Motorcycle Night Riding Glasses. How do they work?
That right glasses with yellow lenses enhancing your eyeballs performance at night.
What is this witchcraft?
But do they really work?
Or is it steaming bullshit disguised as a golden ”lensed” nugget?
From personal experience, they do help with low light conditions.
But don’t expect to transform you into an all-seeing night riding motorcycle god on the road. That not what they do.
The way they are advertised is that they will reduce the glare from a bright light source like oncoming traffic headlights.
But guess what!? The yellow tint of the lenses will brighten up everything at night. How? Through magic, of course!
Ok, Sarcasm aside.
There is no way night glasses ”brighten things up” because the lenses are tinted, period.
Tinted material in front of your eyeballs means it limits the light coming into your eyes. Simple science, Dha!
Here the twist why night glasses work anyway.
What also happens is the yellow tint eliminates the blue color from your field of view.
And obviously, yellow lenses right up your eyeballs will tint everything you see yellow.
In turn, this enhances contrast by a small amount. This is an eye illusion.
This illusion may let you see objects more clearly in poor lighting conditions.
This is what makes you feel like everything ”brighter” when you wear night glasses.
And because the tint limits the amount of light coming into your eye, this reduces the glare and blinding effect from bright lights.
So motorcycle night glasses are basically eye trickery.
Like magic :)!
Benefits of Night Riding Glasses
I was first introduced to night glasses when I was a long-distance truck driver.
I woke up at 1 AM, and my 18 wheels were starting to roll around 2 AM. The whole point was to drive part of the night and early morning to avoid traffic.
Apart from destroying my body and social life, the added benefit was to end my work shift early in the afternoon. #truckerlife
Anyways… Driving that many hours at night was difficult.
Eye strain was added to the sleepless mental fatigue…
PS don’t choose night shift truck driver as a career… It Sucks!
Anyways I saw a pair of night driving glasses at your typical Pilot truck stop one morning.
”Ha, what the hell? I’ll give them a try.”
(I still got and use this pair to this day)
It took a little time to get used to seeing everything yellow.
Did the Night Driving Glasses Worked?
I noticed a positive change in my eyesight in darker lighting conditions, especially after long driving hours. I felt lesser eye fatigue than usual and, overall, felt more awake.
I didn’t felt as drained after a long driving working shift.
But what about the actual reason to wear them by being able to see better at night?
You know… seeing better in general at night?
My answer is a positive: Yes!
In my opinion, I feel they give my vision an edge.
Again, it was not game-changing, but it helped. I felt more comfortable, alert and could anticipate road danger farther away.
And I confirm, I feel less blinded by car headlights that pass me in the oncoming lane when I wear them.
I also started wearing my night glasses in other low-light situations.
Like dawn, dusk, and during the day when it is cloudy or raining.
I found that they retain their positive effect on my sight in these lower light situations too.
Unexpected and Weird Side Effect
On an overcast day or when it is raining… I feel… happier when wearing my night glasses.
And there is some science and logic behind this.
For example, most of us feel down and groggy on a day where the Sun is nowhere to be found.
That normal because everything is grey, and grey is dull and depressive. And it is expected you feel like that on an overcast day. That part of being human, our brains react to color.
Night-driving glasses counteract some of that grey effect by coloring what you see in yellow.
What yellow represents to the human mind is;
And it not only me feeling this weird subtle passive effect from my night glasses.
I gifted a pair to my girlfriend for her personal use.
I did not tell her anything about the secret side-effect I felt wearing the glasses during the day.
My girlfriend is a trucker too.
After wearing them for some weeks, driving her own 18 wheelers truck, she told me the same thing about how she felt about night glasses.
You can call me a sellout, but that an exciting coincidence.
The Dangers and Downsides of Night Riding Glasses for Bikers.
In short, two-issue with night glasses and motorcycle
- Making it worse at seeing things at night.
- Broken glass shard in your eye (ouch)
Ok, let begin with the ”making it worse at seeing things at night.”
Say what now? Aren’t night glasses supposed to provide…the opposite?
In theory and the proper environment, yes.
In some instances, not entirely.
Remember when I told you tinted lenses in front of your eye limit the amount of light your eyeball can assimilate?
Here the weak point;
Night glasses ”manipulate” the light your eye perceives…
As in, they NEED some light to work.
You see the problem now? pun intended 🙂
In very dark situations like a county road in the middle of nowhere, middle of the night, that where night glasses are dangerous.
Suppose your only light source is your motorcycle headlight; that not enough. By further reducing the amount of light your eye can use, you will see from less far away in the distance.
Night glasses become a road hazard for you at this point.
Remove the night glasses and put on some clear ones.
In these darker situations, slow down to give more time for your eyes to analyze the road ahead.
Rely on your high beams and replace them with brighter units if you feel they are not strong enough.
Night driving glasses and night riding glasses for motorcycles are different.
That is Shatter Resistance.
Regular night driving glasses like my own.
No impact treatment on these. They are a regular tinted piece of glass on a frame you get at your local gas station.
if debris hits them fast and hard enough when riding, there is a shattering chance
If you got a shield on your helmet, just ride with the visor down. Problem solved
The shield will do its job. Protecting everything behind it, including your glasses.
Otherwise, if you are the kind of rider whose first line of facial defense is your glasses, take action.
Get shatter-resistant night riding glasses.
They are designed for use on a motorcycle. They won’t put a million glass shards in your eye when a piece of flying gravel hits you in the face.
You know the type of rock I’m talking about? The one that chips your car’s windshield, an impact-treated glass, and that piece of earth still craked it?
Buy shatter-resistant glasses guys. Don’t go riding with a glass time bomb right in front of your nose.
Yellow tinted glasses designed for working like for construction workers are fine for motorcycling too.
After all, they are designed to stop objects and protect your eyeball in the first place.
Alternative to Night Glasses for Bikers
If you wear prescription glasses when riding, you got this option to consider.
If you don’t use your helmet drop-down sun visor, there may lie a solution to night vision glasses.
Some helmet replacement sun visors come in yellow tint for night riding.
Know that they are rare, and most helmet models don’t offer this kind of parts.
Type in your helmet model on goggles followed by ‘’replacement sun visor’’. You should find a selection of sun visors for your helmet and your answer if a yellow tint option is available to you.
If you got an Old School-looking helmet, you could buy a universal bubble shield tinted yellow.
They are easier to come across than yellow drop-down sun visors.
Lastly, something that is not tinted yellow but quite useful still. Photochromic glasses or also known as transition lenses.
They darken on their own in the presence of strong light like daylight and become clear when it dark. A valuable piece of equipment when the sun comes down.
Night riding glasses are an excellent tool to have in your arsenal to enjoy motorcycling.
Although they don’t fix the problem of seeing better at night, it by much, they do help and reduce the factors of eye fatigue.