Are You Wearing the Right Shades?
Let’s talk tints...
The safety glasses on your face could be a number of different colors. Every lens design is made for a specific environment or situation. While there are some which are general and can be used in a variety of settings, there are others which should be used for distinct circumstances.
For general indoor applications which require impact protection. These don’t have any tint or color shade, and are pretty simple, standard safety glasses.
These lenses are made to be worn indoors or outdoors, but they have a slight gray tint which helps reduce glare from the sun or overhead lights. Sometimes these are also called “smoke” lenses. Fork lift drivers going in an out of warehouses or plants would wear these.
These are normally worn indoors, in potentially low-light applications. The Amber color helps enhance contrast.
These lenses are designed to block mid-infrared wavelengths and heat, while still allowing visible light to pass through. IR Filter safety glasses are commonly used around welding and cutting. They don’t replace a welding mask, but offer more protection for those in the general vicinity. 5.0 IR Filter shades are more heavily tinted than 3.0 IR Filter lenses.
Blue Mirror lenses are gray lenses with a blue mirror coating which reflects light. This cuts back the amount of light that actually passes through the lens and helps reduce glare and eye strain. Use these for outdoor work.
Much like the blue mirror, these are grey lenses with a silver mirror coating. They’re also to be used outdoors to help cut back light and reduce glare. Color preference between blue and silver is mostly a aesthetics preference.
These are solid blue glasses, without a reflective coating. Use these for indoor applications where there are yellow, or sodium vapor lights. The blue tint offers high contrast and helps cut out yellow light.
Red or Orange safety glasses use a gray lens with a reflective layer of silver and either red or orange coating. This helps reflect some light back, and also increases contrast and helps with color recognition. Use these outdoors where color recognition is important.