Gradient Sunglasses Lenses: The Complete Guide
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Gradient Sunglasses Lenses: The Complete Guide

All You Need to Know About Gradient Sunglasses

When shopping for sunglasses, you have more options to consider than you might think. Though it’s easy to think just about what looks best, choosing your lens is one of the most important decisions in shopping for sunglasses. This article will tell you all you need to know about gradient sunglasses.

Pink Gradient Sunglasses

American Optical is proud to offer the finest lenses available, including gradient lenses. Many think gradient sunglasses are simply a style choice, but read on to learn about how gradient tinted sunglasses can make wearing shades more comfortable. 

What are gradient sunglasses?

Gradient sunglasses have become extremely popular recently and are available in a number of AO styles

So, what is a gradient lens tint, anyways? You’ve definitely seen them around, gradient sunglasses are darker at the top of the lens and become lighter towards the middle and bottom of the lens. The variation in the tint occurs with the use of metal oxides.

Because gradient tinted sunglasses offer more shade at the top and less at the bottom, there are a number of conditions where you may experience more comfortable vision than with standard lens tints. We’ll get into those shortly.

How do gradient sunglasses work?

The amount of tint in a lens controls how much light can pass into your eye. By concentrating more tint at the top of the lenses, gradient sunglasses offer increased protection from light coming from above. As the tint lightens, it becomes easier to see through the middle of the lens for comfortable vision and less eye strain. You could say they offer the best of both worlds.

If you want to get more technical, all sunglass lenses are assigned filter categories. When lenses are too light, they will not offer much protection from light, but if they are too dark, they may obstruct some of your vision. All AO gradient sunglasses lenses are filter category 2, which is recommended for general use and provides a good reduction of sunlight.

What are the benefits of gradient sunglasses?

The distribution of tint in gradient lenses makes them ideal to wear in a number of circumstances:

  • Strong overhead sun – Deeper tint at the top of gradient sunglasses offers increased protection from overhead sun
  • Driving – Again, you benefit from the darker top of gradient tinted sunglasses, particularly in afternoon light. The lighter tint at the bottom makes it easier to view the dashboard.
  • Moving between indoors and outdoors – Since it is easier to see through the lighter middle of the lens, you can move indoors without diminishing your vision and return outdoors without have to change your glasses
  • Hiking – Protect yourself from overhead sun without distorting the color of the nature around you
  • Dating?? – We all want to look our most stylish on a date, there’s one point for a gradient look. An added benefit is that your date will still be able to gaze into your eyes.

Standard tint vs. gradient tint: which is better?

Standard vs. Gradient Lenses

The answer depends on you. Specifically, on your lifestyle and preferences. You can rest assured that all American Optical sunglasses, regardless of the tint you choose, provide full UV protection. They also all feature backside anti-reflective coating to reduce glare, as well as an oleophobic coating to reduce smudges. 

The gradient vs. solid sunglasses decision comes down to two questions: 

  • Is there a look you strongly prefer?
  • Does your lifestyle include a lot of  the activities described in the previous section?

Standard lens tint will provide more overall coverage, which is especially important for water and snow activities where you will encounter glare from all angles.

The great news is that there often isn’t a wrong answer, and there’s always the option to get a pair of each. Free shipping and returns within the US gives you an easy way to try AO sunglasses on and see what’s best for you.

What types of gradient lenses does AO offer?

American Optical’s gradient sunglasses all feature AOLite nylon lenses. High-quality nylon creates lenses that are lightweight and impact-resistant. They also offer superior optics to polycarbonate lenses on the market.

You can add polarization to your AO gradient lenses as well.

Gradient sunglasses vs polarized sunglasses…or why not both?

Gradient and polarized lenses offer different benefits. While gradient lenses use tint saturation to impact your vision, polarized lenses add a layer to the lens that interacts with light wavelengths to eliminate glare. 

Both gradient and polarized lenses reduce eye strain, but in different ways. Gradient lenses are easier to look through since the tint fades. Polarized lenses’ elimination of glare reduces eye fatigue. They also offer crisper vision by reducing haze. Gradient lenses are a great choice for indoor/outdoor wear, driving, hiking, and more. Polarized lenses are the gold standard for water and snow sports.

All that said, the polarized vs. gradient sunglasses debate can be easily resolved by choosing to add polarization when purchasing AO sunglasses and reap all of the benefits.

What color sunglasses lenses should I choose?

Again, this is likely to come down to style preference, but different lens colors do offer different advantages, optically speaking. All AO sunglasses lenses are chromatically tuned to enhance the optical benefits of each color.

Green gradient sunglasses

Green tint offers true color perception, providing the most natural vision. A green tint reduces glare while simultaneously brightening shadows for sharp visibility.

Tournament Sunglasses Black Tortoise with Green Gradient Lenses

Tournament in Black Tortoise

Brown gradient sunglasses

Brown gradient lenses amplify contrast, improving depth perception. It also adds warmth for a softer, more comfortable vision.

AO-1004 Sunglasses Yellow Crystal Tortoise with Brown Gradient Lenses

AO-1004 in Yellow Crystal Tortoise

Gray gradient sunglasses

Gray gradient lenses are known to reduce eye fatigue in bright light conditions. A gray tint offers some glare reduction and doesn’t distort colors, for beautifully clear visibility.

Times Sunglasses Black Crystal with Gray Gradient Lenses

Times in Black Crystal

Pink gradient sunglasses

Pink tint and gradient tint are the perfect marriage. One enhances the effect of the other. Pink tinted sunglass lenses enhance depth and help to ease your adjustment to contrast. If you’re planning on wearing your sunglasses indoors, pink tint blocks some degree of  blue-light, a benefit for computer users and gamers.

AO-1002 Sunglasses with Pink Gradient Lenses

AO-1002 in Rose Gold

To Sum Up

Gradient lenses can add a lot of style to your look. They also offer optical benefits. Sometimes our hearts are set on a certain look. In the case of sunglasses, it always pays to think about your lifestyle to make sure you are choosing a pair of sunglasses that are compatible in the scenarios you will wear them most frequently. We are always happy to help answer questions about which lens is right for you, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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