Difference Between Black Iridium and Warm Grey Lenses

Oakley Inc. is a California-based company that manufactures sports equipment, eyewear, watches, and other accessories. It was founded by Jim Jannard in 1975.


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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, U.S., the company is currently one of the most popular eyewear-producing brands in the world. Out of their numerous optical lenses, Black Iridium and Warm Grey Lenses are two lenses that are very similar as well as popular.

Black Iridium Lens vs Warm Grey Lens

The difference between Black Iridium and Warm Grey Lenses is that the Black Iridium lens achieves its light-blocking properties from the iridium layer that is stick to the lens, whereas the Warm Grey lenses achieve the light-blocking because of the design and transparency of the lens. These two lenses also differ in terms of their performance in bright light.

Black Iridium Lens vs Warm Grey Lens

Black Iridium Lens, as the name suggests, comes with a black iridium coating on the glass lens. It has a grey base and an index of 3. This type of lens is specifically designed for performing best in conditions where the light is very bright.

It allows merely 10% of light to reach the eyes and hence keeps them safe from bright light. On the other hand, Warm Grey Lenses have no extra coating as the Black Iridium ones do.

Although they also have an index of 3 and 10% of the light allowance, they lag a little bit at performing in bright light when compared to the Black iridium lens. They are more suitable for use at dawn or dusk.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBlack Iridium LensWarm Grey Lens
BrandingBlack iridium lens is launched and marketed by Oakley Inc. Warm Grey lens is launched and marketed by Oakley Inc.
Light IndexIt has a light index of 3. Its light index is also 3.
Special CoatingIt has a coating of black iridium on the glass lens. There is no special coating on it.
Light Allowance It allows 10% of the light to reach the eyes. It has a light allowance of 10% too.
Suitability This lens is more suitable for bright and sunny hours. This lens is more suitable for dawn or dusk.
ShadeIt is way darker. It is lighter in comparison.

What is Black Iridium Lens?

Oakley is an international brand that deals with the production of several accessories for sports and eyewear. Several products have been introduced, especially eyewear.

Sunglasses, optical lenses, contact lenses are some of them. Black Iridium lens is one of the highly popular products of this brand. Going by its name, the lens has a coating of black iridium on its glass lens. It comes with a grey base and has a light index of 3.

It is neutral and is specifically designed to facilitate excellent vision in bright light. It does a great job when one is in bright sunlight, but it is not ideal for cloudy or foggy weather.

It is darker in the shade as compared to the Warm Grey lenses. Therefore, it fails to deliver the best in low light conditions. Black Iridium lenses provide great comfort to the eyes while taking photos in bright sunlight, sitting at the beach, or just spending time in sunlight.

But these lenses lag when it comes to things like driving, enhancing colours or providing clear visibility in low light. Even after going with the fact that the Black Iridium lens is a great choice under direct sunlight, it is not an all-rounder.

It cannot perform well while driving. So one should be clear in the head before choosing the lens.

black iridium lens

What is Warm Grey Lens?

Oakley as a brand has flourished a lot over the years. From just manufacturing normal spectacles to coming up with optical lenses that suit every possible situation, the company has grown.

Oakley glasses are mostly popular among the masses that believe in maintaining a fashionable and active lifestyle. Warm Grey Lenses are one of the most popular Oakley products.

They are specifically designed to serve well in medium bright light or sunlight. Whether it is dawn, dusk or just cloudy weather, these lenses guarantee the best visibility under all these conditions.

Just like the Black iridium lens, they offer 10% of light to enter into the eyes and have an index of 3. Warm Grey lenses have no special coating.

But still, they come with extremely amazing features related to visibility. They work well when one is driving because they provide great visibility in the medium as well as low light conditions.

As everything good has its drawbacks, the Warm Grey lenses are no exception. They fail to perform well in bright sunlight. It is because they are lighter in the shade and are unable to comfort the eyes when it is extremely bright outside.

warm grey lens

Main Differences Between Black Iridium and Warm Grey Lenses

  1. Black Iridium lens and Warm Grey lenses are manufactured by Oakley Inc. as different eyewear.
  2. Black Iridium lens has a coating of black iridium, while the Warm Grey lens has no special coating.
  3. The light-blocking properties of the Black Iridium lens come from the iridium coating, whereas, in the Warm Grey lens, it comes from the design and transparency.
  4. Warm Grey lenses are lighter in the shade as compared to the Black Iridium lens.
  5. Black Iridium lens works best in bright light conditions, while Warm Grey lens works best in low light conditions.


  1. https://journals.co.za/doi/abs/10.4102/aveh.v78i1.475
  2. https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article-abstract/424/4/2429/1053981
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