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What if I tell you that there is a burger place nearby, where the fries are so good, that everybody who goes there to buy a meal is mainly aiming for the fries, and not the burger?

In year 2021, a pair of sunglasses with “Superior Photochromic lenses” is very much this case. Observing past year of my daily technical work with most important lens producers across the globe, it is evidenced that their main RnD energy are currently spent towards two lens functions / features: 1) Photochromic and 2) Anti-fog. In this article I am eager to share insider knowledge about something newer, something hot, Photochromic lenses. Not only that… but in addition help you realize how to pick out “Superior Photochromic lenses” from lens supply market.

What is Photochromic?

Reading up to this point, you may or may not have hear of the term “Photochromic”, but perhaps you had heard of “Transition Lens” instead? Thanks to one giant player in lens industry who had done effective direct marketing to end consumers. To be clear, “Transition” is a brand of photochromic lens. The generic term “Photochromic” refers to a lenses function that allows for a lens to change shade (from light to dark) when strong sunlight hits the eyewear (activation by a combination of UV & VIS light spectrum).

Superior Photochromic Lenses?

Now that you know what it is, let’s talk about quality leading to “superiority” evaluation. Most photochromic lens producers on the market aims to offer “very good” lenses in two criteria:

1. Shade Changing Range - lens being able to change from original state of a very light shade into a very dark shade after activation.

2. Changing & Returning speed - how fast a lens can change from light to dark when sun shines on it, and how fast does it return to its original light shade when you go indoor.

Reason why most photochromic lens producers do good on above two aspects are because of available raw photosensitive materials on market has also mature (whether it is coating / film / plastic pellets). Moreover, ISO12312-1 International Sunglasses standard provides a clearer than ever guideline on testing. (Unlike older standard EN1836 that spoke only two sentences about photochromic lens and finished, that’s all, no more info.)

Since above two criteria are done relatively well by most lens producers, I deem this as “Norm”, “Average”, not superior.

To be deemed superior, a producer must offer additional criteria and/or with outstanding performance on these additional criteria, in order to qualify. Sensible list of additional quality aspects that offers practical benefits to consumer includes:

3. Performance & Behavior of Photochromic lenses in Extreme low or high temperature. Believe me, they do behave differently in high / low temp.

4. How well such lenses can be activate by VISIBLE spectrum portion of sun light. There is a wide range of reasons and applications where this is an important aspects. But is related to more confidential marketing schemes, thus not convenient on a published article. Therefore, if interested, do contact us to learn about them in private communication.

5. Durability and Repeatability (effective usage lifespan) of the photochromic function, maintaining (near) original performance.

We strongly believe with the number of lens producers making offer on market, the win / lose scenario will be drawn from who can provide the best “Multi-Performance-Criteria” photochromic lens products.

Up to this point, you may realize that our answer to the “HOW TO SELL MORE PHOTOCHROMIC EYEWEAR?” questions is simply to install Superior performance lenses to win the hearts, favor and positive viral word-of-mouth about your brand and your products. It is the most simple yet most certain way.

At the same time, Sunbond has prepared a fully automated testing equipment – GET. Photochromic.

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