Why I Changed My Mind About Light-Reactive Lenses

By on

Whether you’re new to light-reactive lenses (a.k.a. photochromics) or have known about them for years, you’ve probably heard that they can take a while to change from dark to clear. Let’s face it, standing inside in what kind of, sort of looks like sunglasses can make you feel pretty awkward.

Take it from this guy…

Light-Reactive Lenses

This long wait time is one of the most common reasons people say they tend to shy away from trying a pair of light-reactive lenses. But thanks to SunSync Elite, the wait is over!

SunSync Elite is a revolutionary light-reactive lens that changes from dark to clear in…wait for it…seconds not minutes. Now that the long wait time isn’t an issue, we asked three VSP employees who have never tried light-reactive lenses before to take them for a spin and share their thoughts.

Meet Our SunSync Elite Ambassador Panel

Light-Reactive Lenses

Have you tried light-reactive lenses before?

AF: I have not tried photochromic lenses in the past. I’ve always been too afraid due to the long reaction time.

CP: I have never tried them before, but I love SunSync Elite and how fast they change.

AW: This is my very first time using photochromic lenses. It’s nothing like I expected, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised throughout this journey. There has always been a negative stigma tied to photochromic lenses because of how long it takes for them to turn from dark to clear when out of the sun.

You’ve tried SunSync Elite for about four months now, what do you think?

AF: The convenience is SO nice.

CP: I love that when you’re wearing them, your eyes can’t tell when the lenses go dark. So, while the lenses are changing, your eyes see the same clear vision the whole time. I feel kind of cool, when people get so impressed with how fast they change.

AW: My opinion of using photochromic lenses has totally changed. My SunSync Elite lenses change so fast! I went to walk my dog and these babies kept up with me inside and outside. I think these lenses are perfect for protecting my eyes from the sun. I love that it’s basically a two for one.

How have SunSync Elite light-reactive lenses made a difference in your day-to-day life?

AF: I think it’s made me a better caretaker of my eyes. I typically wear contact lenses which allow me to use sunglasses. However, I often don’t remember my sunglasses, and I don’t have special blue light protective lenses on my glasses. My SunSync Elite lenses are truly all-in-one, so when I wear them, my eyes are protected no matter what.

CP: It’s taken the guesswork out of protecting my eyes. On bright, sunny days, it’s easy to remember to wear my sunglasses, but since I work indoors, sometimes I can’t quite tell what the weather is going to be like. My SunSync Elite lenses let me pop outside for a quick coffee or lunch on the patio without having to wonder if I should bring my sunglasses or not.

AW: Anytime I wear my SunSync Elite lenses, I don’t have to worry about the hassle of carrying a second pair of prescription sunglasses with me everywhere.

How Can I Get My Pair?

Speed, convenience, protection. It’s everything you could have asked from your light-reactive lenses. Want to learn more? Ask your VSP network eye doctor about SunSync Elite and if it might be right for you.


  • Esther Whittle says:

    I tried light reactive lenses years ago. Down side is that I knit, crochet and see. The lender darken too much once I get enough light on my knitting to see the fine gauge yarn and stitches. Also, if driving a car in bright sunlight, the lenses darken too much to see the dashboard indicators. Okay for walking about outside unless stepping out of bright sunlight into deep shade where a big crack in the sidewalk is hidden in the edge of the shade. I tripped and hurt myself. Light responsive lenses are not always a good choice for primary pair of corrective lenses. Okay for a second or third pair.

    • Kathleen Funk says:

      I’ve worn photo lenses for years, and have never had problems with indoor lighting or difficulties is going from Sun to shaded areas. I have no idea what kind of car you drive that would have glass that would allow that much light into your car that the glasses would get too dark for dashboard viweing. Actually it’s opposite that they don’t get dark enough in cars due to their use of in glass. I wear actual sunglasses in car or use an additional clip on especially made for my glasses. Maybe you should try the new technology of sunsync

    • Ruth says:

      When my transitions were grey lenses, I couldn’t read the clock or radio in my vehicle. The last two pairs were brown lenses (they matched my frames better than the grey) and I have no problems reading the car’s dashboard or seeing in the shade. If you ever try them again, get the brown lenses.

