Not to be confused with the popular sandwich, VLT is an eyewear thing! In addition to style, color, and function, there are even more ways to customize your glasses or goggles. Ensure your new lenses are tailored just for you by considering the lighting conditions in which you’re using your new glasses or goggles. This determines what percentage of VLT, or visible light transmission, you want to allow to pass through the lens. The higher the VLT percentage, the more light is passing through the lens your eye is exposed to. The lower the VLT percentage, the less amount of light is passing through the lens.

So if you really want to, make yourself a BLT and keep reading for everything you need to know about VLT.


Let’s look at which VLT percentages correspond with which type of tint you need. If you want to choose a lens tint specifically for snow goggles, check out How to Choose a Snow Goggle Lens Color | Lens Tech Explained.

3-18% VLT

Requires a very dark tint usually coupled with a solid mirror. Only to be used in strong, direct sunlight. VLT of this percentage is usually reserved for high altitude mountaineering or shop welding.

8-18% VLT

Lenses will still have a dark tint, but it’s more suitable for intense reflected light. They’re a great option for driving, activities on the water, or being in the snow. Colors associated with a dark tint are typically grey or copper.

18-43% VLT

Medium tint for an average amount of sunlight.

43-80% VLT

Lenses have a very light tint; especially useful on cloudy days. Colors with light tints are usually yellow, amber, or rose and are chosen for their high color contrast depictions. Good for shooting, cycling, and golf.

80-100% VLT

Little to no tint, eyewear with this VLT is typically for fashion, safety, or night activities including snowboarding and cycling.

Varying Light Conditions

Light conditions changing throughout the day? There’s a solution for that, and it’s called photochromatic lenses. These lenses automatically transition from a clear or light to dark tint according to the UV intensity of your environment. Photochromic lenses have 30-50% VLT, and are versatile enough to work well in just about any condition. Learn more about transitions lenses here. These lenses are recommended to be used WITHOUT a mirror as this will slow down the reaction time of the transitioning tint and may prevent the lens from getting as dark as desired.

VLT Matters

You must’ve grabbed the wrong pair of glasses when you were rushing out the door. How do you know? Because the sun just dipped under the water and your lenses are so dark, you’re only seeing shadows. Or perhaps you’re standing atop the mountain on a luminous day, but your eyes are flooded with light because your lenses aren’t tinted enough.

Choosing the right tint for your lenses not only prevents your eyes from being irritated and strained, it’s a necessary safety precaution. Stay comfortable and confident with a VLT that is custom to your lifestyle.

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