US 2580056 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 25, 1951 WHEELER, JR 2,580,056
ELECTRICALLY LIGHTED WALL SWITCH PLATE Filed Feb. 19, 1945 Y 2 SHEETSSHEET l zo' W2 .27
grwQ/wbom, 7190/7/ 5 l. Wf/fflf/ZJK T. L. WHEELER, JR
ELECTRICALLY LIGHTED WALL SWITCH PLATE Dec. 25, 195] 2 SHEETS-SHEET 2 Filed Feb. 19, 1945 Patented Dec. 25, 1951 ELEoraroALLY LIGHTED WALL I swngen PLATE 'lilggmes 1. whegler, Colum 9 1i! Application-February l9, 1945 Serial No, 578,69l
. Glaims- (01. Zlfir-Z) This invention relates to an electrically lighted wall switch-plate.
An object of this invention is the production of an automatic safety light and pilot-indicator in the form of a novel plate designed for application over standard wall type toggle or push-button light switches. It incorporates a low-wattage neon bulb or glow lamp which is so connected that it li hts automatically when the light controlled by the switch itself is turned off and goes off when the switch is turned on.
Another object of the invention is the construction of a novel device which presents a combination of novel features. The first of the said featured advantages is that the light emitting from the switch-plate is sufficient not only to indicate the position or whereabouts of the switch in an otherwise dark room, but also pro- Vides a degree of illumination which enables a person entering the room from a dark area, or arising from sleep within the room, to distinguish objects or obstacles therein, or to determine the confines of the room itself,with sufficient clarity to avoid collision with such obstacles, objects or confines. The second of these features is that there is no aperture, grille or transparent insert of any kind in the plate through which the light from the neon bulb or glow lamp passes in providing the illumination described above. A from direct view, exposure or accessibility by virtue of being encased entirely beneath and enclosed by the outer surface of the plate, which is specially shaped to provide a cavity, accessible only from the back of said plate. The light from the bulb is thus softened or diffused through the semi-transparent material of which the plate is made, the plate being thin enough on the lower part of the reflector portion to permit light from the bulb or glow lamp to be transmited over the face of said plate, below the reflector portion.
With the foregoin and other objects in view, my invention comprises certain novel constructions, combinations and arrangements of parts as will be hereinafter fully deseribed, illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and more particularly i t q 1. 1 the app n e a m In the drawings: y n
Fig. l is a view in front elevation of a wall switch-plate constructed in accordance with the present invention.
Figure 2 is a diagram, showing a rear perspective view of the switch plate and a perspective View of a common type of wall switch, all connected in electric circuit.
Instead the bulb is protected Figure 3 is a vertical, central sectional view of the switch plate in its appliedposition upon a Wall switch.
Fig. 4 is a horizontal sectional view, taken on line 44, Fig. 3, and looking in the direction of the arrows.
Fig. 5 is a horizontal sectional view, taken on line 5-5, Fig. 3, and looking in the direction of the arrows.
Fig. 6 is a rear view in elevation of the switchplate, with the detachable parts removed.
Fig. 7 is a fragmentary rear view in elevation of the switch-plate, showing part of the detachable elements thereon.
Fig. 8 is a vertical sectional view, taken on line 8-8, Fig. 7, and looking in the direction of the arrows. 4
Fig. 9 is a perspective view of element or plate.
Fig. 10 is a perspective view of the retainer element or plate.
Referring to the drawings, in which I have shown the preferred embodiment of my invention, I designates a wall in which the standard wall switch 2 is positioned. Attached by screws 3 to wall switch 2 is my improved and novel switch-plate 4.
The switch-plate 4 is preferably provided with the supporting two reinforcing ribs 5 on its back. "The wall switch-plate 4' is provided with a semi-transparent outwardly and downwardly extending reflecting bulged portion 6 (Fig. 1), in which is formed an upper cavity or recess! (Fig. 6)"and a lower cavity or recess 8. These two recesses l and 8 are divided by a horizontal partition III, which at its left-hand end terminates short of the left-hand end of the recesses for the purpose of receiving the wire I I (Fig. 9).
The upper part of the outwardly-bulged nonperforated integral portion 6 is much thicker in cross section than the lower part thereof. In other words, the lower part of the outwardlybulged portion is thinner than the upper part. Consequently, the lower part of the outwardlybulged portion is a light transmitting area while the upper part thereof transmits light to a lesser extent.
A supporting plate 5?, of any suitable material, has mounted thereon a glow lamp or -neon bulb I3 and a resistor element I4. When the term plate is used in this specification and claims, I do so in a broad sense, meaning any unit or element of the same novel construction and desired material, as specified in this case. The resistor element l4 fits into the upper recess 1,
and the neon bulb l3 fits into the lower recess 8 when plate I! is in position on the switch-plate 4. Two upper inner lugs I5 extend downwardly contiguous to recess 1, and two lower inner lugs extend upwardly, contiguous to the lower recess 8 (Fig. 6). The supporting plate I2 is of suflicient flexibility to be snapped under lugs 15 and 15*, whereby the plate [2, as well as the parts carried thereby, are held securely in position against accidental displacement.
