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Publication numberUS3037146 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 29, 1962
Filing dateJan 27, 1960
Priority dateJan 27, 1960
Publication numberUS 3037146 A, US 3037146A, US-A-3037146, US3037146 A, US3037146A
InventorsSaul I Slater
Original AssigneeSlater Electric Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Light dimming switch
US 3037146 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 29, 1962 s. 1. SLATER 3,037,146

LIGHT DIMMING SWITCH Filed Jan. 27, 1960 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Tim. 1..

IN VENTOR. 541/1 51/2 75/? May 29, 1962 s. l. SLATER LIGHT DIMMING SWITCH 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 27, 1960 v INVENTOR.

May 29, 1962 s. 1. SLATER 3,037,146

LIGHT DIMMING SWITCH Filed Jan. 27, 1960 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 i 57 @E i Q) (g fig. 17

l I (52 126 26' l g i INVENTOR.

5AM 514m? ATIUEA/EVJ United States Patent 3,037,146 LIGHT DIMMING SWITCH Saul I. Slater, Glen Cove, N.Y., assignor to Slater Electric Inc., Glen Cove, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Jan. 27, 1960, Ser. No. 5,000 10 Claims. (Cl. 315-200) The present invention relates to a switching means for operating a common single filament lamp to produce two levels of illumination.

More particularly the invention relates to such a switching means which includes a diode half-wave rectifier which may be connected in series with the lamp filament to reduce the power consumption in the filament and thereby reduce the light output therefrom.

The present invention provides a switching means such as described above which is extremely compact and, in fact, is so arranged that the entire switching mechanism including the diode is placed in the same housing as has heretofore been used for a simple double-pole, singlethrow, on-otl switch.

Additionally, the switch of the present invention provides a heat sink whereby the heat developed in the diode when the diode is in circuit is dissipated thereby extending the life of the diode and making it possible to utilize the arrangement in connection with a higher wattage lamp than would otherwise be the case.

It is an object of the invention to provide a simple, compact switch structure for operating a single filament lamp at two levels.

It is another object of the invention to provide such a switch structure which includes in a single small housing both the actual switch elements and a diode half-wave rectifier.

It is still another object of the invention to provide such a switching structure which likewise includes within a single small switch housing readily mounted in the ordinary outlet boX a heat sink for dissipating heat from the diode.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide such a dimming switch construction wherein elements of a common form of single-throw double-pole switch are utilized as the switching elements and provide for three positions in the dimmer switch, namely, an off position, a high position, and a low position.

Other objects and features of the invention will be apparent when the following description is considered in connection with the annexed drawings, in which FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a switch in accordance with my invention shown complete with its mounting strap;

FIGURE 2 is an end elevational view of the switch of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of the switch of FIG- URES 1 and 2;

FIGURE 4 is a schematic wiring diagram of the switch of FIGURES 1 through 3;

FIGURE 5 is a top plan view similar to FIGURE 3 but to an enlarged scale and with the mounting strap, operating handle and coverplate removed;

FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of the heat sink for the diode showing the heat sink removed fro-m the housing and showing the diode in place in the heat sink;

FIGURE 7 is a bottom plan view of the heat sink and diode assembly of FIGURE 6;

FIGURE 8 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the switch of my invention, the view being taken on the plane of the line 88 of FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 9 is a view similar to FIGURE 8, the figure however being taken on the plane of the line 99 of FIG- URE 5;

FIGURE 10 is another view similar to FIGURE 8, but taken on the plane of the line 1tl-10 of FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 11 is an enlarged end elevational view of the switch handle;

FIGURE 12 is a bottom plan view of the switch handle of FIGURE 11;

FIGURE 13 is a side elevational view of the switch handle of FIGURE 11;

FIGURE 14 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the switch of my invention, the view being taken on the plane of the line 1414 of FIGURE 8;

FIGURE 15 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the switch of FIGURE 8, the view being taken on the plane of the line 15-15 of that figure;

FIGURE 16 is a side elevational view of a modification of my invention which adds radiating area to the heat sink thereby making the switch operable with lamps of higher ratings;

FIGURE 17 is an end elevational view, partly broken away, of the modified switching of FIGURE 16; and

FIGURE 18 is a bottom plan view of the switch of FIGURES 16 and 17.

Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG- URES 1 through 3, there is shown at 20 a housing which includes the switch elements as will be later described. The housing 20 is closed at the top by means of a plate 21 having an opening 22, FIGURE 3, through which the operating handle 23 of the switch protrudes. The coverplate 21 is held in position by means of a mounting strap 24 which is fixed to the housing by means of the cooperating ears 25 (bent off from strap 24) and projections 26 on the housing 20. It will be understood that the housing 20, coverplate 21 and operating handle 23 are formed from electrically insulating material.

Referring now to FIGURES 5 and 8 through 10, it will be seen that the insulating housing 20 is formed with a number of grooves, bosses, etc. into which the switch contacts and other operating parts are placed in order to hold these parts in proper relationship one to another as will be described hereinafter. These parts will also be given the same reference numbers in the schematic wiring diagram of FIGURE 4 as in the other figures so that their circuit relationship may bereadily understood.

A pair of switch armatures 27 and 28, FIGURES 5, 8 and 9, extend horizontally across the upper end of the housing 20. Each of these armatures is bent over at its right-hand end as seen in FIGURES 8 and 10 and the bent over portion connected to a terminal strip, the terminal strip cooperating with armature 27 being designated 30 and that cooperating with armature 28 being designated 31. v

The terminal strips 30 and 31 are held in position by means of ribs 32 and 33 formed on the interior walls of the housing 10 and by grooves 34 and 35 formed in the outer walls of upstanding generally square hollow boss 36. In addition, the terminal strips 30 and 31 are provided with bent over portions 37 and 38, a portion of each of which seats on the bottom of the wall of the housing 20 and an additional portion of each of which extends into a depression in that bottom wall as shown at 40 and 41 of FIGURES 8 and 10 respectively. Moreover, each terminal strip 30 and 31 has a right angle bend at the top thereof forming the portions 42 and 43, these portions being held downwardly in position by means of the coverplate 21 as is clearly seen in FIGURES 8 and 10.

Each armature 27 and 28 is provided adjacent the center thereof with a bent up portion respectively designated 44 and 45, which portions cooperate with depending portions of the operating handle 23 in a manner which will shortly be described.

Mounted at the opposite or left hand of the housing Patented May 29, 1952' in a manner similar to the mounting of terminal strips and 31 are the terminal strips 46 and 47, each of which bears contact buttons 48 and 50 respectively on a portion thereof which is bent off at right angles to the body of the respective terminal strip. Terminal strips 46 and 47 are joined by a bridging member 51 so that these two terminal strips are electrically one.

Mounted at the left end of each of the armatures 28 and 27 are contact buttons 52 and 53 respectively, these contact buttons cooperating with, that is, making contact with the buttons 48 and 50 respectively when the particular armature is in its uppermost position.

A resilient detenting member 54 is mounted between the switch armatures 27 and 28 as seen in FIGURE 5, this detenting member being provided with a detenting notch 55 near the center thereof which detenting notch cooperates with a pointed projection 56 formed on the bottom of the operating handle 23. Detenting member 54 is mounted in the position mentioned by means of a right angle bent off portion 57 which extends into grooves in the interior wall of the upstanding hollow boss 36 as shown particularly in FIGURE 9. Mounted on the detenting member 54 adjacent each end of the horizontal portion thereof are insulating pieces 58 may be small pieces of rubber tubing.

