Adjustable Interior Lighting?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by wheelnrail, 16 Apr 2015.

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  1. wheelnrail

    wheelnrail Member

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    This is mearly out of curiosity. While traveling on board most of the trains here I notice that the interior lighting on all vehicles are the same, bright white (to a pale brown depending on cleanliness and condition of the light and cover), harsh and uninviting. Is it for safety and standardization? in the day time its understandable but at night the florescent light is pretty harsh. Is it possible for a TOC to put in place an automatic dimmer so that once a train departs a station after 2 minutes the lights dim to about 50% brightness? perhaps implement colored lighted walkways and underglow like on busses and airlines. Basically make the train more inviting especially at night.
     
  2. Hyphen

    Hyphen Member

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    FGW's refurbished HSTs have a very simple "dimmer" function - a twist switch at one end of the carriage which turns half the fluorescent tubes in that carriage off.

    The idea is that they're all meant to be on during the day, but I very rarely see that. On the other hand, on the odd occasion you come across them all on at night, it's very noticeable!
     
  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Because "all on" is utterly hideous. Whoever thought that daylight tubes were a good idea? Notably warm white was retrofitted in First Class, but Standard has to continue to put up with it.

    As noted on another thread I like the Pendolino lighting - subdued, slim fluorescents in warm white with added halogen spots and reading lights. Nice and relaxing. The 222 is similarly pleasant. Also quite relaxing (but different) are the newish Irish DMUs which use cool white LEDs but at quite low brightness - a bit like the Chiltern Mk3s but Chiltern seem to have used cheap LEDs so the light quality is very poor.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Different colour temperatures of lighting are available - daylight white (blue-ish) on fGW, cool white on most Desiros, warm white (yellowish) generally on older stock. It's intentional, not the colour of the diffuser. Sometimes a tube of the wrong colour temperature gets fitted, and the difference is quite noticeable compared with the others in that coach.

    It's notable that TfL fitted daylight tubes to the C and A-stock, but have abandoned the idea on the S-stock, reverting to nice welcoming warm white.
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2015
  4. matchmaker

    matchmaker Member

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    Back in the days of Mk 1 compartment stock I'm pretty sure that there was a switch in each compartment to dim the lights.
     
  5. gooson

    gooson Member

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    The new fgw 1st class refresh coaches have a light sensor and dim automatically :)
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    While Standard passengers continue to put up with the horrible, excessively bright (even when on half setting) daylight tubes. That's nice of them.
     
  7. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    Correct for the ceiling light. There were also 2 lights over each row of seats, that you could switch on or off.

    And in steam heat stock, you could also control the level of heating. You had a lesser degree of heat control when they introduced ETH Mark 1 stock - "Frozen" or "Fried".
     
  8. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    I fairly often find myself travelling with TPE after dark and I would prefer dimmed lighting in the carriage, particularly after, say, 9pm. I've often thought about this!
     
  9. edwin_m

    edwin_m Established Member

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    "This control operates steam heating under this side of the compartment and electric heating under both sides" or words to that effect. Obviously you had to be an expert in train heating systems, unless the steam was leaking badly enough to be visible...
     
  10. ag51ruk

    ag51ruk Member

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    All HST coaches had that switch when first built - I hadn't noticed that it had been removed but rarely travel by HST now
     
  11. lincolnshire

    lincolnshire Member

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    Your correct on that switch, it was above the sliding door inside the compartment you could switch from bright to dim, the resistor for dim lights mode was located under the woodwork on the other side to where the door slid to into to allow access to compartment.

    Four reading lights per compartment with either glass or plastic type material shades complete with there own switches.

    Steam heating valves mounted in the wood work either side of the windows so you could have your own level of heating in each compartment.

    Also back in them days the guard would switch off the lights in the train and put them back on to go through a tunnel etc and then switch them back off again in daylight hours.

    Now if you dimmed the lights to the same level there would be complaints galore for and against and reasons why, somebody might get attacked or mugged in the dimmer surroundings. How often do you see the lights off now in daytime ?

    Also what would you gain from dimmer lighting as majority don,t look out the windows these days as usually there all sat looking at laptop, kindle or mobile phone these days.
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Those who want a kip might benefit from it.
     
  13. W230

    W230 Established Member

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    Reckon it must be some national standard. It's a pity really as I doubt few people would want train lights to be brighter, most would want them toned down a little. Certainly the 387s have very bright lighting inside.

    A small digression but it's the same in new buildings - the last three offices I worked in were ridiculously brightly lit. It must be some sort of new standard under building regulations or something. But what I find most annoying is the inability to switch these lights off - all seem to be controlled by a PIR sensor but had no light switch. I guess this is an energy saving set up but it's infuriating not being able to switch the lights off on a bright day. Rant over... :lol:
     
  14. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

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    I think the lamps must be slightly different. The T8 tubes that are in use in FGW 158s (excluding vestibules) are a warmer colour, except for the odd one which has blown at some point, and has been replaced with a paler alternative and these are very noticeable. Compare that to a SWT 158 when all of the tubes have a whiter tone (not just the odd casual replacement).

    Pale white does seem the way it's going though, especially with LED tubes in use. The ones FGW use on their 150/1s have hideous glare, partly due to there being no case/diffuser, partly because I suspect they are low cost. The T12 fluorescent tubes in use before were better, but I believe these are obsolete now.

