Just a few of years ago, every major company still held a dismissive attitude towards photochromic technology, which allows lenses to change color in accordance with the sun’s intensity.
Believing this technology would neither work properly nor succeed in the marketplace, big brands decided to offer multiple lenses instead. They each invested millions in a race to find the best interchangeable lens system to introduce to consumers: Oakley released the Switchlock; Smith launched the Pivlock; Adidas made available the lens Lock System, etc. As it turned out, they were all attempting to solve a problem that never existed in the first place!
What use is there in wasting your money purchasing multiple lenses? What sense is there in repeatedly taking the time to switch out your lenses – the weather and lighting in your environments undergo constant change! It is simply logical that you should have lenses at your disposal that can continuously and consistently adapt to your immediate surroundings. One lens is all you need! By switching to photochromic lenses, you will never find yourself in the wrong environment for them, and, therefore, you will never need to swap them for another pair.
Major brands have caught onto the photochromic trend, and are now all offering models with this technology. That being said, not all photochromic lenses are created equal. You can rate them by comparing these two key features: (1) activation/deactivation speed (i.e how fast they transition/change color); and (2) their rate of change (i.e. to what degree they change color).
The current world leader in photochromic technology is Julbo. Their Zebra lenses not only have the fastest activation and deactivation speeds in the world, but are also characterized as having the widest photochromic range among all brands (see graph below). While other brands were investing in multi-lens technology, Julbo was busy developing the largest collection of photochromic sunglasses currently available on the market. As a result, Julbo offers the five following photochromic lenses, each engineered to better protect you while you enjoy your favorite activities: the Zebra, the Zebra light, the Cameleon, the Octopus, and the Falcon.
Julbo has the widest photochromic range
After 10 sec, Julbo is 50% darker and after 20 sec, Julbo is more than the double.
After 10 sec, Julbo is 10% lighter than everyone, and after 20 sec Julbo is more than 50% lighter than competitor 1