Returning now to the mode in which the operating handle causes the armatures 27 and 28 to make or break contact between contact buttons 48, 52 and 50, 53, reference is made particularly to FIGURES 8 and 10 through 13. Operating handle 23 is provided with a projecting rib 60 which has formed thereon two camming projections 61 and 62. Canrming projection 61 cooperates with the struck-up and bent-up portion of armature 27 while camrning projection 62 cooperates with the similar struck-up portion 44 of switch armature 28. Thus when the switch handle is rocked to the position shown in FIGURE 8, contact is made between contact buttons and 53 due to carnming surface 48- moving out of contact with portion 45. At the same time contact buttons 48 and 52 are maintained separated due to the fact that camming projection 62 continues to engage struck-up portion 44. In the center position in which projection 56 of the rib 60 engages notch of the detenting member 54 both pairs of contacts 48, 52 and 50, 53 are separated. When the switch handle is rocked to its right hand position the situations are reversed and contacts 48, 52 come into engagement whereas contacts 50, 53 are maintained separated. The rocking movement of handle 23 is made possible by providing upwardly facing projections 63 and 64 on the ends of the rib which projections cooperate with grooved cutout portions 65 and 66 of the cover-plate 21.

The structure thus far described is a slight modification of the three-way switch currently marketed by the Slater Electric & Mfg. Co. under its catalog No. 613. The slight modification mentioned consists solely in providing the detenting member 54 with the notch 55 and providing the handle 23 with the cooperating projection 56 whereby the handle may be placed in a center position in which both contacts are open.

Essentially the same switch elements are also utilized to provide a single-pole, single-throw switch (by omitting one armature and its cooperating contacts), a doublethrow, single-pole switch (by arranging the camming proectrons 61 and 62 on the same side of the handle center hue) and a four-way switch (by adding a second set of bridged contacts and utilizing the three-way switch handle). The variations of the switchstructure mentioned above are known respectively as catalog Nos. 610, 612 and 614.

In order to provide the dimming switch of the instant invention, the modified three-way switch described above has a diode rectifier such, for example, as a silicon diode mounted within the housing 20 and connected in circuit so that with the switch handle in center position the circuit is broken; with the switch handle in its left hand position, as seen in FIGURES 1 through 10, the circuit is extended through armature 27 from terminal strip 47 to terminal strip 30; while with the handle in its right hand position the circuit is extended from terminal strip 46 through armature 28 to terminal strip 31 and thence through the diode rectifier to terminal strip 30. Thus with the switch handle in its right hand position, the current flow is through the diode rectifier and the load in series, and therefore only half of the ordinary alternating current wave is supplied to the load which therefore receives but half the power. When the load is a lamp, as intended, the intensity of illumination is approximately one-third as much with the rectifier in series as when the full alternating current wave is applied thereto.

Referring now to FIGURES 6 and 7, there is shown in these figures the manner of mounting a diode 67, see also FIGURE 9, in a heat dissipating element or heat sink generally designated 68. This mounting provides a manner in which the heat generated in the diode can be dissipated through the housing 20 to the atmosphere thereby permitting a smaller diode to be used with a. lamp of a particular wattage.

The heat sink 68 comprises a strip of copper 70 which is bent into the form of a U. Diode 67 (which has an outer conductive casing 71 forming one of the circuit connections for the diode and a central insulating portion at its upper edge through which a lead 72 forming the other circuit connection for the diode is led), is mounted upon the base of the U or channel shaped copper strip 70 and is held in place by means of a rectangular plate 73 formed preferably of spring brass material. Plate 73 is provided with an aperture 74 through which the upper lead 72 of the diode extends. This plate bears against the upper edges of the diode and holds it against the bottom of the channel 68, the plate being held in position by means of its own resiliency in cooperation with internally extending bosses 75 formed in the upstanding walls of the copper strip 70.

Plate 73 has generally rectangular notches 76 and 77 stamped therefrom. These notches have apertures 78 at their corners, the notches likewise being stamped therefrom, the apertures extending into the corners whereby the three sides of the notches are rendered flexible. The

base of the channel member 70 is provided with a notch similar to notch 76 and in alignment therewith.

As will be seen by referring to FIGURE 14, the entire heat sink assembly is inserted in the housing, the sides of the notches 76 and 77 respectively engaging a hollow cylindrical post 80 formed integrally with the housing 20 and the hollow generally square boss or post 36. Since the notches 76 and 77 are made slightly undersize, it will be seen that the sharp edges of these notches prevent removal of the heat sink assembly and thus once the assembly has been positioned in the housing with the base of the channel-shaped copper strip 70 in firm engagement with the interior base of the housing 20, it is held firmly in this position.

