Protect Your Eyes with the Best Self-Darkening Welding Helmets

July 17, 2020 0 Comments

If, for work or hobby, you often have occasion to do welding, you know how important it is to wear a welding mask. There are special models on the market that protect the eyes and skin not only from welding splashes but also from the possible damage of ultraviolet and infrared rays emitted by the arc. We are talking about the best self-darkening cheap welding helmet.

This type of helmet offers variable control of the level of dimming, which is automatically adjusted from light to dark and vice versa. Its operation is based on the presence of some sensors that detect the light of the welding arc and darken in a few milliseconds, thanks to the rapid change of the liquid crystal screen.

It is advisable to check that the model chosen meets the criteria provided for by current legislation: in addition to checking the presence of the markings, it is a good idea to examine the various parameters linked on the product data sheet, which you can often find online or consult at the company.

How to choose the self-darkening welding helmet?

Today welding masks are much more up-to-date than 10-15 years ago. They are designed for each specific use and meet a precise and strict regulatory requirements regarding the quality of materials and safety and protection requirements. Here are some aspects to consider when making your choice.

Arc sensors

These helmets are supplied by a series of sensors that detect the welding spark. Depending on their number, position and sensitivity they are able to accurately capture the surrounding light levels and activate the dimming protection.

The basic models are in principle equipped with 2 sensors, while the more professional models have 3 or 4 sensors.

The more arch sensors are present, the less chance there is of the helmet becoming obscured at a crucial moment: in fact, the greater the number of sensors, the less chance there is of all these obstructed obstacles. Usually two sensors need to be protected, but if for example you are doing more welding out of position, more sensors can certainly help.

Reaction time

This parameter is related to the time it takes the application to darken, or switch from normal (usually # 3 or # 4) to protective, darker shade. The faster this time is, the less radiation assistance your eyes need. The simpler helmets have a reaction time close to 1 / 3,600 of a second, and the more advanced versions can reach speeds of 1 / 20,000 of a second.


You can generally adjust the delay and sensitivity settings.

The delay is a measure of the time it remains closed blurred or dark after the luminous arc of the weld is finished. The sensitivity is relative to the brightness of the arc that should be emitted all at once so that the automatic dimming function is active.


If you work long hours a day, it’s best to choose a comfortable, flexible and easily adjustable model. Choose one with a cushioned front strap for added comfort. Also make sure it’s adjustable up, down, back and forth, and that it effortlessly sticks around your face. And make sure it has good heat dissipation.

Heaviness is another critical component: a heavy model can significantly increase the feeling of fatigue. Ready-made head proteins make welding safer, less demanding and more comfortable.


The standard lens size is 2″ x 4″. The larger the size, the greater will be the ability to see through the outer and inner lens.

Also make sure your helmet also has the right range for the type of welding you will be doing. It may be interesting to get a protective helmet with torch or light mode.


The battery life is the energy calculated in decades, the exceeding of the battery life against batteries.

Models with this type of power supply are also less expensive in the long run, as you do not need to spend money on new batteries.

Solar powered helmets must be placed in the sun for a few hours before they work properly. And once the energy runs out, they need to be recharged again – a process that can take a couple of hours. Battery-powered models, on the other hand, don’t need to be recharged and can be used immediately.

The ideal is to be able to use a helmet that combines both sources – battery and solar energy. In this way, you have a twofold advantage: the saving linked to the fact that the recharge is performed with solar energy and the practicality necessary to be able to use the helmet immediately, changing the batteries when necessary.

Better self-darkening lenses or standard?

The filter of helmets with photosensitive lenses automatically darkens in an auto-light-sensitive way when sensors detect the luminous welding arc. When the rest shadow is usually at a level 3 or 4 to allow easy viewing.

Once the sensors detect the arc, they check that it darkens a level from 8 to 13. The sensors are powered by battery or a combination of lithium battery and solar battery. You can then keep the mask on at all times, making it easier to point and position the electrode.

In helmets with standard glass the dimming is fixed. These models are cheaper but not very practical: the operator has to lift the mask every time he fixes the welding and the joint. Such repetitive up and down movements after a day spent welding perform fatigue and neck contraction. In addition, less experienced welders can find it difficult to correctly aim the welding spot once the mask is lowered. Let’s not forget that an incorrect start can damage weld defects.

Variable shade screens are present on all helmets with self obscuring filters (ADF). They come into operation when the sensors detect intense light by activating the filter and dimming the application with the appropriate shade. Variable shade lenses are preferred to protect the eyes against arcing and provide a view of the entire weld.

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