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The Ultimate Sunglass Lens Color and Tint Guide

Whether you spend all day outdoors or love to accessorize, you should know the various options when selecting a sunglass lens tint. Sure, looking stylish is great, but sunglasses' main purpose is protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays and glare. Each type of lens has unique benefits, and choosing one should depend on how often you plan to use them, your sight needs, and what style works best for you.

Here, we will cover everything you need to know about selecting the right tinted lenses for your eye protection and style.

Purpose of Tints:

Tints serve the purpose of altering the light that enters your eyes. Depending on the type of tint you use, it may block out certain amounts of light or provide a richer, more intense color experience. The beauty of tints is that they have the flexibility to enhance your vision and even improve it in certain situations.

However, it is crucial to understand that not all tints are created equal, and you should choose a tint that matches your daily lifestyle needs and preferences. Keep in mind that aesthetic appeal does not always equate to optimal functionality. Greater attention to detail and quality information can help you make informed decisions when selecting tints that work best for you.

Tinted lenses can be both polarized and non-polarized. For more information on polarized lenses check out our article on Polarized vs. Non-Polarized Sunglasses.


sunglasses with gray lenses for sunny days

Gray lenses are an excellent choice for versatile and neutral lenses. This popular tint allows our eyes to perceive colors in their purest form without distortion or enhancement. It is perfect for those seeking clarity and a natural viewing experience. 

One of the most significant advantages of gray-tinted lenses is their ability to reduce brightness and glare. Whether driving, playing golf, running, or cycling, gray-tinted lenses are an excellent option to reduce glare from the sun or surroundings. This reduces the strain on your eyes and helps prevent headaches, making it easier to focus on your activity.

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Best Use For:

  • Driving

  • Outdoor Sports like Golfing, Running, Cycling, etc.


sunglasses with brown lenses

Brown lenses are preferred on cloudy days, as they do not block as much sun as typical grey lens. Brown lenses make certain colors pop, like greens will look much brighter. Brown lenses also increase contrast, meaning shadows will appear darker. This will help pick out obstacles like a rock on the trail, which can be important if you are running or mountain biking in rough terrain.

The amber/brown lens sunglasses are a great option that optimizes contrast and improves visual acuity. This unique tint can reduce glare and block blue light, meaning they work great in places with a lot of reflection, such as water or snow. This tint is often preferred by those with difficulty seeing in low light conditions, as it helps brighten vision on cloudy days.

In addition, amber/brown lens sunglasses increase the sharpness and clarity of natural colors. They are particularly effective in improving color contrast and depth perception, making them a perfect choice for various outdoor sports and activities.

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Best Used For:

  • Fishing to see underwater objects more clearly

  • For hunting to improve contrast and color perception

  • Baseball

  • Golf

  • Cycling

  • Water sports


Like the brown lens, yellow lenses are preferred on cloudy days, as they do not block as much sun as typical grey lens. Yellow lenses also make certain colors pop, like greens will look much brighter.

Using yellow lenses or orange-tinted sunglasses can significantly increase contrast in low-light, haze, or fog environments. This makes them an excellent choice for individuals who need to enhance visual clarity and sharpness in such conditions.

Research studies suggest that yellow and orange-tinted lenses filter out blue light, which can scatter and cause glare, reducing visual clarity and contrast. This filtering effect can significantly reduce discomfort from glare and improve visual acuity in dimly lit environments, providing a bright and clear view of the surroundings. But, remember, these tints can distort colors, which may or may not be be a drawback for certain activities.

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Best Used For:

  • Snow-Related Sports

  • Indoor Ball Games

  • Driving in the Fog

  • Nighttime Use


Green-tinted lenses are known for their ability to filter some blue light and reduce glare, making them a great choice for outdoor activities. These lenses also offer high contrast and visual sharpness, making them ideal for sports that require precision and accuracy.

One of the primary benefits of choosing green-tinted lenses is that they can reduce eye strain in bright light. When playing outdoor activities or sports like tennis, baseball, or golf, bright sunlight can make it difficult to see the ball. Green lens sunglasses help to reduce glare and provide clear vision, allowing the wearer to perform at their best. Green lenses can also enhance contrast, making it easier to see the ball or other objects against a bright background. 

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Best Used For:

  • Precision sports such as tennis, baseball, and golf

  • Reducing eye strain in bright light

  • Outdoor activities with glare and bright sunlight

  • Enhancing contrast and visual sharpness


Rose/Red tint in sunglasses is popular for enhancing contrast and blocking the blue light. This tint provides a soothing effect on the eyes, making them comfortable for longer wear. The rose/red tint is perfect for people who want to optimize their vision and minimize eye fatigue. 

Best Used For:

  • Improve your visibility while driving

  • Reducing screen glare and eyestrain

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can Sunglasses Be Tinted?

A: Yes, Sunglasses can be tinted with various tints to suit your individual needs and preferences.

Q: Are Darker Tint Sunglasses Better?

A: Darker tints are better for blocking out more light, but they may reduce the amount of visible clarity and contrast. The right tint depends on your needs, so it's best to consult an optometrist or sunglass specialist.

Q: What is Polarized Lens Tint?

A: Polarized lens tints are designed to reduce glare that bounces off surfaces, like off of a road a water. this helps reduce the amount of light that enters your eyes. They are best for activities like fishing, skiing, and other outdoor pursuits as they offer maximum protection from the sun's harmful UV rays.

Q: What Percent Tint is Good For Sunglasses?

A: For good sunglasses, always look for a 100% UV protection, while a tint on the low end of the spectrum like a 20% tint will be better for cloudy days and an 80% tint would be best for the bright sunny days.

Q: How Does a Mirror Coating Affect the Lens Tint?

A mirror finish on sunglasses works to reflect light away from your sunglasses, thus not allowing that light to reach your eyes. So, the mirror effect will make your sunglasses tint appear darker.

Pictured below is a lens with a grey tint and a gold mirror finish. This lens will appear to be darker than just a standard grey lens tint and would be perfect for a really bright sunny day.


mirror sunglass lens for bright days

Shop Sunglasses with Mirror Tint.


Conclusion: Sunglass Lens Color and Tint Guide

When selecting the right sunglass lens color for you, it’s important to consider the activities you will participate in. Different tints have been designed to filter light differently and enhance vision in different environments. Ultimately, you should select the best tint that suits your style and needs.

At Valley Rays, we offer an extensive range of tints and lens colors to suit every individual's needs. Visit our SHOP today and find the perfect pair of sunglasses for you!

Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions about sunglass lens colors. We are happy to help you select the right lenses for your needs! Thank you for reading, and we hope this guide has been informative and helpful!

For help Finding the Right style for your face shape, check out our Guide 

What Sunglasses Fit My Face?

Happy Shopping! :)

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