Can You Use Pinhole Glasses During a Solar Eclipse?

pinhole-glasses-eclipseThey’re preparing for a solar eclipse tomorrow in California and it got me thinking, can you view a solar eclipse while wearing pinhole glasses? Do they protect your eyes

No, they don’t. And you can’t. Sorry.

While pinhole glasses are a great way to improve your vision, and to use as sunglasses or reading glasses, they don’t give adequate protection from the sun. Therefore do not look directly at the sun with them.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is I’m going to share with you 2 ways that you can view a solar eclipse without risking any damage to your eyes.

1. You can get a special eclipse viewer, which allows you to directly look at the sun.  These viewers are completely safe and are probably the easiest way to view the solar eclipse.

2. Another way is to create a contraption that allows you to view the eclipse with materials you have in your home:

Simply take a box. Put tinfoil over one of its walls. Then punch a pinhole-sized hole through the tinfoil. Keep the hole as centered as possible on the wall of the box.

With the box standing upright and with the pinhole on one of the sides, cut a viewing hole about the size of a tissue box on one of the walls perpendicular to the wall with the hole. On the wall opposite the hole, place a white sheet of paper

During the eclipse take your makeshift eclipse viewer and point the wall with the hole at the sun. The light from the eclipse will shine through onto the paper and you’ll be able to see it from the viewing hole you cut out.


Let me repeat, DO NOT:

  • Look directly at the sun.
  • Photograph, or look through a camera at the eclipse.
  • Look at the eclipse with binoculars or a telescope or any type of magnification device.


Use either a professional or makeshift eclipse viewer, when looking at the eclipse.

This will ensure that your eyes stay safe, even while you witness this spectacular force of nature.

(Photo credit: Ding Digital Photography)

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