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Publication numberUS2984812 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 16, 1961
Filing dateOct 23, 1956
Priority dateOct 23, 1956
Publication numberUS 2984812 A, US 2984812A, US-A-2984812, US2984812 A, US2984812A
InventorsCaferro Edward M
Original AssigneeColumbia Electric & Mfg
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tubular lamp and socket housing juncture seal
US 2984812 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 16, 1961 E. M. CAFERRO 2,934,812

TUBULAR LAMP AND SOCKET HOUSING JUNCTURE SEAL Filed Oct. 25, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG-4 INVENTOR. EDWARD M. OAFERRO May 16, 1961 E. M. CAFERRO TUBULAR LAMP AND SOCKET HOUSING JUNCTURE SEAL 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 23, 1956 INVENTOR. EDWARD" M. CAFERRO BY United States Patent TUBULAR LAMP AND SOCKET HOUSING JUNCTURE SEAL Edward M. Caferro, Spokane, Wash, assignor to Columbia Electric & Mfg, Spokane, Wash., a corporation of Washington Filed Oct. 23, 1956, Ser. No. 617,722

3 Claims. (Cl. 339-52) The present invention relates to electrical fixtures and in particular to a seal for the juncture of tubular lamps and socket housings.

Outdoor lighting systems employing tubular lamps such as are commonly termed fluorescent lights, are becoming increasingly popular and considerable effort is being expended to improve the facilities for this field of use. Obviously, any electrical fixture to be employed outside must be provided with means for protection against inclement weather.

Housings for the socket connections have been made comparatively weatherproof and shields have been provided to protect the lamp and their junctures with the housings against normal precipitation. However, under extreme weather conditions, including rain and snow driven by high winds and rapid temperature changes where moisture in the air is condensed on the metal parts, it is required that an additional seal'be provided to protect the opening at the juncture of the tubular lamp and the socket housing.

The sockets in this type of lighting conventionally have one fixed socket at one end and a spring-loaded socket at the opposed end and the lamps are applied by forcing the end inwardly to compress the spring in the one socket and then allowing its return rectilinear movement so that the prong or prongs of the opposed end will be disposed in the opposed fixed socket.

Heretofore an attempt has been made to seal the junctures between the housings supporting the sockets and the lamps by employing a straight cylindrical resilient sleeve which has a slightly smaller internal dimension than the external dimensions of the cylindrical socket housing projection and the external circumference of the tubular lamp. This has not proven to be satisfactory, however, because of the difiiculty in applying the sleeve over the lamp and the cylindrical projection of the socket housing, and in addition it has been found that the natural resiliency of the conventional cylindrical sleeve often times opposes the bias of the socket spring sufficiently to preclude the contact prong or prongs from properly mating with their companion socket members at the opposed ends.

The present invention seeks to overcome these undesirable features and provides a sealing device which is easily applied to the socket housing, readily receives the tubular lamp, and does not greatly resist the bias of the conventional spring loaded socket thus resulting in proper electrical connection of the prongs and their companion sockets.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to one during a reading of the following specification which refers to the drawings in which a preferred embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

In the accompanying drawings, like numerals are employed to designate like parts in each of the several views wherein:

Figure l is a perspectve view of two spaced housings having tubular lamps associated therewith and their junctures sealed by the seals constituting the subject matter of the present invention;

Figure 2 is an enlarged vertical view partially in side elevation in cross section as at the plane indicated by line 22 of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is an end view of the weather tight sleeve viewed from the small end thereof; and

Figure 4 is a vertical axial cross section on the plane indicated by line 44 of Figure 3.

Having reference now in a greater degree of particularity to the structure as revealed in the several views, I have shown socket housings 10 having cylindrical extensions 12 disposed in axial alignment and opposing each other. The shields or hoods =14, indicated by the dot and dash lines, are secured to and carried by said extensions 12. At their outer ends the cylindrical extensions 12 are each provided with a circumferentially extending groove 16 and the cylindrical extensions 12 are adapted to receive the electrical sockets 18.

Since the sockets 18 are of conventional and well known construction their details are not taught to be required for a proper understanding of the present invention and therefore are omitted from this specification with the exception of stating that at least one of each pair of sockets is depressible to admit a lamp 24 therebetween.

