What Shade Lens For MIG Welding – Guide For Selecting The Right One

Many industrial level projects require proper protection to ensure the safety of the worker. Welding is not an exception. The shade lenses (also known as auto-darkening helmets) are a prime example among many protective gear. To remove the vulnerability of your eyes from the arcs and radiation, these helmets have darkened shades.

For good versatility, you need a shade lens that lets you adjust the darkening level within DIN5 to DIN14. The bigger that number, the darker the lens becomes. There are various other factors you must research while getting the right shade lens for MIG welding. But instead of turning this article into a complete buying guide, we will also fill you in with other necessary knowledge.

Pros of Using a shade Lens

Aside from blocking bright arcs and protecting your eyes, the shade lens also has some other advantages. They are given below-

  • They also protect your head from any fume or harmful material.
  • Most shade lens can repel UV rays even when they are not turned on.
  • The ones with the grind mode feature let you grind materials with even keeping the DIN number low.
  • They are easy to control and adjust.

DIN level

If you are confused about the DIN number of a welding helmet, it means the level of darkened a helmet is. You must need a darkened lens for MIG or FCAW welding. In case you have less idea on these welding methods, then we should say a thing or two about them.

While the welding process is going on, the more amp it needs, the brighter the arc gets. So, you also need a higher DIN level. In this regard, OSHA, AWS, and ANSI have given some standard DIN levels.

Check out this table below containing the safe DIN level for different amp draws by OSHA, ANSI, and AWS.

AMP Requirement



Below 60A



60 to 160A



160 to 250A



250 to 500A



As you can see, AWS and ANSI were more cautious about this. Hence, they set a higher DIN level for every amp range than the OSHA.

Remember that, in case you work in a darker place, you should take a shade lens with a base DIN of 3 to 3.5. Otherwise, you may need to open the helmet while not welding. Different DIN level allows a different percentage of light to go through the shade lens. DIN 3 allows only 5% light, while DIN 13 allows 0.00072%.

You should adjust your DIN based on the welding process too. The chart below shows the recommended DIN for different types of welding-

recommended DIN for different types of welding

The Adjustment of Shade Lens

You can adjust the shade lens with ease using the knob or dial that the helmet comes with. While setting the suitable darkening level, you should keep some factors in mind.

  • Whether you have any problem in eyes regarding bright lights, if so, you may need to go darker than usual.
  • The DIN level that you are mostly used to. If the application does not require too much darkening, you can go for a bit lower DIN.
  • The DIN requirement of the welding process and amp draw.
  • Whether you feel any pain or photophobia after working for a long time, in that case, turn the DIN higher.

How to Check the Shade Lens Capabilities?

After getting a shade lens, check if it can provide the level of protection it promises. The process of checking that is easier than you might think. The shade lens sensor gets triggered by many things, including arcs and IR rays emitted from the welding.

Do you know what else emits infrared rays? Yes, a TV remote control. See if the infrared ray from the remote can trigger the helmet from every angle and position. Pretty easy, right?

Some Other Factors

Aside from everything that we have talked about so far, there are also some other points. To gain the perfect shade lens for your MIG welding, see if it-

  • Its battery can be powered by solar energy. If it is a triple-A battery, you can easily get replacements once they are not usable anymore.
  • It is lightweight enough. The lighter it is, the more comfortable you will feel.
  • It is durable enough to survive longer against all the fumes, sparks, and other messes from the factory.
  • Have a proper ratio between the price and quality.
  • Have enough room inside the helmet for easy ventilation. It should also allow you to wear goggles under the shade lens.
  • See where the controller switches are. They should be within your reach as you are welding. Otherwise, you will have to open the helmet to adjust anything.

Wrap Up

You cannot deny the necessitates of all the equipment that you can get for complete protection during the welding process. Having good knowledge of all of them will let you buy the perfect items. With the proper darkening helmet, you can perform your MIG welding without any health issues.

Last Updated on 2 years by Richard Boyer

  • June 8, 2022
Richard Boyer

Richard Boyer has been a professional welder for over 27 years of his life, and now he is a trainer and blogger providing critical information to anyone interested in welding. He is helping out both hobbyists, novice and professional welders to learn newer and better techniques. Read more about me

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