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Publication numberUS2896125 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 21, 1959
Filing dateMay 27, 1957
Priority dateMay 27, 1957
Publication numberUS 2896125 A, US 2896125A, US-A-2896125, US2896125 A, US2896125A
InventorsRobert C Morton
Original AssigneeCalifornia Comp Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric lamp switching mechanism
US 2896125 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 21, 1959 R. c. MORTON zuzcmc LAMP SWITCHING MECHANISM Filed May 27, 1957 ples.

United States Patent Office 2,896,125 Patented July 21, 1959 2,896,125 ELECTRIC LAMP SWrrcnmt; MECHANISM Robert C. Morton, Los Angeles, Calif., assignor to California Computer Products, Inc.,Downey, Califi, a corporation of California Application May 27, 1957, Serial No. 661,903

'5 Claims. (Cl. 315-272) ;nisms which would be compatible with standard light i bulbs and lamps, however, such circuits prior to the pressent invention have failed to materialize to any appreciable extent. with associated complicated and relatively expensive sockets and switching circuits, these general arrangements being such that the elements in the lights are selec- '.tively energized for different illumination levels.

Instead, multi-element lights have been used The use of a controllable series resistance element in circuit with an ordinary single-element lamp bulb would provide the desired illumination control. .an arrangement is wasteful of energy and produces heat.

However, such Most fire codes prohibit the use of such series resistance elements. Inductive and capacitive series elements would -not create the heat problem. However, these latter elements would be large and expensive. Also, such series impedance elements suffer from the disadvantage that the light reduction ratio depends upon the wattage of the light bulb used. This latter factor is manifestly undesirable. It is for these reasons that the prior art has for the tmost part turned to the unwieldy and unduly complicated tswitching arrangements described above.

A feature of the present invention is the provision of :an assembly and mechanism which utilizes a minimum of components which, in themselves, are relatively inex- :pensive, and yet which provides a most convenient control for any standard single-element lamp in any standard receptacle or socket so as to establish at least two illumination levels from the lamp.

The invention is predicated upon rectification princi- In the mechanism of the invention, a rectifier is selectively switched in and out of the energizing circuit of a standard lamp and receptacle. When the rectifier is out of the circuit, the alternating current is directly applied to the lamp and the lamp glows with normal illumination intensity. However, when the rectifier is switched into the circuit, the illumination drops to roughly one-half its original value.

This use of a series rectifier in the energizing circuit of an electric lamp does not create any appreciable heat at the rectifier when it is in the circuit. There is, therefore,. no increased fire hazard due to the use of the invent-ion. Also, the rectifier itself may be a relatively inexpensive dry rectifier. This dry rectifier, for example, may be composed of silicon or germanium, or any other semiconductor material suitable for use in such rectifiers. The

. rectifier itself may be switched in and out of any present daylighting circuitin a most simple manner.

A major object of the invention, therefore, is to provide a simple and expeditious switching mechanism for a standard single-element electric lamp of any desired size or rating, by which the illumination of the lamp may be conveniently controlled between at least two distinct values. As noted above, a feature of the invention is that the mechanism may be incorporated into any existing lighting circuit and in that it does not require special light bulbs or fixtures.

As will be described, the invention may be incorporated in a typical wall switch control for the main lighting fixtures in a room, for example. Moreover, the invention may be incorporated into a lamp fixture to adapt the lamp to control the illumination of a conventional single-element light bulb inserted into a usual receptacle or socket in the lamp.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 is a perspective, somewhat schematic, view of a lamp receptacle which is constructed to incorporate a rectifier in accordance with the invention, and which also incorporates a single-pole double-throw actuating switch for providing two levels of illumination from a standard lamp bulb that is inserted into a standard socket forming 'a portion of the receptacle;

Figure 2 illustrates a wall switch arrangement in which a pair of wall switches are used respectively to control the energizing of an electric lamp and the level of illumination from the lamp; and

Figures 3 and 4 are electric control circuits illustrating suitable electrical connections for the respective embodiments of the invention shown in Figures 1 and 2.

The receptacle assembly of Figure 1 includes a socket 10 which may be a standard screw socket and which is adapted to receive a light bulb 12. The socket and light bulb are shown merely in schematic form. It is believed that the actual configuration of the socket 10 which may be a standard screw-type lamp socket, and of the light bulb 12 which may be a usual screw-base bulb, are exceedingly well known to the present day art. For that reason, a detailed and actual representation of these elements is believed to be unnecessary.

Mounted in the receptacle assembly of Figure 1 is a half-wave rectifier 14. The rectifier may be supported by any appropriate bracket means within the receptacle, or it may be embedded in the wall of the receptacle in the illustrated manner. The rectifier preferably is a dry-type half-wave rectifier. Such rectifiers are extremely well known and are readily procurable on the present market.