The central conductor 72 of the diode 67 is connected to switch terminal 31 as for example by soldering. A conductor 69 is soldered at one end to one of the upstanding Walls of the U-shaped strip 70 and at its other end to the other terminal strip 31. Since, as has been stated, the base of diode 67 is held in firm contact with the base of channel strip 70, an electrical connection is formed from one terminal of the diode to the terminal 31 of the switch.

As stated hereinabove, the channel shaped strip 70 is formed of copper which is a highly heat conductive material and therefore heat generated by the diode 67 is transmitted to the strip 70 and through it to the housing. The material of housing 20, although not as highly heat conductive as copper, is nevertheless of heat conductive material and thus heat is transferred through the housing walls to the surrounding atmosphere.

In addition to the fact that the base of the strip 70 is seated firmly against the interior base of the housing, a large portion of the upstanding side walls of the channel 70 also bears against the interior walls of the housing, thus of course increasing the rate of heat transfer from the diode.

From the above it will be seen that my invention provides a dimmer switch utilizing a diode which is extremely compact and which provides for an off position together with a high position in which the full alternating current wave is applied to the external load which is usually a single filament lamp and a low position in which one-half of the alternating current wave is applied to the lamp load. Furthermore, despite the small bulk of the switch, the diode is provided with a heat sink to assure that the diode can operate at its rated capacity without exceeding the temperature corresponding thereto.

As indicated hereinabove, the wattage of a lamp utilized with the switch is limited by the capacity of the diode which is in turn related to the rate at which heat can be dissipated from the diode. With the heat sink hereinabove described, the lamp of maximum wattage, which may be employed as a load, is 300 watts. However, by increasing the heat dissipation properties of the switch housing the maximum lamp wattage may be increased. In FIGURES 16 through 18 there is shown a modification of the structure heretofore described which thus increases the heat dissipating properties and makes it possible to utilize the switch with a lamp having a 600 watt maximum power consumption.

Referring now to FIGURE 16, it will be seen that a channel member 81 is fitted over the sides of the housing 20. This channel 81 is similar to the channel 70 and is again formed from a strip of copper. Thus heat radiating through the walls and base of the housing 20 is conducted rapidly to the external atmosphere.

Additionally, the copper channel shaped strip 81 is soldered at its edges as indicated at 82 to the usual bent over side edges 83 of the mounting strap 24. By this means the mounting strap 24, which is metallic, becomes effectively part of the heat dissipating means and thereby increases the area from which heat may be radiated to the surrounding atmosphere. If, in addition, the switch plate utilized With the device is metallic in nature or is otherwise of good heat conducting material, that plate likewise increases the radiation area. It will be observed that in the modification just above described, although copper is utilized as a heat dissipating material, which material is also electrically conductive, there is no path for fiow of current and the external copper U or channel shaped strip 80 is completely electrically insulated from all internal elements of the switch by means of the insulating housing 20.

While I have described preferred embodiments of the invention, it will be understood that I wish to be limited not by the foregoing description, but solely by the claims granted to me.

What is claimed is:

l. A dimming switch for a single filament electric lamp comprising, in combination; a housing; a pair of contacts mounted in said housing, said contacts being directly electrically interconnected; a pair of armatures also mounted in said housing, one cooperating with each of said contacts; a selectively positionable operating member cooperating with said armatures to maintain both said armatures out of engagement with their respective contacts in one position, to engage one of said armatures with its respective contact in a second position and to engage the other of said armatures with its cooperating contact in a third position; a diode rectifier having two terminals mounted in said housing; said diode having one of its terminals connected to each said armature; a terminal for an external circuit on one of said contacts; and a second external circuit terminal on one of said armatures.

