Sunglasses these days come with many different choices for lens color. Personal preference plays a big part in determining what shade you choose, but different colors work better for different situations. Fun, or unusual colored lenses may be great from a fashion point of view, but they may not work best in situations where you need undistorted colors, such as in some sports.
The color of the lens has nothing to do with whether the lens blocks ultraviolet (UV) light. The lens material and any UV-blocking coatings determine how well a lens filters out UV rays. Whatever color lenses you choose, you should choose lenses that block at least 98% of UV rays.
Gray lenses are the most popular color lenses . They reduce light intensity without altering color perception. Gray lenses are dark enough to protect you from glare, and yet not dark enough to impair your vision. And they go with most other colors you’ll wear.
Green or gray-green lenses are the ones used in the classic aviator sunglasses. This lens will render the colors you see as cooler, or more soothing in tone.
Brown and amber lenses block blue light which is widely diffused on cloudy days. They improve contrast and depth perception. Brown lenses make colors look warmer, and make greens look more vibrant. Amber lenses are sometimes referred to as “blue blocker” lenses. While amber lenses are popular among hunters for their ability to enhance contrast against a sky background, they may not work well in sports where accurate color perception is important.
Pink or rose lenses block blue light, but do tend to distort other colors.
Lens Density (Darkness)
The best color density for your lenses will depend on where you plan to wear them most often. This is affected by weather patterns, time of day you are outdoors, and time of year you will be wearing them most. Personal preference is a major factor when choosing lens density, because the darkness of the lens is independent of the level of UV protection.
For snow sports, you want lenses that are darker than what you would wear in other situations. Snow backgrounds in sunshine can be hard on eyes. You should consider lenses with a double-gradient mirror coating to protect from glare coming from above and below.
Lens color and density are worth considering in your choice of sunglasses. This is particularly true of sunglasses bought specifically for playing sports. Generally, you should choose the lightest density that will sufficiently block glare under whatever normal conditions are for you.