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6 Types of Tinted Lenses and What They Can Do For You

Written by Andrew Le, MD

UpdatedMay 29, 2024

Wearing colored or tinted lenses is not just a fashion statement; it also serves an essential purpose in safeguarding our eyes from harmful UV radiation. These lenses can prevent up to 100% of ultraviolet light and 67 to 99.8% of high-energy violet-blue light from entering our eyes, keeping them protected and healthy.

In addition to sun protection, tinted lenses can help people sensitive to indoor light. These lenses have a subtle 20% tint that can reduce eye fatigue and enhance contrast for a more comfortable viewing experience.

However, there are different types of tinted lenses, and the benefits vary depending on the color of the lens.

In this article, you will learn about the 6 different types of tinted lenses and their benefits, enabling you to make an informed decision when selecting the best option for your needs.

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • tinted lenses offer a range of benefits beyond aesthetics, including enhancing vision, protecting against UV rays and blue light, and improving eye comfort.
  • The right lens color can significantly improve vision in different environments and activities by filtering out specific wavelengths of light.
  • There are six different types of tinted lenses: green, gray, brown, yellow, red, and blue, each with its benefits and suitability for different activities.
  • Green-tinted lenses are suitable for outdoor activities such as water sports, hiking, driving, and golf and can reduce pain-related anxiety and manage chronic pain.
  • Gray-tinted lenses offer accurate color perception and are well-suited for various outdoor activities, water sports, and sports such as baseball, tennis, soccer, and driving.
  • Brown, yellow, red, and blue tinted lenses suit different activities and environments, such as fishing, hunting, skiing, and reducing glare while driving.
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What Are Tinted Lenses?

Tinted lenses refer to eyeglasses or sunglasses with lenses that are tinted or tinted in various shades. Unlike regular clear lenses, tinted lenses can serve different purposes, depending on the tint or color. They are designed to serve multiple purposes, including:

  • Enhancing vision
  • Protecting the eyes against harmful UV rays and blue light
  • Improving eye comfort
  • Adding a touch of style to your outfit

Tinted lenses work by filtering out specific wavelengths of light, which changes the hue of the light that reaches the eyes. The lens color plays a crucial role in how the wearer perceives color, reduces glare, and enhances contrast. The right lens color can improve your vision in various environments and activities.

6 Types of tinted lenses

Many people believe that the lens color determines their ability to block UV rays, but this is a misconception. The color of the lens has no impact on its UV-blocking capabilities. Instead, the color of the lens plays a crucial role in filtering high-energy visible light (HEV) or blue-violet light.

Choosing the right lens color for your sunglasses is essential, as some colors can disrupt your vision if worn in the wrong setting. It is, therefore, essential to understand the purpose and benefits of each color to make an informed decision when purchasing sunglasses.

To help you with this, here are 6 different types of tinted lenses and the benefits associated with each of them:

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1. Green-Tinted Lenses

Green-tinted lenses enhance visibility and contrast in various lighting conditions by transmitting green light, which aligns with the human retina's highest sensitivity. The human eye perceives light rays within the 400 to 750 nanometers (nm) wavelength range, with the green light spectrum (495 to 570 nm) positioned at the midpoint. This makes using green light particularly efficient for the eyes to create clear images. Green lenses are suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities, such as:

  • Water sports
  • Driving
  • Hiking
  • Playing golf

Wearing green-tinted lenses for several hours daily has been found to have several benefits, one of which is reducing pain-related anxiety. Studies have shown that it can also help reduce the reliance on opioids for managing severe pain in individuals with fibromyalgia and others experiencing chronic pain. Thus, green-tinted lenses offer a multifaceted range of advantages for the wearer besides their aesthetic appeal.

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2. Gray-Tinted Lenses

Gray-tinted lenses are designed to offer a neutral color perception, meaning they do not significantly alter the natural colors of the environment when worn. These lenses are particularly effective in reducing overall brightness without introducing color distortion.

