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Do reaction lenses work in the car?

Yes and no! There are several different options when it comes to reaction lenses and they all work slightly differently. This initially might not seem helpful but I promise things will become clearer as you read on.

What makes reaction lenses change colour?

For the majority of light changing lenses they are activated by the presence of UV light. The lenses contain silver ions and halides which remain separate in its clear state.
In the presence of UV light the electrons activate the silver ions which temporarily form silver halide crystals .This reaction is what creates the darkened state of the lens.

Reaction Lenses Process

So will reaction lenses work in the car?

For standard Photochromic lenses the answer is no. Most modern cars have a UV filter built into the windscreen which prevents the lenses from being activated.


Are sunglasses my only option for the car?

Absolutely not! In response to the car issue, Transitions developed a new version of light changing lens called XTRActive.


XTRActive Lenses

These lenses are activated not just by UV light but by visible light too. This resulted in a lens that changes much faster than traditional reaction lenses when outdoors. They also achieve a darker colour in bright sun too.
Being activated by visible light allows them to change behind the windscreen of the car too. Due to the sheltered nature of a car XTRActive lenses don’t go fully dark, but they change enough to provide more comfort in bright conditions.


Can I see them first?

Of course! We have samples of both Transitions and XTRActive lenses in practice to show you. You can see how quickly each will change and be able to compare the available colours together too.

Reaction lenses

Don’t forget you can always book an appointment with me to discuss your lenses in more detail.