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Publication numberUS2810066 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 15, 1957
Filing dateAug 5, 1954
Priority dateAug 5, 1954
Publication numberUS 2810066 A, US 2810066A, US-A-2810066, US2810066 A, US2810066A
InventorsNorman Green
Original AssigneeAladdin Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lamp and control means therefor
US 2810066 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 15, 1957 N GREEN LAMP AND CONTROL MEANS THEREFOR Filed Aug. 5, 1954 INVENTOR. NORMA/V GREEN 2,810,066 Patented Oct. 15, 1957 fice LAMP AND CONTROL MEANS THEREFOR Norman Green, Nashville, Tenn., assignor to Aladdin Industries, Incorporated, Nashville, Tenn., :1 corporation of Illinois Application August 5, 1954, Serial No. 447,957

10 Claims. (Cl. 240-123) This invention relates to electrically energized lamps and pertains particularly to a lamp having improved switching means for controlling its energization.

One principal object of the invention is to provide an improved lamp which an operator may light or extinguish simply by moving his hand or some other part of his body into proximity with the lamp.

A further object is to provide a lamp having improved switching means operable by body capacitance.

It is another object of the invention to provide a lamp which may be lighted and extinguished by successive applications of body capacitance to an electrode on the lamp.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the following description, taken with the accompanying drawing, in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a lamp constituting a purely illustrative embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 is a schematic diagram of the lamp and its control circuit; and

Figure 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken generally along a line 33 in Figure l.

Considered in greater detail, Figure 1 of the drawing shows an exemplary electric lamp 4. In the usual manner, the lamp 4 is provided with a base 5 which supports a lamp socket 6 surmounted by a lamp shade 7. To provide for operation of the lamp 4, the base 5 is equipped with an electrode in the form of a metallic ring 8 extending around the base. While it is preferred that the ring 8 be formed by applying a metallic paint or other coating to the base, it will be understood that the electrode may be formed in any suitable manner and in any desired shape. In the illustrated construction, the base 5 is made of ceramic, glass or some other insulating material.

As shown in Figure 3, the supporting base 5 is hollow to provide a chamber or cavity 9 which houses a con-- trol apparatus 10 shown diagrammatically in Figure 2. The control apparatus 10 comprises an electronic device 11 which is responsive to the application of body capacitance to the ring electrode 8. As illustrated, the device 11 assumes the form of an oscillator comprising a self-resonant coil 12 which is tuned to a predetermined radio frequency by its own distributed capacitance and the capacitance of the circuit connected to the coil. The coil 12 is provided with a tap 13 connected to the cathode 14 of a triode 15 or other electron discharge tube. The triode 15 includes a grid 16 which is connected to one end lead 16a of the coil 12 through a current-limiting grid coupling capacitor 17, having a value comparable to the interelectrode capacitances of the triode 15. As shown in Figures 2 and 3 a lead 18 is connected between the grid 16 and the ring electrode 8. As shown, the lead 18 may be brought out through an aperture 19 formed in the base and may have its outer end flattened to establish a connection to the ring. Itwill be understood that the thickness of the ring 8 is greatly exaggerated in Figure 3 for clarity of illustration. A grid biasing resistor 20 is connected between the grid 16 and the opposite end lead 21 of the coil 12.

The tube 15 is provided with an anode 22 which is energized by a power supply 23. The power supply 23 is connected to a pair of power lines 24 and 25, representing a source of alternating current at volts. In this instance a selenium or other half wave rectifier 26 is connected between the power line 24 and alead 27 running to the anode 22. A filtering capacitor 23 is con-- nected between the lead 27 and the other power line 25. The triode 15 is equipped with a heater 29 which may connected to the secondary winding 30 of a heater transformer 31. The primary winding 32 of the trans former 31 may be connected across the lines 24 and 25.

In the illustrated construction a relay device 33 is provided to control energization of the lamp socket 6 in response to application of body capacitance to the oscillator 11. 'The relay 33 includes a winding 34 connected in series with the anode power supply 23. More specifically, the winding is connected between the line wire 25 and a lead 35 extending to the coil 12 and thence to the cathode 14 of the tube 15. A by-pass capacitor 36 is connected between the anode 22 and the lead 35.

