Over the next few days and with a bank holiday approaching we all know that the weather will not make up its mind!  April brings showers followed by the sun being out and blue skies. However… if roads are still wet… you can be temporarily blinded by the concentrated sun rays hitting the puddles going right into your eyes until…you put on polarised sunglasses and  Sweet relief.
I’ve recently come across some really great explanations of how polarised lenses work to reduce glare – and I hope to shed some light (pun intended) on how these work- so you can hopefully gain a new appreciation of this great technology!

The glare of the sun on flat wet surfaces- such as roads, the surface of the ocean, snow reflects from that horizontal plane- concentrating all that light into a blinding reflection.  Polarised lenses have a polarised filter oriented vertically to block light coming in horizontally.  Besides removing the intensified and scattered horizontal light, the vertically aligned light polarised lenses allow to pass is preferable to the visual system- creating a significantly more comfortable view.
Non polarized sunglasses indiscriminately filter all light- horizontal and vertical.  Glare is reduced but not eliminated.
By filtering all components of light- a less sharp image is the result.  The selective light filtering of a polarised lens actually creates a sharper picture!

Summary of the benefits of polarised lenses:
  • Eliminates glare
  • Improves visual comfort
  • Improves contrast and clarity
  • Reduces eyestrain
  • Reduces reflections

There are many polarised lenses on the market and not all are created equal.  The glare reduction depends on the quality of the filter used and how the lenses are manufactured. Some cheap “polarised” sunglasses may only cut out 10% of light, where premium polarised lenses used in prescription sunglasses cut out 99% of reflected light.

So, next time you’re driving on a gorgeous day when the storm has lifted and the sun is shining down on large puddles of morning rain and reflecting right into your eyes- consider an investment in a quality pair of polarised sunglasses.  Your driving experience will be greatly improved!

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