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Publication numberUS2996608 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 15, 1961
Filing dateOct 27, 1958
Priority dateOct 27, 1958
Publication numberUS 2996608 A, US 2996608A, US-A-2996608, US2996608 A, US2996608A
InventorsDavid P Clayton
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lamp having lens-operated switch
US 2996608 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 15, 1961 Y D. P. CLAYTON 2,996,608

LAMP HAVING LENS-OPERATED SWITCH Filed Oct. 27, 1958 2 Sheets -Sheet 1 INVENTOR.

Aug. 15, 1961 D. P. CLAYTON LAMP HAVING LENSOPERATED SWITCH 2 Sheets -Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 27, 1958 United States Patent 2,996,608 LAMP HAVING LENS-OPERATED SWITCH David P. Clayton, Anderson, Ind., assignor to General goltors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of e aware Filed Oct. 27, 1958, Ser. No. 769,751 8 Claims. (Cl. 240-735) This invention pertains to lamp assemblies and, in particular, to such an assembly comprising a lens-operated switch.

Conventional lamp assemblies of the type herein described normally include a metallic lamp body in which a metallic lamp socket is suitably mechanically and electrically secured as by spot-welding, crimping or the like. A suitable contact or contacts are mounted within the socket in electrical connection with a suitable power source such as an automotive vehicle battery. The socket contains the usual J-slot to receive laterally projecting locking pins formed on the metallic base of an electric light bulb which is removably mountable within the socket. The bulb base is provided with a contact or contacts cooperating with the socket contacts to supply electrical power to the bulb. The bulb is grounded, and thus the circuit completed, through the base of the light bulb and the socket to the metallic lamp body.

In those classes of lamps in which a switch is required to control illumination, a small switch box is secured within the lamp body and is provided with the necessary terminals in electrical connection with the light source. The switching operation is controlled by a movable operating member accessible exteriorly of the lamp assembly.

It is a general object and feature of this invention to provide a lamp assembly of the type comprising a lamp body in which a light source is mounted and which assembly does not require the conventional switch box to control illumination of the light source.

It is yet another object and feature of this invention to provide a lamp assembly comprising a lamp body having a light source electrically connected to a source of power, and including means for selectively establishing a ground for the power source through the light source to illuminate the latter.

It is yet another object and feature of this invention to provide a lamp assembly including a light source which is selectively energized and de-energized by making or breaking a ground circuit, and which circuit is controlled by movement of a lamp lens.

In general, these and other objects of this invention are attained by providing a grounded metallic lamp body in which a metallic lamp socket is mounted with the contact or contacts thereof electrically connected to a source of power such as an automotive vehicle battery. The lamp socket is insulated from the lamp body, unlike conventional assemblies of this type, and is adapted to removably receive the metallic contact base of a suitable light source, such as a common bulb having a filament or filaments therein, in order to connect the light source to the power source. The light source is electrically connected through its base to the metallic socket to which there is mechanically and electrically connected a yieldable metallic grounding finger normally urged toward electrical and mechanical engagement with a portion of the lamp body to establish a ground circuit. A lens of non-conducting material, such as a synthetic plastic, is movably mounted upon the lamp body, and includes means selectively engageable with the grounding finger for controlling engagement and disengagement of the latter with the lamp body thereby controlling the making and breaking of the illuminating circuit through the light source. In one preferred embodiment of the invention, the aforementioned lens is mounted for rotary movement,

2,996,608 Patented Aug. 15, 1961 while in another embodiment, the lens is mounted for reciprocable movement.

These and other objects and features of this invention will become more apparent hereinafter as the description of the invention proceeds, and in which reference is made to the following drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary side elevation, partly broken away to illustrate certain details, of an automotive vehicle equipped with one preferred form of the invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged view in vertical section of the lamp assembly of FIGURE 1, and is taken on line 2-2 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view, partly in section and partly broken away, taken on line 33 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged view in vertical section of another embodiment of the lamp assembly of FIGURE 1; and

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on line 5-5 of FIGURE 4.

