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How To Test If Your Sunglasses Are Polarized?

Here are some easy ways to test your polarized sunglasses. It will make you feel confident that you’re paying for real polarized filters. These simple techniques also guarantee safety standards. Thus, you’ll have assurance about its protection against glare.

The easiest way is to check the ‘polarized markings’ written along with its temple. When in doubt, here’s what you can do. First, put the sunglasses in front of the light. It can be from a TV screen or ceiling lights. Position it at 90 degrees, and you will see the tint of the lenses will go lighter. Put the sunglasses at a 180-degree position, and you will notice that the lenses go dark again.

The problem with buying polarized sunglasses is that some are deceiving. Don’t get fooled anymore. I will explain to you more about polarized sunglasses, the best way to test whether it’s ‘real’ or not.

What Are Polarized Sunglasses?

Before I give you more ways to test if your sunglasses are polarized, let’s understand first what polarized sunglasses are?

Polarized sunglasses block the harmful Ultraviolet A-Rays (UVA) and Ultraviolet B-Rays (UVB). Don’t get me wrong; a non-polarized can also provide this level of protection. However, only a pair of polarized sunglasses can give you anti-glare and anti-reflection protection. With its advanced polarizing filter, you can see more crisp images even if the lenses’ tint looks too dark.

So, what kind of filter do sunglasses have in their lenses?

Manufacturers use filters with vertical openings. The purpose is to block dangerous horizontal light rays that can approach your eyes. As a result, the light will bounce off on different surfaces. So, your eyes won’t get affected by the glares caused by the sun.

3 Easy Ways To Test If Your Sunglasses Are Polarized

Aside from the techniques we’ve mentioned, here are three more ways to test if your polarized sunglasses are real or fake. Don’t worry. What I’m about to share are all easy steps to test the effectiveness of polarized filters. You don’t need any fancy tools to do it right.

Method 1-Reflective surface

Let’s call this method testing polarized sunglasses through a reflective surface. First, you need to find any reflective surfaces. The best example is the mirror. If you don’t have one, you can choose any reflective tabletop or flat surfaces.

To do this test successfully, you should be at least 2 to 3 feet away from the object. So, how can you produce glare? Use a flashlight and point it to the reflective mirror. Then, you can see a reflection bouncing off in the opposite direction. Adjust the light source angle until the glare is on your eye level or at least within your reach.

Now, start testing your polarized sunglasses. Wear the sunglasses and hold it about 6 to 8 inches in front of your eyes. Move a little closer or farther, depending on the size of the lenses.

Slowly rotate the sunglasses upwards until you reach a 60-degree angle. So, one lens would be slightly higher than the other. Then, check the level of glare. If you see little or it disappears completely, then, congratulations, you have a pair of polarized sunglasses.

When you look from the outside, you can still see the glare of light shining on the lenses’ surface. Put it at a 90-degree angle, and the polarized filters would be ineffective. It’s because the position will cancel the effectiveness of the vertical sieve against horizontal light rays.

Method 2-Compare 2 Pieces TAC sunglasses

The second test that you can do is to use two polarized sunglasses. This test is simple. First, get two pairs of polarized sunglasses. Hold up both polarized sunglasses on your eye level in their normal 180-degree position.

Make sure that there’s enough light for you to see the difference. Also, keep at least 1 to 2 inches of space in between the sunglasses. If their lenses are too close, it could cause scratches on its coating.

Look simultaneously through both pairs at the same time. Then, rotate one pair of polarized sunglasses to about 60 degrees. As you do it, you will see that the overlapping area on the lenses will go dark. When it happens, it means both pairs of sunglasses are polarized. If you can’t see any differences or darker shade in the overlapped area, the sunglasses are not polarized.

Method 3-Test Card

The third test that you can do is to look at a specialized pattern through your polarized sunglasses. Some optical stores have a polarized sunglasses test card. It contains scenery with a ‘secret’ image or a missing part like a boat, fish, and trees.

Once you look at that pattern with bare eyes or regular glasses, you can’t see the missing image. You can only notice the missing piece on that pattern when you wear polarized sunglasses.

Polzrized Test Card

But how does it work?

The pattern uses a special paint for that secret image or missing piece. This part of the pattern reflects so much light to the point that it appears white or shiny with our naked eyes. It will only reflect on polarized light because our eyes are not sensitive to such polarization states.

If you put on polarized sunglasses, its filters block the polarized light. Thus, you may see a dark background pattern but more crisp images. Meanwhile, the rest of the design is from ordinary paint. It is why you can see it easily with bare eyes or regular glasses.

Are Polarized Sunglasses Better For Your Eyes?

Polarized sunglasses are better for your eyes if you’re staying outdoors. It helps to increase your vision when there’s too much glare or light. You can even use polarized sunglasses while driving. However, you can’t use it when maneuvering an airplane. It is because the LCDs that pilots use already have an anti-glare feature. Thus, they will only cancel each other out.


Overall polarized sunglasses are excellent to use when glare is too distracting and becomes dangerous. It is easy to distinguish real polarized sunglasses from fake ones. Use natural light and see if the polarized filter does its job perfectly or not. All you have to do is to be observant. Better yet, buy polarized sunglasses only from trusted brands. This way, you won’t feel suspicious about its polarizing quality.

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Michelle Mao

Hey, I’m the author of this post, and I have been in this field for more than 10 years.
If you want to know more knowledges about sunglasses, or if you are looking for OEM, ODM service about sunglasses. Feel free to contact me now.

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