Best solar eclipse glasses
A certified pair of solar eclipse glasses is a good, low-cost way of safely observing one of nature's most exciting events.
A solar eclipse is one of the most spectacular displays in nature, providing a life-changing, ethereal experience that many people never get to witness.
However, if you are observing a solar eclipse it's important to do so safely, as looking at the Sun without proper equipment can cause serious damage to your vision.
You should never look directly at the Sun without the protection of a certified solar filter, and while solar filters sound like high tech astronomical equipment, they can also take the form of eclipse glasses.
Put on a pair of eclipse glasses and you watch a solar eclipse safely, observing as the silhouette of the Moon passes in front of the Sun.
Before putting your eclipse glasses to use, however, you must always ensure that there are no pinprick holes in the lenses.
In the event that you do discover your eclipse glasses are damaged, do not attempt to fix them: get your hands on a brand new pair.
You also need to make sure you buy properly certified solar eclipse glasses from a reputable manufacturer: accept no substitutes, as buying homemade versions risks damaging your eyesight.
The International Organization for Standardization recommends only buying eclipse glasses that have the ISO 12312-2:2015 certificate, as these are certified as being safe for observing the Sun, including during a solar eclipse.
Myths abound regarding using smoked glass for observing solar eclipses, and we've even heard one erroneous claim that black bin liners can be used as a material for safe solar observing, but these methods are both ineffective and dangerous.
You should only use eclipse glasses or other certified solar observing equipment when observing an eclipse.
However, during a total solar eclipse, at the point of totality - when the Sun is completely covered by the silhouette of the Moon - many viewers take this opportunity to remove their eclipse glasses and enjoy the full spectacle.
If you do this, don't forget to put your eclipse glasses back on once the Moon's silhouette begins drifting away from the solar disc again.
Read our guide to find out when the next eclipse is taking place, and get prepared now by making sure you and your fellow observers have a good pair of eclipse glasses with which to enjoy the event.
Below is a selection of safe, certified eclipse glasses that can be used to safely observe one of nature's most incredible spectacles.
Best solar eclipse glasses
Education Harbour Solar Eclipse Glasses
The Education Harbour solar eclipse glasses are CE certified and are also ISO12312-2105 certified.
They filter out ultra-violet, infrared and 99.997% of visible light from the Sun, making them safe for observing the Sun and solar eclipses.
The glasses were tested at Durham University for safe solar observing and have been seen used by eclipse viewers on the BBC's Stargazing Live over the years.
They can also be used for observing the Sun when no eclipse is occurring, or for watching sunrise and sunsets.
Baader solar eclipse glasses
- Buy now from First Light Optics
Baader are well-known for their solar observing filters and film, so it's little surprise that the company's solar eclipse glasses are among the most popular and trusted of all models available to buy.
As you would expect, the Baader eclipse glasses are CE / ISO certified, conforming to the ISO 12312-2:2015 standard.
They reduce the intensity of sunlight by 99.999%, offer 100% UV/IR protection and come with instructions in English, German, French and Spanish.
Lunt solar eclipse glasses
- In the US? Buy now from Lunt Solar Systems
Just like Baader, Lunt have built up a reputation for producing safe, trustworthy and good quality solar observing equipment.
These Lunt solar eclipse glasses are approved by NASA and the American Astronomical Society, but most importantly they have that vital ISO and CE safety certification.
They filter out 100% of UV and IR rays, and 99.999% of visible sunlight.
Thousand Oaks Solar Filter Glasses
Well-known for their telescope solar filters, Thousand Oaks Optical also produce a range of solar eclipse glasses for safe observing of the Sun and those beautiful moments before and after totality.
These glasses can be used for regular solar observing and use black polymer as a filtering material.
They can be bought directly from the company’s website, but various online retailers offer them in bundles of 5, 10, 25 and 50, making them a good option for schools, astronomy societies and solar eclipse star parties.
Baader Planetarium AstroSolar Solar Filter
One other product useful for solar observing and solar eclipse viewing is properly certified solar filter foil.
This Baader solar safety foil can be used on small telescopes, finderscopes, binoculars and spotting scopes to turn your instrument into a safe solar-observing tool.
Be sure to follow the supplied instructions and make sure there are no scratches or pinholes in your safety film before use.
As with all solar observing, the advice is to only attempt if you are an experienced observer who knows what they're doing. If in doubt, don't try it!