Sunlight, sunlight, sunlight hurts my eyes
January 31, 2008 7:19 AM   Subscribe

Can I get a pair of prescription glasses converted to prescription sunglasses, without buying new lenses?

In the interests of reusing rather than buying new:

I have an older pair of glasses with prescription lenses that I would like converted to prescription sunglasses. Since the lenses are already in my prescription, is there any way I can get them coated to make them into sunglasses, rather than buying new lenses? Could I do this myself? For example, buy a plastic coating and coat them myself, akin to car window tinting?

I live in Tallahassee, FL and my older pair of glasses are from 39dollarglasses.
(If I can't reuse them I will likely buy a new pair of prescription sunglasses and donate the old frameset.)
posted by subbes to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Almost certainly. All my prescription sunglasses are regular lenses that have been treated/dipped. I have in fact been told that it's the only way to do them (at least by LensCrafters) They aren't as black as regular non prescription sunglasses though.
posted by MasonDixon at 7:28 AM on January 31, 2008

Take them into a place that sells lenses and glasses and they can tint them for you. I wouldn't try to do it yourself. Taking it in, especially to a quality place, means that they will work with you to get the color and darkness that best suits you.

You can get them tinted as dark as you want them. I have some prescription sunglasses that are so dark that I can't wear them unless it's really sunny.
posted by rachelpapers at 7:47 AM on January 31, 2008

I've had problems in the past getting my prescription sunglasses as dark as I want them, so it may depend on your prescription.
posted by fructose at 8:28 AM on January 31, 2008

As I recall the polycarbonate lenses (the light thin ones) cant be tinted very dark at all. I know my prescription sunglasses are just plastic and they are quite a bit thicker than my regular poly lenses. I dont see any reason why you couldnt get plastic or glass lenses tinted but I'm sure they'd love to sell you new lenses anyway.
posted by elendil71 at 9:07 AM on January 31, 2008

I, too, had this done. But it was tricky. The dark tinting came out purply and I had to have to done several times until I got the shade I liked.
posted by lpsguy at 10:19 AM on January 31, 2008

You might consider clip-on sunglasses. I use $14 ones from CostCo and they work and look fine. They look more or less like this, but the spring on the bridge is much less glaring in real life than in that close-up shot.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 10:32 AM on January 31, 2008

I've asked if I could have this done in the past. The answer I got was that tinting lenses that aren't brand new is almost impossible to do well. They said that lenses are made with a protective coating. With use, this coating gets damaged. When you try to tint a lens with a damaged coating, the tint will be darker in these damaged areas, making the lens color uneven.

They might have been telling me that just to sell me a new lens, though.
posted by Quonab at 2:02 PM on January 31, 2008

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