The Difference Between Polarised & Non-Polarised Sunglasses

These days more and more people prefer polarised sunglasses. Most of the stores keep both polarised and non-polarised sunglasses. This is because, though polarised sunglasses are in fashion, they are still a tad more expensive than the non-polarised ones. However, that leaves people wondering if polarised sunglasses really do deserve the high price tag or they are simply just over rated.

The first people to use polarised glasses were fishermen and boatmen. Unlike the regular sunglasses, these glasses could actually help them to see their surroundings in spite of the glare of the water. They could see the fish and the depth of the water despite the sunlight shinning on the water. As time passed by, other outdoor enthusiasts like bikers and joggers started using these glasses as well which increased their popularity.

The basic difference between not polarised and polarised glasses is based on the glare blocking ability of the glasses. In non-polarised sunglasses, the shaded lenses are the only way to block out the concentrated sunlight. However, these glasses are unable to block out the light that gets reflected from flat surfaces like water. However, polarised sunglasses are able to block out this light quite well.

The basic science in this phenomenon is that the reflection of the light from flat surfaces makes it polarised horizontally. The polarised glasses are polarised in a vertical manner that allows them to negate this horizontal polarization. As a result, the glare is reduced and even completely eliminated depending on the intensity of the glare. Hence, these glasses help you to drive safely on long roads particularly when the sun is bright and glaring hot.

It’s easy to spot the difference between polarised and not polarised glasses by a simple exercise. All you need to do is take a pair each of polarised and non-polarised sunglasses each. Walk down to the road on a hot summer day when the sun is shinning bright. Compare the view from each of the glasses by holding them out in front of your face. You will notice that though the non-polarised lenses block out the sun, but they are unable to negate the glare. On the other hand, non-polarised sunglasses help you to see clearly and lessen the glare as well. As a result, you are better equipped to make out all kinds of shapes and things on the road.

Everything has a downside and so do polarised glasses. These glasses cannot be used while operating all kinds of LCD screens like GPS systems and ATMs. Hence, it’s best to remove these glasses when you are operating any kind of equipment that uses a LCD screen. Using polarised sunglasses is also not a good idea in case you are skiing or even traveling through regions of snow. This is because the wearer is unable to spot the difference between ice patches and moguls if skiing downhill due to the since the snow reflects the sun rays that fall on it. This can really be hazardous as the wearer may not be able to distinguish the thin ice patches.

Both polarised and not polarised glasses are useful in their own ways. While polarised sunglasses are required in case of long drives in the sun or fishing, not polarised glasses can be used in all the everyday affairs that don’t require you to drive out in the sun.

Source of the text where it first appeared by Jason J Thompson
The Difference Between Polarised & Non-Polarised Sunglasses

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