WIBW | Topeka, Kansas Content

With no eclipse glasses left, many looking for alternatives

At stores across Wichita, the search for eclipse glasses continues. Outside Imagine That Toys on the East side, she goes through the list of stores she called.

"Ace, Lowes, Toys R Us, Kirklands, Dillons, Walgreens, Gordman's, two libraries..."

She called several before she finally found some at Imagine That Toys.

At many places, the price of these glasses is going up - and that's left many people searching for alternatives.

"We've sold out of everything." says Jon Krepon, Manager at Lampton Welding Supply near downtown. He wasn't expecting so much interest in his inventory.

"It's been crazy." He says. "Everybody's been going nuts over this thing."

The lack of glasses has many turning to welding lenses as a substitute. NASA has said that welding lenses can be used for eclipse viewing, as long as they're a 12 shade or darker.

"I would go with probably 13 and feel safe." Jon says. But even those are long gone.

"All my 14's and everything are sold out. I couldn't keep them on the shelves."

While welding masks are a bit more expensive, he says plenty of people are considering using them - but he says if you do, make sure it's not an auto-dark helmet.

"What that does is automatically darken when it sparks an arc." He says. "You can look at the sun, and it's gonna be dark, but as that moon goes across I don't know that I would trust it not to go light on you."

But passive helmets, he says, should work just fine.

"If you've got a passive helmet, a non-auto-dark helmet, if you can get ahold of a 13 or 14 lens and put it in, then yeah it's fine."