In today's post we review the top night vision glasses on the market. Find the perfect pair for your night-time driving today.
According to the National Safety Council, the risk of a fatal car crash is three times greater at night time.
Fatigue, impaired drivers, rush hours, and compromised night vision are all said to add to the increased risk that makes driving at night the most dangerous time.
Thankfully, some of these factors are within our control and we are able to limit our risk.
One of the tools available is night vision sunglasses. Now, the name is a bit of a misnomer as they're designed for times with very little sun and they don't work in the same way as traditional night vision products, but they do have some nifty benefits of their own.
In this article we take a close look at the best night vision glasses for driving on the market and how they can improve your visual awareness when driving.
We review the best night driving glasses in a variety of budget options and give our recommendations.
We recommended reading on and not skipping to the reviews. Poor night vision may be a symptom of an underlying health condition which won't be fixed with glasses.
As we get older, our ability to see well in low-light conditions deteriorates. According to the American Optometric Association, by the age of 50, it is thought that your eyes need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year old.
And that's not to say a 30-year old sees well at night. Our eyes just have a much higher degree of visual acuity during the daytime than at night. Unfortunately, that's a fact.
Besides our naturally poor visual acuity in low-light conditions, there are many reasons that our night vision might be worse than average. Here are just a few.
- Cataracts - these are caused by dead cells and debris which build upon the lens of your eye. This can cause light to be distorted which can cause poor night vision.
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency - Vitamin A is important for the health of your retina. Illnesses like Crohn's disease may make it difficult for your body to absorb enough vitamin A from your natural diet. Zinc is also important alongside vitamin A. Without zinc the vitamin A might not be absorbed efficiently.
- Retinitis pigmentosa - a rare genetic disorder that affects vision. Decreasing night vision is sometimes an early symptom.
- LASIK eye surgery complications - One of the most common complaints from the recipients of this eye surgery is a sensitivity to light at night time. A halo type effect can be seen around streetlights or headlights and problems with glare are common too. Usually, this problem is temporary as your eyes take time to adjust to their new mode of operation. I had LASIK surgery myself about 6 years ago and had this problem for the first 6 months or so. It was particularly bad for the first few weeks.
- Diabetes - high levels of blood sugar can damage nerves and blood vessels in your eyes. This can lead to retinopathy.
As you can tell, HD night vision glasses aren't the solution for these problems. It's really important that you consult your general doctor or eye doctor when you notice a deterioration in the standard of your eyesight. Driving glasses might just paper over the cracks of a much bigger health problem.
Why use Night Vision Glasses for Driving?
Glasses for night driving use some clever techniques that can improve the quality of information that the eyes receive at night. However, it's important to remember they don't offer a magical solution that will make your nighttime vision equally as good as your daytime vision. Let's take a look at exactly what they can do for you.
- They reduce glare.
Light is usually spread in all directions from a source (just like sound). But, when it reflects off flat surfaces it can become polarized. Polarized means that it increasingly travels in a uniform direction. Instead of scattering in all directions, it becomes concentrated in one. This creates an intense reflection of light that we commonly know as glare.
When confronted with glare your eye naturally contracts the pupil to reduce the amount of light reaching the retina. Glare is a problem as it impairs your eyesight and also leads to your eyes becoming fatigued quicker as your eye muscles work hard to limit the light hitting your retina.
The solution to reducing glare is to use polarized lenses. These lenses use a filter that reduces these intense light reflections.
We'll explain the types of polarized lenses in detail in the buyer's guide section.
- They can increase visual acuity in low-light conditions.
Amber and yellow tinted lenses are thought to enhance contrast and depth perception in low-light conditions. They are also useful for blocking harmful blue light. While research is still ongoing into the actual effects of blue light, the general consensus is that it is damaging.
- They offer UV protection.
They might be called 'night driving glasses' but that doesn't mean they aren't useful during the daytime too. In fact, they are most effective when the sun is low and at its most problematic. They work best when given a bit of sunlight to work with and it's at dusk when you'll notice their benefits the most.
UV light is really damaging to our eyes and you'll want to make sure your glasses can deal with both types of it: UVA and UVB.
Protection against UVA radiation is probably a given, as even the cheapest of sunglasses claim this. However, this isn't the one that does the most damage. It's by no means safe and is capable of causing you harm, it's just not as intense as UVB radiation.
UVB radiation is the one that burns the skin and can cause skin cancer. Sunglasses that offer protection against this tend to be a bit more expensive.
In this section, we outline the key features that distinguish night vision sunglasses. We also explain the technical terms that see confusing on first glance. These are the features to look out for before you buy.
- Lens Tint
Sunglasses come in a variety of lens colors but for night driving you want to stick with yellow lens sunglasses. Yellow lenses are thought to increase the ability of your eye to see outlines and shapes in low-light conditions. They are also thought to reduce the effect of glare.