A single-pole three position switch 16 is also mounted in the receptacle of Figure 1 in any appropriate manner. The switch 16 may be of usual construction, and it has a center shaft 18 extending radially outward from the receptacle. The shaft 18 has an actuating knob 20 mounted on its outer end. The switch has a usual armature 22, and it has a first fixed contact 24 and a second fixed contact 26.

Electrical connection is established to the armature 22 of the switch through a contact 28. The switch is of known construction and it operates in a manner such that when the knob 20 is rotated, the armature 22 is snapped between the contacts 24 and 26 and an off position. In one operating condition of the switch, electrical connection is established through the armature 22 between the contact 28 and the contact 24. In a second operating condition of the switch, electrical connection is established through the armature between the contact 28 and the fixed contact 26. When the switch is in its off position its armature is out of engagement and contact with either of the fixed contacts 24 and 26.

A pair of leads 30 and 32 are connected respectively to the contact 28 and to one terminal of the socket 10. This terminal of the socket being adapted to be connected to one terminal of the lamp bulb 12 when the bulb is screwed into the socket. These leads may be in the form of a usual electric cord, the cord having a socket at its remote end to be plugged into a receptacle connected to the usual alternating current mains. The receptacle of Figure 1 may be supported on any desired type of supporting bracket to constitute a floor or table lamp, and the cord formed by the leads 30 and 32 may extend down the interior of the supporting bracket.

One of the terminals of the rectifier 14 is connected to the fixed contact 24 of the switch 16. The other terminal of the rectifier is connected to the fixed contact 26 of the switch and to the other terminal of the socket 10. This other terminal is connected to the other terminal of the lamp 12 when the lamp is inserted in the socket.

The connections of the assembly of Figure 1 are more clearly shown in the electric circuit of Figure 3. It will be seen from the electric circuit of Figure 3 that when the switch 16 is at its illustrated neutral or oiF position, the lamp 12 is de-energized. However, when the armature 22 of the switch is moved to the fixed contact 26, the lamp bulb 12 is connected directly across the alternating current supply. Now, the full value alternating current is passed through the lamp 12 and it glows with a relatively high illumination value.

However, when the armature 22 of the switch 16 is moved to the fixed contact 24, the rectifier 14 is interposed in the circuit in series with the lamp 12. This rectifier provides a half-wave rectification of the current flowing through the lamp. The resulting unidirectional current pulses deliver approximately one-half of the original power to the lamp bulb 12. Therefore, when the switch 16 is in the latter operating position, the intensity of illumination by the lamp 12 drops to a relatively low value.

a first switching element 56 and it further includes a 4 second switching element 58. Each of these switching elements 'is of the usual single-pole single-throw type. The half-wave rectifier 52 may be a usual type of silicon dry rectifier, or the like, as described above.

The switching element 56 has a pair of screw-type terminals 6t) and 62, and the half-wave rectifier 52 is connected across these terminals. The switching element 58 has a pair of similar screw-type terminals 64 and 66. The terminal 64 is connected to the terminal 62, and the terminal 60 is connectedto one terminal of the lamp 54.

The other terminal of the lamp 54, and the terminal 66 of the'switching element 58 are connected to respective ones of the input terminals 68. These input terminals are adapted to be connected to the usual alternating current mains.

The connections of the mechanism of Figure 2 are more clearly shown in the electric control circuit of Figure 4. When the switch 58 is open, the energizing circuit to the lamp 54 is broken and the lamp is extinguished. When the switch 58 is closed and the switch 56 is opened, the energizing circuit to the lamp 54 is established through the rectifier 52. The lamp, therefore, glows at a relatively low illumination level. When the switch 58 and the switch 56 are both closed, the lamp 54 is connected directly across the alternating current main. Then, and for the reasons described above, the lamp glows at a relatively high illumination level.

It will be appreciated that it is a relatively simple matter to connect the dual switch 50 into any existing household circuit. 'Then, and without the need to change 6 lation of the switch 56, the light 54 may be turned bright or dim.

As noted above, the half-wave rectifier 52 does not generate any appreciable heat when it is connected into the electric circuit. This rectifier, moreover, is extremely compact and small in size so as to enable it to be mounted in most types of wall switching units.

The invention provides, therefore, an improved illumination control mechanism for a standard electric lamp. The mechanism of the invention requires merely an addi- 5 tional switch contact and a rectifier. By the use of these simple components, two distinct levels of illumination may be conveniently achieved.

The assembly of the invention is completely safe in its operation and does not consume any additional power.

