Do photochromic/transitioning/Reactolite sunglasses still not work in cars?
June 21, 2010 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Photochromic/transitioning/Reactolite sunglasses and driving. This thread from 2006 states that photochromic glasses don't work inside cars. Is this still the case?
posted by TheDonF to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total)
A good friend of mine has some, and they don't work well in his car.

I ordered myself a pair, but the scrip was off enough that I can't wear them. Boo.
posted by bibliogrrl at 1:22 PM on June 21, 2010

My husband just got new glasses last week with Transition lenses. He was told they would not work in the car, so he just leaves an old pair of prescription sunglasses in the car.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:24 PM on June 21, 2010

I had a pair two years ago which were a complete and utter waste because of this. Yes, as of then and probably still the technology was just UV sensitive; which every modern window is coated to block, rendering the lens superpower useless. I got Rx sunglasses and never looked back.
posted by cowbellemoo at 1:42 PM on June 21, 2010

Do not work, but sometimes you can game the system w/an open window and direct sunlight aimed at face. You can also get gigantic, cheap grandpa-just-had-cataract-surgery-style sunglasses to keep in the car and wear over your glasses. Not that I would do such a thing. 'Cause that would be, um, crazy. Right?
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:51 PM on June 21, 2010

Yep they don't work in the car. But beyond that, in the places where they do work they end up looking shitty, because the frames for regular glasses are rarely designed to look good as sunglasses as well. Don't get 'em: you'll look like a dweeb.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:59 PM on June 21, 2010

Don't get 'em: you'll look like a dweeb.

No, not if you're my husband. Then you'll look hot! His glasses look great inside and as sunglasses because he chose them knowing that they had to look good as both. He's very happy with them because now he doesn't have to cart around a second pair of glasses.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:21 PM on June 21, 2010

Yep. I paid $70 extra for the Transitions lenses, and I wasn't warned in advance that they don't work in the car. What a fun surprise. In Florida.

Now I get all of my glasses online. Several pair from Zenni Optical, including a couple prescription sunglasses. I just got my first pair from Glasses Unlimited as well, and they're also decent.
posted by themissy at 6:30 PM on June 21, 2010

Just to explain why they don't work in cars: The transition is caused by UV light, not visible light. The glass in your car (or in any other window) is really good at blocking UV light while letting visible light through. Since the UV light get stopped at the window, it doesn't hit your glasses and the transition doesn't trigger.

So not only do they not work in cars, but behind pretty much any glass at all.

And they will trigger even if you're in a dark room with a UV light.
posted by Ookseer at 11:30 PM on June 21, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all for the comments; looks like it's a standard pair of prescription sunglasses for me.
posted by TheDonF at 12:29 AM on June 22, 2010

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