In order to amplify the current variations in the tube 15, the control mechanism 10 is provided with a second tube 37 having a grid 38 and an anode 39 connected to the grid 16 and the anode 22, respectively, of the tube 15. The tube 37 also includes a cathode 40 connected directly to the lead 35, together with a heater 41 connected to the transformer secondary 30. As indicated in Figures 2 and 3, the triodes 15 and 37 may constitute twin elements of a double triode tube 42.

To control the energization of the lamp socket 6 in response to energization and de-energization of the relay winding 34, the relay 33 is equipped with a ratcheting mechanism 43, comprising a ratchet wheel 44 which is operable by a pawl 45. The pawl is mounted on an armature 46 which is adapted to be moved by energization of the winding. In the illustrated construction, movement of the armature 46 advances the ratchet wheel 4 ninety degrees. The ratchet wheel 44 is mounted on a shaft 47 which carries a two-lobed cam 48 adapted to operate a set of switch contacts 49 and 50. It will be seen that the contacts 49 and 50 are connected in series with a lead 51 extending between the line 25 and the lamp socket 6, the other line 2 being connected directly to the lamp socket by means of a lead 52. In this way the contacts 49 and 50 are adapted to control the operation of a lamp 53 mounted in the socket 6.

In operation the power lines 24 and 255 are continuously energized with alternating current. As a result, an anode supply voltage is developed between the leads 27 and 25 so as to energize the oscillator triode 15. in the absence of body capacitance, the oscillator 11 oscillates continuously by virtue of the feedback provided by the connection of the cathode 14 to the tap 13 on the coil 12. With the tube 15 oscillating, a substantial grid biasing voltage develops across the resistor 20. As a result, the currents between the anodes and cathodes of the triodes 15 and 37 are maintained at small values. The sum of these currents, passing through the relay winding 34, is insufiicient to move the armature 46.

When the operator moves his hand adjacent or into engagement with the ring electrode 8, the effect is to increase the capacitance between the electrode and ground. Since the power lines 24 and 25 are substantially at ground potential for radio frequency currents, this added capacitance is effectively applied between the grid of the tube 15 and the lead 21. Because of the current-limiting or voltage dividing action of the grid coupling capacitor 17, increasing the grid to ground capacitance tends to reduce the radio frequency voltage on the grid 16 to a level comparable to that on the cathode 14. In other words, the application of body capacitance to the ring 8 reduces the grid to ground impedence relative to the impedenceof the capacitor 17, with the resultthat the radio frequency grid Voltage tends to be correspondingly reduced. Under these conditions the oscillations in the oscillator 11 are stopped. As a result, the grid bias across the resistor 20 drops substantially to zero. Accordingly, the combined cathode currents, passing through the relay winding 34, increase to a value sufiiicient to move the armature 46. The pawl 45 on the armature advances the ratchet wheel 44 one step, with the result that the cam 48 operates the contacts 49 and 50. On alternate cycles of operation of the ratcheting relay 33 the contacts are closed and opened. Thus the lamp 53 may be lighted bymomentarily bringing the hand close to the electrode 8. Likewise, the lamp may be extinguished by again advancing the hand toward the ring.

It will be apparent that the lamp may readily be lighted in a room which is completely dark since it is a simple matter to bring the hand close enough to the lamp base to apply body capacitance to the ring electrode. It is not necessary to locate and manipulate a small switch knob or button as in a conventional lamp. Furthermore, the fact that the lamp can be controlled merely by moving the hand close to the base lends a magical or mysterious quality to the lamp, which greatly increases its commercial value.

Various modifications, equivalents, and alternative constructions may be employed without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the accompanying drawing and foregoing specification, and as defined in the following claims.

I claim:

I. A lamp, comprising a hollow supporting base having a metallic ring thereon extending therearound, a lamp socket mounted on said base, control means inside said hollow base for selectively energizing said lamp socket, said control means comprising an oscillator having a tuning coil, a tube having a cathode, a grid and an anode, said coil having a tap thereon connected to said cathode, an anode supply circuit connected between one end of said coil and said anode, a current-limiting capacitor con nected between the opposite end of said coil and said grid, a lead connected between said metallic ring and said grid so that body capacitance applied to said ring affects the operation of said oscillator, a grid-biasing resistor connected between said grid and said one end of said coil, a relay winding connected in series with said anode power supply circuit for energization by the anode current in said tube, a relay switch connected in circuit with said lamp socket, and a ratchet mechanism operable by said relay winding for alternately closing and opening said switch to control energization of said lamp socket.

