Polarised Sunglasses Explained

Views 64 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful

Polarised sunglasses cut glare better than ordinary sunglasses, and here's why...

Ordinary sunglass lenses work by simply cutting down, by means of tinting, the amount of light transmitted through them. For example, a Category 3 lens intended for use in very bright conditions may reduce the light passing through it by around 80%.

Visible light is made up of both horizontal and vertical light rays, and the horizontal rays when bright enough tend to be seen as glare.

Polarised lenses (or 'polarized' across the Pond) filter out all the horizontal light rays, including those reflected off horizontal surfaces, such as water and wet roads. The lenses don't just dim these rays down, like conventional shades do - they cut them right out.  A person wearing conventional sunglasses can be looking at a sheet of water with bright reflection on its surface, and the lenses will quieten the glare down somewhat - but there's still plenty of glare there.

Polarised lenses, however, will cut that reflection right out, enabling the wearer to see (assuming the water is clear enough) right below the surface.  For this reason, sunglasses with polarised lenses are particularly suited to use in fishing, boating and other water pursuits, and have been a firm favourite amongst followers of these sports for many years. In fact, fishermen are one of the few groups who don't need polarized lenses explained to them! 

They're also great for drivers; every road user has known occasions when the reflection off a wet road after a shower is totally dazzling.  Polarised lenses will deal with this as well. 

A couple of points to be aware of:  Polarised lenses will allow you to see the underlying pattern in the toughened glass of approaching vehicles' windscreens; it looks a bit like an oil spill on water, and I think it looks quite cool - although some people do find it annoying. Also, LCD displays on mobile phones and some car dashboard instruments may be invisible at certain angles when viewed through polarised lenses.

If you found this guide useful, please click the 'yes' button below.

See our full range of polarised sunglasses

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides