I am a relatively new to welding and I am concerned about the delay in an auto darkening welding helmet. I know this is a total rookie question, but overtime will my eyes be damaged by the split second delay or am I worrying for nothing?
No your eyes will be fine. Those types of welding helmets have to meet strict safety requirements. Ultraviolet light is the danger, so make sure any welding helmet you purchase has ultraviolet filtering in place. The ultraviolet filtering is in place at all times, whether the welding helmet lens is dark or not. So fear not. Having said that don't buy a cheap one. In welding, safety equipment is very important and your eyes are worth spending the money. Most welders never go back after making the move an auto darkening helmet and they are really great for rookies as well. Even if the battery goes out, they still offer eye protection. There are several really good manufacturers out there. Look at Miller, Firepower, Jackson Safety and others.