    I saw the dim/bright switch in a FGW MK III carriage the other day. I have never been/seen a HST that has all of its internal lighting on. If it ever happens, I hope I have sunglasses with me!
     
  15. alexl92

    alexl92 Established Member

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    I tweeted FTPE asking about dimmed lighting later in the evenings. Response was
    I thought H&S might be the argument they came out wiht
     
  16. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    It's a fact though. FTPE are responsible when someone puts a claim in for tripping citing that they couldn't see properly because it was too dark.

    One of the indisputable facts about running a railway is that you simply cannot please all of the people all of the time. This affects everything from something as major as setting a timetable to something as minor as saloon level lighting. You have fifty people in a coach and ask them how they want it lit? You are likely to get fifty different answers.
     
  17. Philip C

    Philip C Member

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    One of the worst features of South Eastern's main line stock is the high pitched hissing sound which seems to come from much of the lighting. In several years of travelling, on a daily basis, between the coast and London (typically 15 hours on board per week) I became concerned that it might be damaging my hearing.

    Is this a peculiarity of the Electrostars or is it found more generally? Is anyone aware of whether this 'feature' could be eliminated and, if it could be, why it hasn't been?
     
  18. Pigeon

    Pigeon Member

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    Not familiar with that stock personally but you appear to be describing inverter whine, and I would say that being able to hear it is a sign that your hearing is better than normal!

    I used to be able to tell whether or not the line output stage in a TV was working simply by listening for the 15.625kHz whine. I can't any more; nor can I detect inverter whine from caravan-type 12V fluorescent fittings these days, and my memories of hearing it in DC stock of various types are all pretty old too.

    When transistorised inverters for fluorescent lighting first became practical they were more or less bound to whine, because the power transistors that were available and the laminated-core transformers that were common could not be operated with reasonable efficiency at high enough frequencies to be inaudible. With modern components this is no longer the case, and I would suspect that if it is still happening it is down to either continued use of ancient designs or laziness in designing new ones. Since most people can't hear it anyway, nobody is bothered...

    It's entirely possible to make warm-white LEDs (and indeed I have an LED bulb made with them) - it's just a matter of using the right phosphor, same as it is with fluorescents. In both cases there is some loss of efficiency but it hardly matters. For some reason people won't use them though - warm-white fluorescents have been available for donkey's years, but people still prefer complaining about fluorescents being harsh and cold over installing different tubes...

    For certain values of "obsolete". They are still available, and sufficiently readily that they must still be being manufactured; it's just harder to find them. Which is silly, because they are better - the larger surface area makes them less glary, they last longer, and they produce full output as soon as they are switched on even in cold weather, without needing to warm up (not so important for railway use, but for domestic use it certainly is).
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I think it's because people don't know about them. My house is pretty much 100% GU10-lit, and they are all warm white LED. Next to no power consumption, and you can barely tell they aren't real ones apart from the lack of heat radiating from the ceiling.

    Yet you see horrible, cheap, flickery, blueish ones all over the place.

    Sadly the railways seem to be choosing the cheap option instead of spending the money on the quality ones. Chiltern's Mk3s seem to be having very poor quality ones fitted - the light is quite unpleasant.
     
  20. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    National Express fitted HSTs with the worst LED bulbs ever (I assume they're long gone now). Freezing cold blue, dim, and the type of (non surface mount) LEDs that failed completely in months so you could see all the dead ones and even more reduced output.

    God knows how they ever made it into the vestibules, as against sent back for a refund!
     
  21. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    To digress ever so slightly for a moment, how many people on here remember the 'Nightrider' stock with its subdued blue/purplish lighting?
    I found it quite pleasant, but no doubt there would have been those who hated it.
     
  22. wheelnrail

    wheelnrail Member

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    In addition to the trains in the UK I also traveled on Europe's CD's train from Berlin to Prague and OBB's train from Westhbf to Sargans. The compartmental layout in the CD train had lighting you could turn off! and the one other one had suttle cream and blue colored tubes on the entire train. These long distance carriers know, thr right lighting and ones you can control make the difference.
     
  23. CharlieSpotted

    CharlieSpotted Member

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    There's a London Midland 323 which has 'experimental' automatically dimming LED lighting fitted. I'm told that it was successful in that customers liked it, and it reduced their electricity bill, but it was ultimately deemed too expensive to fit to the whole fleet.

    I've travelled on it a few times and it does beat the standard lighting with the (invariably filthy and yellowing) plastic covers.
     
  24. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    The Heathrow Express has some nice coloured lighting, and I think airlines have long used different colours (and lighting levels) to improve the ambience of the cabins.

    Sure, there are also safety reasons for some lighting (or lack of) on a plane, but the same principles could, and should, be used on trains. Perhaps not so much on the commuter services people will use regardless, but certainly elsewhere. A nicer interior look will make people more likely to enjoy their journey, which by rights would mean they'd travel again.

    LED lighting is also a lot cheaper to run, would use less power on emergency power, last longer (saving maintenance) and at the design stage of a new train build, can be used in more innovative ways/positions than traditional lights.
     
  25. hassaanhc

    hassaanhc Established Member

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    [​IMG]
    London Midland 323205 on the 1839 Birmingham New Street to Birmingham International: Interior by hassaanhc, on Flickr

    Personally, I prefer brighter lighting, have a dislike of dark and dingy places. Also helps to keep you awake :D.
     
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