Are Auto-darkening Welding Helmets Safe? You Need To Know 2021

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There are countless hazardous reasons to be very conscious about your health if you’re a welder, especially your eyes. When it comes to protecting yourself from the potential hazards of welding, the first thing that comes to the table is the welding helmet. A welding helmet can keep you safe from inhaling poisonous fumes and gases; it also keeps you safe from vision damage.

However, handling the helmet in a long session of welding can be annoying because you must constantly take it off and make adjustments to it. An auto-darkening helmet though, can help you escape the odds and keep on welding without interruption. However, the question is, are auto-darkening welding helmets safe? How do they work? If you get one, how do you take care of it, and what are the maintenance steps for these helmets? Are you interested in knowing them all? Stick to the article!

Why is the Welding Helmet Necessary?

Welding might seem an easy job when you get familiar with it, but it might not be the case entirely! It involves a lot of risks, including fire, electrocution, burns, ultraviolet radiation, exposure, especially vision damage and inhalation of fumes or gases. So, when you’re after welding, it’s impossible to deny the fact that you need proper protection for the job.


A welding helmet is the most important safety tool for any welder to keep the eyes, skin, and lung safe. Without eye protection while welding, the excessively bright light may damage your cornea, causing temporary or permanent blindness. The auto-darkening helmets are the best choice in some cases because it can darken when light is detected.

Are Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets Safe?

If you’re planning to get a welding helmet, you’re probably asking, are auto-darkening welding helmets safe? Is there any harmful impact in the long run? The answer is no if you know how to use it, and here is how and why:

Arc and light sensors

Auto-darkening welding helmets come with multiple sensors in front of the helmet to detect any Arc or high-luminance light in front. As long as you have your batteries functional, you have nothing to worry about missing a weld without getting the shades on. You must make sure the battery is functional and has charge in it to run the sensors. Some of the batteries get power using sunlight, so it would be easier if you just put it under the sun after using it.

Multiple shades

The auto-darkening helmets have multiple shades up to 13, depending on the intensity of the light or the Arc. You can adjust the shades with an adjustment knob on the right of the helmet or the left. These shades will keep your eyes protected from the excessive light from the welding Arc. Usually, the shade levels start from 3 if you’re welding outside with a distance from the Arc. As you move to a darker place or closer to the weld, the shades go darker as well.

Shield delay and angling option

You’ll get a shield delay adjustment option for the helmet to control how fast the protection you want. You can control how long it’s going to take to darken the viewing glass from clear. Adjust the delay timer for the time you’re comfortable with, along with the viewing angle you feel comfortable. The viewing angle should be at an angle where you don’t get any strain on your eyes while looking at the piece.

How Do Auto-Darkening Welding Helmets Work

Auto-darkening helmets work in an interesting process that includes a glass with multiple layers and sensors. Here are the steps auto-darkening works with:

  • Arc and light sensors: The helmet will have Arc and light sensors combined in front of the helmet, above the viewing area. It detects the light and the Arc when you hit the material to weld and darken the glass.
  • Viewing glass: There are several layers of glass in the viewing area, such as UV/IR filter, a few polarization filters, and a bunch of LC cells. Depending on the intensity of the light, you can control how many shades you need for filtering the ray.
  • Controls: There are a bunch of knobs for controlling the shades from 3 up to 13 layers, adjusting the angle of the viewing glass.
  • Powering the sensors: These helmets come with different power sources such as lithium or solar power batteries. They are usually rechargeable or changeable when the battery goes down or damages.

Auto-Darkening Helmet Care and Maintenance

Auto-darkening helmets are great at their job, but you have to take care of it to maintain a good service life. Here are some tips for you:

  • Keep the battery charged all the time; it will help you avoid any mishit of auto-darkening or clearance.
  • Store the helmet in a clean and clear place where dust doesn’t build up over time if you don’t use it.
  • When you clean the helmet, use a microfiber cloth to sweep the glasses, don’t use any chemicals or rough cloth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about auto-darkening helmets that you must know about:

Can Auto-darkening Welding Helmets Damage Eyes?

Auto-darkening helmets don’t damage your eyes, and they are great if you can use them properly. Make sure the battery has enough charge to power up the sensors, though!

How long do auto-darkening helmets last?

You can use an auto-darkening helmet for about 7 years with a replaceable or fixed battery. A fixed one won’t work after that, and the replaceable are usable by changing the glass and battery.

Final Thought

You have to use a helmet while welding, and the auto-darkening helmets make the job easier and more fun. These helmets come in handy when you have to ensure your eye and skin safe while welding. You don’t need to get your hands off the piece to adjust it every time you use an auto-darkening helmet.

However, if you’re concerned and asking how are auto-darkening welding helmets safe, the answer is a precaution. If you’re conscious about the right usage with a charged battery and intact viewing glass, you’re safe from the fume, Arc, and light.

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