- Lens Polarization
Polarization is an effect to reduce the amount of glare reaching your eyes. It reduces intense reflections that can happen when light reflects off surfaces like water. You'll find that most night driving glasses have some degree of lens polarization.
- Lens Coatings
Lens coatings can offer a variety of different things. Anti-reflective coatings are common and the name is quite self-explanatory. Scratch resistant coatings are also useful and really help to extend the lifespan of glasses and retain the image quality.
- UV Protection
We covered UV (ultraviolet light) and it's threat in the last section. With sunglasses, you are looking for both UVA and UVB protection. This is sometimes called UV400 protection.
- Build Quality
You'll find that most lenses are made from polycarbonate. This is durable, light, and flexible and won't shatter either. Scratch-resistant lenses are also a bonus.
Frames are generally made of metal alloys which are lightweight but not that tough really. If you're really worried about sitting on your glasses then the Body Glove V-Line is probably tough enough to withstand it.
- Case included?
You should be getting a hard case with your glasses and usually a microfiber cloth to clean the lenses.
Night Driving Glasses Reviews
Browse our recommendations in the comparison table below.
There are more detailed reviews of each model following the table. Find out which glasses we'd choose and why.
Our Top Pick
BluPond HD Vision
- Filters blue light
Body Glove V-Line
- Very durable
Eagle Eyes SuperSight System
- 4 swappable lens configurations
ElementsActive Clip On
- Scratch resistant
BluPond HD Vision *OUR TOP CHOICE*
These nighttime driving glasses from BluPond offer a heck of a lot for the money. They check all the boxes for driving glasses and come in at a price that will surprise you.
They feature yellow tinted lenses that are designed to filter out the harmful blue light that comes from sunlight and modern LED car headlights. The polarized lenses also reduce glare for clearer nighttime driving.
The lenses are UV400 rated for ultraviolet light protection too. This means they will block UV rays up to 400 nanometers in wavelength. This includes both the UVA and UVB spectrum.
The lenses are made from polycarbonate and are shatterproof. This makes them immune to those unavoidable drops and bumps. Just don't push them too far!
The frames are only semi-rimmed to offer a larger field of vision than traditional glasses. They're made from a durable metal composite and have reinforced spring loaded hinges for stability. They only weigh 26 grams which to put things into perspective is around the same as a compact disc (CD).
A nice touch at this price point is the inclusion of a hard-case, pouch, microfiber cleaning cloth, and mini screwdriver for adjustments. The BluPond HD Vision driving glasses really do offer outstanding value for money.
Bottom Line: Lightweight, durable, and with all the lens features you'd expect. What's more, at a price that will pleasantly surprise you.
Eagle Eyes SuperSight System Stylish and Feature Packed
Now let's get this out of the way straight off. These are by far the most expensive night vision glasses on our list. But, they do offer something extra for those extra dollars.
The big difference here is that they come with 4 interchangeable lenses. That's 4 lenses that each suit a different light condition.
The problem with sunglasses is that lens colors, tints, and degrees of polarization each suit a specific light condition best. Eagle Eyes recognized this inefficiency and designed the SuperSight System with lenses that are interchangeable depending on the environment you find yourself in.
Let's take a look at the 4 lenses that are included:
1. Driving lens - These are anti-reflective lenses that are designed to reduce glare from headlights and bright lights.
2. Sunlight lens - These are polarized lenses that protect your eyes from both UVA & UVB light, as well as blue light.
3. Low light lens - These amber lenses use a high-quality anti-reflective coating. The tint also enhances color contrast.
4. Digital light lens - These crystal filter lenses are specially made to block blue light emitted from computers, phones, and tablets. They can reduce eye fatigue caused by prolonged use of visual displays.
They come with TR90 frames. These Swiss engineered thermoplastic frames are lightweight, durable, and flexible. The flexibility makes them extremely resistant to damage, and more unlikely to snap under pressure.
In our opinion, they look great too. They are certainly of a different style than the majority of driving glasses. They go for a more traditional look, instead of the sports style that most have. Personally, I believe this makes them the best of the bunch looks-wise, and the slightly old-fashioned style is a good thing. However, it may not be the most practical for driving as the fully rimmed lenses may not have as good a field of view as something like the previously discussed BluPonds model's.
Bottom Line: Yes, they are expensive but you are getting four lenses for the price. They look great too, just maybe not the most practical option. These are the best sunglasses for driving as they have multiple lenses optimized for different conditions.
Soxick HD A Great Alternative
The Soxick HD polarized night vision driving glasses are another that offer great value for money. They're quite similar to the BluPond model in performance and cost, so if they didn't do it for you visually, then these are worth a look.
They have aluminum/magnesium alloy frames that are lightweight but sturdy and can be adjusted to fit a variety of face shapes. However, they are on the larger side so probably not suitable for women.
