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Baluchitherium
10-13-2004, 08:11 AM
Hi,

I’ve noticed that a number of fast food restaurants have a single, pale-blue light (often fluorescent) mounted behind the serving counter. Because there is only ever one, and its location is nearly always the same – about 7 feet high, wall-mounted, often to the left side – and, in restaurants with no relationship to each other (i.e. owned by different companies), it makes me think the purpose is functional, rather than decorative…

…but that functional value (if any) is really not obvious. It doesn't produce enough light to actually illuminate anything, and in some cases, it is projected upwards.

I asked a store manager once, but she didn’t know. Does anyone have any idea?

Richard C
Kingston Ontario

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
10-13-2004, 08:37 AM
Possibly a UV light disinfection device?

Mangetout
10-13-2004, 09:04 AM
I think you might be talking about bug zappers; flying insects are attracted to the blue light and electrocuted on a grid of wires that is placed in front of the lamp.

Philster
10-13-2004, 09:12 AM
Fire prevention. Marks an extinguisher or other shut off control that must be located quickly.

Someone else can chime in about why it is blue and the low light vision of the human eye.

Colophon
10-13-2004, 10:10 AM
Fire prevention. Marks an extinguisher or other shut off control that must be located quickly.
Nope, they're bug zappers, as Mangetout said. The insects make a satisfying bzzzzt as they get fried.

These the kind of thing you mean? (http://rgk.co.uk/acatalog/RGK_Catalogue_Electric_Type_132.html)

Q.E.D.
10-13-2004, 10:24 AM
Some of them aren't zappers, as such, but they are for insect control. Some of them have a sticky paper in them that the flies stick to when they fly into it.

Balle_M
10-13-2004, 10:50 AM
Nope, they're bug zappers, as Mangetout said. The insects make a satisfying bzzzzt as they get fried.

Here in West Virginia, that's known as dinner and a floor show. :D

jwc008
10-13-2004, 11:39 AM
These the kind of thing you mean? (http://rgk.co.uk/acatalog/RGK_Catalogue_Electric_Type_132.html)

This product (http://pestproducts.com/cento_fly_trap.htm) is closer to what I often see in restaurants. More information here. (http://pestproducts.com/uv_light.htm)

Elvez
10-13-2004, 12:02 PM
Fire prevention. Marks an extinguisher or other shut off control that must be located quickly.
My guess is similar to this. Fire hydrents on residential streets are commonly indicated with a blue glued-on reflector on the street's centerline. I'll have a look at some fast food joints on my drive home.

Ruby
10-13-2004, 12:06 PM
Is this a regional thing? I've been to a lot of fast food restaurants and have never seen such a thing.

jnglmassiv
10-13-2004, 12:23 PM
I know what the OP is referring to. The bulb is always hidden from view. To me this, with the sky bluish color, suggests an ultraviolet light.

Every one I have seen in white in color and resembles, IMO, an upside-down washroom paper towel dispenser. I have always assumed it was UV disinfectant but insect trap makes sense also. For some reason, I can't find an online photo of what I've seen.

Q.E.D.
10-13-2004, 12:47 PM
IFor some reason, I can't find an online photo of what I've seen.
I'm pretty sure this (http://ecolab.com/DailyProd/SERV_NON_ST_PAUL_MAT/119_im_2.jpg) is what you mean. You can't see the bluish light coming out of the top in this photo, but this is exactly the sort of thing I see often in restaurants around here.

jnglmassiv
10-13-2004, 01:06 PM
Q.E.D. has done it again. Granted, mine wasn't an exhaustive search but nice. The type I had in mind is about half the width of yours but otherwise just the same.

A google image search for restaurant insect trap only returns 4 images and only three of those are somewhat relevant. Another place I've seen these are in hospitals. 'Hospital insect trap' (not the phrase) returns zero images. Some sort of trap conspiracy, perhaps...?

Q.E.D.
10-13-2004, 01:11 PM
Heh. Well, to be fair, the name of the company that makes (or at least maintains) them is silkscreened on the front of the ones I've seen. I just went to their website and poked around.

Baluchitherium
10-14-2004, 07:44 AM
Thanks kids...I'll sleep better now, thanks to your research!

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