The socket housings 10 are provided with means for connecting conduit '20 through which conventional wiring '22 extends to electrically connect the sockets 18.

The tubular lamps 24 are of conventional construction and have single or plural prongs (not shown) on each end. The prongs are adapted to co-operate with the sockets 18, and electrically connect the lamps for illumination by the electricity.

The lamps 24 have junctures with the socket housings 10 wherein there are minute spaces between the lamp and the socket as seen at 26, and also between the lamp socket and the socket housing as seen at 28.

To provide a weather tight seal over this juncture I have devised the seal constituting the subject matter of this application. The seal 30 is made from an impervious resilient material, for example neoprene rubber. In actual practice the material found best suited for the purpose, is neoprene compound No. 337ZF of the Minnesota Rubber and Gas Company, 45-50 durometer.

As will be seen in the several views the Weather tight seal comprises a hollow progressively divergent annular sleeve-like body 32, having a circumferentially reduced end 34 and a circumferentially enlarged end 36. An internal annular bead 38 is provided on the inner periphery of the body 32 at the reduced end thereof, and an annular external groove 40 is formed in the outer peripheral face of the body 32 adjacent to the reduced end 34 thereof, and intermediate the axial width of the bead 38. The groove 40 is provided to receive a split retainer ring 42 which is made of a carbon spring steel and has a normally relaxed internal circumference slightly less than the circumference of the bottom of the groove 40, so that the ring when positioned in the groove, will clamp the bead 38 into the groove 16 of the housing extension 12, and hermetically seal the bead to the groove 16.

The body is provided externally with tri-radiate ribs 44 which merge into the circumferential dimension of the body at the enlarged end 36, and which extend toward the reduced end a distance more than midway the axial length of the sleeve with their outer defining edges in parallel relationship to each other, thus forming ribs which increase in radial size progressively toward the reduced end of the body 32 and terminate spaced from the reduced end thereof. These ribs are provided to stiffen the body and prevent the resilient flexible body from folding back upon itself when the lamp end is inserted therein. V

The enlarged end of the sleeve body 32 has a diameter somewhat enlarged over the external circumference of the lamp body 24, but is provided with an inwardly extending radially disposed flange 46 having an arcuate inner edge face 48 which defines an annular aperture somewhat smaller than the external circumference of the lamp with which it is to seal and constituting means for sealing with a lamp irrespective of its obtuse or acute angular position relative to the sleeve-like body 32. The arcuate inner edge face 48 is convex when viewed in cross sectional configuration as seen in Figure 4. This provides for angular positioning of the flange 46, with respect to the cylindrical face of the lamp 24 and still maintains an acceptable seal therebetween. The two primary positions of the flanges are shown in Figure 2 on the weather tight seal disclosed on the intermediate weather type seal and an end seal 30.

It will also be noted that the flange 46 is disposed inwardly spaced from the enlarged end 36 a slight distance to provide an angular end face at 50 disposed between the enlarged end 36 and the flange 46. This provides area for finger holds for easy manipulation of the seal when it is found to be necessary.

In actual use the weather tight seal 30 is applied to the socket housing extension 12, as previously defined, by placing the head 38 in the groove 16 and then applying the clamping ring 42 in the groove 40 to seal the bead 38 in said groove 16.

As seen in Figures 1 and 2, a lamp 24 is inserted into the socket 18 with the leftward end being admitted first and the lamp end is forced through the aperture defined by the flange 46 to a seating engagement with the companion socket 18 which is the spring loaded socket. The lamp is then forced inwardly to compress the spring bias of the socket and the flange 46 is by frictional engagement with the lamp 24, shifted inwardly to an angular position relative to the periphery of the lamp, whereupon the opposed end of the lamp is aligned with the weather tight seal 30. This is accomplished by compressing the seal with the fingers until the prongs and the lamp end can be put into alignment with the opposed seal 30. Then the lamp is shifted in the opposite direction, or rightwardly, until the opposed end of the lamp is in electrical contact with the rightward socket 18 at which time the leftward flange 46 assumes a position shown by the intermediate seal 30 and the rightward flange 46 assumes a position shown by the end seal 30. Since the internal annular opening defined by the flanges 46 is somewhat smaller than the actual circumference of the lamp 24, the resiliency of the flanges 46 adequately eifects sealing with the lamps to prevent passage of moisture into the socket housings and sockets.

