Polarised vs. Mirrored Lenses

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Polarised and mirrored lenses are not actually competing styles and, in many cases, actually complement one another. They are different features on sunglasses, and ski goggles that have distinct benefits to the wearer. Eyewear comes with both polarised and mirrored lenses, one or the other, or neither. Mirrored lenses simply refers to the type of tint on the lenses, which is made darker and also reflects outwardly.

Polarised on the other hand, refers specifically to glare protection and reduction which is typically needed for endeavours that take place near or on water. Eyewear worn for sun protection is important to block out harmful UV rays, so buyers should be well versed in their options to make sure they get high performance and adequate protection.

Sunglasses

Arguably, the most popular type of eyewear that provides protection from the sun are sunglasses. Sunglasses come in a variety of styles such as sport, aviator, and casual. Regardless of what the sunglasses are going to be used for, buyers need to consider the level of protection that the lenses provide. Both polarised and mirrored lenses offer excellent sun protection so those features are a great starting point. Sunglasses that are needed for sports applications often fit snugly and may come with a band that holds it in place or connected to the wearer.

Ski Goggles

Ski goggles are needed by skiers and snowboarders for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is to keep snow, ice, and other debris out of the wearer's eye while trying to navigate a ski slope. The other less obvious use for ski goggles however is improved vision. Due to the rapidly changing weather on ski mountains, the user needs a lense or a combination of lenses that provide the best field of vision for a variety of different conditions. This could include high glare and brightness, darkness, whiteout, or swirling precipitation. Depending on the conditions, the colour of the tint for the lense may need to be changed and virtually all high performance ski goggles are polarised.

Types of Lenses

Mirrored lenses simply describes the tint of the lenses. There are many other tints for lenses including yellow, blue, red, green, and brown. These all perform well in different circumstances. Interestingly, mirrored is often analoguised to black, as it is the darkest tint. Polarised lenses on the other hand protect the user from glare off of water or snow. The light waves that reflect off a flat surface and cause glare are screen out by polarised lenses. Below is a chart that outlines the uses for each type of lens.
 

Polarised

Mirrored

Yellow

Brown

Red

Eliminate glare Reduce glare Less brightness protection Cut down on overall brightness Very bright
No colour distortion May distort colour Excel in darker conditions Improve colour Excel in darker conditions
 
Many top level skiers and athletes have different lenses with them at all times allowing them to have the ability to adapt to changing light conditions. This is critically important for athletes who participate in sports where reaction time and hand eye coordination is essential. Skiers must be able to see to avoid obstacles and take the most efficient line and volleyball players aim to avoid a missed shot because the glare of the sun temporarily blinding them. The type of lenses that a buyer should consider are the ones that address the lighting conditions of their most frequented areas.

Tinted Lenses

There are many different tinted lenses. While many people favour tinted lenses for aesthetic reasons, their practicality should not be understated. Someone who has a full arsenal of tinted lenses may at first appear to be stylish, but they may in fact simply be well-prepared. Different colours excel under different lighting conditions. Since it may not be feasible to buy many interchangeable lenses, buyers should try finding one that matches the conditions of their environment best.

Polarised Lenses

When light reflects off a flat surface, such as snow or water, the light is reflected in a horizontal light wave. These light waves produce glare, which temporarily blinds the person who is looking at it. Polarised lenses work by eliminating the horizontal light wave. This allows the wearer to function as if the glare did not exist. Polarised lenses, in addition to a tinted lense, are almost always the better buy. In some cases, clear polarised glasses may be needed, but this is not very common.

Lens Coatings

The difference between expensive and inexpensive tints, or polarisation, is simple. The cheaper the sunglasses, the less quality the polarisation or tint is likely to be. This is because on cheaper models, there is a single layer of polarising or tinted film placed on the lense. More expensive sunglasses often have additional layers that might protect against water, scratching, and fog. Again, the buyer must carefully evaluate the conditions they frequently encounter to avoid paying the added cost for unnecessary features.

Lens Construction

There are two main ways lenses are constructed. One is via an injection mould. These are of higher quality and provide better optical clarity however, they are more expensive. That being said, injection moulds produce the highest levels of quality and consistency so in some cases, the added expense may be worth it. Bent sheet is the other method for producing lenses. This does not produce the same level of optical clarity but it is cheaper and somewhat more durable.

Interchangeable Lenses

Many sunglasses and ski goggles come complete with interchangeable lenses. Additional lenses may also be purchased for a more rounded out set. This is a great idea for individuals who travel a lot or participate in many different activities that encounter various lighting conditions. Many times, manufacturers make it very simple to interchange lenses as long as the buyer finds a compatible lens, usually produced by the same manufacturer. This is also a nice feature for stylish buyers as they are easily switched out between lenses to complement their outfit as a whole. Interchangeable lenses also make it easy to find a replacement if the lenses are scratched, damaged, or destroyed.

How to Buy Polarised and Mirrored Lenses on eBay

Buying polarised and mirrored lenses is simple and straightforward when shoppers use eBay to search for their ideal product. The best way to begin is with a simple keyword search which is conducted by entering basic search terms into the bar found on each page of eBay's website. In the alternative, shoppers may peruse eBay's categories and deals website to find other great products available on the site.
Once the initial search is conducted shoppers may organise, filter, and sort the results in a variety of useful ways. This includes by feature, price, and buying format. No matter what type of lens, sunglasses, or ski goggles a buyer is searching for, with so many options available on eBay, they are sure to find what they need.

Conclusion

Both polarised and mirrored sunglasses reduce glare that the wearer may encounter. However, they are not competing, they are different components of the lens. The mirrored lens is a type of tint, along with many other colours. Polarisation is a feature that reduces glare from water or snow. These features are found simultaneously on lenses, as they are both essential for a variety of applications.
Skiing, fishing, volleyball, and other outdoor activities where optical clarity is critical often require a variety of interchangeable lenses to ensure the highest levels of performance in any light conditions. Whether searching for sunglasses or ski goggles, regardless of the colour, style, or feature a buyer is seeking, eBay is the ideal place to find the perfect pair of eyewear.
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