  • Terry says:

    How dark do they get while driving?

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Terry,
      UV protection from the windshield may prevent these from maintaining a tint in the car. If you are specifically looking for a light-reactive lens that stays active in the car, you may be interested in learning more about SunsynC Drive XT. https://vspblog.com/sunsync-drive-xt-one-lens-for-indoors-outdoors-behind-the-wheel/
      -Angelina F., VSP

      • Cheryl says:

        Mine are great outside and switch quickly from light to dark and the reverse. However, I am disappointed in them for driving. I have to have some extra sunglasses to clip on or go over them in the car because they don’t get dark enough to help block the bright light outside the car.

  • terri says:

    How expensive are SunSync Elite lenses. I have bifocals and have been waiting years because I did not want to purchase 2 pair of glasses one for inside and one for outside. I do not like transition lenses as they seem to stay dark for along time

  • Nancy says:

    Will they change while I am driving? I currently have transition lenses and they are useless in a car. Had I known, I would have not gotten them in the first place.

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Nancy,
      UV protection from the windshield can prevent the lens tint from activating. You may be interested in learning more about SunSync Drive XT, which darkens outdoors and stays dark in the car. https://vspblog.com/sunsync-drive-xt-one-lens-for-indoors-outdoors-behind-the-wheel/
      -Angelina F., VSP

      • Ryan says:

        Are there any issues with the Drive XT lenses, getting darker indoors at all, or do they only activate while outdoors, driving, etc.?

        • Angelina F. says:

          Hi Ryan,
          SunSync Drive XT are activated by a combination UV and visible light so typically they stay clear indoors, but the tint could be activated if they have exposure to direct sunlight. Every pair of SunSync lenses come with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee for VSP members.
          -Angelina F., VSP

  • Deb says:

    What is the optimal temperature range for use for this version? I have tried Sunsync before but they don’t work well in AZ temps.

    • Suzanne Greene says:

      I’d love to know as well!
      SG, a northern Arizona resident

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Deb,
      SunSync Elite lenses change from “Dark to Clear In Seconds” faster than any other light-reactive lens on the market, however all lenses in this category are affected by temperature. There may be some performance limitations in the heat.The light-reactive response in warm weather does not allow them to get as dark, so as convenient as SunSync Elite lenses can be, having a second pair of prescription sunglasses would still be a good investment.
      You may want to discuss with your eye doctor about your eyewear lifestyle needs for a recommendation on which lenses are best suited for you.
      -Angelina F., VSP

  • Gerry says:

    When I’ve tried them in the past, another issue – besides not turning dark inside a car – was that they did turn dark in low temperatures (if stored in a vehicle, for example, where I often keep them… even if the ambient light didn’t call for it. I’d have to warm them up before they’d work right again.

  • Jackie says:

    When I got new glasses this time I did not get the color changing lenses. In the car because is the tinted windshield they go back to regular and I was squinting and putting my sunglasses on

  • Carol Piper says:

    I used to have transitions. I hated that they didn’t get dark enough in the car. I also work in a very bright (lots of big windows) building. They would change when I got near a window or under fluorescent lights and then take forever to change back.

  • who cares?? Really! Big deal it takes a few to change to clear as if that bothers you that much you need a far different Doctor!!

    • Gerald Domnick says:

      Be a little kinder. If the time it takes works for you then I’m glad for you. If the change takes time to the point where it interferes with functioning then it is a big deal or, at minimum, a huge repeated annoyance. I’ve gone into buildings where I had to stop and wait as I couldn’t read items or detail. I’ve had them, in cold, stay dark at night where it made it unsafe to drive or see in the inside of the vehicle.


