What determines the correct shade of lens to use for welding?

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The amount/brightness of light given off by the process used. Shade #4 or 5 when cutting or welding using the Oxy-Fuel process is usually sufficient. Shade #9, 10, or 11 when stick, MIG, or TIG welding depending of the material being welded and Amperage used. Aluminum reflects more heat and light than most other metals so a darker shade may be called for. TIG welding produces less smoke letting more light escape the weld area, darker shade, possibly. A person whose eyes are sensitive to bright light would probably use a darker shade. I've used shades #9, 10, 11, and 12 when welding. The #12 lens when TIG welding on a ships' propeller using 300 to 400 Amps. Water cooled torch, 5/32" Tungsten. A lot of heat/light was reflected from the surface of the metal. Use as dark a shade that still allows you to see clearly. Remember, the higher the number the darker the shade.
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