What are Photochromic Sunglasses and Goggle Lenses?
Eyewear News
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What are Photochromic Sunglasses and Goggle Lenses?

What are Photochromic Sunglasses and Goggles Lenses?

Photochromic sunglasses and goggles feature self adjusting photochromic lenses that enable you to see much better while moving through a wide variety of conditions regardless of the activity you’re participating in: running, climbing, biking, skiing or even fishing and boating. With photochromic lenses all you need is one lens so you don’t have to carry extra lenses with you, photochromic lenses adjust and do the work for you.
Not all photochromic lenses are created equally so we’ve created a guide and list of photochromic lens features to look out for when shopping for your first pair of photochromic lenses or if you’re shopping for an additional pair of sunglasses or goggles with photochromic lenses.

Julbo photochromic lenses

Photochromic eyewear does the work for you

Photochromic eyewear adjusts to lighting conditions depending on the amount of ultraviolet (UV) rays so you don’t have to carry extra lenses with you. One lens is all you need because they get darker and clear up quickly doing the work for you rather than switching out lenses.

There are many types and qualities of photochromic lenses

Not all photochromic lenses and eyewear are created equal. This is important to understand. There are photochromic lenses on the market made from plastic (polycarbonate lenses) that have a coating on the outside of the lens. This coating will not last and over time it will slow and stop transitioning regardless if they are left in the package or used on a daily basis.

A quality set of photochromic eyewear has the photochromic technology built into the lens so that they adjust to lighting conditions forever at the same speed. Julbo specializes in high-quality photochromic lenses and guarantees them for life. They will not stop transitioning or we will replace them or refund your money.

Temperature sensitive

It’s also important to understand that many photochromic lenses are temperature sensitive so if they get cold, their transition speed slows down which can affect your ability to see when moving in and out of shaded terrain or overcast days. Julbo’s lenses are non-temperature sensitive so we guarantee the same transition speeds regardless of how hot or cold it is outside.

Julbo Photochromic Lenses

Does the photochromic eyewear have anti-fog?

If you are shopping for photochromic sunglasses or ski goggles you’re going to be participating in some kind of activity so make sure whatever eyewear you choose comes with a good anti-fog coating on the inside of the lens. Julbo’s lenses have anti-fog built into each lens with an additional anti-fog coating on the inside of the lenses for additional protection against any moisture build up. If you keep the lenses clean after use with degreaser dish soap and rise them with warm water, we guarantee them not to fog.


Regardless if you decide to purchase non-photochromic eyewear or sunglasses and goggles with photochromic lenses, you should know that the quality of the lens will play an important role in how well you see. Some low quality plastic (polycarbonate) photochromic lenses will come with a photochromic coating that are made quickly and will have many of stress marks around the edges of the lenses causing your vision to become distorted. If you hold the lens up to the light and move it back and forth you will be able to see these stress marks. Julbo’s lenses are made from a NXT material—the same material used in helicopter windshields—they are injected into molds and it takes between 18-20 hours for one lens to settle and dry in the mold. This creates a lens with exceptional optical quality nearly on par with glass lenses.


Make sure you know what you get when you are shopping for eyewear. Just because you purchase an expensive pair of sunglasses doesn’t mean you’re getting the best pair of eyewear. Plastic (polycarbonate) lenses are inexpensive to manufacture but the optical causality is low and can cause headaches from eye strain after prolonged use. Julbo’s lenses are made from an NXT material and cast injected which takes 18-20 hours to make one lens. This creates a lens with exceptional optical quality almost as good as glass.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that you want to be able to see regardless of the weather and you want to be able to see obstacles clearly as they come into view. A high-quality set of photochromic eyewear will last a very long time and provide the best vision.

Julbo specializes in photochromic eyewear. We manufacture sunglasses and ski goggles with photochromic lenses for activities that depend on being able to see no matter the weather. To learn more about our photochromic eyewear, check out our sunglasses and goggles.

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