Do transit shelter heat lamps keep you warm?

Posted on January 9, 2015

 Photo: corydalus via Flickr
 Photo: corydalus via Flickr

CHICAGO — The Chicago Transit Authority has had heat lamps for more than three decades, according to spokeswoman Tammy Chase. Installed at the above-ground stations and a few bus terminals, the lamps are switched on in mid-October and deactivated around March 31, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Heat lamps using infrared light are particularly efficient because it doesn't rely on the air — with its below-zero wind chills this week in Chicago — to transfer the heat from source to shivering human, according to the report.

The lamps should heat skin and bring up the body's core temperature a bit, Brian Cannon, assistant professor of physics at Loyola University Chicago, told the Tribune, but they might be hindered by riders' heavy clothing.
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