Looking At The Sun With a Welding Helmet

It is always being remain curious to look at the sun, but whenever someone tries to do this, it seems to be difficult, and this happen because of vision issue.

There are many ways to look at the sun as like with sun glasses or hats. When you look at the sun with sunglasses they only protect directly protect your eyes and from the sides. It means sunlight penetrate behind the glasses and cause damage.

Recent research from NASA shows that you can use a welding helmet to look at the sun but it is possible when helmet is setup with lenses shade of 12 or higher. Then a question arises in our minds that in what ways welding helmet protect our eyes.

All the welding helmets are not same. There are different shades level which protect eyes. So in this article we discuss all those points through which you can learn that what to do when you want to look at the sun. And also learn that what happen to your eyes when you look at the sun.

Can you look at the sun through welding helmet?

To look at the sun through sun glasses is not safe. According to NASA safety information now specific type of solar filter are used to view the sun. So if you want to stare at the sun then welding helmet with a shade level of 12 or higher is recommended.

Use of welding helmet is the safest way of looking at the sun.

Key points of welding helmet

There are many ways through which welding helmet protect your eyes.

  • Use of welding helmet is best inspect of looking directly at the sun.
  • Actually welding helmet is a piece of headgear welders use to protect their eyes, face and neck.
  • In welding helmet there is a window in front of eye area with a filter that is known as lens shade.
  • Lens is used because the welder can see, and for the eye protection shade is used.
  • So to stare at the sun in a protective way is important to choose an appropriate shade number, which is correlate with the ability of lenses.
  • According to NASA the higher the shade factor the greater the chances of protection for your eyes.
  • Minimum shade level is 12 and above it is 13 level which is also good. But welding level shade 14 is the ideal shade to look at the sun.
  • Welder also recommended auto darkening welding helmet. It because auto darkening shade sets to changing level of brightness. So it help to protect their eyes..
  • Welding helmet are in Variety of shades.
  • Before to look at sun it is very important you knows about all the shade levels. Shade levels which are mostly selected are 10 or  11.these are too low levels for viewing sun so these are mostly neglected.

Some picks for welding helmet

There is large selection of welding helmet which protect your eyes from harmful rays. So here we selected some of best welding helmets, that might be really helpful for you.

Lincoln Viking 3350

Its design is optimized to distribute weight across the helmet to set the balance and make it feel lighter. linclon Viking series comes in colorful style. Its design is unique and comfortable. It has an adapter that fit into an hard hat.

Antra AH6 -260

It offers some unusual features for its class. Its shades level are from 5-13.Its filter glass is designed as that it protect from UV and IR whether it power up or not.

Yeswelder 302

It is one of the best welding helmet. Its viewing area is about 14.8 square inch. Yeswelder have solid construction. It have auto darkening area, it has unique feature that it fit into tight areas.
It provide a wide angle view with a nearly 180 degree.

Hobart 770890 Inventor

It play a major role in welding industry. The shell of helmet is made of polyamide nylon. And this material offers light weight for its degree of protection from debris, collision, slag,and spark.
Hobart helmet has light weight as compared to other helmets in its class.

Can you see out of welding helmet ?

Never look to directly at sun because it is dangerous for eyes. It because when you stare directly at the sun UV rays affect your eye retina. There are different types of sunlight that can damage your eyes.

Can you see out of welding helmet ?

1. UVA

UVA rays have very long wavelength as compared to UVB AND UVC. These rays can damage the cornea. Mostly eye problems which are due to sun rays are macular degeneration,cataracts,and pinguecula are included.

2. UVB

These rays have short wavelength .these are weaker rays. But these also harmful for human skin and eyes. Because of their short wavelength they reach the outer layer of your skin.

3. UVC

These rays has very adverse affects on the skin .they can cause severe burns of the skin. These are the highest energy radiations. So avoid direct exposure to these rays. Nearly ozone block all of these damaging rays.

Also Check Types of welding gases

Symptoms of eye problems

It is really very dangerous for eyes ,when you stare directly at the sun. It cause lots of problems. Because when your eyes exposure to sun directly then many harmful issues are created. To look sun directly also leads to you blindness. It cause loss of color vision, blurred vision, blind spot, these all are serious symptoms from staring at the sun.

If you look too long at the sun then it also cause the permanent eye damage, and then it may ne impossible to set your vision properly.

UV rays will enter the eye and affect you sensitive tissue retina that lines the inner eye. These rays also after entering into the eyes cause a bunch of free radicals to form. And these radicals can cause oxidation around the eye tissue. And these damage are mostly cone and rod Photoreceptor damage, and oxidative damage to the eye.

There  are following symptoms eyes ,when you stare direct at the sun.

  • Sensitivity

Due to sunlight many problems occurs like sensitivity in which the main symptom is that difficulty feels to look at the bright screen .

  • Macular degeneration

in which the issues are most serious. Due to rays breakdown of the central portion of retina occure,and it usually causing vision loss.

  • Irritability

Due to irritability you feel itching,grittiness,burning,and watering eyes.

  • Cataracts

in cataracts the problems which are created  breakdown in the proteins of your eye lens that causing vision problems.

  • Pinguecula

It increased the yellow bumps on the outer lenses of the eye. It also cause usually reversible but cause irritation.

So these are some symptoms which are created due to sunlight.

How can you protect your eyes

  • Mostly short term damage occurs when you looking directly at the sun too long and usually cause blindness. So avoid looking directly.
  • Usually permanent eye damage can occur within 100 seconds. And this also depends upon the intensity of light.
  • It also observed that drugs that dilate your pupil can also grow up the damaging effect of UV rays due to the amount your eyes will absorb.
  • Long time damage mostly impossible to cure, but if you take some safety measures then it become possible to protect yourself by wearing glasses that block both UVA and UVB.


As we discussed all the basic points of that how you look at the sun with welding helmet, and also talk about that what happened when you look at the sun with naked eye.

Sunlight can create many problems for your eyesight. But by understanding all term and conditions you can just not protect yourself but also will be able to look at the sun by using welding helmet.

So always protect your eyes whenever you do any work that requires you to see intense sunlight. Staring at the sun can for prolonged period lead to permanent damage. So take care of your eyes while doing any activity. So eye protection is essential when dealing with the sun. Welding helmets are useful and also offer protection for sun gazing.


What kind of shade you need to look at the sun?

You need only those shades which are safe for viewing of the sun, and these are the mostly shade level 12 or higher. The higher one is more darker than the filter used for most kinds of welding.

How to test auto darkening welding helmet?

You can test in this way that you look first at the helmet that is it working ,if so then you can test it. By this test you will be able to that how quickly your lenses adjust to the increased intensity in light.

Rob Steven

Rob Steven

I'm Rob Steven with more than 10+ years of experience in the welding field, I have done my welding degree from Central Louisiana Technical Community College, it was always fun and passion for me going into welding. Now being a passionate welder I also blog about welding.