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Sunglasses what is best?

This blog will teach you how to protect your baby and kids eyes from harmful UV radiation by buying high quality sunglasses. Sunglasses what is best and why?

Sunglasses what is best and why?

Frames, what is best and why?

The frames are a vitally important part of sunglasses. Especially for babies and children. Besides looking great. Good eye coverage is a truly critical point so they will offer maximum UV protection. And as toddlers will always test their strength. They also must be able to handle the punishment that will come their way. In addition babies love comfort. Therefore the frame material must be comfortable. Likewise they must be comfortable on little noses for this reason they must be light-weight. And this is just some of the criteria we have to consider each time we design a new sunglasses frame.

The frame material

We have more than 34 years experience in making baby sunglasses. And even longer making prescription eyewear. During this time. We have tried all types of materials for the frames. But due to our strict requirements. Only a small number of materials pass our standards. However, these material do allow us to give you our legendary 3-year guarantee. The material list is:

  1. Baby sunglasses – Rubber or rubber like materials. These materials are super comfortable and virtually unbreakable. But with the addition of headband. This will keep them in place. And consequently this also helps to contour the frame to the shape of the face. Thereby protecting the eyes. By eliminating all UV rays from entering from around the side of the frame.
  2. Toddler sunglasses – Rubber or impact resistant polycarbonate. Rubber has all the benefits mentioned above. While polycarbonate is 10 times more impact resistant than plastic. This material is used in banks for its bullet proof qualities. It is also light-weight. And therefore very comfortable to wear. Plus, it is easily painted or printed. Making it a perfect material for sunglasses.
  3. Kids sunglasses – Polycarbonate or optical quality steel. Polycarbonate has all the benefits mentioned above. While optical quality steel has real strength. That will hold its shape. This then allows us to make adult metal styles for kids. Like aviators or club-masters.

Sunglasses what is best?

Lenses, what is best and why?

For those children who wear low quality lenses. This does have disastrous consequences. And as a result it leads to terrible eye diseases. Like cataracts, pterygium, actinic & droplet keratitis, pinguecula and macular degeneration including blindness. Even buying sunglasses made to world standards can cause blindness. Please see our earlier blog – Dangerous kids sunglasses.

The lens material.

To start we only use A-grade impact resistant polycarbonate lenses. Why? Firstly, because polycarbonate lenses offer great UV protection. Secondly, they will take all the punishment kids will give sunglasses. And therefore this gives you great value for money. But please. Only A-grade lenses.

How A-grade lenses are made

What is an A-grade lens? To start you must understand how a lens is made. To make a good quality lens. You begin by making a round blank lens from “virgin” polycarbonate.

lens blanks
lens blanks. in different colours

The polycarbonate material commences as small pellets. These small pellets are heated in an injection moulding machine until molten. Then forced into the lens mould to make a blank lens. During the cooling process. Distortion occurs at the outer edge of the lens due to “shrinkage”. When the round blank lens is cut into the shape of the frame all of this distortion is then cut off. This first lens is distortion free and classed as A-grade.

Sunglasses what is best and why? G-15 lens, cut into shape.
G-15 lens, cut into shape

The waste material from A-grade lenses should always be sent to a waste recycling plant. Why? Because polycarbonate does not recycle well. Therefore more lenses should never be made from this material.

How lower B-grade lenses are made

Some unscrupulous companies hoping to make a higher profit. Do make more lenses from this recycled waste material. This second made lens is classed as B-grade. Furthermore, I have heard that the waste material from this B-grade lens is recycled again to make a C-grade lens. And recycled yet again to make D-grade lenses. Recycling does sound great. Right? But it is important to note that polycarbonate is indeed extremely impact resistant. Consequently the additional heating and cooling during the injection process makes the lens extremely brittle.

Why you should avoid low quality B, C or D grade lenses

It is most important when fitting the lenses into the sunglasses frame there is a slight interference. This interference prevents the lenses from popping out of the frame.