The lenses are polarized to reduce glare from bright lights. They also have an anti-reflective coating that helps improve your clarity of vision when confronted by the low sun.
The lenses offer full UV protection and block both harmful UVA and UVB rays from damaging your eyes.
They come with a 30-day money back satisfaction guarantee and a 6-month warranty too, which although not massive is some degree of customer protection.
ElementsActive Clip On The Best Clip-Ons
These are clip on driving sunglasses that attach to prescription glasses. They come in a 2-pack that makes them great for different conditions or scenarios. The yellow lens is perfect for low-light conditions, while the black lens works great during the daytime when the sun is bright.
They simply clip onto the top of your existing glasses using one low profile clip. It's easy enough to change the glasses using one hand and you can even store them on the car sun visor with a convenient storage clip. They can also be flipped up from the used position into a higher position in moments when they aren't required, like going through a tunnel or collecting another speeding ticket (only joking, I know you don't speed).
The lightweight polycarbonate lenses are also scratch resistant. This is a big deal for clip-on lenses as they see a lot more wear and tear than your average sunglasses. Especially when they can be interchanged like these ones.
Besides being durable, the lenses offer full UV protection and reduce unwanted reflections.
Bottom Line: An awesome set of clip-on anti glare glasses. The yellow tints are perfect for night, while the dark tints work well during the day.
Body Glove V-Line The Budget Choice
These Body Glove sunglasses are actually intended for use as safety glasses, but they also work really well as inexpensive driving glasses due to the lens design.
As you would expect for safety glasses they are extremely durable and they can put up with a great deal of rough treatment. They meet high impact standards for safety glasses and they also have a scratch resistant lens coating. If you're anything like me then scratch-resistant lenses are a must.
The yellow tint lenses offer a high level of UVA and UVB protection for your eyes. They're made from polycarbonate which means they won't shatter and will probably last longer than your car.
They have a reputation for working well at dusk and during times of heavy rainfall. The lenses offer a good degree of illumination when driving at these times. The lenses are large and curved so that they offer a wide field of vision. The shape of these glasses is the most practical of our selections (for driving). However, be warned, this does leave them to have quite a snug, narrow fit. Maybe not the best choice for those with rounder faces.
A final point is the cost. These are the cheapest glasses on our list. They're very attractively priced and actually probably the longest lasting pair of glasses on here too due to their safety background.
Bottom Line: Our top budget pick. Their low pricing makes them a great trial set for those that are curious whether yellow tint glasses can make a difference to their vision in low-light. Outstanding value for money.
Further Tips to Improve Nighttime Driving
Nighttime driving glasses aren't the only way to improve your visual acuity. Before trying anti-glare glasses for night driving you should try these tips.
1. Make sure your windshield, windows, mirrors, and car lights are spotless.
This one may seem obvious but you'd be amazed at how many people overlook it. These surfaces can become dirty very easily and sometimes it's not obvious how much they are impairing your vision. And remember that means cleaning both sides of your windshield and windows!
This article suggests that a degraded or dirty windscreen can increase the likelihood of a crash by up to 50%. It also states that night driving is particularly badly affected, as scattered light dispersion through a dirty windscreen substantially affects a drivers judgment and perception of distance.
Note: Make sure there are no post-wash streaks. These are just as bad for inhibiting your vision and creating glare as the dirt and grime.
2. Reduce or dim light sources within your car.
If possible, dim the dashboard lights and remove any light sources within your vehicle. Internal lights only provide more reflections that affect your night vision.
3. Consider a new pair of prescription glasses.
Some glasses just aren't practical for driving. They might have big thick rims or small lenses that don't give you a great field of view. Remember nobody really cares if you look cool while you're driving.
Anti-reflective coatings on prescription lenses are also great for reducing glare and reflections. Have a word with your eye doctor and see what they suggest.
4. Make sure you're healthy.
As we mentioned earlier, poor night vision could be a warning sign of an underlying medical condition. If you notice your nighttime getting worse then make sure you visit your doctor.
As we wrap up our big guide to the best nighttime driving glasses, let's recap the main takeaways from the post.
We recommend the BluPond HD Visions as the best night driving glasses. They offer outstanding value for money and a wealth of lens features that can hopefully make your evening drives a lot more manageable.
If cost isn't a factor for you then the Eagle Eyes SuperSight System is worth your attention. They may cost a bit more but you are getting 4 quality, interchangeable lenses for the money (they look great too!).
If cost definitely is a factor or you're just not sure of the benefits of driving glasses then the Body Glove V-Lines are definitely the ones for you. They really do offer amazing value for money.
If you skipped straight to the reviews we really recommend going back and checking out our tips to improve nighttime driving. Getting driving glasses isn't the only way you can try to improve your night vision while driving.
And the final point is that these glasses might not be for everyone. Some people report that they just don't get any benefit from them. It's really a personal thing that you just have to try. Thankfully, they aren't all that expensive to buy.
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Until next time!