    When my father was still here withme, he had a pair of changing lens. He had to wear his glasses both indoors and outside. I only need my glasses for inside…so far. All of my immediate family has worn glasses. So far, i have been lucky not to need them for outside and for driving.I can only imagine that will change when I go to get my eyes examined this year.

  • Charmaine says:

    I would like to know how they work if outside looking though the view finder on a camera? Transitions lens take too long to change when outside doing photography.

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Charmaine,
      In independent lab testing, SunSync Elite activated faster than Transitions Signature VII. Something you may want to consider is that VSP Members get an entire year to try SunSync Elite risk free, so you can see if it works for your photography needs. More information about that offer is available here: https://www.vsp.com/glasses-deals.html
      -Angelina F., VSP

  • Cheryl Saul says:

    Hi Angelina – Does VSP cover Transitions Vantage or Drivewear? From reading about these, it sounds as if you would need to purchase them both to get polarization in and out of the car, correct?

  • Terry says:

    I love them . Except they seem to scratch easier than any lenses I have ever had.

  • Robert says:

    I have worn contact lenses since I was 18, starting with hard contacts (yikes!) Now at 65 my eyes get dry and tired from wearing contacts after 8 hors and my eye doctor recommended wearing them less. I spend a great deal of time outdoors walking the dog and need sunglasses which I wore with the contacts. I now wear light reactive lenses and am AMAZED how great they work! Now I see clearer indoors and always have sunglasses outdoors, making life simpler and better.

  • Scott says:

    How dark do they get? That was another of my big issues with photochromic glasses – they didn’t get dark enough.

  • Diana Pollard says:

    Transitions get really dark in the cold and snow, I mean REALLY dark and are slow to recover. How to these react to cold?

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Diana,
      All light-reactive lenses, regardless of brand, will experience variations in performance based on ambient temperature. Very cold temperatures increase darkness and slow down fade-back speed. Extremely hot temperatures will increase fade-back speed but inhibit full outdoor activation. However, even in colder temperatures, SunSync Elite will fade back faster that Transitions.
      -Angelina F., VSP

  • Paula says:

    I had a pair many years ago. In every photo, it looked like I was wearing sunglasses when there was a flash. Will that happen with these lenses?

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Paula,
      SunSync Elite lenses activate based on UV light so that shouldn’t be an issue.
      -Angelina F., VSP

  • carrie says:

    I love Claudette’s frames! Who are they made by?

  • John says:

    I’ve used these lenses in the past, and I was essentially happy with them. The only draw back was when taking outdoor photos, I prefer not to have the sunglass look.

  • Leah says:

    I really like prescription polarized lenses for driving. They make things very crisp and clear. Are these comparable?

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Leah,
      SunSync Elite lenses provide 100% UV protection, but it is not a polarized lens. They also require UV light to activate the tint, and windshields typically have some UV protection built in that can interfere with the ability for the lenses to darken in the car.
      -Angelina F., VSP

  • I, also tried these lenses and found that they kept me from reading the dials on the cars dashboard. They were too dark. Also, they didn’t change fast enough when I went from the inside to the outside. In fact, I found them to be annoying because they were pretty useless when I really could use them. I changed the lenses in my glasses within a year. Plenty of time to find that I didn’t like them at all.

  • Diana says:

    I’ve never tried the photochromic because they never got dark enough for me. I’m super sensitive with being a migraine sufferer and need dark lenses for my sunglasses. I wonder if these would get dark enough.

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Diana,
      SunSync Elite provides comparable darkness outdoors to other light-reactive lenses.
      – Angelina F., VSP

  • Chris says:

    Was just at the eye dr. on Tuesday, June 5; Asked about SunSync lenses and they did not know anything about them. Mentioned that the VSP website said we could get 40% off. That won’ happen if the eye doctors off doesn’t know anything about it. Why aren’t they informed first before promoting them on your website.

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Chris,
      I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t able to find what you were after. Please contact customer care at 800.877.7195 so we can look into this further and assist.
      -Angelina F.,VSP

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>