But due to the curve on high quality lenses. The pressure from the frame therefore causes different forces on the concave and convex curves of the lens. Namely these forces are compression on the inside curve of the lens. And torsion on the outside curve of the lens. As stated B-grade lenses are extremely brittle. Therefore these differing forces cause small web-like miniature cracks all over the lens called “crazing“. This does occur over time. And you will see this lens crazing in certain light. Both C and D-grade lens can even show this “crazing” when new.

This lens crazing distorts vision and reflects shards of light into the eyes of the wearer. Making these sunglasses extremely uncomfortable and dangerous to wear.

The old saying. “You get what you pay for” is again true, but not always. Similarly, I have seen really expensive sunglasses “craze”. Normally this happens to brands that have absolutely no knowledge of how sunglasses are made. They make a quick trip to some Asian factory. To buy sunglasses at the lowest price possible. Just so they can make a larger profit. Then they sell their really cheap low grade product at a high price. Therefore fooling you the consumer into believing the quality is good. So please be careful.

A simple hammer to test lens brittleness

This following video show the difference between a polycarbonate A-grade lens verses a polycarbonate B-grade lens. Note: that lower grade C or D lenses are even more brittle than B-grade lenses.

Lens Test: Polycarbonate (PC) A-grade VS. Polycarbonate (PC) B-grade lens.

Sunglasses what is best?

Lens colour, what is best and why?

The lenses colour is another truly important aspect. This determines what each lens will be used for. For example yellow lenses will enhance vision. While green lenses will subdue brightness.

In addition we know that 10% of boys and 2% of girls are colour blind. Consequently for these kids if you buy sunglasses with the incorrect coloured lenses. You will only compound the difficulties for them to distinguishing and learn colours.

So, unless your child has been tested for colour blindness. Or you simply want the best coloured lens to reduce glare and to not distort colour. Only one coloured lens will do this. That colour is G-15. G, for neutral green and 15, for 15% light transmittance. Why do we only recommend neutral green? Put simply this colour is in the middle of the visible light spectrum. As seen in the in the colour chart below. Thereby causing less distortion in all the colours of the rainbow.

visible light spectrum
visible light spectrum

For example, if you pick a lens colour in the lower end of the spectrum. Say a blue or a grey lens. These will distort colour in the higher end of the spectrum. Say red and yellow. Alternatively the same thing happens if you pick a lens colour in the higher end of the spectrum. Say a red or a yellow lens. These will distort colour in the lower end of the spectrum. Say blue or violet.

Lens UV protection, what is best and why?

Most importantly only buy sunglasses with *100% UV protection. Especially for kids. Let me explain clearly. That means all UV rays between 200Nm to 400Nm. Not: – UV400, UVA, UVB, UVC or the USA and EU standard UV 200Nm to 380Nm. So always avoid both EU and USA sunglasses for children. *(Note: UVC from 100Nm to 280Nm is totally absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere). You can read more about UV protection here: Sunglasses the good and the bad

Please note: For young children the minimum UV requirements in world sunglasses standards are not good enough to give maximum protection. At this age to stop nasty UV related eye diseases total protection is needed. See why in this blog: How UV damages eyes.

Lens category, what is best and why?

This refers to the darkness of the lens. And therefore indicates what the sunglasses intended use is. We highly recommend category 3 or cat #3 lenses for all general purpose sunglasses. Please see our earlier blog, Dangerous kids sunglasses. This does go into depth about lens categories. With a chart of the different categories and their intended use. It also points out the dangers of buying sunglasses with the incorrect category. Additionally it also warns about sunglasses that are made incorrectly.

Sunglasses what is best – Conclusion

With the helpful information in this blog. You will now be able to buy sunglasses that will fit comfortably, last well and help protect eyes. Or you could buy high quality Idol Eyes Australia sunglasses. That have all these great features and are fully tested. You can see our testing procedure here: https://idoleyes.com.au/our-blog/our-sunglasses-testing-procedure/

If you are ready to buy the best baby or kids sunglasses that will truly save sight. Without a ridiculously high price, then take a look at our online shop.

Don’t miss the latest sunglasses “WARNINGS” on this page. They will save your child’s eyesight.

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