Spring has hit our roads, our trails, our cities and with its arrival comes a greater number of sunlight hours and, above all, an intensity of same. It’s time to leave in your drawer those winter lenses or, at the very least, limit their use to those workouts for the end of the day when the sun is setting. The right lenses for intense light are those which have an “Iridium” finish or covering, that is, those which have a “mirror-like” effect, and shield our eyes from being seen. With an Iridium finish, shine is reduced, thus making vision a more comfortable experience.
When we speak of lenses, several concepts are worth defining:
- -Lenses which “contrast” light, that is those which highlight colors, highlighting some colors more than others, along with the depth of objects and forms as opposed to those lenses which “do not contrast”, which we might regard as “neutral” because they transmit colors just as they are.
- –Percentage of light transmission: indicates the amount of light which the lens “allows” to pass. The less light transmitted, the lesser the amount of light which reaches our eyes and thus a lesser sensation of external light. This is key to keep in mind for sports in which we make transitions from areas very exposed to the sun to shady areas with less sunlight, because in areas where there is less light, our vision will be diminished if the lens is too strong.
- Protection index: Range of 3 (maximum protection) to 1 (minimum protection).
- Polarized lens, as opposed to “non-polarized” lenses. We speak of polarized lenses when we discuss those lenses which reduce the reflection generated when light strikes certain surfaces such as asphalt, a trail, water or snow. This reduction of reflection is known as polarization. Polarized lenses increase the protection of a certain lens, along with its tincture, that is a Black Iridium Polarized lens offers more protection and less light passage than a Black Iridium (plain or non-polarized) one.
Having defined the basic concepts of Oakley lenses, I would like to point out various lenses for intense luminous conditions.
–Black Iridium: black lens, mirrored, for very intense light, no contrast. It is ideal for road cycling, along with city sports and has 10% light transmission.
–Positive Red Iridium: red lens, heightened contrast, for intense and moderate light.
It is recommended for road cycling and mountain sports and is ideal perception of colors, and has 15% light transmission.
–Fire Iridium: yellow lens, fire color, heightened contrast, for intense light conditions, ideal for all types of cycling, along with mountain sports, 16% light transmission, amazingly aesthetic. Used by the majority of Tour de France cyclists during the month of July when sunlight is at its strongest.
Jade Iridium: green lens, mirrored, no contrast, for clear perception of colors and moderate and intense light, 17% light transmission.
–Ice Iridium: blue lens, mirrored, electric blue, no contrast, for very intense light, 10% light transmission.
Increase in protection in different lenses, for summer sports, we recommend:
-Polarized Black Iridium: Black, mirrored, neutral, 9% luminous transmission.
–Polarized Fire Iridium: Yellow, mirrored, contrast, and 10% light transmission.
–Polarized OO Red Iridium: Red, mirrored, neutral, 17% light transmission.
–Polarized Ice Iridium: Blue, mirrored, neutral, 9% light transmission.
–Polarized VR28 Black Iridium: Dark Brown, light contrast. Versatile lens, which can be used for sports, serving to reduce light and eliminate reflection; it can also be used for “post” sports activities, without calling too much attention to oneself, thanks to its more discreet color.
To recap, during the summer when light is at its peak, for sport or just plain urban hanging, it is best to choose an Iridium lens (mirrored) with elevated protection (all those cited have a Protection Level of 3) which adapts to our activity and comes with Neutral or Contrasted lenses. If you want a little something extra, to eliminate reflection, polarized lenses are the way to go.