So you’ve made the decision to try light-reactive (photochromic) prescription lenses. Now the question is: “Do I choose gray or brown?” To simplify your decision, you’ll want to consider the following three factors:
1. Frame Color
Prescription glasses not only provide vision correction, they’re also a fashion accessory. When deciding on a lens tint, most eyeglass wearers consider frame color the most important factor. The same way color combinations play an important role in our wardrobe, nobody wants lenses that clash with their frames.
So what’s the secret to coordinating an attractive lens and frame ensemble? A good rule of thumb when selecting a photochromic color is to go with gray lenses for cooler or neutral frame colors like black, white, gray, silver, chrome, and blue. Brown lenses are a better option when pairing them with warmer frame tones such as brown, gold, tan, yellow, green and red.
If you want the darkest lens possible, go for the gray. In premium photochromic brands such as sunsync or Transitions, gray lenses achieve approximately 88-89% darkness, allowing only 11-12% of light to pass through. Brown lenses on the other hand, achieve approximately 84-85% darkness, meaning 15-16% of incoming light is passing through the lens.
If you’re looking for better contrast to improve the sharpness of your vision, brown lenses will do the trick. Brown lenses accentuate greens and reds, enhancing contrast and sharpness in the sun. This makes them a perfect fit if you golf, fish, or participate in other outdoor activities where contrast is key.
A Final Consideration
You may be asking, “Is gray or brown better when indoors?” The answer is neither. Both turn clear when you’re out of the sun, so there is no difference between brown and gray indoors or at night.