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Last year I was introduced to my first pair of prescription glasses with Transitions lenses, the adaptive lenses that can magically turn from clear to dark and back according to the lighting condition, more specifically, the presence of UV lights.

I really liked the lenses, it is really a pair of glasses you can take anywhere and it’ll just auto adjust to perfect tint outdoor and clarity indoor.

getting the frame for my Transition Signature lenses
getting the frame for my Transitions Signature lenses

Now Transitions has come up with an even better version of their already very successful lenses – the Transitions Signature Lenses.

The new lens comes with Chromea7 technology that promises a few key advantages over the previous version:

  • more reactive to indirect sunlight
  • more responsive in hotter climate
  • fade back to clear faster than previous generation
  • in  aesthetically pleasing colors

Transitions vs normal lens, with my brother at Legoland
Transitions lens vs normal lens, with my brother at Legoland, 2013

The photo above is of a previous generation Transitions lens glass that I was using last year, you can already see the difference of the tint compared with the normal lens my brother was wearing.

Transition Signature lenses outdoor test
Transition Signature lenses outdoor test

With the latest Transitions Signature lenses that is more reactive to indirect sunlight, the effect in changing tint happens very fast. Observe the above photo with my new pair of Transition lenses taken at about 5:30pm after a rainy afternoon. The glasses exhibit a partial tint that allows excellent visibility pretty much in an instant. The change is also very uniform.

360 degree virtual demo
360 degree virtual demo

If you’re not very familiar with Transitions lenses, hop over to and check out the 360 degree virtual demo (works a little bit like Google Map Streetview).

Use your mouse to slide around and see a simulation on how the lens adapts to the changing lighting condition by changing from 0 to 100% tint, reducing glare when it is bright, while retaining clarity of clear glasses in darking areas.

quick demo with day/night slider
quick demo with day/night slider

Another quick demo at showcase the ability of the lens in a simpler way. Using the slider to change the scenary from day to night with a see-through-the-lens window in the center showcasing changing tint of Transitions lens.

With the new lens, Transitions also came up with the Life 360 methodology to measure the performance of their photochromic lens. The test involves over 200 real life conditions in 1000+ scenarios around the world with a more holistic approach, testing with real people in real scenarios to better reflect everyday conditions.

Some of the important findings are:

  • 86% of clear lens wearers were satisfied with their outdoor vision with Transitions Signature lenses.
  • 96% of clear lens wearers were satisfied with the indoor clarity of Transition Signature lenses.
  • 2:1 preference for Transition Signature lenses over the previous generation

Personally, I like the new Transition Signature because of the excellent clarity and the speed of change in the tint over previous generation. The improvement is surely noticeable.

indoor clarity test, night shot with my kitty Tembikai
indoor clarity test, night shot with my kitty Tembikai

Look at the above photo taken indoor through my prescribed Transitions Signature, there’s no UV at night with indoor lighting and thus the glasses act like any clear lens, allowing 100% clarity.

I’ll demonstrate how useful the glasses is in a cycling situation in the next blog post.

If you’re interested in Transitions lenses for your next pair of glasses, head to to find out where you can get them.

Every single member of my family wear glasses, my mom and late dad usually wears them for reading, my younger brother is a full time wearer due to short sightedness, and my sister recently had her lasik. I am the lone ranger who can sort of get by without wearing glasses, or so I thought.

Truth is, I always thought I had rather good vision. It wasn’t until when I went to Sepang for a drag race (as spectator, of course) that I found out I actually had problem viewing the timing display a 1/4 mile away while my buddy Kenneth could read it perfectly without any trouble. That’s when he suggested to me that I might suffer from astigmatism and that I should have my eyes checked.

Optical 88 at Suria KLCC, and my choice of frame
Optical 88 at Suria KLCC, and my choice of frame

The first pair of glasses I made was about 4 years ago, right after treating an eye injury I suffered while playing futsal, and it wasn’t until then that my astigmatism was confirmed by professionals.

