Photochromic lenses automatically adapt to changing light conditions. When indoors photochromic lenses will be clear and when outdoors and exposed to sunlight will darken automatically. Photochromic lenses are also known as light-adaptive lenses or light intelligent lenses.

When photochromic lenses are exposed to UV light, the molecules in the lens change and cause the lenses to darken. This can provide optimal visual comfort and protection when you need it most. Photochromic lenses can still darken even on overcast days, because UV light can penetrate the clouds making sure you’re receiving optimal UV protection. Most photochromic lenses typically won’t darken in the car as windshields block most UV light. At Essilor, we offer photochromic lenses that darken behind a windshield as well as full range of  photochromic lenses with different benefits and capacities.

Lady wearing Transitions lenses carrying her smartphone and handbag

What are the benefits of photochromic lenses?

Photochromic lenses will instinctively and seamlessly adapt to changing light, adjusting to the perfect tint depending on brightness. This is incredibly convenient for a spectacle wearer as it offers an on-the-go solution if you spend a lot of time going from indoors to outside.

Wearing photochromic lenses can offer sufficient protection from the sun, which is crucial to maintaining healthy vision. With fast and responsive technology, photochromic lenses protect your eyes from harmful light including UV light and Blue-Violet light.

What is the difference between Transitions and photochromic?

Photochromic lens is the term given to a type of lens that will automatically change tint according to the light conditions. Transitions is a brand of photochromic lenses. At Essilor, we offer a range of Transitions photochromic lenses, created with the latest technology. This includes fast fade back, a choice of colours and enhanced colour perception, visual protection and comfort.

Group of friends outside in the sun, one wearing Transitions

Are photochromic lenses good for your eyes?

Photochromic lenses adapt to the changing light, so that your eyes don’t have to. By wearing this type of lens, you can help your eyes to relax a little more.

It has been shown that overexposure to UV light and blue-violet light can contribute to health conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.(1) By wearing adequate protection, you can reduce this risk.(2) Photochromic lenses are a helpful daily solution because they protect your eyes automatically.

Are photochromic lenses good for driving?

Vehicle windshields block most UV light meaning standard photochromic lenses will not activate to a darkened tint even when you’re driving in bright sunlight. However, new technology has allowed for some photochromic lenses to respond and activate with just visible light.

Transitions XTRActive are the first photochromic lenses to activate behind a windshield, meaning they are the perfect lens solution when driving. You are able to combine your corrective lens design with this advanced light intelligent technology, resulting in optimum visual comfort and protection.

Discover Transitions photochromic lenses

(1) McCarty CA, Taylor HR. A review of the epidemiologic evidence. linking ultraviolet radiation and cataracts. Dev Ophthalmol. 2002; 35:21-31. Sunlight and the 10-year incidence of age-related maculopathy: The Beaver Dam Eye Study. Arch. Ophthalmol., 122, 750-757. New discoveries and therapies in retinal phototoxicity, Serge Picaud et Emilie Arnault, Points de Vue N°68, Spring 2013.

(2) Eye health relies on various factors (age, genetic, smoking, diet …). Light is one of the modifiable risk factors on which an ophthalmic lens may act.