Rain – SUN – RAIN – SUN
The weather today could NOT make up it’s mind! When I dropped my kids off, it was pouring- my 3 year old cried, “We need a boat Mom!” as we ran into her preschool. When I picked them up four hours later- the sun was out, sky was blue, a perfect PNW afternoon. But… the road was still wet… so I was temporarily blinded by the concentrated sun rays hitting the puddles going right into my eyes until… I put my polarized sunglasses on. Sweet relief.
I’ve recently come across some really great explanations of how polarized lenses work to reduce glare – and I hope to shed some light (pun intended) on how these work- so you can hopefully gain a new appreciation of this great technology!
The glare of the sun on flat wet surfaces- such as roads, the surface of the ocean, snow reflects from that horizontal plane- concentrating all that light into a blinding reflection. Polarized lenses have a polarized filter oriented vertically to block light coming in horizontally. Besides removing the intensified and scattered horizontal light, the vertically aligned light polarize lenses allow to pass is preferable to the visual system- creating a significantly more comfortable view. Non polarized sunglasses indiscriminately filter all light- horizontal and vertical. They reduce glare but don’t eliminate it.
By filtering all components olight- a less sharp image is the result. The selective light filtering of a polarized lens actually creates a sharper picture!
Summary of the benefits of polarized lenses:
- Eliminates glare
- Improves visual comfort
- Improves contrast and clarity
- Reduces eyestrain
- Reduces reflections
Not all polarized lenses on the market are created equal. The quality of the filter used and how the lenses are manufactured determines the glare reduction. Drug store “polarized” sunglasses may only cut out 10% of light, where premium polarized lenses such as Xperio lenses by Essilor cut out 99% of reflected light.
Next time you’re driving on a gorgeous day when the storm has lifted and the sun is shining down on large puddles of morning rain and reflecting right into your eyes- consider an investment in a quality pair of polarized sunglasses. They will greatly improve your driving experience!