Seeing the world in Transitions®

daughter kissing mom on the cheek

The smart lens that’s getting brighter

Call it the “out-of-the-shadows shuffle;” that moment after leaving a darkened room and entering the light when we slow down, squint and try to catch our visual bearings.

Transitions® lenses, which are made with technology designed to automatically adjust to light, are science’s answer to this conundrum. Since their introduction in 1991,1 these adaptive photochromic lenses have served as a trusted ally for the naked eye.

And they keep getting better.

How to Transition

Transitions® are akin to artificial intelligence for the eyes — with real results. The lenses are equipped with light-sensitive photochromic dyes that immediately start to darken when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Once out of the sun, the lenses fade back to clear.2

The technology is available in several options, including Transitions® Signature®, for everyday adjustment and use. Releasing summer 2019, the latest generation of this lens, called GEN 8, is faster and can get darker than earlier versions.3

5 technologies see the light

In the 28 years since Transitions® were introduced, the technology has steadily evolved, enabling the lenses to better adjust to our on-the-move needs. Here are 5 ways they help us control light.

  1. A cool finish. Transitions® technology is available in a variety of shades, from amethyst to emerald green, and a range of finishes, including shatterproof polycarbonate and polarization — they’re even available in snow goggles.4
  2. They adapt to light, but also to you. Transitions® can be customized for a variety of vision correction needs, from near- or farsightedness to progressives.5 Also now available: ACUVUE® OASYS contact lenses with Transitions® Light Intelligent Technology from Johnson and Johnson Vision developed in partnership with Transitions Optical.
  3. They’re kid friendly. The average child gets 3 times the UV exposure as adults because their light-sensitive natural lenses (behind the iris) are not fully developed.6 Transitions® can help prevent more light from entering their eyes.
  4. You don’t have to have an Rx. Transitions® lenses can be made without prescriptions (they’re called plano lenses). Ask your eye professional, but note they may not be covered by a vision benefit.
  5. They speak your language, wherever you are. Transitions® are now available from Canada to the Philippines,7 and likely at an eye professional in your neighborhood, such as LensCrafters (in store or online).

Transitions® lenses help you stay on the move by eliminating the shadow-to-light (and light-to-shadow) shuffle. That’s smart for your eyes, and smart for your looks. Choosing the right smart lens does require a full medical assessment of your vision, however. Your physician can suggest the best lens options with you, to suit your lifestyle and visual needs.

Not ready for Transitions® lenses? There are many innovative lenses on the market, like Varilux® progressive lenses (think sharp vision at every distance, even in dimly lit conditions) and Crizal® (say goodbye to glare), and EyeMed benefits give members access.

See what’s right for you. Learn all about lens basics — check our Behind the Lens tool.

This article is an advertisement.

1. “A History of Innovation,” Transitions,; Accessed April 19, 2019.

2. “Transitions: Light Under Control,” Essilor,; Accessed April 19, 2019.

3. “Transitions Signature Gen 8,” Transitions,; Accessed April 19, 2019.

4. “A History of Innovation,” (year 2014) Transitions,; Accessed April 19, 2019.

5. “What Lens Types are Transitions Available In?”, “Transitions: Light Under Control,” Essilor,; Accessed April 19, 2019.

6. “Are Transitions Lenses Suitable for Children?”, “Transitions: Light Under Control,” Essilor,; Accessed April 19, 2019.

7. “A History of Innovation,” Transitions,; Accessed April 19, 2019.