How to Use an Auto-darkening Welding Helmet

Auto-darkening welding helmets are modern alternatives to old and primitive welding helmets that simply could not protect your eyes enough. If risks were taken in the past by welders who wanted to feel brave while refusing to wear such an accessory, things have changed nowadays. Eye conditions and several diseases have put a stop to braveries, while welding helmets manufacturers started developing new technologies that are meant to protect the welder from all risks at the workplace.


Auto-darkening welding helmets feature advanced options that simplify a welder’s job, but they aren’t all the same. Some have more settings and abilities than others, but it is not hard to figure out how to correctly use a welding helmet that has features auto-darkening technology.

First of all, it is important to know what an auto-darkening helmet does. Basically, its lens has the ability to darken instantly when UV light is detected. Depending on the manufacturer and model, as well as on its technology, a welding helmet can have several basic settings that any welder should know how to set. Check out some of the most important steps one should take when using such a device:

  1. Most welding helmets are battery operated, so make sure its batteries aren’t low. Some helmets have a low-battery indicator that pops up on display when recharging is required, but some don’t. In that case, batteries should be checked manually, either from the menu, either by checking to see if the lens darkens. Of course, this does not apply to welding helmets that are based on solar cells.
  2. Most modern welding helmets have a setting called shield delay time. The shield delay time is the amount of time that is necessary for the lens to go from the darkened state to the lighter one. This setting should be done depending on the job or personal preferences. Some welders also set the shield delay time depending on their eye sensitivity. A switch or a button should be observed on the inside of the helmet for this setting.
  3. Another important setting of an auto-darkening welding helmet is the shade setting. Most helmets have an adjustable knob or switch that allows the wearer to adjust the darkness’ intensity. Obviously, it is recommended to use the darkest shade, depending on the welding job.

These are some of the most important settings that any welder should be aware of before using an auto-darkening welding helmet. First timers or those who are looking to do DIY projects that require welding should follow these simple steps:

  1. Place your helmet on a clean surface and check the batteries, the shield delay time and the shade setting.
  2. Place your helmet on your head, adjusting the headband so that you are comfortable wearing it.
  3. Do not forget to turn it on using the on-off switch or button. Some helmets are equipped with auto-on and off tech. If you own such a helmet, you should not worry about this.

If you do not see clearly through the lens, check the shield delay time and the shade setting again. Do not take off your helmet while welding.

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