The inside of the switch-plate 4 is also provided with a horizontal transverse reinforcing rib l8 that is made of two parts, with the screw-receiving aperture l1 between the inner ends of the parts, Fig. 6. On this two-part reinforcing rib IS, there are two upstanding lugs 18; these lugs will also be known as the lower outer lugs. Two upper lugs H3 are formed on the switch-plate, and these lugs extend downwardly. Vertical reinforcing ribs !9 are above the two-part reinforcing rib l6; these ribs efliciently hold the ends of the retainingplate 20 (Fig. 10) in place when said retaining plate is in position upon the switch plate. This retaining plate 28 is preferably of substantially a U-shaped structure. The retaining plate 29 is sprung into position behind retaining lugs l8 and I8 as shown in Fig. 7. Positioned between plate i2 and plate 29 is a fibre cover sheet 2|, Fig. 8; this cover sheet protects the outer face of the supporting plate l2.
It is to be understood that the retainer plate 20 rests near its end upon the reinforcing ribs l9, making a secure support for said retainer plate, as a snug fit is obtained thereby.
Referring to Fig. 2, 22 designates the line to the resistor, from the terminal 23 on wall switch 2, while 24 designates the line to the neon bulb from the terminal 25 on said wall switch 2. When the units are assembled as shown in Fig. 2, the fibre cover sheet 2! is placed in position, and then the retainer plate 20 is placed in position, whereupon the switch-plate 4 can be placed in position (Fig. 3) so that the retaining screws 3 can be positioned to hold the switch-plats in an operative position with respect to the wall switch 2. Of course, it is obvious that the lever 01' button 25 is positioned in the elongated central aperture 21 of the switch-plate.
From the foregoing, it will be understood that I have provided retaining means for the supporting plate and its parts, as well as securing and supporting means for the retainer plate, whereby the elements are efficiently secured in an assembled operative position. 7
It is to be also understood that when the light switch 2 is in the "ofi position, the secondary circuit, limited by the resistor l4, draws only enough current through the "opened primary circuit to light the glow lamp or neon bulb in the switch-plate. When the wall switch is turned on, thereby closing the primary circuit, the draw on the primary circuit is sufficient to drain the secondary circuit, thereby causing the neon bulb to automatically turn 011. When the wall switch is turned off, the operation is reversed and the neon bulb again burns.
Referring to Figure 2, 2'! designates the wiring leading to the room light (not shown).
When desired, the position of the retaining plate 20, as shown in Figs. 7, 8, and 10, can be reversed. The reason for reversing the position of said fibre retaining plate 20 in the general assembly, is to provide for the toggle switch bracket, that in some cases dovetails or sets into the face plate. This is only true when the toggle switch is placed in the switch box when it is absolutely level or flush with the finished wall.
What I claim is:
1. An electrically lighted wall plate, provided with an outwardly bulged portion having a resistor-receiving upper recess and a bulb-receiving lower recess, a set of lugs overhanging said upper recess, a set of lugs overhanging said lower recess, and said wall plate being provided with outer sets of lugs, whereby a retainer plate can be held upon said wall plate behind said outer set of lugs.
2. An electrically lighted wall plate, provided with an outwardly bulged reflector portion on its front face, said outwardly bulged reflector portion having therein an upper recess and a lower recess, a horizontal reflector partition dividing said recesses, a set of inner depending lugs and a set of upwardly extending lugs overhanging saidrecesses, said wall plate also provided with a reinforcing rib, said reinforcing rib being provided witha pair of upstanding lugs, and said wall plate provided near its top edge with a set of depending lugs, cooperating with said set of lugs on said reinforcing rib.
3. An electrically lighted wall plate, provided with an outwardly'bulged reflector portion n its front face, said outwardly bulged reflector portion having therein an upper recess and a lower recess, a horizontal reflector partition dividing said recesses, said partition terminating short of one edge of said recesses, a set of depending lugs overhanging a portion of said upper recess, a set of upwardly extending lugs overhanging a portion of said lower recess, parallel vertical reinforcing ribs near, the edges of said recesses, a two-part reinforcing horizontal rib connected to the lower ends of said first mentioned parallel ribs, said two-part reinforcing ribs being provided at-their contiguous ends with upstanding lugs, and said wall plate provided near its top with a set of depending lugs,'cooperating with said lugs of the two-part reinforcing rib.
THOMAS L. WHEELER, JR.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 959,387 Richmond May 24, 1910 1,110,038 Burns Sept. 8, 1914 1,342,744 Evans June 8, 1920 1,698,839 Dorsey Jan. 15, 1929 2,015,698 Tifiany Oct. 1, 1935 2,106,144 Floraday Jan. 18, 1938 2,113,553 Dover Apr. 5, 1938 2,179,198 Reed Nov. 7, 1939 2,179,199 Reed Nov. 7, 1939 2,193,740 Reed Mar. 12, 1940 2,214,317 Bash et'al Sept. 10, 1940