For the purpose of illustrating preferred forms of the invention, reference will be made hereinafter to a lamp assembly of the type used for general purpose illumination in the interior of a conventional passenger car, and commonly referred to as a dome lamp. However, it will become obvious the lamp of this invention is not restricted to such a use.

Referring now to one preferred embodiment of the invention as shown in FIGURES 1 through 3, a dome lamp assembly is illustrated as comprising a dished grounded metallic lamp body 2 having a peripheral radial flange 4 suitably apertured at opposite points thereon to receive fasteners 6 for mounting the body to a suitable support, such as a roof bow on the ceiling 8 of a vehicle passenger compartment 10. A wall 12 of the body is suitably apertured to receive the neck 14 of a metallic barrellike lamp socket 16, the neck having a reduced diameter. An insulating washer 18, substantially U-shaped in cross section, embraces the edge of the wall 12 defining the socket-receiving aperture therein so as to completely insulate the socket from the body. The terminal end of the socket neck 14 is flared radially or crimped to the body wall 12 to firmly mechanically connect and support the socket thereon.

The socket barrel 16 may be provided with any suitable contact assembly which, for the purpose of illustration in this instance, is shown to include an insulating boot 20 extending through the socket neck 14 and having an annular radial flange 22 seated within the main portion of the socket barrel. As is the usual practice, one or more contacts are supported within the boot 20 for engagement with the metallic contact base of a bulb, and are connected to a power source such as the vehicle battery by conductors 24. v

A suitable light source may take the form of a conventional light bulb comprising a glass envelope 26 enclosing a filament or filaments and secured to a metallic shell or base 28 having contacts 30 thereon for engagement with the contacts of the contact assembly. The socket is provided with the usual plural J-slots so as to lockingly receive the laterally projecting pins 32 on the bulb base.

A socket-grounding device includes an annular body portion 34 suitably apertured so as to receive the socket neck 14. After crimping the socket neck to the body wall 12, the insulating washer 18 insures that the body portion 34 is not electrically connected with the lamp body, while being mechanically supported on and electrically connected to the metallic socket barrel 16. A yieldable or resilient grounding finger 36 is formed integral with the body portion 34 and extends away from the socket barrel 16. As indicated particularly in FIG- UR'E'3, the yieldable finger may be creased or curved along its major axis to form a bearing surface for generally line contact with an annular contact rib 38 on the lamp body.

From the above description, it will be understood that the light bulb can be illuminated only when a circuit is completed therethrough to the lamp body and ground, which grounding is controlled by engagement of the yieldable spring finger 36 with the contact rib 38 on the lamp body.

In order to control the position of the yieldable ground finger, a lens 40 of non-conducting material, such as a synthetic plastic, has its annular peripheral shoulder 42 removably snapped about the shouldered skirt 44 extending from the flange 4 of the lamp body 2. The peripheral portion ofthe lens 40 is sufliciently resilient for the above purpose, while also permitting the lens to be manually rotated relative to the lamp body when in the assembled position shown. The raised circumferentially spaced radiating ribs 46 on the exterior surface of the lensmay be grasped to aid in rotating the latter. An inwardly directed continuous flange 48 is formed inte- 'gral with the lens 40, and is provided with a curved or ramp-like cam surface 50 engageable with the end of yieldable grounding finger 36 to position the latter, and curved stop surfaces 52 and 54 cooperating with the head of a fastener 6 to limit rotary movement of the lens in both directions.

[The stop surface 52 is at all times out of contact with the yieldable grounding finger, while the ramp-like cam surface 50 moves into engagement with the grounding finger 36 to move the latter'away from the contact rib 38 on the lamp body .upon rotating the lens counterclockwise as shown in FIGURE 3. Thus, in the position shown in FIGURE 3, thesocket 16 is grounded to the lamp body thereby establishing an illuminating circuit through the light source. If it is desired to de-en' engine the light source, the lens is manually rotated counterclockwise in FIGURE 3 within the limit imposed by engagement of "the head of a fastener 6 with the curved stop surface 54 of the flange 48. During this movement, the cam surface 50* rides against the finger 36 to bend the latter out of engagement with the lamp body as shown in phantom in FIGURE 2 thereby breaking the illuminating circuit. As appears clearly in the drawings, the flange 48 is similarly curved on its opposite portion so as not to interfere with lens adjustment as aforedescribed by abutment with the head of the other fastener 6. On the other hand, this other curved portion of the lens flange 48 does act in cooperation with the head of the other fastener to limit lens adjustment as aforedescribed. Reference willnow be made to another embodiment of the invention as shown in FIGURES 4 and 5. Inasmuch as this embodiment of the invention is substantially identical to that previously described except for details as to size and shape and, particularly, the manner in which the grounding circuit is controlled, like numerals indicate parts corresponding to the previously described embodiment.

