Avoid expensive eclipse glasses with rare, cheaper alternative

MIAMI (WSVN) - Monday’s solar eclipse has many people scrambling to stores in hopes of finding protective eyewear, but many stores have bumped up their eyewear costs.

Some listings online have a pair of eclipse glasses at $129.95. However, there are cheaper alternatives to the expensive options found on shelves, according to Susan Barnette, the director at Buehler Planetarium and Observatory.

“These are so strong that they will block out the same amount as these solar filters,” said Barnette as she held up the protective eyewear item.

All you need is “Shade 14,” a welder’s glass. “All I did with this is took the piece of glass, and I taped a little shield around it,” Barnette said. “so that I would make sure people would be safe. You don’t wanna risk seeing the surface of the sun.”

At Florida Welding Supplies Inc., located at 4900 NW 37th Ave., plenty of “Shade 14” can be found. According to the business owner at Florida Welding Supplies, this is usually a rare item to sell. Although, before Monday’s eclipse, the owner said they are almost sold out.

“It’s been overwhelming,” said owner Daniel Gallego. “Everybody’s calling for ‘Shade 14’ lens.”

Gallego said he’s sold more than a dozen in one day. “Everybody wants to see it.”

When asked how many lenses of “Shade 14” were left, he said only five. “We normally keep four or five in stock. We just got a big order a long time ago,” said Gallego. “They’re probably about five, six years old. ‘Cause nobody uses 14. The common shade to use is nine, 10, 11, 12.”

Fortunately, you don’t need any special glasses or welding glass to watch the 7News special live coverage of the eclipse. It begins Monday at 1 p.m., right after 7news at noon.

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