Transitions are probably one of the most well known lens companies to consumers. I am pretty confident to say most consumers have probably heard of Transitions lenses whereas lens companies such as Seiko, Nikon, Essilor and Hoya are not as well known to consumers but of course if you work within optical then you will know them all!
So what makes Transitions so well known? The answer is quite simple, they produce colour changing lenses so when we are indoors they are like normal lenses but when we go outdoors into the daylight the lenses will darken to protect us. That is probably the easiest way to explain it rather than going to into the science behind it, which is rather clever by the way! Oh and all the TV adverts that have been on in the past!
There are many types of Transitions lenses and they are not just for prescription either, some brands who support Transitions will also use the lenses in their sunglasses range. My dad has a pair of Ray-bans from the 90’s that have Transitions lenses and yes they have been around for AGGGEEESS!
During OptraFair 2013 I had a quick chat with Jana from Transitions to talk about all things lenses and maybe this may help you to pick what lenses are right for you next time you visit your opticians.
MGAM: How did the idea of Transitions start?
Jana: It all started 23 years ago where a company called PPG (who specialise in paint) came up with a new technology that can change the colour of paint- a bit like photochromic. They had no knowledge of the optical industry but felt the technology could be beneficial to the lens industry so they approached the lens company Essilor for a joint venture and just like that Transitions were born.
MGAM: How long has Transitions actually been established?
Jana: An easy one- 23 years
MGAM: What are the advantages of having Transitions lens?
Jana: As a company we have about 100 researchers focusing on developing Photochromic technology and we are the leader in the field. For consumers the benefits of wearing Transitions are that they give 100% UV protection and are extremely comfortable for your eyes because they adjust to your surroundings.
MGAM: How often do Transitions develop new lenses?
Jana: Probably once every 4 years for a new generation product but now we are trying to develop different products for different purposes such as the all new Signature range and the Xtractive which is the outdoor range for sports etc…
MGAM: Tell me more about latest Signature range?
Jana: The new Signature range is designed for everyday use because when you are indoors it goes completely clear and it can adjust to your surroundings more efficiently. Unlike the older generation of Transitions which may not be able to go too dark if you are inside a car because they can’t figure out if you are inside or outside. The Signature lenses have resolved this whilst giving your eyes 100% protection and they filter colours more effectively giving us a shaper view of objects. The outdoor Xtractive lens are also completely clear when you are indoors but they are designed for people who enjoy outdoor activities. Finally we also have a range of Drive wear which are basically sunglasses and are not suitable for indoor use because they are naturally quite dark but they go even darker when you are driving in bright sunlight.
MGAM: What is the future for Transitions?
Jana: It will be to try and develop as many new products as possible catering for different markets.
MGAM: Tell my readers something they need to know about Transitions.
Jana: Transitions are the leader in Photochromic technology, we have 80 patents, 90% of our products that are sold are less than 4 years old so everything is pretty up to date to give our customers the best. If your readers are interested in technology then Transitions is definitely the product for them and finally yes, we are a lens company serving a medical purpose BUT we also strongly believe in giving the wearer comfort, clarity and to enhance their vision with effective light and colour filters.
So readers, what did you think? Do you think Transitions could be the lens for you? I personally never had a pair of Transition lens but I will be soon as another pair of my glasses have gone in for glazing (Yes, another pair of glasses) so I am excited to try them out after this interview with Jana.
I know some people may expect the lenses to change really quickly but during the interview Jana did point out there is no specific time for the transition to happen because it all depends on the weather conditions and also temperature plays a big factor too. So like the UK where we hardly see the sun or feel the warmth it may take longer to change but somewhere hot will be quicker. So bare this factor in mind when you are making your purchase and don’t go raging to your opticians because they cannot sort out the crappy weather. If you want to see or feel how quick Transitions can change then you are better off moving to another country or keep going on holiday!