7, Thus, it will be noted that there is provided a metallic dished grounded lamp body 12 mounting a socket and bulb assembly and yieldable grounding finger 36 as previously described. The skirt 44 of the body is generally rectangular in shape with the long sides thereof receiving the peripheral mounting shoulder 60 of the lens 62 in a manner aforedescribed. At its opposite ends, the lens 62 is provided with interior inwardly projecting substantially U-shaped flanges 64 which embrace the respective fasteners 6. The rounded end or nose of one of the flanges 64 is adapted to engage the lower end of the yieldable grounding finger 36 upon reciprocation of the lens in the proper direction as indicated in phantom. in FIGURE 4. Reciprocable movement of the lens is limited by engagement of one or the other of the flanges .4 64 with the head of a fastener 6, depending upon the direction of reciprocation of the lens, as well as engagement of an end of the lens with the skirt 44 of the lamp body. A pair of spaced transversely extending raised ribs 66 are formed on the exterior surface of the lens for the purpose of aiding in grasping the lens'for reciprocating the latter. It will be understood that the illuminating circuit through the'light source to ground is made and broken upon reciprocation of the lens 62 in the same manner as previously described.

Having disclosed preferred embodiments of the invention by way of illustration, it is to be understood that this description is not intended to limit the scope of the invention which is defined by the claims which follow.

I claim:

l.'A' lamp assembly comprising an electrically conductive lamp body, an'electrically conductive lamp socket mounted said body and insulated from the latter, means connecting said socket to an electrical power source, alight source mounted in said socket and establishing a ground connection therebetween, movable grounding means electrically connected to said socket and engaging said body, and a lens selectively movably mounted onsaid body and including means engageable with said grounding means todisengage the latter from said body upon selective movement of said lens.

2. A lamp assembly comprising an electrically conductive lamp-body, an electrically conductive lamp socket mounted within said body and insulated from the latter, alight source including an electrically conductive base mounted said socket, means including an electrical power source supplying current to said light source and through said base tosaid socket, movable grounding means electrically connected to said socket and engaging said body to ground said socket, and a lens movably mounted on said body and including means engageable with said grounding means to disengage the latter from said body upon movement of'said lens.

3. A lamp assembly comprising a metallic lamp body, a metallic lamp socketmounted within said body and insulated from the latter, a light source including a metallic base disposed within said socket, means including a power source for supplying electrical current through said light source and base to said socket, a resilient grounding finger electrically'connected to said socket and engaging said body, and a lens movably mounted on said body and including means engageable with said grounding finger to disengage the latter from said body upon selective movementof said lens.

4. A lamp assembly comprising a metallic lamp body, a metallic lamp socket mounted within said body and insulated from the latter, a light source disposed within said socket in electrical ground contact with the latter, means including an electrical power source for supplying current through said light source to said socket, a resilient grounding finger mechanically and electrically connected to said socket and normally urged toward said lamp body to establish'a grounding circuit, and a lens movably mounted on said body and including means engageable with said'finger to disengage the latter from said body upon selective movement of said lens.

5. A lamp assembly comprising a metallic lamp body, a metallic lamp socket mounted within said body and insulated from the latter,'a light source including means receivable within said socket in electrical contact with the latter, means including'an electrical power source for supplying current through said light source to said socket, a yieldable grounding finger mechanically and electrically connected to said socket and urged toward said lamp body for engagement with the latter, a lens rotatably mounted on said body and enclosing the light source within the latter, and interiorly directed cam means carried by said lens and engageable with said finger to control engagement and disengagement of the latter with said lamp body upon selective rotation of said lens.

6. A lamp assembly comprising a metallic lamp body, a metallic lamp socket mounted within said body and insulated from the latter, a light source including means receivable within said socket in electrical contact with the latter to establish a grounding circuit, means including an electrical power source for supplying current through said fight source to said grounding circuit, a yieldable grounding finger mechanically and electrically connected to said socket and urged toward said lamp body for engagement with the latter, a plastic lens rotatably mounted on said body and enclosing the light source within the latter, interiorly directed cam means carried by said lens and engageable with said grounding finger to control the engagement and disengagement of the latter with said lamp body upon selective rotation of said lens, and stop means on said body engageable with said lens to limit rotary movement of the latter.

7. A lamp assembly comprising a metallic lamp body, a metallic lamp socket mounted within said body and insulated from the latter, a light source including means I receivable within said socket in electrical connection with the latter to establish a grounding circuit, means including an electrical power source for supplying current through said light source to said grounding circuit, a yieldable grounding finger mechanically and electrically connected to said socket and urged toward engagement with said body, a lens reciprocably mounted upon said lamp body and enclosing said light source, and means formed interiorly of said lens selectively engageable with said finger to move the latter out of engagement with said lamp body upon reciprocating said lens.

8. A lamp assembly comprising a metallic lamp body, a metallic lamp socket mounted within said body and insulated from the latter, a light source including means receivable within said socket in electrical connection with the latter to establish a grounding circuit, means including an electrical power source for supplying current through said light source to said grounding circuit, a yieldable grounding finger mechanically and electrically connected to said socket and being urged toward engagement with said body, a plastic lens reciprocably mounted upon said lamp body and enclosing said light source, means formed interiorly of said lens selectively engageable with said grounding finger to move the latter out of engagement with said lamp body upon reciprocating said lens, and stop means on said body engageable with said lens to limit reciprocable movement of the latter.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,355,247 Slocum Aug. 8, 1944 2,536,799 Divizia Jan. 2, 1951 2,754,410 Thielorn July 10, 1956 2,785,289 Seiss Mar. 12, 1957 2,852,633 Garland Sept. 16, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 485,486 France Oct. 19, 1917 893,841 Germany Oct. 19, 1953

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2355247 *Aug 27, 1942Aug 8, 1944Colvin Slocum Boats IncLife preserver light
US2536799 *Feb 26, 1948Jan 2, 1951Cons Vultee Aircraft CorpSlidably mounted lamp actuator and housing
US2754410 *Mar 26, 1954Jul 10, 1956Thielorn Walter CClearance light for motor vehicles
US2785289 *Dec 19, 1955Mar 12, 1957Seiss Mfg CompanyPortable electric lamp
US2852633 *Jul 5, 1955Sep 16, 1958Electric Storage Battery CoFlashlight construction
DE893841C *Oct 28, 1951Oct 19, 1953Max ZeilerElektrische Taschenlampe
FR485486A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3543018 *Aug 6, 1968Nov 24, 1970Gen Motors CorpRearview mirror with map light
US4646210 *Jun 20, 1984Feb 24, 1987Donnelly CorporationVehicular mirror and light assembly
US4733336 *Jun 26, 1986Mar 22, 1988Donnelly CorporationLighted/information case assembly for rearview mirrors
US4807096 *Dec 11, 1987Feb 21, 1989Donnelly CorporationInterior light/carrier module for vehicles
US5951155 *Sep 3, 1997Sep 14, 1999Prince CorporationVariable intensity light assembly
US6092917 *Nov 5, 1998Jul 25, 2000Lear Donnelly Overhead Systems LlcSingle lens, push-push, dual lamp assembly
US6848817Feb 25, 2002Feb 1, 2005Brent J. BosInterior mirror assembly for a vehicle incorporating a solid-state light source
US7261450 *May 27, 2004Aug 28, 2007International Automotive Components Group North America, Inc.Dual function console lamp with integrated switching
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/490, 200/561
International ClassificationH01H3/08, B60Q3/02
Cooperative ClassificationH01H2019/008, H01H3/08, B60Q3/0296
European ClassificationB60Q3/02S, H01H3/08