According to a Review of Optometry, gray-tinted lenses can help maintain the true appearance of objects and scenes while relieving intense light conditions. This makes them popular for individuals seeking lenses that balance light reduction with color accuracy. Gray lenses offer a wide range of benefits, such as:

  • Reduction of Eye Fatigue
  • Use in Various Outdoor Activities
  • Accurate Color Perception
  • Ideal for Viewing Scenes in Their Natural State
  • Well-suited for Water Sports
  • Optimal for Sports such as Baseball, Tennis, Soccer, Water Sports, and Driving
  • Variable Weather Tint Suitable for Sunny or Overcast Skies
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3. Yellow/Orange-Tinted Lenses

Yellow or orange-tinted lenses, commonly known as "blue light blocking" or "computer glasses," enhance visual comfort and performance. These specialized lenses allow longer wavelengths of light to pass through while filtering out shorter wavelengths. As a result, they provide a clearer focus and reduce visual "noise."

Additionally, these lenses effectively reduce light scatter, enhance brightness in low-light conditions, and mitigate eye strain caused by extended exposure to digital screens, artificial lighting, and other sources of blue light.

Individuals engaged in prolonged computer use, gaming, or smartphone activities often opt for these lenses to alleviate eye fatigue and improve sleep quality. The yellow or orange tint of the lenses effectively filters out a portion of the blue light emitted by electronic devices, minimizing its potential disruption to the circadian rhythm.

Furthermore, research on 20 young subjects shows that yellow lenses can lead to a systematic detriment to color vision. The study suggests that the observed detriment in color vision, caused by yellow-tinted lenses, can enhance contrast when viewing bright objects, such as the sky, against a blue-based background. This is correlated with subjective ratings of color and brightness. Choose yellow/orange shades for:

  • Snow-related activities
  • Indoor ball sports
  • Nighttime use
  • Driving in the fog
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4. Amber/Brown-Tinted Lenses

Amber and brown-tinted lenses reduce glare and block blue light, which can be beneficial in certain situations. For instance, they can brighten vision on cloudy days and increase contrast and visual acuity, making them useful for activities such as:

  • Fishing
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Hunting
  • Cycling
  • Water sports

Moreover, research has shown that wearing wrap-around frames with amber-tinted lensesfor a couple of hours before bedtime can help alleviate insomnia. The blue light emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones and computers can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Amber-tinted lenses can help promote melatonin production by blocking blue light and improving sleep quality.

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5. Blue-Tinted Lenses

Blue-tinted lenses are specialized eyewear that filter out a specific wavelength of blue light emitted by digital screens and artificial lighting. This light filtering technology is believed to alleviate digital eye strain and improve sleep quality by reducing exposure to blue light which can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating sleep-wake cycles. Blue tints offer several benefits, such as:

  • Effective in blocking out glare
  • Good for difficult weather conditions
  • Helping to define contours
  • Trendy for outdoor use
  • Improving color perception

Moreover, studies have demonstrated the potential benefit of blue light-filtering lenses with reduction of eye strain. A small-scale study conducted in 2017 measured 36 test subjects wearing blue light lenses or a placebo during a 2-hour computer task. The results showed that those wearing blue light lenses experienced less eye strain, itching, and pain than those who did not.

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6. Red-Tinted Lenses

Red-tinted lenses have recently become popular because people believe they can significantly impact mood and visual perception. A study by the University of Toronto aimed to evaluate the effect of color-tinted lenses on psychophysiological responses to images that elicit different emotions.

The study revealed that red-tinted lenses profoundly affected the participants among the different colors tested. They induced the largest Late-Positive-Potential (LPP) amplitudes, an established neuroergonomic arousal index. This finding suggests that wearing red-tinted lenses could affect one's emotional state by amplifying arousal.

