How to Make Transitions™ Lenses Darker: A Comprehensive Guide

by , August 26, 2023

How to Make Transitions™ Lenses Darker

Transitions™ lenses can be a convenient option for eyeglass wearers, but you may find that they don’t always darken as much or as quickly as you need.
This article will explore some hacks you can use to make your lenses transition faster or with a deeper tone and where to buy the darkest variety of Transitions™ lenses.

Transitions™ Lens Overview

Transitions™ lenses are lenses that become darker when exposed to UV light and can be fitted into any eyeglass frame. These lenses are treated with a special coating called photochromatic coating that makes them darker—like sunglasses—in bright light. The lenses fade back to their normal, clear state when you are in areas with normal amounts of indoor lighting or without UV light.

What are the Darkest Transitions™ Lenses?

There are many styles and varieties in the Transitions™ line of products.
The first step in choosing which lenses will work best for you is understanding what makes these lenses turn dark.

  • Heat matters: High temperatures can affect your lens transition. If you are somewhere very hot, your lenses may get slightly darker without strong UV rays
  • What’s between you and the sun?Transitions™ lenses need UV rays to change color, so if there’s something between you and the sun or other light sources, your lenses might not work either. For example,most windshields in cars are designed to block at least some UV rays, so your transition lenses may not change as dramatically when you are in the car. High-index lenses reduce the amount of distortion from light passing through the lens, providing the lens wearer with sharp, clear vision.

  • Understanding your needs and climate can help you make the right selection. You might choose one lens if you drive a lot and another depending on whether you live in a hot or cold climate.

    That being said, the XTRActive® lens is the darkest lens Transitions™ makes. This lens:

    • Gets darkest in sunlight and heat
    • Gets darkest in the car
    • Blocks 100% of UVB and UVA rays
    • Transition back to clear quickly indoors

How to Make Your Transitions™ Lenses Darker

You can use some tricks to make your lenses darker, but Transitions™ lenses are usually made to get darker and lighter within a predetermined range. Early versions of these lenses were slow to transition back and forth, but newer technology has helped make lenses that darken and lighten quickly—sometimes instantaneously.
The color you choose for your lenses can add at least a perception of a more or less
darkened tone. Transitions™ XTRActive® comes in the following lens color choices:

  • Gray
  • Brown
  • Graphite Green
  • Silver Shadow Mirror
  • Gold Mirror
  • Green Mirror
  • Blue Mirror
  • Pink Mirror
  • Red Mirror

Different products in the Transitions™ line may come in different color options.

These lens types are available in gray, brown, and green shades. OvernightGlasses offers several frame options that can be paired with Transitions™ lenses, and if you choose the overnight option, you can have your new glasses in as little as a day.

Put them in the sun

UV rays make your transition lenses get darker. If you are about to head out somewhere bright and want your lenses dark before you get there, you can try removing your glasses and placing them in the sun. Once they are dark, put them back on, and you are ready to head into the sun..

Use artificial UV light

Indoor UV lights developed for things like gardening or planting can make your lenses darken without sunlight. People who work in environments where these lights are used can also benefit from transition lenses because they will block these UV rays from itching your eyes. Most Transitions™ lenses block 100% of UV rays from your eyes, protecting them from damage.

Add tinting

Adding some baseline color tinting to your lenses, in addition to transition coatings, is one way to get a darker transition. The tint and darker transformation will give you darker coloring on your lens once exposed to UV rays but please note tinting your Transitions(™) lenses isn’t recommended as it can damage the coating.

Replace your lenses

Transitions™ lenses don’t last forever. The coating on Transitions™ lenses usually lasts around two years before your lenses need to be replaced . If your lenses take longer to transition, aren’t getting dark enough, or the tinting doesn’t completely fade, it might be time to replace them.

Where to Buy Transitions™ Lenses

Transitions™ lenses are available from many eyeglasses retailers. Prices, selection range, and how quickly you can get your lenses.

OvernightGlasses offers four styles of Transitions™ lenses, including the XTRActive® model.

Transition lenses include:

  • Transitions™ Signature Gen8®
  • Transitions™ Drivewear®
  • Transitions™ XTRActive®
  • Transitions™ XTRActive Polarized®

These lens types are available in gray, brown, and green shades. OvernightGlasses offers several frame options that can be paired with Transitions™ lenses, and if you choose the overnight option, you can have your new glasses in as little as a day.


Transitions™ lenses darken when exposed to heat and ultraviolet radiation, offering you the shading of sunglasses with the precision of a prescription lens.
The convenience of these lenses is a big plus, but Transitions™ are usually more expensive than standard lenses. Visit for affordable options that you can get fast.

author image

Rachael Zimlich, RN, BSN, has been writing for a variety of news and health publications for more than 20 years.... "Read More"