I have been buying all my prescription glasses at eyebuydirect.com for years, and about a year ago, I decided to try their “photochromatic” lenses. These are glasses that are clear indoors, but when you are outside, they darken automatically to become sunglasses.

Eyebuydirect offers multiple options for photochromic lens upgrades:

  • ‘Generic’ Photochromic - ~$36
  • Transitions Signature - ~$100
  • Transitions XTRActive: ~$140

My first pair was the generic photochromic lenses, and they worked really well. I had only two complaints: They did not get dark in the car (the UV-blocking glass of the car prevents it from changing), and they were slow to ‘transition’ back to clear when you walked indoors after being outside.

I broke the frame of those glasses and when reordering, decided to give the “Transitions XTRActive” a try. The eyebuydirect website says this about Transitions XTRActive:

Transitions® XTRActive® lenses deliver the best extra darkness and the best extra light protection indoors & outdoors. They’re clear indoors with a hint of protective tint and darken outdoors, even in the car. They also block 100% UVA/UVB and filter harmful blue light indoors & outdoors.

I was really excited to have them work in the car! However, real-life results haven’t been that impressive. They darken a bit in the car, but not to “full sunglasses” darkness. Also, they have a slight tint all the time. The description sort of points this out, but I didn’t understand that fully until I got them.

My recommendation, skip the Transitions branded stuff; the generic photochromic for $36 bucks is a great deal.