I started wearing the glasses mostly while driving at night, it was like from normal movie to IMAX high definition, with the improvement even more pronounced when it rains. With astigmatism, glare is usually my biggest enemy.

time to check my eye sight, seems like it's similar to before
time to check my eye sight, seems like it’s similar to before

A couple weeks ago, I went for another eye test (perhaps once in 4 years is a bit slacking it) to get another pair of glasses, this time arranged by Transitions Optical to test drive their adaptive lenses.

The operators at Optical 88, KLCC were very helpful and professional in explaining and conducting the eye test to find out my condition. It was a two step process, starting with a computerized eye check that tells an approximate reading, followed by another detailed and more manual process in which lenses are swapped around in order to find out my exact power (not to be confused with super power.)

activation mid-light, it was just after rain
activation mid-light, it was just after rain

My readings came out to be P, -100, 75 for right eye, and -025, -075, 105 for left eyes (SPH, CYL, AXIS). The lady explained to me that I have mild to moderate astigmatism in both eyes, and a very mild case of short sightedness in my left eye.

I didn’t have the detailed reading from 4 years ago but I believe there weren’t any short sightedness then.

Three days later, I collected my second pair of prescription glasses in my life – this time with adaptive lenses from Transitions Optical.

Transitions vs normal lens, with my brother at Legoland
Transitions® lens vs normal lens, with my brother at Legoland

For those who aren’t familiar with Transitions lenses, it is basically a very clever technology. The lenses uses a patented photochromic technology that enables rapid activation (darkening of the lens) when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet lights. When UV light is absent, the lens quickly fade back to clear. Other than UV light, temperature also play a part in affecting the reaction time of these lenses as well.

In short, it’s even better than just having a pair of glasses for when you’re indoor, and another pair of sunnies when you’re out, for with Transitions lenses the darkening isn’t just an ON/OFF thing but varying shades in between too. However, it’s good to note that Transitions® lenses do not turn as dark as sunglasses especially in our climate.

adaptive lens is the way to go for motorcycling, can't take off the glasses at will
adaptive lens is the way to go for motorcycling, can’t take off the glasses at will

Back to driving, I find using my new pair of glasses a much more convenient and safer affair.

One of my friends on facebook mentioned his incidence of driving in a tunnel that appeared way too dark, and was about to curse when he realized he was actually still wearing his sunnies. This might sound funny, but is actually also a safety concern. With Transitions lenses, there is no such problem.

outdoor vs indoor, from dark to clear

I tried using sun glasses while riding my bikes before, but with the full face helmet there isn’t a way to take it off when going through tunnels or when it gets too dark. Again, no such problem with my new glasses. It’ll go completely clear and back to dark rather quickly in changing conditions.

Do note that if you use visors with UV protection, the lack of UV inside the helmet will not trigger the darkening of the lenses. My visor happened to be the clear type without UV protection so it worked very well for me.

great view right? not when you're driving, especially with astigmatism
great view right? not when you’re driving, especially with astigmatism

Transitions lenses also blocks 100% of UVA & UBV rays, and designed to work with most prescriptions and frames. They come in either brown or gray, and are safe for any age, including children.

Check this out when it’s time for your next pair of glasses, it’s time to take a serious look into adaptive lenses. If you head to Optical 88 at KLCC, Sunway Pyramid, or Mid Valley, quote “KY” to get yourself a pair of Transitions Adaptive Lenses and walk yourself home with Transitions exclusive travel wallet and name card holder (worth RM59.90) while stock lasts.

Furthermore, to make things more interesting, here’s a little something:

  • Leave a comment to this question: “What do you love about Transitions Lenses and how do they fit perfectly in your daily life?”
  • One lucky winner with the most creative comment will walk home with RM500 vouchers upon prescription of Transitions Lenses in Optical 88!
  • Contest ends by 31st August, 2013
  • The prize is non-transferable and non-exchangeable for cash.

Good luck!

For more information, check out and their facebook page