Furthermore, the study provided the first direct evidence that our mood can change how our visual system filters our perceptual experience. It suggests that seeing the world through a rose-tinted lens is more of a biological reality than a metaphorical expression.

Red-tinted lenses are also popular for winter sports because they contrast greatly against white backgrounds. Additionally, these lenses can be helpful for individuals with light sensitivity or certain eye conditions, as they provide a soothing effect and ease eye strain.

How To Pick The Right Tinted Lenses

Choosing the right lens color for your glasses is crucial to ensure they provide the best protection. There are several factors to consider when selecting the right color, including the lighting conditions in which you will be wearing them, your preference, and the specific activities you will be engaging in.

To help you choose the best lens color for your glasses, below are some guidelines to follow:

1. Trying Out Your Options

It's essential to try out your options when choosing the right lenses for your glasses. Below are some tips to help you make the best decision:

  • Try on different colors: Experiment with various lens colors to find the most comfortable and suitable option for your vision.
  • Consider photochromic lenses: These lenses change colors based on light conditions and are particularly useful for those who wear prescription glasses.
  • Go for medium darkness: Choose a medium darkness tint to balance UV protection without compromising visibility.
  • Invest in several pairs: Consider having multiple pairs of sunglasses with different colors for various activities.

2. Identifying the Best Color For Your Needs

You can consider various factors to select the perfect shade that suits your needs. Here are some key points to help you identify the best color for your needs:

  • Consider the activity: Different lens colors are recommended for specific activities such as driving, flying, boating, fishing, tennis, golfing, skiing, running, and baseball.
  • Factor in local weather: Choose lens colors based on the climate, with specific recommendations for sunny, overcast, rainy, foggy, hazy, snowy, and misty conditions.
  • Match sunglasses to your sport: Certain colors may enhance performance in different sports.

3. Finding a Color that Fits Your Style

Choosing the right tinted lenses for your sunglasses can significantly impact your overall style and appearance. To help you find the perfect match, here are some tips to consider when selecting a lens color:

  • Consider your complexion: Choose a lens color that complements your skin tone, with recommendations for cool and warm complexions.
  • Stay classic with a neutral tone: Neutral tones like brown, gray, or green are suggested for a timeless and classic look.
  • Try soft, pastel lenses: For those who prefer lighter shades, pastel lenses offer a stylish, summery look.
  • Add flash with a mirror-coated lens: Mirror-coated lenses provide a polished gleam and reduce glare without distorting color.


tinted lenses like green, blue, and brown can serve multiple purposes, from enhancing vision and protecting our eyes from harmful UV rays and blue light to improving eye comfort and adding a touch of style to our outfits.

The right lens color can make a big difference in how we perceive the world around us, reduce glare, and enhance contrast. With the knowledge of the six different types of tinted lenses and their benefits, you can now make an informed decision when selecting the best option for your needs.

Remember, whether you're driving, playing sports, or using digital screens for an extended period, tinted lenses can help protect your eyes and enhance your visual experience.

FAQs on Tinted Lenses

What are tinted lens prescription glasses?

Tinted lens prescription glasses have lenses that are tinted with a specific color. They are designed to help people with vision problems see more clearly while providing a certain level of color filtering or enhancement.

What are tinted lens reading glasses?

Tinted lens reading glasses are similar to tinted lens prescription glasses, but they are designed specifically for people who need glasses to read or perform other up-close tasks. They can be used to help reduce eye strain and improve visual clarity.

Can I get tinted lenses with my prescription?

Yes, you can get tinted lenses with your prescription. All you need to do is provide your prescription information when you place your order.

Can I wear tinted lenses while driving?

It is generally not recommended to wear tinted lenses while driving, as they can affect your ability to see traffic signals and other important information on the road. However, some colors, such as gray, may be suitable for driving.

Are tinted lenses more expensive than regular glasses?

The cost of tinted lenses will depend on various factors, including the lens type, the frame material, and any additional features you select. However, tinted lenses are generally less expensive than regular ones.