Friday, March 24, 2006

Sharper Image Innovation Lab



I've found myself standing on too many trains home, caught in the vestibule and hoping for a seat when folks get off at Stamford. When my eyes wander upward, I'm wary of the lighting I'll find. There are two types. One is a series of flourescents behind rectangular flat plastic panels. The other is another poor Metro North Railroad design that may be impacting your health.

What's that wonderful design? A series of flourescents behind an aluminum looking suspended grid. The problem with the grid, is that with all the ions floating around the train, it has likely become charged and now attracts particles. You know what I'm talking about... Sharper Image built a massive business around attracting particles with their Ionic Breeze line of air purifiers.

From their site:
"The Ionic Breeze cleans the air by trapping airborne particles as they circulate past an array of electrically charged stainless steel blades. Contaminated air from the room is drawn in through the vents at the back of the unit. As the particles enter, they are electrically charged and are attracted to the oppositely charged collection blades inside. These charged particles will stick to the blades until wiped off by the user. "


Replace blades with light grid and you get the idea. The particles have been attracted. The problem is that Metro North is not cleaning the grids frequently enough (or at all) and a commuter now this black layer of particles hanging overhead and flowing through the air. Try running your finger along it one time...

The pics:

1, 2, & 3 Plastic enclosed vestibule lighting
4, 5, & 6 Ionized grid

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