Moreover, the assembly does not create a fire hazard.

Finally, the system and assembly of the .invention is simple in its construction and relatively inexpensive.

Although the now preferred embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described herein, it

is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited thereto, for it is susceptible to changes in form and detail within the scope of the appended claims.

1 claim:

1. Anelectric lamp switching mechanism controllable t0.provide at least two distinct illumination levels for a fsingle-element electric lamp having first and second terminals and controlled thereby, said mechanism in eluding: a supporting housing, circuit means in said housing "for supplying alternating current from an alternating current source to the first and second terminals of the single-element electric lamp, diode half-wave rectifier means supported in the housing to be selectively connected into said circuit means between the source and the lamp to ,provide half-wave rectification of the alternating current supplied from the source to the electric lamp, and switching means mounted in the housing for selectively connection said diode rectifier means into said circuit means between thesource and the lamp to provide a first illumination level for the lamp for one operating condi tion of the switching means and to provide a second illumination level for the lamp for a second operating con- .dition of-the switching means, the electric power supplied to the lamp at one illumination level being essentially one-half the power supplied to the lamp at the other illumination level.

2. An electricvlamp switching mechanism controllable toprovide at least two distinct illumination levels for a -single-element electric lamp having first and second teruninals and controlled thereby, said mechanism including:

a supporting housing, first and second input terminal means supported on said housing adapted to be connected to an alternating current source, circuit means in the housing connected to said first and second input terminal means for establishing electrical connection to the first and sec 60 0nd terminals of the single-element electric lamp, diode -half-wave rectifier means to be selectively connected into said circuit means between the source and the lamp to provide half-wave rectification for the alternating current supplied from the source to the electric lamp, and switching means in the housing having one operating condition 'for'connecting the lamp directly to said input terminal :means and having a second operating condition for connecting said diode rectifier means into said circuit means between the source and the lamp to provide afirst illumi- =nation level for the lamp for the first operating condition of the switching means and to provide a second illumination level for the lamp for the second operating condition "of the switching means,1the electric power supplied to the lamp at one illumination level being, essentia'llyone-half the power supplied to the lamp at the other illumination level.

3. An electric lamp switching mechanism controllable to provide at least two distinct illumination levels for a single-element electric lamp having first and second input terminals and controlled thereby, said mechanism including: a receptacle, a pair of input terminals on the receptacle adapted to be connected to an alternating current source, circuit means, an electric lamp socket supported in the receptacle having one terminal connected by the circuit means to one of said input terminals and having a second terminal connected to the circuit means, a diode half-wave rectifier mounted in said receptacle to be selectively con nected into said circuit means between the source and the lamp to provide half-wave rectification of the alternating current supplied from the source to the electric lamp, said diode half-wave rectifier having a first terminal connected to the second terminal of the lamp by said circuit means and having a second terminal, and a switch mounted in said receptacle having an armature connected to the other one of said input terminals by said circuit means and having a first fixed contact connected to the second terminal of the lamp by said circuit means and having a second fixed contact connected to the second terminal of said rectifier by said circuit means to provide a first illumination level for the lamp when the armature engages the first fixed contact and to provide a second illumination level for the lamp when the armature engages the second fixed contact, the electric power supplied to the lamp at one illumination level being essentially one-half the power supplied to the lamp at the other illumination level.

4. An electric lamp switching mechanism controllable to provide at least two distinct illumination levels for a single-element electric lamp controlled thereby, said mechanism including: a receptacle, a pair of input terminals on the receptacle adapted to be connected to an alternating current source, circuit means in said receptacle for supplying electric energy from the alternating current source to the single-element electric lamp, said circuit means having one terminal connected to one of said input terminals and having a second terminal, a diode half-wave rectifier mounted in said receptacle to be selectively connected into said circuit means between the source and the lamp to provide half-wave rectification of the alternating current supplied from the source to the electric lamp, said half-wave rectifier having a first terminal connected to the second terminal of said circuit means and having a second terminal, a first switch mounted in said receptacle connected between the second terminal of said half-wave rectifier and the other one of said input terminals by said circuit means, and a second switch mounted in said receptacle connected across said halfwave rectifier to provide a first illumination level to the lamp when both the first and second switches are closed and to provide a second illumination level for the lamp when the first switch is closed and the second switch is open, the electric power supplied to the lamp at one illumination level being essentially one-half the power supplied to the lamp at the other illumination level.

5 In an electric unit system for providing at least two distinct energization levels for an electric unit controlled thereby, the combination of: circuit means for supplying alternating current from an alternating current source to the electric unit, rectifier means to be selectively connected into said circuit means between the source and the unit to provide rectification of the alternating current supplied from the source to the electric unit, and switching means for selectively connecting said rectifier means into said circuit means between the source and the unit to provide a first energization level for the unit for one operating condition of the switching means and to provide a second energization level for the unit for a second operating condition of the switching means, the electric power supplied to the unit at one energization level being less than that supplied to the unit at the other energization level.

Tellegen Nov. 18, 1947 Villebonnet Feb. 19, 1952

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2431151 *Mar 23, 1943Nov 18, 1947Hartford Nat Bank & Trust CoAmplifier circuits
US2586748 *Feb 14, 1948Feb 19, 1952Georges VillebonnetRegulation of direct-current sources for the supply of electric receivers
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2981866 *Mar 6, 1959Apr 25, 1961Hsue C TsienCool dimmer device for incandescent lamps
US3009071 *Nov 5, 1959Nov 14, 1961California Comp Products IncElectrical switching device
US3028525 *May 18, 1960Apr 3, 1962California Comp Products IncIncandescent lamp light switch arrangement
US3032688 *Jul 15, 1959May 1, 1962Joel S SpiraDimming device
US3037146 *Jan 27, 1960May 29, 1962Slater Electric IncLight dimming switch
US3047773 *Feb 10, 1960Jul 31, 1962California Comp Products IncAutomatic light control for incandescent lamps
US3058020 *Feb 23, 1961Oct 9, 1962Balan IsadoreLight dimmer structure
US3058032 *Jun 1, 1960Oct 9, 1962Quintin C TeichCombination switch and lighting element
US3062986 *Aug 24, 1959Nov 6, 1962Union Carbide CorpVoltage output control means
US3075123 *Feb 8, 1960Jan 22, 1963Honeywell Regulator CoSwitching device for varying output of lamp load
US3148305 *Mar 28, 1960Sep 8, 1964Gen ElectricElectric incandescent lamp with a rectifying diode mounted within the lamp base
US3171084 *Sep 26, 1961Feb 23, 1965Westinghouse Electric CorpTelevision receiver power supply
US3177399 *Feb 26, 1962Apr 6, 1965California Comp Products IncMulti-level light control
US3180999 *Mar 24, 1961Apr 27, 1965Tung Sol Electric IncCircuit for controlling alternating currents
US3201617 *Apr 20, 1962Aug 17, 1965Westinghouse Electric CorpConnector including a rectifier for voltage reduction
US3218511 *Apr 18, 1961Nov 16, 1965Leviton Manufacturing CoControl circuit for incandescent lamp or the like
US3222474 *Aug 27, 1963Dec 7, 1965David Blonder As Assignee ForSwitching device having magnetic detent action
US3247358 *Sep 4, 1962Apr 19, 1966Norman L ChalfinDual heat level soldering iron
US3256466 *Oct 12, 1962Jun 14, 1966Adtrol Electronics IncSocket insert for varying the intensity of a light bulb
US3300711 *Feb 13, 1963Jan 24, 1967Product Res Associates IncLamp dimmer
US3309544 *Feb 21, 1961Mar 14, 1967Gen ElectricThree-position switch
US3322959 *May 9, 1963May 30, 1967Ranco IncPhotoelectric level control system with lamp operated at alternate brightnesses
US3654512 *May 14, 1970Apr 4, 1972Truck Lite CoLamp with support for filament to extend life of filament and envelope filled with krypton and/or xenon
US3869631 *May 31, 1974Mar 4, 1975Gte Sylvania IncDiode-containing incandescent lamp having improved efficiency
US4000405 *Aug 28, 1975Dec 28, 1976Product Concepts, Inc.Electrical adaptor and night light
US4039777 *Jun 23, 1976Aug 2, 1977General Electric CompanyHeating apparatus for glass or ceramic cooking vessel
US4166236 *Jan 24, 1977Aug 28, 1979Peter AndrewsElectric energy saving three-position combination switching device
US4228382 *Jan 4, 1979Oct 14, 1980Teknoware OyPower regulating inverter circuit
US4332142 *Oct 14, 1980Jun 1, 1982General Electric CompanyHousehold refrigerator including anti-sweat heater control circuit
US4549116 *Jun 26, 1981Oct 22, 1985Peter AndrewsElectric energy saving two-position combination switching device
US4924109 *Nov 2, 1987May 8, 1990Weber Harold JDim-down electric light time switch method and apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification315/272, 307/146, 218/143, 315/DIG.300, 315/291, 323/905, 315/200.00R, 327/583, 315/352, 200/2
International ClassificationH05B3/00, H05B39/06
Cooperative ClassificationH05B39/06, Y10S315/03, H05B3/0033, Y10S323/905
European ClassificationH05B3/00L, H05B39/06