Transitions Lenses | Are They Right For You? | Pros & Cons

Transition lenses

Turn Dark outdoors and clear indoors

What are Transition ® Lenses

Transition Lenses are Photochromic lenses or lenses that change from light to dark based on U.V (Ultraviolet) light intensity. The lenses are the most popular brand when it comes to photochromic lenses, and in many cases other photochromic sunglasses lenses brands are mistakenly called Transitions® Lenses.

Transition Lenses

How do transition lenses work?

Transition eyeglasses lenses are the most popular, because it simply performs better than the others. These lenses tend to be more sensitive to U.V light, therefore are much darker, and convert from light to dark faster than most brands available today. This claim may be contested by unknown brands, but our tests shown; photochromic lenses performance from different manufacturers may vary significantly:


The first, in the intensity of the ability to darken that could be as low as 45% and as high 87%.


The second, In the speed of conversion from clear to dark that can be as fast as one minute or as long as six minutes, and most importantly, dark to clear, which vary in some brands and reach up to 10 minutes! By now you probably imagining entering to a dark room right from bright sunlight and waiting 10 minutes to be able to see clearly.


And last, in the residual color or the basic lens color when the photochromic material is not activated, that could be as low as 2% or as high 30%.



Clear indoors


Medium degree of gray (brown)
on a slightly cloudy day


Dark gray (brown) outdoors

The basic technology of photochromic adaptive lenses originated from molecules of different compounds of silver or organic photochromic molecules that are embedded in, or cover the front surface of a photochromic lens. These molecules are transparent to visible light without significant ultraviolet component, which is normal for artificial lighting, but when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays as in direct sunlight, the photochromic molecules undergo a chemical process that causes them to shapeshift and absorb a significant percentage of the visible light. The process is reversible; once the lens is ‘relocated’ away from the source of UV rays, the photochromic compounds return to their transparent state.

Transition lenses pros and cons

At this point you might be asking if ‘transitions is right for me?’ if you wear prescription lenses and tend to move indoors and outdoors, then Transition or any good photochromic lens will definitely do the job.

But here are the cons. Transition sunglasses and other photochromic glasses will not get as dark as tinted sun lenses and will not block glare like polarized sunglasses do. As well, the lenses will not be as clear as an indoors package due to the residual tint of the photochromic material. The final word is that if you need the absolutely best performance from your lenses, then you need to get prescription lenses that are tailored for the task.

Transition Lens Brands

Transitions lenses are the main brand name, but under this brand Transitions® had developed few more products to accommodate a more unique clientele. The second most popular brand by Transitions ®, is Transitions Xtra Active ®.

Transitions Xtractive

This brand of Transitions ® lenses convert darker than a basic Transitions® and can respond to light as well as to U.V intensity. This means that even though most glass windows today are protected from U.V, such as our car’s windshield glass, the lens will change to dark (to some degree) and help us see better in intense light situations.

This said, Overnight Glasses still believe and support polarized lenses to be the best lens when it comes to sun protection as they block glare and give the user a better and crisp vision.

As we just mentioned polarized lenses are the best at sun protection, which probably brought Transitions® to develop two more Transitional lenses; the Transitions Vantage®, and Transitions Drivewear® that was developed together with Younger Optics. Both of these lenses are polarized and show better performance in sun protection.

Transitions Vantage

Transitions Vantage ® is a clear lens that actually turn to a polarized lens when in contact with U.V light.

Transitions Drivewear

Transitions Drivewear®, are light polarized yellow lenses that turn darker in the sun.

These special lenses are available and can matched with your prescription by clicking "View Special Lenses" when selecting a lens package.

Transition lenses colors

Transitions created three available colors that you can choose from when you order your glasses lenses.

Transition Lenses Colors

Photochromic Brown: Gives you more contrast, better acuity and tend to be clearer indoors.

Green Polarized lenses, known for their good color balance and do better with contrast when compared with gray. These lenses will do well as an all-purpose lens, driving, playing tennis or golf and variable light conditions.

Photochromic Gray: best for brighter light conditions and provide the most shading, especially if you selected Transitions XtraActive. They work better as transition sunglasses but tend to leave more tint indoors.

Transition lenses cost

Because Transition lenses have the best performance, they tend to cost more than other photochromic brands. For this purpose we also offer our house brand for photochromic lenses. Our photochromic lens show high performance in all three categories and we consider it the second best option to a Transition lens.

Transition lenses reviews. What our customers say

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Transition lenses have the best performance and tend to cost more than other photochromic brands. Our photochromic lens show high performance in all three categories and we consider it the second best option to a Transition lens.