The bias of the flanges 46 to seek their normal radial plane is not suflicient to interfere with the spring bias of the conventional sockets and therefore the electrical contact is constant and insured.

Having thus described my invention I claim the followmg:

1. As an article of manufacture, a weather tight seal for tubular lamps and socket housing junctures comprising a hollow progressively divergent annular sleeve-like body; an internal bead at the reduced end of said body for hermetically sealing with a socket housing; an inwardly projecting resilient annular flange at the enlarged end of said body, movable between an obtuse and an acute angle with respect to the body and defining an annular aperture smaller than the external circumference of the lamp with which it is to seal; the internal defining edge of said flange being convex in cross sectional configuration, axially extending reinforcing ribs merging with the body at its enlarged end and extending axially toward the opposed ends substantially more than one-half its length and being formed integrally therewith.

2. In combination with a socket housing having a cylindrical extension containing a lamp socket and a tubular lamp operably connected therewith, said cylindrical extension having an annular groove therein, of a weather tight seal comprising a hollow progressively divergent annular sleeve-like body; an internal bead at the reduced end of said body disposed in said annular groove; said body having an annular groove and disposed axially intermediate the width of said bead; a retainer ring disposed in said last named groove and biased to hermetically seal said head in said first named groove; an inwardly projecting resilient flange at the enlarged end of said body and defining an annular aperture initially smaller than the external circumference of the lamp encircled thereby and sealingly engaged therewith; the internal defining edge of said flange being convex in cross sectional configuration to effect sealing at different angular relationships thereto, and t'ri-radiate axially extending reinforcing ribs for said body.

3. As an article of manufacture a weather seal for tubular lamps and socket housing junctures comprising, a hollow progressively divergent sleeve-like resilient body having at its reduced end means for sealing engagement with a socket housing; an inwardly projecting flange at the enlarged end of said body and defining an aperture commensurate in shape but smaller in size than the external configuration of the lamp with which it is to seal; and integral axially extending reinforcing ribs merging with the body at its enlarged end and extending axially toward the opposed end more than one-half its length.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,745,345 Anderson Feb. 4, 1930 2,100,009 Hardy Nov. 23, 1937 2,119,452 Woodhead May 31, 1938 2,333,266 Miller Nov. 2, 1943 2,364,194 Cortner Dec. 5, 1944 2,732,530 Dahlhaus et a1. Jan. 24, 1956 2,774,947 Frensch Dec. 18, 1956

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1745345 *May 5, 1928Feb 4, 1930Gustin Bacon Mfg CoSeal for air-brake nonpressure heads
US2100009 *Mar 8, 1934Nov 23, 1937Hardy Jr James JElectrical connecter
US2119452 *Oct 13, 1934May 31, 1938Daniel WoodheadElectric connecter
US2333266 *Jun 30, 1941Nov 2, 1943Miller James BEmergency wire connector
US2364194 *Jan 20, 1943Dec 5, 1944Clyde J CortnerShockproof light fitting
US2732530 *Sep 25, 1952Jan 24, 1956 dahlhaus etal
US2774947 *Jan 24, 1952Dec 18, 1956Otto FrenschSealing means on fixtures for fluorescent tubes
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4225206 *Aug 6, 1979Sep 30, 1980General Motors CorporationElectrical connector for electromagnetic fuel injector
US5069633 *Apr 15, 1988Dec 3, 1991North American Philips CorporationProtective shield for lamp connections
US6632100Apr 23, 1997Oct 14, 2003Anthony, Inc.Lighting system method and apparatus socket assembly lamp insulator assembly and components thereof
US6638088Apr 28, 1998Oct 28, 2003Anthony, Inc.Lighting circuit, lighting system method and apparatus, socket assembly, lamp insulator assembly and components thereof
US6641419Aug 31, 1998Nov 4, 2003Anthony, Inc.Lighting circuit, lighting system method and apparatus, socket assembly, lamp insulator assembly and components thereof
US6773130Aug 29, 1997Aug 10, 2004Anthony, Inc.Lighting circuit, lighting system method and apparatus, socket assembly, lamp insulator assembly and components thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/230, 439/244
International ClassificationH01R33/00, H01R33/965
Cooperative ClassificationH01R33/9658
European ClassificationH01R33/965L