Oakley, a household name when it comes to eyewear, is renowned for producing high-quality sunglasses that are both stylish and functional. The secret behind their reputation is primarily in the lenses. In this article, we will delve into answering the question: what are Oakley lenses made of and the materials and technologies that make Oakley lenses stand out.
Introduction to Oakley Eyewear
Founded in 1975 by Jim Jannard, Oakley started by selling motorcycle grips out of the back of his car at motocross events. The company grew to become an eyewear giant, combining innovative technologies with cutting-edge designs. Oakley’s sunglasses are not just fashion accessories but are also revered by athletes for their performance and protection.
Oakley has carved out a niche in the eyewear market, especially amongst sports enthusiasts. Cyclists, skiers, golfers, and athletes from all disciplines laud the brand for its durable and performance-enhancing sunglasses.
The Composition of Oakley Lenses
Oakley lenses are crafted with meticulous care, employing a blend of materials and technologies to achieve unparalleled quality. Here’s what makes them special:
High Definition Optics (HDO)
HDO is a collection of patented technologies that allow Oakley lenses to surpass the testing standards of the American National Standards Institute for optical clarity, visual fidelity, and impact resistance. These technologies are pivotal in making lenses that enhance safety and performance.
Lens Material: Plutonite
One of the core materials that Oakley uses for its lenses is Plutonite. Plutonite is a high-grade polycarbonate material that is lightweight and offers superior comfort and protection.
Plutonite inherently blocks 100% of all UVA, UVB, UVC, and harmful blue light up to 400nm. Its impact resistance properties exceed the standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), making it an excellent choice for safety glasses or sports eyewear.
Plutonite is a pure material that allows for minimal refraction. As a result, Oakley lenses offer an uncompromised clear vision, which is especially important during high-speed activities where clarity and focus are critical.
Oakley employs various lens coatings to enhance the performance of their lenses further.
Iridium Lens Coating
Iridium is a lens coating that is used to reduce glare and regulate light transmission. It is particularly useful in very bright conditions where glare can be an issue, such as on water or snow.
Anti-reflective (AR) Coating
Oakley’s AR coating is applied to the back of the lenses to prevent reflections from the sides and back. This coating is beneficial in improving visibility in bright conditions.
Hydrophobic and Oleophobic Coatings
These coatings repel water and oils respectively. They ensure that the lenses don’t attract smudges and stay clean. The hydrophobic coating is particularly useful in the rain as it ensures that water droplets don’t stay on the lenses.
Prizm Lens Technology
One of Oakley’s revolutionary lens technologies is Prizm. Prizm lenses are designed to enhance color, contrast, and detail for an optimized experience.
How Does Prizm Work?
Prizm technology fine-tunes the individual wavelengths of color to sharpen visual acuity. This enhances the ability to see subtle changes in road texture or the track; hence, athletes can react more quickly and perform better.
Applications of Prizm
Prizm technology is tailored to different environments. For example, Prizm Road is designed to enhance vision in both bright light and shadows, helping cyclists to see changes in texture
and spot hazards more easily. Prizm Golf, on the other hand, is designed to enhance color and contrast to help golfers spot changes in the greens.
Oakley also offers prescription lenses for those who need corrective eyewear. These lenses are custom made and provide the same high-quality material and coatings as non-prescription lenses.
In recent times, Oakley has been making efforts to become more sustainable. The company is exploring using renewable materials and reducing waste in the manufacturing process. This adds another layer of appeal to the environmentally-conscious consumer.
Conclusion: The Oakley Edge
Oakley lenses are a product of years of innovation and expertise. By using high-quality materials like Plutonite, incorporating proprietary technologies such as High Definition Optics and Prizm, and offering various coatings to enhance performance, Oakley sets the benchmark in eyewear. Whether you’re an athlete looking for that performance edge or a fashion-conscious individual seeking stylish sunglasses, Oakley has something for everyone.