UltraViolet Sunglasses - How Different Protection Categories Work
Sunglasses, just like sunscreen, come with different sun protection factors. In order to provide our eyes the best protection, we must first understand how our sunglasses protect us. UV protection categories range from 0-4, with 0 offering no protection and 4 offering the best protection available.
Lens Protection Categories
Lens Category 0
These lenses let in 80-100% of UV light, thus they are not a practical solution for protecting your eyes. These will mainly be fashion lenses or lightly colored tints that should only be worn on overcast or cloudy days.
Lens Category 1
These lenses let in 43-80% of UV light and are also likely to be fashion lenses. Hazy days with low sun exposure are most suitable for these types of lenses.
Lens Category 2
These lenses let in 18-43% of UV light and are suitable for days that are partially cloudy. The lenses are likely to be a lighter shade than other sunglasses.
Lens Category 3
These lenses let in 8-18% of UV light and are your ideal choice for protection against strong sunlight.
Lens Category 4
These lenses let in 3-8% of UV light and are the darkest lenses available. They should only be used in extremely sunny conditions, for example, at high altitudes or at sea, and they are not suitable for driving.
In Europe, lenses with the certification ‘CE’ have passed EU regulation and are deemed fit for use in most conditions. When picking your sunglasses, you should always take these labels into consideration and keep your eyes protected whenever the sun is shining.