What are polarised sunglasses? It's one of the most frequent questions we're asked. Making sunglasses isn't quite as simple as sticking a brown-coloured lens into a plastic frame. There are a whole variety of ways that lenses can manipulate the Sun's rays, and polarisation is one of the many techniques of limiting the light that streams through a lens. But why describe with words when you can see for yourself?
Both of these images were taken today. The image to the left is just a standard photo from a cameraphone, but the other is slightly different. In the image to the right, the reduced glare on the water's surface and smaller halo of light around the Sun are thanks to a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses (with PolarisedPlus2 lenses) held over the camera lens.
At least half of the bright light is reduced in the photo to the right - which shows that when you wear polarised lenses for an extended period of time, the amount of bright light your eye encounters is dramatically reduced. It's good for your long term eye health, for one thing, but even better for your quality of vision.
In more technical terms, polarised lenses filter out sunlight of a specific polarity. Light from the sun is completely raw and without polarity, but when it reflects off a surface it becomes horizontally polarised light - also known as glare. Polarised lenses filter the horizontally-polarised light and cut out glare - as seen above. The clearer sea and darker clouds are all thanks to the glare reducing effects of polarised lenses.
These photos were taken during a hot and dry day, so imagine how the glare can get during an autumn evening when the road is drenched with rain and the Sun is lighting up the whole sky. Not only is it distracting, if you're driving it can even be a danger to your safety.
If you want to to see the difference that polarised sunglasses offer, grab a pair from our polarised sunglasses range. You won't regret it.