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The difference between 1/1/1/2 and 1/1/1/1 auto-darkening lens

A lot of helmets say they've got a 1/1/1/2 or 1/1/1/1- lens so let's see what that actually means, and just how much of a difference 1 number can make to your welding helmet visibility.
While each brand of helmet will have different technologies, the ratings still represent the same thing.  Have a look at the image comparison below of the TynoWeld TRUE COLOR 1/1/1/1 lens rating compared to other brands - quite a difference right?

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Anyone who's had an auto-darkening helmet lens that's 1/1/1/2 or less will immediately notice the difference in clarity when they try on a helmet with a 1/1/1/1 lens with true colour. But how much difference can 1 number make? Well the truth is, it would be very difficult for us to show you in an image - it's one of those things you need to try on to see.

What is true colour?
True colour lens technology gives you realistic colour while welding. No more green environments with weak colour contrasts.TRUE COLOR
The European Standards Commission developed the EN379 rating for auto-darkening welding cartridges as a way of measuring the quality of optical clarity in auto-darkening helmet lens.  To qualify for a EN379 rating, the auto-darkening lens get tested and rated in 4 categories: Optical class, Diffusion of light class, Variations in luminous transmittance class, and Angle dependence on luminous transmittance class.  Each category is rated on a scale of 1 to 3, with 1 being the best (perfect) and 3 the worst.

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Optical class (accuracy of vision) 3/X/X/X
You know how distorted something can look through water?  That's what this class is all about.  It rates the level of distortion when looking through the welding helmet lens, with 3 being like looking through rippled water, and 1 being next to zero distortion - practically perfect.

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Diffusion of light class X/3/X/X
When you're looking through a lens for hours at a time, the tiniest scratch or chip can have a big impact.  This class rates the lens for any manufacturing imperfections.  Any top rated helmet can be expected to have a rating of 1, meaning it is free of impurities and exceptionally clear.

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Variations in luminous transmittance class (light or dark areas within the lens) X/X/3/X
Auto-darkening helmets typically offer shade adjustments between #4 - #13, with #9 being the minimum for welding.  This class rates the consistency of shade across different points of the lens.  Basically you want the shade to have a consistent level from top to bottom, left to right.  A level 1 will deliver an even shade throughout the entire lens, where a 2 or 3 will have variations at different points on the lens, potentially leaving some areas too bright or too dark.

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Angle dependence on luminous transmittance X/X/X/3
This class rates the lens for it's ability to provide a consistent level of shade when viewed at an angle (because we don't just weld stuff that's directly in front of us).  So this rating is particularly important for anyone welding those hard to reach areas.  It tests for a clear view without stretching, dark areas, blurriness, or issues with viewing objects at an angle.  A 1 rating means the shade stays consistent no matter the viewing angle.

Post time: Sep-18-2021