UV Sunglasses - How Different Protection Categories Work
Sunglasses, just like sunscreen, come with different sun protection factors.
In order to provide our eyes the best protection, we must first understand how our sunglasses protect us.
UV in sunglasses range from 0-4 categories, with 0 offering no protection and 4 offering the best protection available. A common misconception is that darker lenses provide more UV protection. However, the lens tint or degree of darkness aren't an indication of UV protection.
What UV Protection is Best for Sunglasses?
UV Category 0
These lenses let in 80-100% of UV light, thus they are not a practical solution for protecting your eyes. Lens category 0 sunglasses will mainly be fashion lenses or lightly colored tints that should only be worn on overcast or cloudy days.
UV Category 1
These lenses let in 43-80% of UV light and are also likely to be fashion lenses. Hazy days with low sun exposure are most suitable for these types of lens category 1 sunglasses..
UV Category 2
These lenses let in 18-43% of UV light and are suitable for days that are partially cloudy. The lens category 2 sunglasses are likely to be a lighter shade than other sunglasses.
UV Category 3
These lenses let in 8-18% of UV light and lens category 3 sunglasses are your ideal choice for protection against strong sunlight.
UV Category 4
These lenses let in 3-8% of UV light and are the darkest lenses available. Lens category 4 sunglasses should only be used in extremely sunny conditions, for example, at high altitudes or at sea, and they are not suitable for driving.
What is CE UV-certification?
In Europe, lenses with the certification ‘CE’ have passed EU regulation and are deemed fit for use in most conditions. It comes from the French 'Conformite Europeene' and indicates conformity with European law. The CE label is therefore required to be featured on products sold in Europe that meet these standards.
When picking your sunglasses, you should always take these labels into consideration and keep your eyes protected whenever the sun is shining. Also make sure to check which lens category of UV protection your sunglasses have to keep your eyes properly protected in every condition.
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