You don't have to read The Happiness Project to know that smart decisions can bring about big benefits in your daily life. But, is changing your worldview as easy as slipping on a new pair of shades? Southern California's Spy Optics thinks so. In addition to upping contrast and lessening distortion, their heir patent pending Happy Lens removes harmful UV A, B, and C rays. Many competitors do that but unlike these other shades, Happy Lenses allows long wave blue light in. According to Spy, these "good rays" that other lenses block provoke the brain to release more of the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin, which results in a better mood and increased alertness while also benefitting your circadian rhythm.
Hyperbole? Perhaps. But just being outside on a sunny day provokes the neurochemist in your brain to dole out serotonin as well as its fun-producing pal, dopamine. And whether or not Happy Lens tech works as advertised, the clarity of the company's lenses is sharp. Even in low light, the contrast proved impressive as we easily differentiated changes in the trail scenery that other glasses couldn't capture. The lens is available in 18 different models. We're partial to the Frazier, a light, wrap-around style frame and the Fold, a wayfarer-style frame that collapses into a Lucky Strike-sized carrying case. Are they going to turn heads? No. But they offer the classic I'm-going-to-the-beach good looks, and sometimes that's enough for us. Who knows why? Maybe we're just feeling more upbeat than usual.
[from $95; spyoptic.com]
Days Tested: 60 days
Area Tested: Everyday use in the mountains, city, and beach.
Conditions Encountered: Sunny California days, premature June Gloom.
Nitpick:The tiny smiley face etched into the left lens transports us to second grade