well, though they come at a higher cost than other photochromic lenses.

    Tortoiseshell Framed Sunglasses
    Transitions lenses are offered on our site

    How do I order photochromic lenses?

    Ordering photochromic lenses is a breeze. To order yours today, follow these steps:

    1  Choose your favorite pair of frames from our large selection.
    2  Click on Order Glasses.
    3  Once redirected to the Prescription tab, enter in your prescription by using your sphere, cylinder, axis, binocular pupillary distance, and monocular pupillary distance measurements.
    4  Confirm your prescription.

    5  The next tab is for Lens Type. Here is where you can choose to get photochromic lenses. When you click on the light responsive lens options, Payne Glasses provides you with a variety of lenses to choose from, including standard, upgraded, or professional choices.
    6  Add the glasses to your shopping cart.
    7  Check out on the site and enjoy your new photochromic prescription glasses!

    Are your photochromic lenses available in different tints?

    For some frames, yes. You can order most frames with gray, brown, or both tints. You can choose your preference during the order process.

    I just got my photochromic lenses. How come they haven’t changed in sunlight yet?

    Photochromics can take up to 45 minutes to “warm up.” We recommend setting them somewhere where they can be exposed to UV light to “activate” for the first time. 

    Note that places such as on a car dashboard or most windowsills will not work, as windshields and many types of windows block UV rays. Also, note that they are temperature dependent and a day warmer than 80 degrees will not result in as dark of a tint.

    Gray-framed Eyeglasses on Black Surface
    Light sensitive lenses will be clear when indoors or behind UV protective glass

    Protect Your Eyes

    At Payne Glasses, we make protecting your eyes from the damage of UV rays an affordable option with photochromic lens options. Find your next pair of photochromic glasses online today from our large selection of eyeglass frames for women, eyeglass frames for men, and kids prescription glasses. We’re glad to help you save money without compromising quality!


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