UV400 and CE Mark Guide

UV400 and CE categories

Who doesn’t like to wear sunglasses? Either if it's for protection or fashion purpose, a perfect pair of sunglasses is your companion on those sunny days. But how do you know that you have the right sunglasses to protect you? A good pair of sunglasses protect you from harmful UV light and prevents you from being blinded by light. This guide will explain the purpose and meaning of the UV400 and CE marks (1-4) for sunglasses.

What does UV400 mean?

First of all UV, it stands for ultraviolet and is also known as ultraviolet-light which we cannot see with the naked eye. The sun is emitting those harmfull uv lights, the light rays it emits can be categorized in three groups: UVA, UVB, UVC and HEV rays. Each one of these uv-lights is harmful and can in some extent cause blindness. A UV400 mark means that the lens is blocking all the harmful UVA. UVB & HEV lights. You might understand that it is important to wear sunglasses with a UV400 mark on it. 

Does UV400 provide enough protection?

To make UV400 a bit clearer, let’s rake a look at the different wavelength of different types of Ultraviolet rays first. We have four types of UV light that our UV400 sunglasses protect you from. 

The types of UV light are as follows:

  • UVC light
    UVC is the most severe type of radiation. Luckily the radiations are all blocked by earth's atmosphere, so theres nothing to worry about!
  • UVB light
    Light with a wave length within 290 and 320 nm (nanometer). The UVB radiation will directly damage the human skin, commonly known as sunburn and in some severe cases as skin cancer. 
  • UVA light
    Light with a wavelength within 320 and 380 nm, these lights can penetrate deep into the human skin where they will cause indirect damage. These UVA radiations could potentially worsen the damage caused by UVB radiation.
  • HEV light
    HEV stands for high-energy visible light, which appears besides UV radiation. You will see this light as a bluish purple. The usual range of HEV light is 380 to 400 nm and they have the same effects as UVA radiation.

Now that you know what the UV radiation types are and what they can cause, you can understand why it's so important to protect yourself against them. A UV400 mark means that all the named UV radiations are blocked.

What does CE mark on sunglasses mean?

You might have seen a CE mark on sunglasses, but you don’t know what it actually is. The CE mark on a product means that the product meets the European Union standards. The word CE stands for European Conformity and is only marked on those products that meet consumers’ health, environment and safety standards.

Which CE categories are there?

There are five different CE categories for sunglasses and all of them have a different value of protection. It's important to understand the difference in the catergories, to be able to pick a suitable pair of sunglasses. The CE category tells you how much sunlight will be able to get through the lens. This is sometimes marked with % VLT, which means: visible light transmission. It literally tells you how much light is able to get through, the higer the percentage the less it's blocking. 

These CE mark categories for sunglasses are as follows: 

  • CE category 0 (80-100% VLT)
    CE category 0 is the first and lowest type of CE mark. It does only block between 0 and 20% of the light and isn't really noticeable. These are considered glasses, not sunglasses.
  • CE category 1 (43-80% VLT)
    CE category 1 is the second type of CE mark. It blocks about 20 to 57% of the light and is the first category to be called sunglasses. The low blocking of light make those sunglasses a good option for cloudy days.
  • CE category 2  (18-43% VLT)
    CE category 2 is the third type of CE mark. It can block between 57 and 82% of the light and is a good option for partly cloudy days. This type of CE mark is commonly used for driving sunglasses because they block sunlight but still give a good vision.
  • CE category 3  (8-18% VLT)
    CE category 3 is the third and most commonly used CE mark out there. These type of sunglasses block about 82 to 92% of the light. For a sunny day at the beach or on a boat, a pair of CE 3 sunglasses is strongly recommended. 
  • CE category 4 (3-8% VLT)
    CE Category 4 sunglasses have the highest value of protection against blindness. Category 4 lenses block between 92 and 97% of the light and are commonly used in sunlight intense situations. Examples are: climbing high mountains on a clear day, in a desert and on a sunny day on a snowy mountain. Although, keep in mind that a category 4 is not the best to use while snowboarding or skiing, as you won't be able to spot ice with them. 

To sum things up

UV400 is one of the essential parts of sunglasses, protection against harmful UV light should always be the priority. Look for the UV400 mark if you decide to buy sunglasses in the future. 

CE categories are a specific pick on your usage of the sunglasses. The higher the category number the more light they block. Although the CE category 3 is the most wide and common used value of protection. When you don't know what to pick, the category 3 sunglasses would be the best option. 

You can filter our store by CE and UV filters to make it easier for you.


6 comments


  • VAIN

    @DEAN
    UV400 is a coating that prevents the UVA,UVB and UVC (harmful) rays from reaching the eyes. So it’s separated from the CE mark that tells the user about the amount of sunlight that is able to get through the lenses.

    It is possible to have different CE categories between 1-4 with a UV400 filter. Sunglasses with a UV400 filter mainly are not found with CE 0, as those are rated normal reading glasses and block 0-20% of the light basically by just being glass.


  • VAIN

    @ MARGRET
    CE indeed only indicates the amount of sunlight that goes through the lenses.
    UV400 is a separate mark that tells you if it blocks the harmful UV rays.


  • Margret

    So if the sunglasses only has CE does that mean there is no UV protection


  • Carla

    Super duidelijke uitleg van UV400, dankjewel!


  • Dean

    Not one website has answered my question. How can it be that I have a pair of light yellow tinted glasses that are labeled 400 UV and, at the same time, they are rated a CE category 0? Category zero makes more sense than the 400 UV label. BTW – That UV label also claims to be CE. Is it possible for a pair of glasses to be both?


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published