Blue Light at Wivelsfield

Railcar

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The item of interest in this picture is the luminaire containing blue lights.
Blue light at Wivelsfield.JPG
It is above the subway entrance of Platform 2 (Down) at Wivelsfield on the Brighton Main Line.

In the style of a theatrical luminaire it has 'barn doors' and these seem to restrict the light to the corrugated roof.
Why would a pretty average corrugated roof need to have blue light shone on it?
 
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Although this most likely isn’t the correct answer, it could be to reduce the number of suicides occurring at this station. Here’s a link to a BBC article the explains why stations have blue lighting.

In 2013, a scientific paper was published that would become the seed for thousands of viral news stories and social media posts. The suggestion was astounding: blue lamps at train stations prevented suicides at those locations. And scientists could even show that the suicides fell by as much as 84%.

Now I’m not native to the Wivlesfield area so I don’t know whether suicides are a salient issue, but this is the only explanation that I could think of.
 

Gloster

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A bit of very unscientific googling suggests that Wivelsfield does have a surprisingly high rate of suicides for a country village. I stress that I don’t know the area and this was not a thorough investigation.
 
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edwin_m

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There were some like this, but without the barn doors, last time I was at Gatwick (circa 2018).
 

Randomer

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In the style of a theatrical luminaire it has 'barn doors' and these seem to restrict the light to the corrugated roof.
Why would a pretty average corrugated roof need to have blue light shone on it?
I suspect it is simply a colour tuneable, or perhaps blue only, architectural fitting rather than a theatrical one. With a lot of them the barn doors aren't easily removable so I would suspect the contractor didn't bother. On the cheaper ones the barn doors also tend to slip down over time as the hinge starts to weather. Or less likely but still possible they got complaints from neighbours or drivers about excessive light spill (seems unlikely though.)

Others have already stated the reason for it being blue.
 

Railcar

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In daylight, the effect on any area beyond the corrugated roof is negligible to the point of being non-existent. Normal platform lighting comes on when it is dark, which saves electricity. Further than that, platforms of 'quiet' stations have a dimmer that lowers the lights when there is no movement, saving even more electricity*

However, in the case of Wivelsfield (and Gatwick Airport it seems) these blue anti-suicide lights burn electricity day and night. Oh well.

*While waiting for a train on one of these 'quiet' platforms, I stood very still until the light level around me dropped. Then I experimented to see how much movement would bring the lights to full brightmess. Arm movements were not enough. I had to take a step sideways.
 
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The amount of electricity required to run a modern blue architectural LED floodlight is minimal - something in the region of 300w as an educated guess - which is a tiny amount of electricity compared to the rest of the station’s lighting, and a cost of a few tens of pounds per year.
The flood needs non-dimmed permanent power and so will not be installed on the standard lighting circuit, hence running 24 hours.
Although I’m all for saving energy wherever I can, I’m much more for saving lives. The benefits here far outweigh the costs.
 

JB_B

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A bit of very unscientific googling suggests that Wivelsfield does have a surprisingly high rate of suicides for a country village. I stress that I don’t know the area and this was not a thorough investigation.
Just for info (and apologies if you already know this). Wivelsfield is a village but Wivelsfield station isn't actually in Wivelsfield ( pop ~2K ). It's in the north of Burgess Hill ( pop ~30K). Passenger footfall is (or rather was pre covid) a bit less 1/2 a million a year.
 

alf

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The blue light:

300watts on for 20 hours a day is 6kwh a day.
For a year it is 2190 kWh.
At 15p/ kwh it costs over £300 a year.
Not a lot, but much more than a few tens of pounds a year.

If used all over the railway it is a lot.
 

_toommm_

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The blue light:

300watts on for 20 hours a day is 6kwh a day.
For a year it is 2190 kWh.
At 15p/ kwh it costs over £300 a year.
Not a lot, but much more than a few tens of pounds a year.

If used all over the railway it is a lot.

But if it genuinely does reduce suicide, even by just a few lives at every station, it’s worth a lot more than £300p/a.
 

XAM2175

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The amount of electricity required to run a modern blue architectural LED floodlight is minimal - something in the region of 300w as an educated guess ...
300watts on for 20 hours a day is 6kwh a day.

I'd suggest that 300 watts is at the very high end of estimates for a luminaire like that, though I grant I've not seen the fixture in person.
 

themiller

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I'd suggest that 300 watts is at the very high end of estimates for a luminaire like that, though I grant I've not seen the fixture in person.
Probably more like 30 watts. I had a 40 watt floodlight which lit up quite a big area and replaced a 500 watt halogen light.
 
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I feel like this is massively OT now, sorry my quick guesstimate was a little over. I was basing it on event or theatre fixtures which tend to use slightly more power but in turn are often quieter and have more internal circuitry for dimming etc.
Anyway, the only point I was making is that this tiny power use is irrelevant if it saves lives!
 

alf

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I agree it is well worth the money if it does save lives.
Time will tell. Lets hope it works.

And it is a million miles cheaper than the “welfare officers” south west railway hire 20 hours a day at a huge number of platforms including ones that are only non stopped by incredibly rare empty trains.
 

InOban

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I've seen blue lights used in public toilets to prevent addicts injecting, because they can see the veins in blue light.
 

Islineclear3_1

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Although this most likely isn’t the correct answer, it could be to reduce the number of suicides occurring at this station. Here’s a link to a BBC article the explains why stations have blue lighting.



Now I’m not native to the Wivlesfield area so I don’t know whether suicides are a salient issue, but this is the only explanation that I could think of.
Wivelsfield is on the Brighton Main Line where many trains pass through at high speed. Perfect opportunity, away from the limelight of bigger stations. Wouldn't surprise me if a similar light is placed at Hassocks or Balcombe
 

Scotrail314209

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On the subject of blue lights,

I've noticed Milliken Park station in Renfrewshire has the entire platform coated in blue lights. Milliken Park tends to be a common spot (it happened to one of my trains there) for people jumping, as not many stop there and they mostly pass at high speed.

It's definitely a method to make things a bit more soothing.
 

edwin_m

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On the subject of blue lights,

I've noticed Milliken Park station in Renfrewshire has the entire platform coated in blue lights. Milliken Park tends to be a common spot (it happened to one of my trains there) for people jumping, as not many stop there and they mostly pass at high speed.

It's definitely a method to make things a bit more soothing.
I'm not too sure what the logic is here, as we are also told that the blue light from screens on devices contributes to insomnia.
 

Bigfoot

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But if it genuinely does reduce suicide, even by just a few lives at every station, it’s worth a lot more than £300p/a.
The total 'cost' for a fatal road traffic collision is calculated to be £2.2million.

Whilst the figure I quote is for a fatal road crash a fatality on the railway probably costs a similar amount.

There are figures available (£61,000) for the cost of the delays to the trains, the road figure is cost of all involved, police, fire, ambulance, coroner, etc. I couldn't find a total cost for a rail fatality.

The point here is that the cost, say £1000 for install and running of a blue light for a year is much lower than an event.

It is impossible to put a value on the emotional costs paid by all involved.
 

Dougal2345

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I still don't see why they are lit 24 hours a day though, surely they can have no effect in daylight, and a light sensor could easily switch them off?
 

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