Mirrored sunglasses can enhance protection from bright sunlight. There are many different colors available. Some of them are more subtle, a few have visual effects like optimizing contrast, and others are simply made for fashion purposes. In this article, you learn about the benefits of mirrored sunglasses and the differences between them.
Silver mirror coatings provide the highest reflectance in the visible light spectrum from shorter to longer wavelengths. This makes a mirror coating that reduces glare evenly looking at the different wavelengths. Other mirrors have special colors which could enhance your vision due to enhanced contrast of the coating because only a part of the visible light spectrum gets filtered.
Only the front surface of sunglasses is coated with a mirror to block a more sunlight.
What Are the Benefits of Mirrored Sunglasses?
mirrored sunglasses provide added glare protection compared to just tinted lenses. A mirrorlike coating that reflects certain wavelengths selectively and can therefore enhance the contrast slightly. If you benefit from mirrored sunglasses are highly dependable on the environment you are using the sunglasses in.
The added glare protection from mirrored sunglasses can be distributed evenly over the surface of the lens or can just cover a part of the lens. The benefit of a partially mirrored lens is, for example, the mirror can block sunlight in the upper half of the lens, and in the lower half, the wearer has slightly lighter lenses. Because in the lower half there is no mirrorlike coating. This is called a gradient mirror on sunglasses.
Other sunglasses even have a bi gradient mirror. This coating on your sunglasses gives you added glare protection in the lower half and the upper half while the middle of the lenses has no mirror. Especially in situations when sand or water reflects the sunlight the water can experience more comfort.
I myself used mirror sunglasses for years and I usually find them a little more enjoyable compared to normal sunglasses especially in bright sunlight.
Which Is Better Polarized or Mirrored Sunglasses?
The way polarized sunglasses and mirrored sunglasses protect you from bright sunlight and glare is different. Polarized sunglasses block glare which is reflected in most cases by horizontal oriented surfaces. This is great when driving or while fishing. But when you need to look at a display like at a petrol station or in your car the displays might turn dark.
Because the displays are also polarized with the polarization oriented so some displays turn dark. This would not happen with just mirrored sunglasses. But polarized sunglasses block certain reflections which are only made a little darker with mirrored sunglasses. A lot of my customers in my optical shop like to combine both in one pair of sunglasses.
Can Mirrored Sunglasses Be Polarized?
Mirrored sunglasses can be polarized. You could get them with or without prescription lenses. This way you can get the great looks of the mirror effect in combination with the blocked reflections.
Do Mirrored Sunglasses Look Good?
Nearly 50% of my customers really like the looks of mirrored sunglasses. Some of them really like the style and the flashy colors that come with a lot of mirror-like coatings. But there is also the other half that does not want to have a mirror on their sunglasses because they themselves do not like when the eyes are totally hidden behind the reflecting lens surface.
Depending on the manufacturer you can get a lighter mirror effect or a more intense one. So if you like the mirror coatings with extreme reflections you should look at some test lenses before you order your new sunglasses. because when you actually wanted to have a more subtle mirror coating you might be surprised by the end product in your sunglasses.
The Disadvantages of Mirrored Sunglasses
Despite the fact some people do not like how they look I personally saw my mirrored sunglasses scratch more easily. After a shorter time, the lens surface of my sunglasses accumulated more scratches compared to my other sunglasses. This is a general statement and of course, your experience is highly dependable on the base material of the lenses. When you have cheaper mirrored sunglasses made out of polycarbonate and not hard coating chances are it might only take a few days until the first scratches appear on the lens surface.
In comparison to plastic lenses, actual glass lenses with a mirror coating are very durable. Some of them even look as they were new even after years of usage. So if you buy mirror coated lenses and you want to use them for a couple of years buy a pair of sunglasses with a hard coating or glass lenses. In most cases when you buy sunglasses with your prescription they will have plastic lenses.
Every feature costs a little more. This is also true with mirrored sunglasses. Usually, we do just talk about a few dollars here for non-prescription lenses.
Personally, I like to wear them but talking to someone with mirrored sunglasses for a long time can be a little odd. In my experience, the facial expression is even harder to interpret with the reflections in front of the eyes but it is up to the wearer of the sunglasses if communication or less glare should be the focus for the new sunglasses.
My personal recommendation is to try out different lenses directly in your local store. This way you will see what mirror coating you like and what base tint you want in combination. Because oftentimes you can combine a gold mirror with a grey base lens or a brown one. The question always is which is the most comfortable for you and which lens gives you the best contrast. Try this out outside in front of the store where you have actual sunlight.
If you plan to use the sunglasses for riding your bike in the forest take different lenses with you if your local optician can give you a small collection for a few days. Only this way you can test the lenses in the actual environment which lenses work best for you.
I wish you a great day.