Not just good looks: station lights indicate elevator position

And here we thought they just looked nice. Photo by Wendi.
And here we thought they just looked nice. Photo by Wendi.
Apparently the new lights on the Beacon Hill station that we featured in a photo post the other day are not just for looks. We’re told they have a function, too. The lights are blue when the elevator reaches the street level, then change to purple as the elevator goes down to the platform. If this is true, it makes it easier to see which elevator to stand in front of while waiting for the door to open — as long as it’s dark enough to see them, and if you are not color-blind.

Edited to add: I watched them tonight and the colors constantly change, whether the elevators are moving or not. When an elevator opens, the light over that elevator does turn blue — but it also turns blue randomly when the elevator isn’t even moving. When the elevator closes and goes down again, it does seem to turn purple. But since the colors randomly change, and the blue color change does not come until the doors open, it doesn’t seem very functional. It’s awfully pretty, though!

3 thoughts on “Not just good looks: station lights indicate elevator position”

  1. Hey Wendi,

    Those lights are neat. I like lights, especially the color changing LED ones that appear to be all over Link.

    That having been said, I see people miss or nearly miss the elevator almost every day. You can’t tell which car’s doors have opened. The elevators themselves and the arrow indicators are almost impossible to see since they’re not flush with the hallway and outside wall of the station.

    What would be great is if they turned those floodlights above each car upside down so it’s obvious as to which car arrived. Something similar would be appreciated at the platform level along with lengthening the door timer by a second or two.

  2. Not being able to tell which elevator is open is frustrating. It’s made worse because there’s not enough time to get from one end of the elevator bank to the other before the open one starts “Going Dahwn!” But that’s the only real usability problem I have with the station. Other than that it actually works better than I expected it would.

    The obvious water leak in the south-bound tunnel is a little alarming though. What’s going to happen with that come February?

  3. I haven’t watched closely enough to know for sure, but the blue may indicate which car has been pre-selected to serve ground level even if the car isn’t there at that moment in time. That would of course change if another car happened to arrive in the interim.

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