2. In a lamp, the combination comprising a hollow supporting base having a metallic surface element defining a ring thereon extending therearound, said base having a cavity therein, a lamp socket mounted on said base, switching means housed in said cavity within said hollow base for selectively energizing said lamp socket, said switching means comprising an oscillator having a tuning coil, a first electron discharge device, said device including a cathode, a grid and an anode, said coil having a tap thereon connected to said cathode, an anode power supply circuit connected between said anode and one end of said coil, a current-limiting capacitor connected between the opposite end of said coil and said grid, a lead connected between said metallic ring and said grid so that body capacitance applied to said ring will affect the operation of said oscillator, and a grid biasing resistor connected between said grid and said one end of said coil, a second electron discharge device having a cathode connected to said one end of said coil, said second device having an anode connected to said first-mentioned anode and a grid connected to said first-rnentioned grid, a relay winding connected in series with said anode power supply circuit for energization by the combined anode currents in said devices, a relay switch connected in circuit with the lamp socket, and a ratchet mechanism operable by said relay winding for alternately closing and opening said switch to control energization of said lamp socket.

3. In a lamp, the combination comprising a hollow supporting base having a cavity therein, said base having an external electrically conductive surface element, a lamp socket mounted on said base for receiving a lamp bulb and establishing circuit connections therewith, and a con trol unit housed in said cavity, said unit including contact means connected in circuit with said lamp socket and movable between closed and open positions for energizing and deenergizing said socket, reversing means connected to said electrically conductive surface element and operable to reversesaid contact means between said positions in either direction in response to application ofbody capacitance to said electrically conductive surface element, and holding means for. maintaining said contact means in either of said positions between intervals of operation of said reversing means.

4. In a lamp, the combination comprising a hollow supporting base having a cavity therein, said base having an external electrically conductive surface element, a lamp socket mounted on said base for receiving a lamp bulb and establishing circuit connections therewith, and a control unit housed in said cavity, said unit including contact means connected in circuit with said lamp socket and movable between closed and open positions for energizing anddeenergizing said socket, and means connected to said electrically coductive surface element and operable to reverse said contact means between said positions in either direction in response to successive applications of body capacitance to said electrically conductive surface element.

5. In a lamp, the combination comprising a hollow supporting base having a cavity therein, said base having an electrode thereon, a lamp socket mounted on said base for receiving a lamp bulb and establishing circuit connections thereto, and a control unit housed in said cavity, said unit including contact means connected in circuit with said lamp socket and movable between closed and open positions for energizing and deenergizing said socket, reversing means connected to said electrode and operable to reverse said contact means between said positions in either direction in response to successive applications of body capacitance to said electrode, and holding means for maintaining said contact means in either of said positions between intervals of operation of said reversing means.

6. In a lamp, the combination comprising a hollow supportingbase having a cavity therein, said base having an electrically conductive electrode thereon, a control unit housed in said cavity, said control .unit including first meansconnected to said electrode and operable to provide a variable output current in response to the application of body capacitance to said electrode, relay winding means connected to said first means for receiving said output current, a set of relay contacts movable between closed and open positions, reversing means operable by said relay winding means for reversing said contacts between said positions in either direction, and holding means for holding said contacts in either of said positions between intervals of operation of said reversing means, and a lamp socket mounted on said base and connected in circuit with said contacts for energization and deenergization thereby.

7. In a lamp, the combination comprising a hollow supporting base havinga cavity therein, said base having an external electrically conductive surface element, a lamp socketmounted on said base for receiving a lamp bulb and establishing circuit connections therewith, and a control .unithoused in said cavity, said unit including contact means connected in circuit with said lamp socket and shiftable to a plurality of positions for controlling the energization and deenergization of said socket, shifter means connected to said electrically conductive surface element and operable to shift said contact means in response to application of body capacitance to said electrically conductive surface element, and holding means for maintaining said contact means in shifted position between intervals of operation of said shifter means.

