Optician’s Notes: Sunglasses Lenses

As Sunglasses Season approaches, our optical team walks us through Black Eyewear’s offer of sunglasses lenses.

“At Black Eyewear we only use ophthalmic quality plastic lenses since they are lighter to wear and more impact resistant. Plastic is the main material used to produce ophthalmic lenses replacing glass that had dominated lens production up till the 1960s.” 

– Robert Roope




There are several reasons why plastic lenses are considered superior in quality to glass lenses.
Did you know that our plastic lenses…

… are lightweight yet virtually unbreakable.

… are available in a wide variety of thicknesses and tints.

…. have a better optical design and ensure a large variety of varifocal designs than glass lenses.

… come in hard-coated scratch-resistant plastic.

As opticians, we appreciate how the manufacture is able to quickly adapt to technological innovations. The latest introduction in the photosensitive option offers an unprecedented speed of change and a variety of colors. (Our customers are loving these!)

Note: If you would like a quote for glass lenses please contact us.



All our sunglasses can be fitted with your prescription – single vision lenses or varifocals – and we can customize the tint as required. Alternatively, we can fit any color you want a solid tint or graduated tint, light or dark.

We also offer additional anti-reflective coatings for sunglass lenses and can also fit photochromic or Polaroid lenses.

Some of the most popular options below.



What are graduated tints?
These lenses’ darkness varies. The tint isn’t uniform but the color gradually fades into a lighter tone towards the bottom of the lens.

Why graduated tints?
The lenses are often considered more aesthetically pleasing for the wearer.
The clear part of the lenses can be a benefit to a wearer who needs a clearer part of the lens to see detail close up.

How can I make it my own?
Customization Options:

  • The light graduation of the tint can be varied depending on a wearer’s requirements. The most popular colors are grey and brown.
  • The light absorption can be adjusted as required.
    Here are some sample graduation variations between the top and bottom of the lens:
    • Light        top 40% – bottom  15%
    • Medium.  top  65% – bottom 20%
    • Dark.         top 85% – bottom 25%.


What are solid tints?
The full tints are spread uniformly over the total area of the lens.
The most popular lens colors are Grey, Brown, and Green.

Why solid tints?
This is preferred by wearers living in hotter climates who are consistently exposed to very bright sunlight.
They offer a more classic look.

How can I make it my own?
Customization Options:

  • The sun absorption can vary depending on the wearer’s requirements.
    The most common absorption percentages are:
    • Medium     65% Absorption
    • Dark           85% Absorption



What are photochromic lenses?
These are the lenses that get dark in the sunshine and become clear when indoors. The speed of tint change varies, but recent lenses change more quickly from clear to dark.
Photochromic lenses are usually grey, brown, or green.

Fun fact: Grey is popular in the UK. Brown is most popular in Europe.

Why photochromic?
They provide wearers with the convenience of having lenses that double up as sunglasses and indoor lenses. 

Please note: Changing back to clear can take longer. In hot climates, the efficiency of photochromic lenses can be affected.

Other Sunglasses lenses:

    These plastic lenses reduce reflections from wet or polished road surfaces, but they reveal the stress patterns in the older types of toughened windscreens when driving which can be distracting. They are an essential tool for fishermen which enabled them to see through the reflections on the surface of the water.


What really counts with a sunglass lens is the degree to which the lenses filter out harmful UV rays.
All Black Eyewear sunglasses have a European Standard ‘CE’ Mark that ensures they offer a safe level of UV by reducing the total amount of light reaching the eye.

The British Standard sets performance levels for quality, strength, stability, design, and manufacture as well as the amount of UV they absorb.