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How to Choose Lens Colors for Activity and Weather Conditions

May 21, 2019 0 Comments

How to Choose Lens Colors for Activity and Weather Conditions


Believe it or not, sunglass color is more than stylistic. Some may choose a blue tint for that perfect Instagram photo, or black lenses for their Matrix cosplay — but these tints are designed with specific benefits. For those who use sunglasses for sports and other athletic events, lenses can be a tool to optimize your performance.


How to Choose Lens Colors for Activity and Weather Conditions



Intro To The Different Lens Colors

There are six general tint categories, each with optimal atmospheres and influenced by environmental factors and weather conditions.

Visible light falls on a spectrum between blue light and red light. More blue light filters through the atmosphere during peak daylight hours, while red and yellow light come through during dawn and dusk. Blue light is harsher to the human eye, and is often referred to as ‘cold light,’ while red light is ‘warm.’

Today we're going to discuss red/pink, blue/purple, green, gray/black, yellow/orange, and amber/brown lens colors and how they affect your perception of the tints of visible light!



Red/Pink

Red/Pink

Red and pink tints are best known for increasing the user’s contrast perception and visual depth. They don’t balance color as much, and can in fact cause color imbalance, but they are low-strain, which is ideal for road visibility. Optimized for contrast, they help in situations where the landscape has little variation, such as a snow-covered hill. This also makes them valuable in overcast conditions when the landscape is draped in a consistent white light.

Weather Conditions:

-Cloudy

-Partly Cloudy

-Sunny

-Snowy

Ideal Sports and Activities:

-Road Cycling

-Driving

-Road Racing

-Skiing/Snowboarding

-Snowmobiling

-Fishing (the rose color is good for shallow waters and lower light conditions)



Blue/Purple

Blue/Purple

Sometimes there is simply too much light across the spectrum for blue-blocking tints to handle. Blue and purple tints go the opposite direction, blocking all the light on the lower half of the spectrum. This results in significant glare reduction, and white light reduction. Though it can lead to blue-washing, it does actually enhance the user’s color perception and contour visibility.

Weather Conditions:

-Bright, direct sunlight

-Fog and haze

-Snowy, especially white-out conditions

Ideal Sports and Activities:

-Fishing (best for deep and dark blue waters)

-Water Sports

-Golf

-Hiking (exposed landscape)

-Skiing/Snowboarding

-Outdoor Leisure



Green

Green

The happy medium of lens tints. A green tint filters equal amounts of cool and warm light, meaning that unlike other tints that increase contrast, it actually balances light, reducing glare while lightening shadows and maintaining visual sharpness. It’s a good all-purpose lens. Snow is the only real downfall of this lens, because there isn’t enough inherent contrast for this tint to work with. It is also the best lens when you would prefer not to alter the color contrast of a given scene, making it ideal for visual and precision sports.

Weather Conditions:

-Sunny

-Cloudy

-Fog and Haze

-Low light

Ideal Sports and Activities:

-Tennis

-Golf

-Field Sports

-Mountain Biking

-Hiking

-Cycling

-Shooting/Hunting/Archery

-Fishing

-Water Sports



Gray/Black

Gray/Black

Neutral-tone lens tints are a versatile option that reduce overall brightness without affecting color perception. Working well in low light and bright light, they are commonly used in water sports for their excellent glare reduction. Similar to green tints, gray and black can be used in any weather, though aren’t the best for snow due to their low contrast. Many prefer neutral tints because they provide protection with zero color distortion.

Unlike other tints, there is greater variation in the amount of light filtration, so some darker black tints may not be a great choice for low light, but there are light grey options in this category that could be. They can tend to mute color contrasts, diminishing their effectiveness for precision sports.

Weather Conditions:

-Sunny

-Cloudy

-Fog and Haze

-Bright, direct sunlight

Ideal Sports and Activities:

-Cycling/Driving/Racing

-Fishing (best for deep and dark blue waters)

-Water Sports

-Golf/Tennis/Field Sports

-Outdoor Leisure



Yellow/Orange

Yellow/Orange

Yellow and orange lenses filter out harsh blue light, allowing the eye to pick up soft colors more easily. This is especially beneficial in low-light conditions — not only evening and morning events, but also low-light conditions like overcast weather and indoor sports. Because it filters blue light, yellow and orange lenses are also known for preventing eye strain.

There is a downside to this tint, which is that it can cause color distortion, making it less than ideal for sports where color contrast is essential, such as fishing or hunting. It can give the wearer sharper focus, but during the day it doesn’t provide enough overall light deflection to be an ideal option.

Weather Conditions:

-Overcast

-Fog

-Haze and smog

-Light snow

Ideal Sports and Activities:

-Mountain biking — one of the best tints for mountain biking, because it sharpens vision through changing light conditions, without limiting vision by over-darkening.

-Hiking (wooded or partially shaded terrain)

-Driving/Racing/Cycling

-Hunting/Shooting/Archery

-Skiing/Snowboarding/Snowmobiling

-Tennis

-Aviation

-Water sports

-Fly fishing (only in low-light or overcast conditions)



Amber/Brown

Amber/Brown

Amber and brown sunglasses filter out even more blue light than yellow and orange, but have an added red element that gives them a balance between light softening and vision enhancement. This tint’s main benefit is the extreme contrast enhancement that it provides while still providing balanced vision acuity.

The red element not only provides superior contrast against blue and green backgrounds, it also enhances depth perception, making it a great choice for sports where long distances are involved.

Weather Conditions:

-Variable lighting

-Partly cloudy

-Sunny

Ideal Sports and Activities:

-Fishing (especially shallow water, fly flats, and river fishing where seeing the bottom is a necessity)

-Water Sports

-Boating/Sailing

-Aviation

-Golf

-Grass-Field Play (baseball, soccer, etc.)

-Sport Shooting/Archery

-Hunting (water fowl, green/blue backgrounds)

-Tennis



 

Whatever the sport, vision is a key factor in your success. Instead of picking a tint solely for aesthetics, take the time to consider the benefits of each option, and see your performance surge.