Polarized sunglasses. Why are they not standard?

Or at least more common. If you go into a sunglass store and look through their glasses only 2-3% of them are polarized. And normally they are some of the ugliest glasses on the shelf, or the most expensive. Now I know polarization shouldn’t come at a premium cost because I can buy a $10 pair of (ugly) polarized shades at Target or something, so it shouldn’t be that.

Is it just that people have never really used polarized shades outside before? Once you have it’s hard to go back to just plain old shaded lenses. I know polarized glasses are bad when you need to read LCD type displays, but they are FAR superior in every other way.

Why aren’t MOST sunglasses polarized?

Personally, I don’t like them. I find that often the amount of glare reduction will vary from one eye to the other and it’s disconcerting. This is especially true, when in traffic and due to the various angles, the sun will glance off car windshields in a way that will be reduced in one eye and not the other.

There’s a thread floating around somewhere from a poster who worked in a sunglass store. I seem to remember him talking about polarizing a bit.

The simple answer is - for most people & sunglasses, they’re a fashion accessory first, and protection from the sun second. Lots of high end fashion sunglasses have mediocre optics. If you go for optic-oriented glasses, like Maui Jim or Oakley, polarizing is much easier to find (or even standard). It is possible to find cheap polarized glasses though - try a boating or fishing store. Lots of fisherman & boaters like polarized because the glare off the water can be so blinding.

Really Not All That Bright would be the doper to search for.

I love my polorized glasses, you might want to try another pair. With my first pair of Oakleys I could see my car radio display, but my XM display was all dark. With my second pair of Oakleys I can see my XM display just fine, but if I need to look at my radio display I either have to look over/under my glasses or cock my head to the side so the angles change.

ETA what I was getting at is that apparently not all sunglasses, even from the same manufaturer have the lines at the same angle.

I try to get them in all my sunglasses. But I have some Zeiss yellow glasses for driving in weird fog and such, and AFAIK, they don’t come polarized.

If I wear polarized sunglasses under my motorcycle helmet the face screen ceases to be clear. Because the plastic of the face shield is under stress I get a lovely rainbow effect. While rainbows are pretty to look at in the sky or in parades, they are not so much fun when you would prefer to see the cars around you and/or the road upon which you are driving.

Could be the face screen is polarized, either intentionally or inadvertently. Wearing two layers of polarized optics can be bad juju. I’ve seen something similar with tinted car windows and polarized glasses–the shade varies as you tilt your head. With some windshields the shade is nice and even, and others are mottled in a pattern. I assume the difference is from different tinting techniques.

Tempered glass shows mottling when viewed with polarized lenses. The mottling indicates stress points introduced by the cooling process. This is done intentionally so that if the glass shatters, it does so into small pieces, not large knife-like shards.

Just pointing out a link I found through the Tempered glass article link above:

Prince Rupert’s drops demonstrate how tempered glass can explode into tiny pieces. Very cool.

I really can’t stand polarized sunglasses. As previously mentioned, sometime you get different glares in different eyes, which bothers me to no end.

Also, in the aviation industry (me being a pilot) the whole being able so see some LCDs without tilting your head but having to tilt them is considered by many to be a safety hazard, so that’s why you won’t see polarized glasses marketed to pilots. They also might interfere with the canopy/windscreen (which may be polarized or crazed) I seem to recall being told that they aren’t legal to wear them while flying, but I never bothered looking it up. Because of this thread, I looked it up and while it is indeed legal to wear them, the FAA in the US has sent out memos discouraging it.

Apparently it is also discouraged because they may block the glare coming off another aircraft and prevent you from noticing it in time to react. On that same note they’re also not recommended for skiers (seeing glare off ice patches, making it difficult to avoid them) and bikers (Not seeing the glare off wet, slippery pavement)

So there are a whole lot of situations they really aren’t good for, which many people may not be aware of. Thankfully I like dark lenses, which are not often polarized.

I wish the opposite. When I go into a sunglass store I have difficulty finding a pair I like that aren’t polarised. I’d say half the Raybans* I see in store would be polarised. I can’t wear polarised glasses while flying for the reasons St_Ides gave.

*I mention Raybans just because they’re the brand name I can remember, I look at others as well and have the same problem–too many polarised glasses!

I’d like to hijack this thread and ask, “why aren’t there any true black-lensed polarized sunglasses”? The darkest sunglass lens tint I could find was a dark gray. Are there any polarized sunglass lenses that are really black?

With my scrips, my left eye is polarized more than the right. I am “glare sensitive” and tinted lenses sure help out quite a bit.

If it’s black you won’t be able to see through it, that’s what black is, no light.

Either I’m drunk or that’s the coolest thing I’ve seen all day!

I believe the correct term for those would be a blindfold. :eek: Where you planning to drive by braille?

To the drive-thru ATM.

:smiley: :smack:

I use polarized glasses for driving, but as mentioned if you are viewing any LCD displays like watches, phones, PDAs, digital music players etc. polarized glasses will interact with the polarizing component of an LCD display and make them very hard to read.