US 20060138916 A1
A refrigerator with a body and a door fastened to the body to enclose a heat-insulated inner space formed in the body. At least one luminous element for lighting the inner space is fixed to the inner side of the door facing the inner space.
12. A refrigeration appliance, comprising:
a door attached to said body;
a heat-insulated interior formed in said body; and
at least one luminous element for lighting said interior, said luminous element arranged on an inside surface of said door facing said interior.
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21. A refrigeration appliance, comprising:
a door attached to said body;
a heat-insulated interior formed in said body;
said interior divided into a plurality of compartments; and
at least one luminous element for lighting said interior, said luminous element arranged on an inside surface of said door facing said interior at the level of each said compartment.
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The present invention relates to a refrigeration appliance such as a refrigerator or a freezer, with a body and a door attached on the body, which delimit a heat-insulated interior. Normally such refrigeration appliances are fitted with interior lighting, which is switched on automatically when the door is opened. Such interior lighting conventionally consists of a single luminous element, positioned on a lateral inner wall of the body.
Such interior lighting illuminates items in its immediate environment very brightly, but also conveys heat to these items undesirably. Items, located at a greater distance from the luminous element, possibly on other compartment floors of the interior than that on which the luminous element is arranged, are illuminated only poorly by comparison. Also, with such interior lighting it is difficult to satisfactorily illuminate items in the front region of the interior, without dazzling a user looking into the open interior from the front.
EP 0971186 A2 discloses a refrigeration appliance according to the preamble of claim 1, in which several luminous elements are arranged on the insides of the body. These luminous elements, which inter alia can be arranged on opposite sides of the interior or extend over the major part of its height, enable homogeneous lighting of the interior. Assembling the refrigeration appliance however is extremely expensive, since a large number of apertures is required in the inner wall of the body to mount the lighting element and to contact it electrically. Further, with this refrigeration appliance waste heat from the lighting means used is discharged to the interior.
The object of the present invention is to provide a refrigeration appliance which enables even lighting of the interior without risk to the user of being dazzled and employing simple means.
This task is solved by a refrigeration appliance having the characteristics of claim 1. In that at least one luminous element for lighting the interior is arranged on an inside of the door facing the interior, the distance between the luminous element and items illuminated by it is made greater, resulting in uniformly bright lighting, and shading caused by items placed near the luminous element is eliminated. Also, the luminous element lies outside the main visual angle of any user looking into the interior of the opened refrigeration appliance, such that there is almost no direct risk of being dazzled.
To fully exclude the possibility of being dazzled, it is preferred that the luminous element radiates light predominantly into a angular range, whereof the apex is formed by the luminous element itself and which on the one hand is delimited by a vertical on the inside of the door and on the other hand by a section of its inside running from the luminous element to the attached side of the door. This means that if the door is opened and stands at a right angle to the body, then the radiation of the luminous element is directed substantially into the interior; radiation in the direction of a user standing in front of the open refrigeration appliance, which could dazzle the user, simply does not occur.
Such a luminous element is preferably arranged centrally with respect to the direction of width of the door. In this way it is always suitably placed, independent of which side the door is attached.
If the luminous element is placed eccentrically, it is appropriate to provide the door with two assembly points on both sides of the middle line, on which the luminous element optionally can be mounted, so that it can always be suitably placed, depending on which side the door is attached.
In this case the luminous element is preferably mounted on one of the two assembly points located on the side of the middle line facing the attached side of the door. The risk of shading by the user himself is less than if the luminous element were mounted on the side of the door remote from where it is attached.
As a result of a preferred configuration the luminous element can be mounted on the door optionally in two orientations rotated against one another through 180° about an axis vertical to the door. This is particularly effective if the luminous element is meant to radiate preferably not in the direction of said axis, but rather in the angular range between the axis and the section of the inside running from the luminous element to the attached side of the door. Here rotation enables the direction of radiation in each case to match the selected attachment side of the door, without changes in the configuration of the luminous element itself being necessary. If the luminous element is mounted centrally on the door, its assembly point should be such as to enable fastening of the luminous element in both orientations; in the case of two eccentric assembly points it can suffice if each permits assembly in one orientation only.
To ensure dazzle-free alignment of light radiation, an adjustable beam-shaping element is preferably arranged on the luminous element. This element can in particular be a reflector or a light shade.
A refractive element is also considered.
If the interior of the refrigeration appliance is subdivided into a number of compartments, there should be at least one luminous element at the level of each compartment to effect even lighting. This requisite can be satisfied by several luminous elements, in each case arranged at different heights on the door; preferably this is a single luminous element extending over the height of several compartments.
Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will emerge from the following description of embodiments with reference to the attached figures, in which:
FIGS. 2 to 5 in each case show partial sections through a refrigeration appliance door with different variants of luminous elements according to the present invention; and
In a perspective view
A first example for a possible inner structure of the luminous element 20 is shown in
Instead of a single neon lamp several lighting means distributed over the height of the luminous element 20 can also be used. In particular, instead of the tubes a rod-shaped carrier can be provided, on which these several luminous elements, e.g. halogen globes or LEDs, are mounted, and which has a pair of terminals for attaching to the power supply cable, to which these several luminous elements are connected in parallel or in series.
The depression 21 is covered by a semi-cylindrical visor 26, preferably made of a transparent or translucent synthetic material. Arranged on the outside of the visor 26 is a strip-like light shade 27 extending over its entire height, which can be moved along the surface of the visor 26 between two mirror-opposite positions. When the light shade 27 is in the position, illustrated as a continuous outline, the light shade 27 concentrates the radiation onto an angular range between the line 30 perpendicular to the door at the level of the lighting means 22 and the part of the door inside 18 to the right thereof. This position is sensible for a door attached to the right, to avoid dazzling a user standing to the left of the door. When the door is to be attached to the left side, for adapting the light radiation it suffices to shift the light shade 27 to the opposite side of the visor 26 into the position illustrated as a dashed outline.
The luminous element 20 illustrated in section in
In order to adapt the radiation of this luminous element 20 to a change of attachment of the door, it suffices to detach the visor 26 and remount it rotated through 180°, resulting in deflection of the beams in the counter-clockwise direction.
In the case of the configuration in
In the configuration in
A further configuration of the inventive refrigerator is shown in
In this configuration also the luminous element 20 is constructed such that it preferably radiates obliquely to the standard test surface 30. The luminous element 20 should always be mounted on that assembly point 32 or 33 which is nearer to the attached edge of the door 12, in the case illustrated here therefore on the assembly point 32. Similar to the luminous elements described with respect to FIGS. 2 to 5 here too the luminous element 20 is constructed such that it radiates obliquely to the standard test surface 30, and such that, when it is mounted on the assembly point 32, and with the door 12 open, it preferably shines into the interior 13.
If the stop of the door 12 is to be placed on the left side of the body 11, then the luminous element 20 is also to be set on the assembly point 33. It is guaranteed, by rotating the luminous element 20 required on account of placing of the bushings 24 that it shines into the interior 13 in this position when the door is open, without dazzling a user.
Instead of a single luminous element, extending over the entire height of the door 12 or at least a major part thereof, it is understood also that several luminous elements distributed in similar fashion over the height of the door, as described above, can be provided.