What's all the hype about polarized sunglasses? What does that mean? Do they really make a difference and are they worth the added cost? So many questions. Let us lay out the abc's of polarized sunnies so you know exactly what you're getting and why.
Polarized sunglasses have been around since the 1930's and for many years were used for functional purposes. While still proving extremely useful for sport enthusiasts, such as fishermen, boaters, skiers, bikers and golfers, they also seem to have found their way into the fashion world. Hence why Sunglasses by Tower, the trendiest wood frames on the market, have decided to implement polarized lenses polarized lenses into each frame. While most companies charge extra for polarized lenses, Tower believes that every pair of sunglasses should offer the very best features without the up-charge.
- Reduce glare
- Improve visual comfort
- Clearly perceive colors
- Minimize eyestrain
- Allow for correct depth perception
- Eliminate reflection
Did you know that light from flat surfaces (think water, asphalt roads, ice, snow and sand) is reflected horizontally? Neither did we, until we started looking into why polarized lenses are better. Our eyes pick up this horizontal direction of light as a glare, which reduces visibility and is just downright annoying. It can be dangerous too, causing headaches and eye fatigue. Polarized lenses interrupt the movement of light by transmitting, scattering, refracting or reflecting it through a microscopic filter that only allowing light to travel in one direction through the lenses. This filter is usually applied to the lenses as a chemical film, allows vertical light to pass through by absorbing horizontal light, and blocking the intense reflection as a result.
How do they compare to standard tinted lenses?
As mentioned above, light moves in many directions -- it can vibrate vertically, diagonally or horizontally. Average tinted sunglasses disturb vertical and horizontal light, which does a good job of slightly eliminating glare but does not completely diminish it. Polarized sunglasses on the other hand, only allow vertical light through, which is ideal for clearer vision.
Why are polarized lenses better for water activities?
The suns reflection onto water surfaces is extremely polarized, along with the sky and clouds, and in some instances it is reflected completely horizontally. Polarized sunglasses interrupt the light and allow you to see things below the surface more clearly.