Wondering how polarized and mirrored lenses stack up to one another? If you're thinking about getting one (or both), you'll probably find this blog and video very helpful.
Polarized vs. Mirrored Lenses
1. What are Polarized Lenses?
2. What is a Mirror Coating?
3. Types of Mirror Coatings
4. Pros and Cons of a Mirror Lens
5. Mirrored and Polarized: Can I Get Both?
6. Prescription Sunglasses at SportRx
Eyeglass Tyler discusses what polarized lenses are, what mirror coatings are, some mirror options, the pros and cons of a mirror lens, and whether you can even get both in the same pair of sunglasses in the video below.
A polarized lens is a special lens filter that cuts light on the horizontal plane, which is where most if not all glare originates. Glare is caused by sunlight bouncing off of other objects, like asphalt, windshields, vehicles, water, and snow. Polarized lenses help you see through the water's surface, so they're an essential for water activities like boating or fishing. They're also great if you struggle with annoying glare while driving.
A mirror coating is applied to the front side of the lens that helps to reflect light away from the lens. This effectively results in a darker lens, because what Tyler refers to as "ambient glare," light coming in at harsh angles, is bounced back and doesn't reach your eyes.
Mirrors also often result in the outside of a lens appearing as a different color. A pair of sunglasses that appears to have something like a blue or green lens usually have a mirror coating, while the actual lens color can be something like grey or brown.
If you decide to get a mirror, you'll find you have some options that go beyond just the color. You can let out your fun side with wacky colors, or you can go for something less noticeable like black or silver.
There are also different mirror densities—what we refer to as solid or subtle mirrors. A solid mirror is a bright, bold color that hides your eyes and has a bright enough reflection to let people see themselves. Like a mirror!
Meanwhile, a subtle mirror gives you the same optical benefit of reflecting excess light back without the cosmetic side effect. This will be more of a hint of the mirror color rather than the bold look of a solid coating.
One pro is the darker lens created by the mirror coating. Less ambient glare coming into the lens means less light overall enters through to your eyes. If you're after a dark lens, this is a great option.
Another benefit is that cosmetic look. You can let your sunglasses literally reflect your personality while hiding your eyes from public view. Some like the benefit of others not being able to see where they're looking.
The main con of mirrored lenses are the fact that you're getting less light through the lens. If you don't want a super dark lens, this may not be the best feature for you. Think about what you intend to use your sunglasses for before you make your choice!
Yes, you can get polarized sunglasses with a mirrored lens! They aren't competitive features so feel free to go all out with customizing your sunglasses. Again, both features depend on your personal preference. We don't recommend polarized lenses for every activity, nor does everyone like a mirror on their sunglasses.
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