Your life and eyes 3 min read

How Do Transitions Lenses Work?

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Transitions lenses will automatically adapt to the changing light conditions around you so that you can enjoy comfortable and safe vision throughout the day. They are a hugely popular brand of lenses, with a variety of collections and colours to suit your needs and personal style.

Transitions lenses are also sometimes known as light adaptive lenses, as they will darken or return to clear depending on the light they are exposed to. It's a convenient solution for those who are often going from inside to outdoors or vice versa. These innovative lenses work hard to keep your eyes safe from harmful UV and Blue-Violet light, which can contribute towards the long-term health of your eyes.

If you've heard of Transitions but have no idea how they work, here's a handy guide to help you learn more about these fascinating photochromic lenses.

How do Transitions differ from ordinary lenses?

Your ordinary lenses will do a great job of correcting your vision if you have a refractive error such as short-sightedness, long-sightedness, presbyopia or astigmatism. Transitions can go a step further and make sure your eyes are only exposed to the optimum amount of light they need, protecting your vision from glare and bright light.

Transitions use photochromic technology so that your lenses remain clear if you are inside, or at nighttime, and will darken when exposed to ultraviolet light. Transitions' specific driving lens technology will also activate the lenses when your glasses are exposed to visible light, as well as ultraviolet light. Allowing the lenses to darken when exposed to visible light is useful when you're driving as most car windscreens block UV light. 

Transitions lenses will block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. In turn, this can reduce squinting and eye fatigue which can lead to more comfortable vision in the long run.

How do they work?

Transitions lenses are made up of billions of molecules that are invisible to the human eye. When exposed to ultraviolet light, the molecule has a chemical change which in turn changes the structure of the molecule resulting in an activated dark state. This tinting is uniform across the lens. When your lenses are no longer exposed to ultraviolet light, the molecule returns to its original structure, and your lenses become clear again.

Close up of photochromic molecules

For years, Transitions Optical has perfected its technology resulting in quick activation time, darker tinting of the lens, improved colours and a fast return to a clear state time.

Do you still need prescription sunglasses?

Sunglasses have a set tint, so they are always the same darker shade. It can be handy to keep a pair of prescription sunglasses, as they are more suited if you are sitting outside for more extended periods; for example if you are on holiday.

Transitions are not necessarily a replacement for your sunglasses, but another option to make life a little easier when moving from outside to indoors, and back out again.

Do Transitions lenses work in all frames?

Transitions lenses will work in most frames, so you can match optimal eye care with stylish frames that suit your personal preference. Ask your local optician about the frames they carry and which can be paired with your new Transitions lenses. Download our frame style guide to help you pair the right lens colour to your chosen frame!

Can you get non-prescription Transitions lenses?

You can get Transitions Signature lenses, Transitions Style Colours and Transitions XTRActive lenses without a prescription; they are known as 'plano' lenses. They will fit in almost any frame, so you can enjoy the benefits of Transitions lenses even if you don't need corrective lenses.

Transitions Signature Gen8 are the latest generation that are ideal for everyday life, with three iconic colours and four style colours to choose from. They return to clear faster than ever, offering the best protection for your eyes against glare.

Transitions XTRActive lenses will activate in the car, reducing glare no matter where you go.

How dark do Transitions go?

Our range of Transitions everyday lenses can go as dark as ordinary sunglasses, which is known as category 3. The level of darkness is influenced by the surrounding environment, including temperature and UV exposure.

If you are looking for the darkest lenses, Transitions XTRActive may be the right choice for you.

Find where to buy Transitions lenses

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