Are Transitions Lenses as Good as Sunglasses?


If you are in the market for a new pair of sunglasses, there may be several features or attributes that are important for you. For instance, the style of your frames can be a deal-breaker. You may have a certain color or design in mind and you are unwilling to compromise. Durability may also be another factor. You may work in a challenging job (like construction) where there is a high risk of your sunglasses falling off of your face. In your job, you may also encounter lots of flying dust and debris. Because of this, you may be looking for a pair of glasses that can protect you from all of the elements, whether you are inside or outside.

At Rx-Safety, we have a vast collection of eyewear that can fit these needs. That said, we want to spend this article speaking about one feature of sunglasses. That is how you see the world with your glasses. Specifically, there is some confusion about whether Transitions lenses are as good as “standard” sunglasses.

Ultimately, we have your back. At the end of this article, you will have a much better understanding of the differences between Transition lenses and sunglasses. With this knowledge in mind, you can make a better decision when you are looking to protect your eyes from the sun. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.

Transitions Lenses Versus Sunglasses: A Primer

To start, it is important to review some basics here. Transitions lenses, for those of you who don’t know, are lenses that naturally adjust to the light around you. No matter the situation that you are in, Transitions lenses provide the perfect shade so that you can see the world around you with the right amount of light.

Specifically, Transitions lenses do their magic through the work of patented, photochromic dyes. These dyes help the lenses rapidly activate or darken depending on the sun’s ultraviolet light. The general rule of thumb is that the stronger the sun’s ultraviolet rays, the darker the lenses become. Once Transitions lenses cannot sense any ultraviolet light, the lenses Transitions back into their natural, clear state. Finally, to be clear, Transitions lenses work both indoors and outdoors.

The situation, quite obviously, is different when discussing “regular” sunglasses. Sunglasses do not automatically change their lenses based on the sun’s ultraviolet light. Instead, customers purchase sunglasses with lenses that protect you from ultraviolet light at all times. Because of this, your sunglasses will certainly protect you from ultraviolet light on a bright sunny day, but you will also see darker people and objects on not-so-sunny days (or if you are indoors).

Therefore, this ability or inability to automatically adjust lenses based on the light around you is one of the major differences between Transitions lenses and sunglasses. As you can surmise, one of the key advantages of Transitions lenses is that they are multi versatile. Instead of needing to carry two (or more) pairs of glasses throughout your day, you can simply rely on one. Your glasses with Transitions lenses can suit you well regardless of the conditions. In fact, you can wear one pair of glasses while you are at work and while you are enjoying a nice sunny day on vacation. This convenience simply doesn’t exist with normal sunglasses. Even if you purchase sunglasses with prescription lenses, you will need your other pair of prescription glasses to see well when you are indoors. This isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, yet it can be an annoyance. We have so many things to monitor and track in the course of our days, so eliminating one thing can make our lives slightly easier.

So convenience is one of the major benefits of Transitions lenses. Nevertheless, they do have some downsides. Transitions lenses, particularly the Transitions XTRActive, do provide a dark point of view when you are in the sunniest conditions. They work very well. Having said that, if you are a regular wearer of sunglasses, you won’t find them as nearly as dark as sunglasses that you often wear. Yes, they will protect you from the sun’s ultraviolet light, but physically, you will likely notice that the sun still feels fairly bright on your eyes.


This may cause you some stress or feelings of discomfort. For instance, let’s return back to that example of a challenging role in the construction industry. Assuming that you spend lots of time outdoors and that you need to pay attention to details in front of you, you may find Transitions lenses distracting. They may not provide enough protection from the sun when you are trying to concentrate on objects and people in front of you.

The same is true if you enjoy playing an outdoor sport or spend lots of time having fun on sunny days. If you enjoy going to the beach on the weekends, you may not find Transitions lenses powerful enough. The same goes for skiing on a bright, sunny day. Transitions lenses may not be enough to help you see moguls, other skiers, and other obstacles in front of you. In a sport where safety should be your number one priority, you may want to consider regular sunglasses or goggles.

That said, Transitions lenses are great for wearers that are not frequently exposed to extremely sunny conditions. They may simply wear their Transitions lenses to an indoor office job and come home and spend time with their family. While, yes, they may be exposed to bright sunlight, it isn’t on a frequent and ongoing basis. In this circumstance, you may want to seriously look into purchasing Transitions lenses.

The bottom line? If you do not wear sunglasses much and your eyes are not very sensitive to light, then Transitions lenses can be a fabulous choice. They can provide you with all of the functionality you need in your day-to-day life. However, if you wear sunglasses often, have eyes that are very sensitive to light, or are frequently outside in sunny conditions, you may want to stick with another pair of sunglasses and pass on Transitions lenses. Transitions lenses won’t be dark enough for you and you may find it somewhat difficult to see in the sunniest of conditions.


Transitions Lenses

  • Potentially distracting and may not provide sufficient sun protection when focusing on objects and people outdoors.
  • Not ideal for outdoor sports, beach activities, or skiing on bright, sunny days, where greater sun protection and visibility are crucial for safety.
  • Better suited for wearers not frequently exposed to extremely sunny conditions, such as those with indoor office jobs.
  • Suitable for individuals who wear sunglasses infrequently and have eyes that are not very sensitive to light.
  • Can be a good choice for day-to-day life functionality for those not needing intense sun protection.


  • Recommended for individuals who wear sunglasses often, have highly light-sensitive eyes, or are frequently outdoors in sunny conditions.
  • Provide better sun protection and visibility in the sunniest of conditions, making them suitable for outdoor sports, beach activities, and skiing.
  • Prioritized for safety in activities where protection from the sun is crucial, such as skiing with potential obstacles.
  • Ideal for those with a preference for darker lenses and enhanced sun-blocking capabilities.

Are Transition Lenses as good as Sunglasses?

Watch Video

How to Order Glasses with transition lenses


RX Safety offers a wide range of safety glasses frames that match perfectly with Transition lenses. Get ready-made transition safety glasses here or choose your favorite eyeglasses, sunglasses, or prescription safety glasses.




Inside our prescription form, you can select your prescription type. Choose between, single vision, bifocal and progressive. Then, you will choose your lens material.



Customize your lenses by choosing your lens color. This is where you choose your Transition option.




The glasses can be upgraded with special coatings such as anti-fog and anti-reflective to improve their overall performance.



Now it is the time to upload or fill your prescription information. You’re done! The rest is with us. We will work on your Transition glasses and deliver to your address.



Making Your Choice

As you can see, Transitions lenses and sunglasses offer benefits and drawbacks. You will need to take some time to understand what you are truly looking for in your next pair of glasses. For example, if you are looking for eyewear that can help you see clearly on those days that you spend outdoors, think about your habits and routine. Do you spend a significant amount of time outdoors? Or is it mostly on the weekends when you’re having fun with friends or family? Answering these types of questions can help you better decide whether Transitions lenses or standard sunglasses are better for you.

At Rx-Safety, we have a wide selection of Transitions lenses and sunglasses in our store. If you have any questions about the differences between Transitions lenses and standard sunglasses, we are always happy to help. To get in touch with us, feel free to click here. We look forward to hearing from you.


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