BART is testing LED – light-emitting diode – lights that will one day replace the light fixtures currently in BART cars, which use the same technology that was around when BART began service in 1972. The LED lights last longer, can save up to 50 percent in energy costs and are noticeably brighter.
“It’s cutting edge, what we’re putting in,” says Glenn Dodo, principal engineer.
Right now, just one car in BART’s 669-fleet is outfitted with the new lights, and that car has some of the old ones, too, so you can see the difference if you happen to be riding in it. Testing will be expanded as BART tries out different models of LED lights for reliability, voltage fluctuation and other variables.
The LEDs are not just bulbs, but actually contain electronics that can monitor the intensity of the light.
“Customers have told us they like that cool, white appearance of the lighting,” Dodo says. “When you walk into the car it wakes you up in the morning.”
If you want to keep an eye out for the LED lights, the test car is #1738 – you can find the number of the car you are riding in above the door on either end of the car. The LED lights have a brighter, whiter appearance than the older fluorescent lights, and you may notice a sparkly, starburst-like effect, as shown in this video story about the new lighting on BARTtv.
If you have comments about lighting on BART cars, you can send them using this email feedback form.