Posted by James on August 18, 2014
Sunglasses with polarized lenses are extremely popular with many people, but why? If you are thinking of buying a pair, you may find this useful. I'm going to explain the key benefit of polarized lenses in plain English.
The primary benefit of polarized sunglasses, is the huge reduction in glare that they provide. If you take a look at the above photo, you will see what I mean.
1. The polarized lens allows you to see below the surface of the water with amazing clarity.
2. The regular lens doesn't. It has a glare, which blocks you from being able to see with anything like the clarity of the polarized lens.
Why do polarized lenses offer so much clarity compared to regular, tinted lenses (or wearing no sunglasses at all)?
The answer is pretty straight forward. Regular sunglasses reduce overall light indiscriminately. So, everything becomes less bright. However, this also reduces overall visibility. Therefore the glare is reduced, but the same is true of your ability to see true colors.
Polarized lenses work differently. Instead of filtering all light, they only filter out horizontal light. They allow the vertical light in, which adds brightness without adding glare. So, you end up being able to see a brighter image than with regular tinted lenses, with massively less glare. The end result, as you can see from the photo above, is a significant improvement.
Whilst polarized lenses are extremely popular with fishermen and those who take part in or watch water sports, they have other uses too.
Drivers often use polarized sunglasses, to reduce the sun glare from the cars in front. I'm one of them. I switched to polarized sunglasses for driving 3 years ago. Anecdotally, I have found that I no longer get eye fatigue the way I used to. I'm also able to see a lot more detail around me, as the glare is reduced. One word of caution here: Some people report that they find it harder to read the dials and clocks on the dashboard, when wearing polarized sunglasses, though I have never had this problem myself.
I hope you found this look at polarized lenses useful. But before I finish, here's a fun fact!
Polarised sunglasses were the brainchild of American scientist, Edwin H Land. He patented the product initially in 1929. Through further development, Land patented an improved version called H-sheet Polaroid in 1938. If the word Polaroid sounded familiar, it should do. It was the Land who invented the Polaroid camera, back in 1948.
The Polaroid design is seen by millions of people every day, via Instargram, who pay homage to the Polaroid design with their massively successful social media app.
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