How ClearLight 2.0 Helmet Lens Technology Benefits Welders with Better Visibility

November 2023

The best welding helmet not only provides the operator with safety and comfort it can also enhance a welder’s ability to work efficiently and deliver quality welds — all of which have an impact on an operation’s bottom line. 

While weight, balance, and materials, as well as applications, factor into welding helmet selection, the right lens is often what makes for the right helmet. And these days, small enhancements in lens technology can lead to significant gains in visibility, allowing operators to see more clearly and be more confident in their welds with the hood down. ClearLightTM 2.0 Lens Technology from Miller is a testament to this, making it possible to see the weld details more clearly with increased natural color — before, during, and after the weld. 

Allows for greater range of colors for clearer view 

At the most basic level, a welding helmet lens is certified to protect the welding operator from the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) rays present in the welding arc. In addition to protecting welders from these harmful rays, an auto-darkening welding helmet lens uses optical — and sometimes electromagnetic — sensors to change from a “light” state to a “dark” state when an arc is struck. 

Auto-darkening welding helmet technology — such as the enhanced ClearLight 2.0 Lens Technology — improves visibility by allowing a greater range of colors to come through the lens, providing protection while also giving welders a clearer view of the weld pool and surrounding workpiece during the welding process. 

Beyond providing clarity, lenses with this technology are designed to reduce eye strain when a welder isn’t working. It also lets them leave their helmet down during pre-weld setup or finishing work. When workers aren’t squinting or straining to see their work or having to pull their helmets up and down to get a closer look, this leads to greater efficiency, more comfort, and continuous protection. 

WD Nov 23 Miller Article 2 - Clearlight 2.0 Helmet CHART
ClearLightTM 2.0 Lens Technology from Miller lets welders see weld details more clearly and realistically with increased natural color – before, during and after the weld. This chart depicts the through-helmet view with ClearLightTM 2.0, a competitor helmet and a traditional helmet in both light and dark states.

Greater clarity improves safety and productivity

Continuous protection is indeed a priority. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are more than 15,000 welding equipment-related eye injuries a year. Eye injuries account for roughly 25 percent of all injuries to welding operators, and studies suggest that up to 90 percent of these injuries are preventable.

Injuries in manufacturing or industrial weld environments most commonly occur when the operator is not welding and has their helmet in the “up” position. In the past, it’s always been necessary to raise the helmet up for a clear line of sight while doing this kind of work. ClearLight 2.0 Lens Technology’s brighter light state offers greater clarity, which allows operators to keep their helmets down even when they’re performing non-welding tasks such as grinding or cleaning. 

Another benefit of ClearLight 2.0 Lens Technology is better productivity. When welding operators can clearly see the weld pool and surrounding workpiece, it can lead to higher-quality completed welds and less rework — saving a welding operation both time and money in the long run.

Reduces the need to constantly raise the helmet to inspect work and prevents eye strain 

Light state refers to the state of the lens when it’s not darkened for welding and is measured on a numeric scale that represents how much light is being filtered out. The scale typically runs from shade 4 to 13 for welding helmets. The higher the number, the more light that’s being filtered out and the darker the lens. A shade 13, for example, would be a darkened lens for high-amperage welding.

ClearLight 2.0 Lens Technology provides a brighter light state that sits at three on the scale. A ClearLight 2.0 helmet offers a noticeably brighter light state than a Shade 4 helmet — giving the operator a brighter view when the helmet is down, and they’re not welding. In terms of benefits, using a ClearLight 2.0 auto-darkening welding helmet also helps reduce the number of times an operator needs to remove or raise their helmet to inspect their work. 

Like the enhanced contrast in a wide-band lens, a brighter light state can reduce eye strain, which is important on the comfort and safety fronts — and ClearLight 2.0 achieves this brighter light state without compromising eye protection, which is especially critical as operators age. 

More color wavelengths make it easier to see peripheral items

Previous filter technology prevented some colors from passing through the welding helmet viewing area and resulted in the welder seeing an artificial yellow, green, or blue tint. However, ClearLight 2.0 Lens Technology allows colors commonly emitted through welding to pass through the lens filter, resulting in a more color-neutral lens.

The graph shows the transmittance percentage (y-axis) along the wavelength light scale (x-axis). The green line shows the color band from traditional lens technology, while the blue line shows the wide-band filter of newer, advanced lenses. These are the additional colors an operator can expect when welding with ClearLight 2.0. These benefits are also present when an operator isn’t welding because the heightened contrast in colors makes it easier to see peripheral items in between welds, leading to increased “helmet down” work time.

WD Nov 23 Miller Article 02 Graph
Older filter technology prevented some colors from passing through, which resulted in the operator seeing an artificial yellow, green, or blue tint. ClearLightTM 2.0 Lens Technology from Miller allows colors commonly emitted during welding to pass through the lens filter, providing a more color-neutral lens. This graphic depicts transmittance percentage (y-axis) along the wavelength light scale (x-axis). The green line shows the color band resulting from traditional lens technology, while the blue line shows the wide-band filter of newer advanced lenses. The display represents the additional colors operators can see when welding with ClearLightTM 2.0 Lens Technology.

Find the best welding helmet for you

ClearLight 2.0 Lens Technology is offered in numerous Miller® auto darkening welding helmets, including our Digital PerformanceTM, Digital EliteTM, Digital InfinityTM, and T94TM series. Meanwhile, our Classic VS Series — designed for the occasional and entry-level welder — is outfitted with our first-generation ClearLight Lens Technology. Check out our comparison chart to determine the best welding helmet for you.

-Sponsored by Miller-