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Polarized Safety Glasses

Why do we need polarized glasses?

When the sun shines at the sea or any other reflective or partially reflective surface, the reflected light becomes polarized. This means that most but not all the light waves move in one plane. Normal light moves on many planes. Polarized lenses allow only light in one plane to pass through the lens. Therefore much of the glare can be eliminated.

Although the light from the sun is not polarized, it can be separated into two polarized components that are reflected and transmitted in different amounts by the surface of the water. More of the horizontal component will be reflected than the vertical component, thus partially polarizing the reflected light. In order to eliminate the glare we would use a lens that is vertically polarized.

If we polarized a lens both horizontally and vertically, it would not transmit any light.

What is the difference between regular sun glasses and polarized sunglasses?

Normal sunglasses decrease the intensity of all light by a uniform percentage. Polarized sunglasses selectively eliminate the reflection from light coming from a reflective surface. Most polarized glasses use a combination of light attenuation and polarization, since otherwise they would only eliminate about 50% of the light. Normal sunglasses filter out about 80-85% of the light.

Will polarized lenses eliminate all reflected light?

No. Maximum polarization is obtained when the sun is at about 37 degrees from the horizon. If the sun (or other light source) is very low or very high the sunglasses will be of limited help in filtering the glare. Polarized glasses will not help if you are looking directly at the sun or light source. However you will get some benefit when the reflected light comes in between 30 and 60 degrees.

Do polarized lenses help in other daily environments?

When you drive a car, you will experience reflections from the road, from the engine hood and from other vehicles. As long as those reflections are incoming between the angles of 30-60 degrees, you will benefit from the polarized glasses.

Elvex Triad, SG-35PL, with polarized lenses

Elvex polarized polycarbonate lenses

Elvex polarized lenses effectively eliminate horizontally reflected glare and the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. the end result is greater clarity, definition, brilliant color transmission and reduced eye strain. Our polarized lenses are made from two layers of polycarbonate with the polarization filter laminated in the center. The end product is a lens that has excellent optical quality, provides 100% UV protection, offers extreme impact resistance and of course adds the polarization benefits.


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