Which Photochromic Lenses Should I Get?

photochromic vs transition lensesAnyone who wears glasses knows what a hassle it can be to have to carry around separate prescription sunglasses for when you are outside. If you are constantly finding yourself leaving your sunglasses at home, or misplacing them, photochromic lenses may be a great option for you.

Photochromic lenses are a special type of lens that starts out clear and turn dark in the bright sunlight. They offer a convenient way to protect your eyes outdoors from UV rays and bright light without having to carry around a pair of sunglasses.

Zenni offers four types of photochromic lenses: Zenni photochromic lenses, Zenni Blokz™ Photochromic lenses, Transitions® VII photochromic lenses, and Vision Ease LifeRx® photochromic lenses.

Below are key FAQ’s to help you determine which photochromic lenses are right for you.

 

Do all photochromic lenses darken the same?

There are some differences in the degree of darkening between Zenni photochromic lenses, Transitions® VII photochromic lenses, and Vision Ease LifeRx®. We tested all the photochromic lenses we offer in our optics lab and found that, in general, the Transitions® VII photochromic lenses get a little bit darker than the Zenni photochromic lenses, and up to 25% darker than the Vision Ease LifeRx® polycarbonate photochromic lenses. These darkness levels may change depending on weather or temperature.

Transitions® VII gray and brown photochromics darken anywhere from 60%-80% in bright sunlight. Zenni brand gray and brown photochromic lenses and Zenni Blokz™ Photochromic gray lenses darken anywhere from 50%-70% in bright sunlight.

The Vision Ease LifeRx® polycarbonate photochromic lenses in gray and brown darken to around 35-55% in bright sunlight.

It is important to note that all photochromic lenses typically do not darken inside cars because of the UV protection on windshields and windows.

How long does it take for the photochromic lenses to transition between clear and tinted?

Transitions® VII photochromic lenses only take about 35 seconds to a minute darken, whereas Zenni and Vision East LifeRx® photochromic lenses take on average a couple of minutes to fully darken.

What is the difference between polycarbonate photochromic lenses and regular photochromic lenses?

Polycarbonate photochromic lenses are more impact-resistant than regular photochromic lenses. The Vision Ease LifeRx® polycarbonate photochromic lenses are a good choice for rimless glasses and kids’ glasses.

What is the added benefit of Zenni Blokz photochromic lenses?

Zenni Blokz™ Photochromic lenses are a convenient all-in-one solution for people that want a pair of blue blocker lenses for indoors that also transition to sunglasses that offer blue light protection outdoors as well.

How much do photochromic lenses cost?

There is a significant price difference between Zenni photochromic lenses and other name brand photochromic lenses.
For single vision lenses, Zenni photochromic lenses range in price from $29.00-$59.95, depending on the lens index and if you select a regular photochromic versus a Blokz™ Photochromic lens. Vision Ease LifeRx® polycarbonate photochromic lenses are $66; and Transitions® VII photochromic lenses range in price from $69-$169, depending on the lens index. For progressive lenses, there will be additional cost.

What lens index is available for each type of photochromic lenses?

Zenni photochromic lenses are available in 1.61; Zenni Blokz™ Photochromic lenses are available in 1.61 and 1.67; Vision Ease LifeRx® photochromic lenses are available in 1.59 (polycarbonate); and Transitions® VII are available in 1.50, 1.61, and 1.67.

What colors are offered in photochromic lenses?

Zenni photochromic lenses are available in gray and amber; Zenni Blokz™ Photochromic lenses are available in gray; and Vision Ease LifeRx® polycarbonate photochromic lenses are available in gray and brown. Transitions® VII in index 1.50 are available in gray and brown, while indexes 1.61 and 1.67 are available in gray. For bifocals, the 1.57 Zenni photochromic lens comes in gray.

Remember that photochromic lenses darken in bright sunlight, so their color hue and depth changes depending on sunlight conditions. Some photochromics may appear to have a slight base tint, or may develop one after prolonged use.

Are photochromic lenses available for progressive and bifocals?

Standard progressives can be ordered with any photochromic lens. (Workspace Progressives, intended for near work, do not offer photochromic lenses). For bifocals, only the 1.57 Zenni photochromic lenses are available.

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