Updated: Jun 03, 2021

Sometimes auto darkening welding helmets encounter some productivity problems. In other words, they aren’t as effective in protecting your eyes and overall head from the heat and rays of welding. While this might be a minor inconvenience, the good news is many problems you may encounter with auto darkening welding helmets are easily fixable!

Most auto darkening welding helmet problems can be fixed with a quick switch of button, or a new shade, filter, or battery. That being said, you shouldn’t be quick to jump the gun when it seems like there’s something wrong with your welding helmet. Instead, you should take the time to examine your welding helmet and attempt to fix it yourself. Of course, if your solutions don’t work, or your welding helmet begins to shut down entirely, then you should consider purchasing a new welding helmet. That being said, here are seven reasons why your auto darkening helmet is not working and how you can solve them yourself!

Problem #1: Poor Visibility

Even if you have a welding helmet with the best visibility possible, there might come a time where you put on your welding helmet and you just can’t see out of it. If this happens, don’t fret!

Solution : Clean Your Welding Helmet

Usually having an obstructed view of your weld simply means your welding helmet isn’t clean enough. Your welding helmet has probably accumulated a lot of dust, dirt, and other problems. So, take a few minutes out of your day and clean your welding helmet, specifically the lens. If this doesn’t solve your problem, then you should either consider replacing your lens or replacing your welding helmet altogether.

Problem #2: Darkens too Much

If you use your welding helmet on a regular basis, it’s healthy to do a sun test every once in a while. When you do a sun test, you might see that your welding helmet darkens too much too quickly. While this might be due to a faulty battery, it’s most likely easily solvable.

Solution : Adjust Sensitivity

Before jumping the gun and repairing or replacing the battery, try adjusting the sensitivity. Most of the time when this happens, it just means the sensitivity is too high.

Problem #3: Helmet Feels Unreliable

Sometimes, wearing your welding helmet just doesn’t feel right. This can be worrying and frustrating, especially when you’re in the middle of welding.

Solution : Tighten it

While this problem could be something serious, such as an overall faulty welding helmet that is unreliable and not as sturdy as other welding helmets, it’s most likely the result of a loose welding helmet. In order to fix this, simply tighten the helmet adjustments to adequately fit your head. Once you’ve done this, put your helmet on and continue welding. If you still feel the looseness and shakiness, then you should consider purchasing a new welding helmet.

Problem #4: You Can’t See Enough of Your Weld

There’s nothing worse than having clear visibility, but not being able to see your weld. In other words, you wish you had just a little bit more width, so you didn’t have to constantly turn your head or body, just to see the edge of your weld.

Solution : Choose Wider Lens

Luckily, many manufacturers make wide lenses that you can replace your lens with. These wide lenses are self-explanatory in the sense that they’re just wider than your average welding helmet lenses.Once you install a wider lens into your welding helmet you won’t have to worry about turning your head or body just to see the far sides of your weld because you will be able to see everything!

Problem #5: Weld Seems Too Bright

When you start doing more advanced welds, or even industrial grade welds, it’s easy for the torch and the overall weld to seem too bright. This can be alarming and scary for multiple reasons. At first, it’s shocking because you might think your auto darkening welding helmet is failing you or that you’re doing something wrong because the weld is too bright. But, trust me when I say you shouldn’t be alarmed.

Solution : Use a Darker Shade

Extreme brightness for advanced or industrial grade welds is completely normal. If you see too much brightness, even through your auto darkening welding helmet, then that most likely means you’re using the wrong shade. Most modern auto darkening welding helmets come with a variety of shades, typically ranging from level nine to level thirteen.

Although it’s recommended that every welder uses the darkest shade available, most welders choose a lighter shade to increase visibility. After all, this makes sense for beginner welders. But, once you begin practicing advanced stronger welds, it’s important for you to up the shade you use.

Problem #6: Eye Strain

Another alarming problem is eye strain caused by a helmet that doesn’t turn dark enough fast enough. When this happens, welders are typically quick to jump to the conclusion that their welding helmet is failing and they should purchase a new one. Luckily, this usually isn’t the case.

Solution : Decrease Reaction Time

If you’re experience eye strain, this most likely just means the reaction time settings on your welding helmet aren’t low enough. When the reaction time is higher, your helmet reacts slower. In other words, it will darken at a slower pace.

In order to get the fastest reaction time, you should adjust the speed so it’s at 1/10,000 second. Of course, this is just a recommended reaction speed. So, you might need to tweak it so it’s a tiny bit slower or even a little bit faster.

Problem #7: Flickers

Lastly, one of the most alarming things that happen on auto darkening welding helmets, specifically those that are battery powered, is a flickering light or auto darkening filter.

Solution : Replace Battery

Usually, a flickering side sensor light or a shaky auto darkening filter just means you need to replace the batteries in your welding helmet. Of course, if your helmet doesn’t have replaceable batteries, then this problem most likely means you’re due for purchasing a new welding helmet. But, other than that, a simply battery replacement should fix this problem.

Derrick Irvyn

Derrick Irvyn

A passionate researcher and marketing manager. He made hundreds of reviews on various safety products for the last decade. He is fond of blogging and also likes to hear from the curious people about their experiences and opinions. Derick had a lot of expertise and knowledge, but did not have a lot of experience in writing, although this was something he had longed to do. The opportunity to join the team at DefenseHacks was a dream come true of sorts, as he not only could share his insights with us, but with the world as a whole.


  • Ron Howe says:

    I have a dark diagonal band across my lens when it is in operation. The mask doesn’t get used much but I suspect that even if the capacitor has run down that the darkening should be even. Do you know what is causing this? I’ve been advised that the auto darkening unit may be failing.

  • Mick Hall says:

    Ist battery replacement and then danger due to flash intermittent with dark correct light level. Where on earth is Pure Fusion which Amazon state are a UK company……… I don’t seem to have had this helmet more than a few months but I will not be buying same brand again. I didn’t like my first one due to the solar cell being rubbish in our UK’s lack of sun.
    The light emitted from TIG is diabolical when the flash occurs !

  • Don milligan says:

    I have a ANSI z781-2003 can’t tell if it has battery or what as it doesn’t darken with the sun test

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