Tuesday, April 16, 2024

9 solar eclipse glasses with ISO-certification

By now, you probably know a total solar eclipse will cross North America on April 8. It almost goes without saying, but viewing a solar eclipse requires staring at the sun for a prolonged period of time. Unaided, the act can cause severe eye damage. What’s more, a regular pair of sunglasses isn’t dark enough to view an eclipse either. Thankfully, eclipse viewing glasses make it possible to safely view the sky as the moon moves in front of the sun.

Don’t worry, these aren’t going to cost the hefty price of smart glasses or VR headsets, they’re simply well-made light-blocking glasses that meet industry standards — and can even be picked up for as little as a few dollars each.

A regular pair of sunglasses isn’t dark enough to view an eclipse.”

The American Astronomical Society issued a warning against counterfeit eclipse glasses that could leave viewers unknowingly watching the eclipse with insufficient protection. The organization explains that solar viewers should be tested to ISO 12312-2 standards, which is an international standard that tests solar viewing glasses to ensure very little solar infrared and ultraviolet light gets through. With the AAS finding some counterfeits no darker than regular sunglasses being printed with the stolen logo of a reputable company, eclipse glasses should be purchased both from an approved company and an authorized dealer.


Solar eclipse 2024: Interactive map and gadgets for the ultimate view

Want to see the 2024 solar eclipse on April 8? Use this interactive map to see its path — plus the best glasses and gadgets to watch it safely.

Following the recommendations of the AAS, we rounded up the best solar eclipse glasses for safely viewing the upcoming event. Whether you want affordable paper glasses or enough to host an eclipse viewing party, you’ll find several ISO 12312-2 standard eclipse glasses below.

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    American Paper Optics Eclipse Snap App Kit

    Best overall eclipse glasses

    Like your eyes, your phone cannot safely photograph the eclipse without protection. This kit from American Paper Optics and Solar Snap includes everything you need for two people to view and photograph the eclipse. It includes two paper sets of eclipse glasses as well as two smartphone filters compatible with iOS or Android devices.

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    American Paper Optics Eclipser HD Solar Glasses

    Best premium eclipse glasses

    Most solar eclipse glasses are made from paper — after all, eclipses don’t happen everyday, so most people don’t want to spend a lot of money on them. But if the idea of protecting your eyes with something made of paper sounds cringe, try these polymer-framed eclipse glasses from American Paper Optics. They’ll be sturdier and more comfortable to wear.

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    American Paper Optics Solar Eclipse Glasses

    Best budget eclipse glasses

    The most affordable way to safely view the solar eclipse is with a pair of ISO 12312-2 lenses in paper frames. These glasses from American Paper Optics are affordable at $3 for a single pair, plus shipping and taxes. The price drops if you pick up a multi-pack, which makes them a great option for equipping a family, party, or classroom. Plus, you can hand them out to friends.

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    Halo Phoenix Noir 3-in-1 Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses

    Best prescription eclipse glasses

    Are meant to be worn year-round, with a special attachment for eclipse viewing and features blue light-blocking lenses. A separate magnetic attachment turns them into sunglasses. Finally, the third piece of the kit is a clip on solar eclipse cover. The three-in-one design is versatile, though pricey if you just want to view the eclipse for a few minutes.

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    DayStar Filters Total Solar Eclipse Glasses

    Best budget 2-pack eclipse glasses

    These cardstock-framed eclipse glasses come in a variety of different designs. Made by AAS-approved company DayStar Filters, they’re available in multipacks from two to 1,000. The frames are designed to be folded to fit around the ears. The price and cardstock design make them perfect for sharing and you can even save them too for a future eclipse.

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    Celestron EclipSmart Ultra 8-Piece Kit

    Best eclipse glasses for families

    This 8-piece kit includes one pair of plastic-framed eclipse glasses, four pairs of paper solar glasses, a universal filter for smartphones or cameras, a guide booklet and a map of totality for the April 8 event. The camera filter is handheld, however, so if you plan on photographing the sky for an extended period of time, you may want a screw-in filter sized to your lens.

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    DayStar Filters 50mm Binocular Filter and Solar Glasses Fun Kit

    Best eclipse glasses/binocular kit

    Binoculars can get you a close-up view of the eclipse — but only if you properly protect them. This kit includes two 50mm solar eclipse filters designed to fit most binoculars, along with five pairs of eclipse glasses. That makes it a great option for passing your binoculars around for the whole family to view, while fully protected.

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    DayStar Filters Eclipse Glasses 5 Pack

    Best eclipse glasses kit for photographers

    This set of five solar eclipse glasses also comes with a filter designed for a camera or scope. The filter is part paper, just like the glasses, making it a good budget option, but be prepared to tape the edges down onto the lens barrel for this one. It comes from the AAS-approved company DayStar Filters and can be used to photograph sunspots.

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    Eclipse Over America Artist Series Eclipse Glasses

    Best custom eclipse glasses

    If you want affordable eclipse glasses that don’t look like everyone else’s, try a set of paper frames that feature artwork on the sides. The artist series puts creators’ designs on the glasses, and they receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale. The series has four different design options, or you can pick up a mystery pack.

Solar eclipse glasses need to block a majority of the light coming through the lens to make it safe to stare at the sun. You can even test out your eclipse glasses before the celestial event by putting them on outdoors on a sunny day. Eclipse glasses should block so much light that nearly everything except the brightest things like the sun and reflections of the sun are nearly black.

The best solar eclipse glasses put protection first, style second.

The best solar eclipse glasses put protection first, style second. To avoid wasting cash on a pair of eclipse glasses that aren’t safe, look for a pair of ISO 12312-2 glasses that come from a reputable company. But, to avoid accidentally picking up a counterfeit, you should also order the glasses through a reputable dealer as well.

All the glasses on this list are vetted by the AAS. Paper glasses from DayStar Filters or American Paper Optics come at an affordable price point. For family viewing or an eclipse party, get a kit that will also allow you to safely take photos of the eclipse as well. If you want to invest in long-term viewing for future events, try the plastic framed glasses from American Paper Optics.


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