Different Types of Stair Lifts Stair lifts are movable lifts which run along a rail attached to staircases, and carry people upstairs and downstairs within a building. Since its invention in the 1930s, stair lifts have changed dramatically to suit a variety of needs. Each improvement in technology is reflected in the designing of stair lifts too, and so users can now enjoy and more value added features. One such feature is the ability of a stair lift to automatically stop if it finds an obstruction in its way. In relation to operating power, the two main categories evolved are the direct A/C powered model and the battery powered unit. The Electra Ride LT is a battery powered stair lift that can be operated even during power outrages. Some of the common models of stair lifts which are available for both residential and commercial use are straight lifts, curved lifts and through floor lifts. For users who are wheelchair-bound, stair lifts are available with drive-in wheelchair facility. A disabled person can maneuver the wheelchair on to the platform of the stair lift, which can then be raised up or brought down the stairs. This type of stair lift requires considerable space, and cannot therefore be installed on smaller staircases. Two stair lift models suitable for narrow stairways are the standing stair lift and the perching stair lift. In the standing stair lift, users can stand and hold on to a guard rail while commuting. Perching stair lift also has a similar arrangement, but with an extended support at the buttock level. The purpose of the outdoor all-weather stair lift is to help the disabled in accessing outdoor steps while stepping in and out of their homes. A wheel chair platform is included in these stair lifts. With a number of companies offering a wide range of domestic and commercial stair lifts, it is now easy to find a stair lift that suits one's individual requirements. Stair lifts give you a sense of independence, and help you move around and carry on with your routine activities without the help of a companion. Tom Smith is working as a design consultant at Day Elevator & Lift, a premier provider of stair lifts, elevators and wheelchair lifts for residential and commercial applications throughout the tri-state area, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut.