I had a chance to stop though Judiciary Sq’s north mezzanine today, the one with the new lighting scheme. My concern from the initial photos was that the lighting along the escalators, where the coffered vault has less headroom, requiring direct overhead light rather than the indirect lighting in the rest of the system, was too much of a departure from one of Metro’s distinct design elements.
The white lines from those lights take away from the pattern of the coffers, despite the increased lighting in the area (which is substantial).
The increased illumination does indeed make a big difference, particularly in seeing where to walk. However, might there be another solution to illuminate the walkways without some of the awkward, direct light fixtures. Several of the new and newly renovated stations make use of LED lights embedded in stairway handrails. These lights, directed downward, illuminate the floor to ease navigation without the need for overhead fixtures.
In anticipation of the baseball crowds for Nationals Park, Metro expanded the Navy Yard station’s Half Street entrance to include an elevator and a new staircase from the mezzanine to the platform, which uses the LED handrail lights to illuminate the stairs.
Might this type of fixture be integrated into the brass handrails in Metro mezzanines? While these lights might not have much range, they wouldn’t need much – the new, hanging indirect lights in the Judiciary Sq mezzanine work just fine with enough overhead clearance.