How can I use a welding helmet to view a solar eclipse?

Everyone must have heard about seeing/viewing the eclipse; however, not all know about using a welding helmet to view the eclipse? The solar eclipse is not a once in a lifetime event. However, you may not be in the area or geographical region where it will take place.

A total solar eclipse happens about twice in one year, so do your research, so you do not miss out on the supposed viewing date. Besides, you will not want to miss that natural event because you are not prepared.

“It’s better not to stare directly at an eclipse,” says Jeff Goldblum.

This is true; indeed, you can’t view an eclipse properly with your naked eye; it might cause partial or total damage to your eyes. 

Classic sunglasses, as well as most special darkened lenses, don’t provide enough protection either.

Now, coming back to your question, can you witness an eclipse with a welding helmet?

The answer is yes, you can. 

This blog will guide you on the right method and precautionary measures when preparing to witness an eclipse.

 So please give it a read till the end.

Let us dive into some factors to consider when getting a welding helmet to view the solar eclipse

1

Right Helmet

When you are purchasing a helmet, make sure experts like NASA authenticate it. Check if your helmet is compliant with ISO 12312-2. If your helmet is compliant, then you can witness the partial and total eclipse for as long as you wish.

2

Right Shade No

The right shade of the helmet is the second thing you must check. The appropriate shade is 12 or higher. A shade 13 might be the best suitable shade for this purpose. However, 14 would be too dark to watch the eclipse, but it will do as well.

3

Appropriate Window

See if your helmet has a proper window to see through and make sure there are no scratches and cracks on the glass.

If there is a print on your helmet regarding the time limit to see the eclipse, that might be an outdated helmet. Avoid using such helmets; after all, it is a matter of eye care & safety.

The right method of using a welding helmet to view the eclipse

Below are some tips to consider while using your welding helmet to view an eclipse

  • Wear the helmet appropriately before looking towards the eclipse
  • Don’t look towards eclipse while wearing the helmet
  • See the eclipse as long as you want to see
  • Fully move your head & eyes downThen
  •  Remove the helmet

NASA Recommendations

NASA’s recommendations for viewing a solar eclipse safely

  • Never use regular sunglasses because they don’t provide sufficient eye protection

  • Avoid using homemade filters

  • Don’t use expired equipment

  • Avoid using damaged helmets and glasses

  • Only use certified and appropriate equipment

Harms caused by staring directly at the eclipse

If you stare at the sun without adopting proper safety measures, you might end up with partial or total damage to your eye. The Ultra-Violet radiations collide with your retina and burn the exposed tissue. Retina damage can occur as a result of a few seconds of staring at the sun.

It can cause a hole in your retina in a more difficult situation, ultimately affecting the whole vision. 

There is no immediate symptom or pain in the affected area because the retina does not have pain receptors. Still, soon your eye will start hurting with blurred vision and dark-yellow spots in the image.

This damage is called solar or photic retinopathy.

Mild damages:

     1. Eye soreness

     2. Watery eyes

     3. Light sensitivity

     4. Headaches

Severe damages:

     1. Color Blindness

     2. Blurred vision

     3. Distorted vision

     4. Difficulty in making shapes

     5Blind spots

     6Permanent eye damage


The bottom line is, never stare at the sun directly without appropriate protection, even for a second. Always use certified and authentic equipment, whether it is a helmet or glasses. Make sure you wear the right shade for witnessing the eclipse. If you are not sure about the helmet, it’s better to consult relevant experts or try to avoid using that helmet.

Check the viewing window of the helmet if it is not cracked and scratched. 

An eclipse is a rare and natural phenomenon, so you can witness an eclipse after taking care of all precautionary measures.

Please answer the following questions in the comment section below

    1. Have you ever witnessed an eclipse?

    2. Did you use a welding helmet?