Light Intelligent Lenses

by Dr Ryan Robison

One question that frequently comes up is regarding lenses that automatically darken in the sunlight. These lenses are called Transitions® photochromic lenses and were originally developed in 1990. Transitions® lenses adjust automatically from clear to dark when they are exposed to UV light. So when you are indoors your lenses are clear and when you go outdoors then they darken. They give you the ability to wear one pair of glasses without having to switch between clear glasses and sun glasses. It was cutting edge technology in 1990 and has improved over time.

By 1999 Transitions® lenses were available in virtually any eyeglass prescription. However, they had a few challenges in those early years, mainly that the lenses wouldn’t darken when you were in your car because the glass windshield was blocking the UV light and the lenses took too long to lighten up when you came inside. With each generation of improvements the lenses got darker and changed more quickly.

Transitions® latest release is Gen 8™. These new lenses darken faster, get clear quicker and offer superior vision and comfort. Some of the key benefits of Transitions® lenses include reduced eye fatigue, reduced eye strain, and blocking 100% of harmful UVA/UVB light. Transitions® lenses also protect your eyes from blue light both indoors and outdoors.

Over time their lens options have expanded. In 2010, Transitions® XTRActive® was introduced. This lens option provides a slight protective tint indoors giving the lens an even darker tint outdoors with the added bonus of darkening behind a car windshield. In 2012, Transitions® released their next major breakthrough with Vantage®. This updated version introduced a polarized lens feature. And the last major release was in 2021 with Transitions® XTRActive® Polarized, their darkest lens to date.

If you are interested in learning more about Transitions® lenses, please stop by our office to see a demonstration and visit with one of our amazing opticians. Call us at 435-673-5577. SouthWest Vision is located at 965 E 700 S, St George Utah.