What Lens Color is Best for Overcast Days?


You would think that one of the few positives of a cloudy, overcast day is that there’s no need to wear sunglasses. After all, there’s no visible sun, no direct sunlight in your eyes, no glare. Unfortunately, as we all know, this isn’t true. We can feel the effects of the sun even when we cannot see it. It’s there, behind the clouds, and they cast off a filtered haze that still bothers our eyes. The UV light projected by the sun is also present, and is just as damaging to our eyes on a cloudy day as it is on a bright, sunny one.

When is the best lens color to deal with this type of light?


The traditional dark gray or dark brown lenses, meant to shield against intense sunlight, end up darkening the view excessively. What’s needed are lighter hues capable of filtering out diffused light without overly dimming visibility.

Colors in the yellow spectrum—ranging from very light brown to amber, yellow, orange, or orange-red—fit the bill. This preference stems from the abundance of “blue light” on overcast days, which falls within the bluish range of the light spectrum. Yellow serves as a counterbalance, adeptly filtering the blue light prevalent on cloudy days. Opting for yellow or amber ensures effective UV ray blockage from blue light.

Moreover, yellow lenses excel in low-light settings by enhancing visual clarity and contrast. Blue light often introduces a dreary, blurred effect, but with yellow lenses selectively filtering it out while maximizing available light, vision appears notably sharper and brighter.


Here’s a look at some of the filtering properties of light brown/amber lenses and yellow/orange/reddish-orange lenses:


Light Brown/Amber

An excellent choice for all-around vision enhancement and glare reduction in moderately low-light conditions. Brown improves contrast and enhances depth perception. It’s especially good at filtering out diffused light, so works well on days when cloud cover is present but not constant. If the sun is peeking in and out of clouds, this is the ideal color choice. Light brown and amber are great for outdoor activities and sports in this type of weather, but if the sun wins over and cloud cover clears, you may want to switch to a darker brown or gray.



Nothing improves contrast as much and as sharply as yellow, making it a great choice for heavily overcast days, where a lack of direct light makes everything blend into a dreary, monochrome haze. With yellow it will be easier to differentiate foreground objects from their background. Yellow is the best color to bring out the available light in extremely low-light conditions. If light conditions improve and glare becomes stronger, orange or reddish-orange will block the additional sunlight while still offering some level of contrast improvement.


In conclusion, while the choice of lens color for overcast days may vary depending on individual preferences and activities, the importance of protecting our eyes from the sun’s harmful rays remains constant. Whether you opt for yellow, amber, or another tint, prioritizing UV protection and visual clarity is key. So, next time you step out on a cloudy day, don’t forget to shield your eyes with the right pair of sunglasses. Your eyes will thank you for it in the long run.

  1. Wesley Beardy says:

    Looking for wraparounds for cloudy low light snowy conditions that will fit over prescription glasses

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