8. In a lamp, the combination comprising a hollow supporting base having a cavity therein, said base having an external electrically conductive surface element, a lamp socket mounted on said base for receiving a lamp bulb and establishing circuit connections therewith, and a control unit housed in said cavity, said unit including contact means connected in circuit with said lamp socket and shiftable to a plurality of positions for controlling the energization and deenergization of said socket, and means connected to said electrically conductive surface element and operable to shift said contact means in response to application of body capacitance to said electrically conductive surface element.

9. In a lamp, the combination comprising a hollow supporting base having a cavity therein, said base having an electrode thereon, a lamp socket mounted on said base for receiving a lamp bulb and establishing circuit connections thereto, and a control unit housed in said cavity, said unit including contact means connected in circuit with said lamp socket and shiftable to a plurality of positions for controlling the energization and deenergization of said socket, shifter means connected to said electrode and operable to shift said contact means in response to application of body capacitance to said electrode, and holding means for maintaining said contact means in shifted position between intervals of operation of said shifter means.

10. In a lamp, the combination comprising a hollow supporting base having a cavity therein, said base having an electrically conductive electrode thereon, a control unit housed in said cavity, said control unit including first means connected to said electrode and operable to provide a variable output current in response to the application of body capacitance to said electrode, relay winding means connected to said first means for receiving said output current, a set of relay contacts shiftable to a plurality of positions, shifter means operable by said relay winding means for shifting said contacts, and holding means for holding said contacts in shifted position between intervals of operation of said shifter means, and a lamp socket mounted on said base and connected in circuit with said contacts for energization and deenergization thereby.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 941,777 Hart Nov. 30, 1909 1,535,360 Vickery Apr. 28, 1925 2,094,351 Draper et al Sept. 28, 1937 2,152,296 Weis et a1 Mar. 28, 1939 2,182,336 Goldstine Dec. 5, 1939 2,188,973 Bonner et a1. Feb. 6, 1940 2,313,917 Brownlee Mar. 16, 1943 2,395,780 Devol et al. Feb. 26, 1946 2,516,362 Bauer July 25, 1950 2,612,570 Patrick Sept. 30, 1952 OTHER REFERENCES Electronics, June 1950, page 42.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2896131 *May 7, 1956Jul 21, 1959Aladdin Ind IncTouch responsive lamp or the like
US3025434 *Jul 5, 1960Mar 13, 1962Tung Sol Electric IncTouch responsive system
US3028209 *Jul 25, 1957Apr 3, 1962Whirlpool CoMovable kitchen units and control means therefor
US3056907 *Oct 16, 1958Oct 2, 1962Hubbell Inc HarveyTouch controlled circuit
US3109893 *Jan 3, 1961Nov 5, 1963Automatic Elect LabProximity operated loudspeaking telephone
US3151340 *Jul 13, 1962Oct 6, 1964Carousel Sanwa Licensing CorpAutomatic water-supply apparatus
US3171066 *Jul 5, 1960Feb 23, 1965Tung Sol Electric IncTouch control circuits
US3255380 *Sep 11, 1961Jun 7, 1966Tung Sol Electric IncTouch responsive circuit for control of a load
US3281541 *May 13, 1963Oct 25, 1966Learner Leonard RTouch sensitive telephone calling apparatus
US3492542 *Feb 17, 1967Jan 27, 1970Wagner Electric CorpSingle touch capacity switch
US4630248 *Oct 19, 1983Dec 16, 1986Scott Robert JSound activated lamp arrangement
US4668877 *Jul 12, 1985May 26, 1987Kunen Scott MTouch controlled switch for a lamp or the like
US4751625 *Jun 26, 1987Jun 14, 1988Lin John YBody-electrostatic induction type of lamp device
US4967305 *Jan 6, 1989Oct 30, 1990Datatrak, Inc.Electronic door lock apparatus, system and method
US5450299 *Jan 23, 1995Sep 12, 1995Lepre; DominicTouch activated illuminated hand rail assembly
US7054133Mar 21, 2005May 30, 2006Margaret OrthElectronic textile touch light controller
USRE33285 *May 17, 1989Jul 31, 1990 Touch controlled switch for a lamp or the like
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/395, 335/239, 361/181
International ClassificationF21V23/04, H03K17/94, H03K17/955, F21S6/00
Cooperative ClassificationH03K17/955, F21V23/04, F21S6/002
European ClassificationF21S6/00D, H03K17/955, F21V23/04