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Tuesday 18 May 2004

Reactive glasses [lurks]

I lost my glasses and so headed down to specsavers to get a replacement, exactly the same as the last set I had. Apparently I can have a free set if I choose some cheaper frames or pay the difference. No thanks, says I, one is enough. But hey ho, you can get these reactive lenses for 'free' instead. Opticians are funny with their eternal specials - in essence the real cost of everything is half the ticket price so they make it seem like they're cutting you a deal.
Anyhow, I got these reactive glasses. Purely because, I figured, in the summer when I pop out for a bit of lunch down the town centre, it'd be nifty if I could leave my work glasses on and they'd darken up a bit to protect my poor geeky sun-shunning vampire eyes. So they any good then?
Well yes, they're quite good actually. They really don't dim out monster hard like real sunnies but fairly rapidly they darken up a bit, even in sunset type levels of sunshine. I find it just about right too. The only thing they're a little lame at is kicking back into transparency. I notice this in the morning if it's been sunny and I've popped on my elite reactive glasses early.
Then again, that's not so bad. I turn up to work, everything is black and only as I'm sitting down, fumbling with my coffee does the office slowly become visible - easing me into the working day. S'all good.


  1. I was in the same situation recently... they are quite useful, really. They don't compare to contacts and proper sunnies, of course, but they have the advantage over contacts of not making your eyes feel like lead weights after a few hours.
    One caveat, however, they don't polarise fully when behind another layer of glass, so don't rely on them when you're driving. Other than that, top marks.

  2. Sure about that? They seem to waste the glare on my TR1MP screen very nicely indeed and I would have thought that was a sign of some polarisation going on...

  3. Really? That's interesting. When I've driven with them on, they've gone a bit dark, but not as dark as they have done when I've been outside in the sun. The way I had it explained to me is that it's UV that triggers the polarising effect, and that's filtered out by the glass in most modern cars. Ho hum.

  4. Ahh yes that's absolutely true. Mine darken up when it's overcast because of the amount of UV knocking about. I held one up to a flouro tube and nada.

  5. I've worn reactives for about ten years, and while they're dead handy, there's a couple of gotchas:
    1. Once you wear em for a few years, they're very hard to be without. The world's a lot brighter without em, and they're hard to dump.2. After a while they stop going clear, meaning you have to replace them more often.
    In hindsight I think I'd have prefered to go with clear glasses and prescription shades really.

  6. LOL - have you seen the adverts for those reactive glasses, the shite one with the 'in the future ... ' spiel ?Well take a close look at the small print. It says 'returns to 70% trasnparency in 16 minutes' ... yes, MINUTES, I mean FFS, how lame.Why the fuck doesn't somebody just put a thin film of LCD across the lens and use a solar cell to power it - as soon as the light goes, the LCD goes off and you're back to transparent instantly.

  7. I wondered about that LCD stuff, there must be a reason for it. Since it's a liquid, it's probably hard to fashion into the curve or something. With regards to reactive glasses, I seriously don't find their fade time that bad. I like them.

  8. 16 minutes isn't so bad really. It's like your eyes... it's important for your eyes to rapidly adjust to bright light so as not to cause damage, but not so important for your eyes to adjust to the dark, even if it means bumping around and smacking your face against a door frame cos you can't see where you're going :) A broken jaw will heal, damaged retinas won't.

  9. Mine just got a work out in San Francisco. They've not gone completely clear after 24 hours of being in the dark in my jacket pocket. Lame.