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Publication numberUS1880230 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 4, 1932
Filing dateAug 26, 1930
Priority dateAug 26, 1930
Publication numberUS 1880230 A, US 1880230A, US-A-1880230, US1880230 A, US1880230A
InventorsBeck Leo L
Original AssigneeClaude Neon Lights Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Luminescent tube lighting
US 1880230 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


OF NEW YORK, N. Y A CORPORATION OF NEW YORK LUMINESCENT TUBE LIGHTING Application filed August 26, 1930. Serial No. 477,971.

The present invention relates to method and apparatus involving luminescent gaseous discharge tubes; more especially to a method and apparatus for producing certain novel and striking color effects, all as will be more fully hereinafter described and claimed.

The invention comprises broadly the combination of gaseous discharge luminescent tubes, a movable screen coacting therewith, transformers for energizing the tubes, the said transformers-being provided with ad.- justable magnetic shunts to permit the discharge current to be variedmore or less independently of the voltage, or other suitable current changing means, and a source of supply current. ments or parts of the invention referred to produces very beautiful color effects.

The invention will be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawing which illustrates one embodiment of the apparatus of the invention and of means for the practice of the method thereof.

The luminescent tubes 1, 3 and 7 contain respective pairs of electrodes 2 and each pair of electrodes is connected to and forms part of the secondary circuits of transformers 4, 5 and 6 respectively, comprising secondary coils 8, 9 and 10 and primary coils 12, 13 and 14: respectively. Each primary coil is connected to a common source of current supply 16 leading from the supply terminals 18. The tube 1 contains neon, and the tubes 3 and 7 each contain argon and mercury. The tubes 1 and 3 are made of the ordinary glass customary for the manufacture of luminescent tubes whereas the tube {7 is made of an amber colored glass which has the effect of shifting the maximum intensity wave lengths through blue toward the green portion of the spectrum. When the tubes 1, 3 and 7 are suitably energized, the tube 1 emits orange light, the tube 3 emits the blue light characteristic of luminescent mercury vapor sli htly modified by the argon spectrum, and the tube 7 emits a greenish light owing to the modification of the mercury spectrum by the amber colored filter or envelope.

Each transformer is of the high leakage The cooperation of the ele- I type, and is furthermore provided with a magnetic shunt comprising the legs 20 which form a part of the core and the armature 22 positioned upon a shaft. ,Each armature is also provided with a sprocket wheel actuated by the sprocket chain 26 which is driven by the gear 28, speed reducing device 29 and motor 30. As the armature of each transformer revolves the current in the secondary thereof fluctuates through a wide value,

By this provision of the invention the respective lights of the luminescent tubes are being continually blended in many difierent proportions with the result that an infinite variety of light combinations are produced over a given period of time and corresponding to a given cycle of rotation of the armatures. Although three tubes are shown in the drawing the number can be increased so as to provide for a still greater multiplicity of light combinations. All of the rare gases, such as helium, neon, argon, krypton and Xenon may be employed singly in respective tubes or in combinations or mixtures in the same tube and in addition to the rare gases and in combination therewith vapors, metallie or otherwise, such as the vapors of mer cury, cadmium or anthraquinone may be employed to modify or mask the color produced byv the rare gas and to obtain an even greater variety of combinations of colors.

The reflector 32 is employed to concentrate and direct the light emitted by the tubes in the direction of the movable screen 34 and the stationary screen 36. When the movable screen is at rest, vertical and parallel shadow bands of color 11, 15, 17 and 23, 27, 31 appear upon the stationary screen 36, the number of which is determined by the number of luminous tubes, and the width of which bands is determined by the width of the screen and the relative distances between the tubes 1, 3 and 7, the screen 34, and the screen 36. As the movable screen 34 rotates the width of the shadow bands passes through a cycle ranging from the maximum width as shown in the drawing to narrower widths correspending to different angular positions of the movable screen. The relative intensities of the colors of the vertical bands or penumbras are therefore not only continually changing owing to the I'EVOllltlOllS of the magnetic shunts in the transformers but the width of these bands or penumbras is also continually changing owing to the rotation of the movable screen which is rotated upon the shaft by means of the motor and pulleys. The shaft 38 is journalled in bearings 40.

Instead of rotating the armatures of the transformers through definite relative cycles, as shown in the drawing, the armatures may be rotated at different speeds as may be desired. Furthermore, the screen 34 may be given a reciprocating rotary movement instead of being completely rotated continually through a complete cycle as would be the case if operated as shown. Furthermore, the screen 34 may be maintained in any desired stationary position and the variation of the shade and color effects produced solely by varying. the discharge current in the tubes.

The tubes are adapted for operation, as

shown, with high voltage, as for example,

2000 to 5000 volts. Lower or higher voltages may be employed, depending upon the length of the tubes. The cathode drop in the tubes may be decreased by providing the cathodes or electrodes 2 with an emissive substance such as potassium or caesium or by constucting the cathode so as to have a largev emission surface. I In the preferred form of the invention the cathodes or electrodes have a diameter somewhat less than the diameter. of the discharge tubes as shown, and are provided with a coating of metallic potassium. By this means, large cathode chamaxis substantially parallel to the axes of the tubes.

2. An apparatus for producing multi color effects comprising'in-combination a plurality of circuits each of which circuits includes a luminescent tube in series with a transformer each of which transformer delivers to its respective tube discharge current the vary the amount of flux delivered to the secondary of each transformer, to vary the relative intensity of the lights from the different tubes and to vary the intensity of the light from each tube, a fixed screen, means to direct the light from the tubes'upon the fixed screen, a rotatable screen interposed between the tube and the fixed screen and having edges substantially parallel to the axes of the tubes, and means to rotate the rotatable screen.

In testimony whereof I aflix my si ature.


hers are avoided and the grouping of the tubes is facilitated.

What is claimed is: 1. An apparatus for producing multicolor effects comprising incombination a plurality of gas discharge tubes adapted to emit light of different colors and connected in series with respective sources of discharge current,

means to change the magnitude of the discharge current, a stationary screen, means to direct the light from the tubes upon said screen, a second screen positioned between the tubes and the first mentioned screen the said second screen having edges substantially parallel to the axes of the tubes, and means to rotate the said second screen about an Ill

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2515236 *Feb 11, 1944Jul 18, 1950Kamm Kunins MorrisColored light source
US2602850 *May 23, 1946Jul 8, 1952Emarco CorpAirport lighting system
US2885805 *Jul 14, 1955May 12, 1959Paul O TobelerIlluminated advertising displays
US4641446 *Mar 11, 1985Feb 10, 1987Jackson Thomas LApparatus and method for producing a multisided, multicolored display
US5564818 *Aug 9, 1993Oct 15, 1996Neon And Cathode SystemsLighting system
US6454431Apr 2, 1999Sep 24, 2002Cathode Lighting Systems, Inc.Lighting system
DE1291703B *Oct 12, 1965Apr 3, 1969Winstornley John EricVorrichtung zum Erzeugen farblicher Lichteffekte
WO1995004897A1 *Aug 9, 1994Feb 16, 1995Neon & Cathode SystemsLighting system
WO1998014730A2 *Oct 6, 1997Apr 9, 1998Richard E GrossmanLighting system
U.S. Classification362/225, 315/255, 362/242, 340/331, 125/11.15, 362/231, 315/281
International ClassificationH05B41/44, H05B41/36
Cooperative ClassificationH05B41/44
European ClassificationH05B41/44