Fast dark. Fast clear: modern self-tinting lenses

Whether you’re out in the sun or indoors, you can enjoy 24 hours of excellent vision with ZEISS PhotoFusion photochromic lenses

Say goodbye to switching glasses: Are you looking for a new pair of glasses with self-tinting lenses that will give you 100% protection from the sun and harmful UV rays? Did you know that lenses that darken in the sun are now popular modern miracles that offer optimum vision? We’ll tell you why you should buy them and what you need to look out for.

Also known as self-tinting lenses, self-tinting lenses have been around since the 1960s. This small yet significant discovery made by chemist Stanley Donald Stookey and his colleague William Armistead was what made it all possible. They produced lenses that react to UV rays and have the ability to tint.

Since then, a lot of improvements have been made in terms of the quality and performance of self-tinting lenses. Many people who simply cannot function without their glasses and often switch between working indoors and outdoors just love them. Here are some things you should know about these little allrounders:

What are the differences in quality amongst self-tinting lenses?

With self-tinting lenses, there’s no longer a need to change glasses. ZEISS wanted to know exactly what was important to people wearing photochromic glasses. Wearers have very clear demands in terms of quality and performance:

  1. In order to be convenient, self-tinting lenses must adjust very quickly to the changes in light conditions.
  2. To attain optimal vision, self-tinting lenses must turn very dark in the sun and completely clear indoors.
  3. Self-tinting lenses must be effective and offer 100% UV protection.
  4. To look good, self-tinting lenses should be available in attractive, harmonious tints.
  5. Self-tinting lenses should have a long service life and offer high performance.
  6. They should be compatible with all frame types and all kinds of glasses.

These are all qualities that ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses have. In just 15 to 30 seconds, PhotoFusion lenses will darken in bright light or in the sun. Indoors, they will clear up again in about 5 to 10 minutes*. They offer 100% protection against harmful UV rays. So it doesn’t matter if the sun is shining or if there are great big clouds in the sky: during the day, our eyes are exposed to UV rays. For many, it’s become routine to use skin creams with UV protection. But creams don’t protect your eyes or eyelids without an unpleasant burning sensation. Protecting your eyes – glasses with UV protection do it as a matter of course.

How do photochromic, or self-tinting, lenses work?

A chemical reaction involving certain molecules is used as the basis for photochromic lenses. The secret behind ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses are photo-active molecules which react quickly to changing light. When incident light changes, particularly UV light, molecules undergo a change process that causes lenses to darken or clear up. Thanks to an innovative way of combining these molecules with ZEISS lenses, it has been possible to design the next generation of powerful self-tinting lenses.

For self-tinting lenses, the term “photochromic” (from the Greek words phos = light and chroma = colour) is also often used. This term is used to describe the same type of lenses.

Try it out for yourself – speak to your optician today. ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses are available as single vision lenses, progressive lenses and with all ZEISS coatings such as DuraVision Premium and DuraVision BlueProtect. They’re also available as ZEISS DriveSafe and Digital lenses.

ZEISS glasses for all light conditions – the colours of PhotoFusion. Take your pick!

ZEISS glasses for all light conditions

10 questions and answers on self-tinting lenses with PhotoFusion

1. Do ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses work in the car?

A large part of the UV rays required to activate the self-tinting lenses is intercepted by the windshield. Fortunately, the PhotoFusion lenses retain more of their self-tinting performance in the car than previous generations. Nevertheless, when the sun’s in their eyes during long journeys, wearers should opt for standard sunglasses.

2. Do ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses become totally clear indoors?

Yes, PhotoFusion lenses appear almost totally clear to the wearer when they’re back indoors.

3. Can ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses replace sunglasses?

For general use – either indoors, outdoors, or during the day or night – PhotoFusion lenses offer excellent overall visual performance and glare protection. Nevertheless, under intense sunlight in environments with high temperatures, inside cars with windshields that block most UV rays, or in environments with intense reflective glare from surfaces such as water and snow, a pair of prescription sunglasses with a fixed tint will offer the best form of glare protection and visual comfort.

4. How fast are PhotoFusion lenses (at darkening and clearing up)?

Self-tinting PhotoFusion lenses with high and medium refractive indices react at a very high speed: they darken up to 20 percent faster* than the current generation of self-tinting lenses by ZEISS – and clear up again up to twice as fast*.

5. How do ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses react in the shade?

Depending on the intensity of UV rays in the shade, self-tinting lenses will not be as dark as they are in direct sunlight and therefore only become slightly tinted. However, they still offer 100% UV protection.

6. Are ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses suitable for driving at night?

Yes, they are as suitable for driving at night as any other clear lens. They are also available as ZEISS DriveSafe versions. 

7. Do ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses provide reliable UV protection?

ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses protect wearers’ eyes against UV rays at all times. A number of base materials contain 100% UV protection, regardless of whether the lens is in its clear or darkened state.

8. Are ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses suitable for wearing all day long, indoors as well as outdoors?

Yes, ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses are virtually clear in their faded state, making them perfectly suitable for use indoors and at night. Furthermore, when exposed to sunlight, ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses darken as needed to maintain sufficient glare control, achieving a near-sunglass tint in bright sunlight. You can choose ZEISS lenses with PhotoFusion to meet your particular needs.

In extremely sunny surroundings, a standard pair of sunglasses can come in handy.

9. What benefits do ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses offer compared to clear lenses?

Unlike clear lenses, self-tinting PhotoFusion lenses darken when the surrounding light intensifies. Indoors, they are almost clear and, when exposed to bright sunlight, darken to a degree that is comparable to standard sunglasses. This means that they protect against glare and offer enhanced visual comfort.

10. Will ZEISS PhotoFusion lenses work as well as my previous pair of self-tinting, or photochromic, glasses?

PhotoFusion lenses from ZEISS are produced with the latest self-tinting technology and therefore offer a high level of performance. They darken up to 20 percent faster and clear up again up to twice as quickly* as previous photochromic lenses from ZEISS. In addition, PhotoFusion lenses provide high performance over the long term.

*Average value: Performance is dependent on the material, temperature and light conditions.

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