2. A dimming switch for a single filament electric lamp 6 comprising, in combination; a housing; a pair of contacts mounted in said housing, said contacts being directly electrically interconnected; a pair of armatures also mounted in said housing, one cooperating with each of said contacts; a selectively positionable operating member cooperating with said armatures to maintain both said armatures out of contact with their respective contacts in one position, to engage one of said armatures with its cooperating contact in a second position and to engage the other of said armatures with its cooperating contact in a third position; a diode rectifier having two terminals and comprising an integral heat conductive housing portion, a heat dissipating member mounted in said switch housing in intimate contact with the interior surface thereof, means mounting said diode with its housing portion in intimate contact with said heat dissipating member and means connecting one of said diode terminals to each of said switch armatures.

3. A dimming switch for a single filament electric lamp comprising, in combination; a housing of generally rectangular cross-section; a pair of contacts mounted at one end of said housing, said contacts being directly electrically inter-connected; a pair of armatures extending in parallel relationship longitudinally of said rectifier housing and adjacent the open top thereof, one of said armatures cooperating with each of said contacts; an operating member oscillatably mounted above said armatures for oscillation about an axes transverse to said armatures; said operating member cooperating with said armatures to maintain said armatures in position out of contact with said contacts when said operating member is in a central position, to engage one of said armatures with its cooperating contact in one extreme position of oscillation of said operating member, and to engage the other of said armatures with its cooperating contact when in the other extreme position of oscillation; a diode rectifier having two terminals and comprising an integral conductive housing portion; a heat dissipating member mounted in said switch housing beneath said armatures and in intimate contact with the interior surface of said switch housing; means mounting said diode rectifier with its heat conductive housing portion in contact with said heat dissipating member; and means connecting one of said diode terminals to each of said switch armatures.

4. A light dimming switch as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that said switch operating member bears camming surfaces on the portion thereof adjacent said switch armatures, said camrning surfaces bearing against said armatures to cause them to move into and out of engagement with their cooperating contacts, said operating memher being of electrically insulating material.

5 A dimming switch for a single filament electric lamp comprising, in combination; a housing of generally rectangular cross-section; a pair of contacts mounted at one end of said housing, said contacts being directly electrically interconnected; a pair of armatures extending in parallel relationship longitudinally of said rectangular housing and adjacent the open top thereof, one of said armatures cooperating with each of said contacts; an operating member oscillatalbly mounted above said armatures for oscillation about an axes transverse to said armatures; said operating member cooperating with said armatures to maintain said armatures in position out of contact with said contacts when said operating member is in a central position, to engage one of said armatures with its cooperating contact in one extreme position of oscillation of said operating member, and to engage the other of said armatures with its cooperating contact when in the other extreme position of oscillation; a diode rectifier having two terminals and comprising an integral conductive housing portion; a pair of upstanding posts, one adjacent each end of said housing, a heat dissipating member for said diode rectifier, said member comprising a channel shaped piece of high heat conductivity and a resilient coverplate extending across said channel and holding said diode rectifier in position against the base of said channel, said resilient coverplate having rectangular notches therein, the sides of said notches being resilient, said sides engaging said upstanding posts and holding said heat dissipating member in contact with the base of said switch housing, said diode terminals being connected to said switch armatures.

6. A dimming switch for a single filament electric lamp comprising, in combination; a housing of generally rectangular cross-section; a pair of contacts mounted at one end of said housing, said contacts being electrically interconnected; a pair of *arnratures extending in parallel relationship longitudinally of said rectangular housing and adjacent the open top thereof, one of said armatures cooperating with each of said contacts; an operating member oscillatably mounted above said armatures for oscillation about an axes transverse to said armatures; said operating member cooperating with said armatures to maintain said armatures in position out of contact with said contacts when said operating member is in a central position, to engage one of said armatures with its cooperating contact in one extreme position of oscillation of said operating member, and to engage the other of said arma tures with its cooperating contact when in the other extreme position of oscillation; a diode rectifier having two terminals and comprising an integral conductive housing portion; a heat dissipating member mounted in said switch housing beneath said armatures and in intimate contact with the interior surface of said switch housing; means mounting said diode rectifier with its heat conductive housing portion in contact with said heat dissipating member; means connecting one of said diode terminals to each of said switch armatures, and a second heat dissipating member, said second heat dissipating member being fixed to said switch housing and extending over substantially the entire area of the exterior base and side Walls thereof.

7. A dimming switch for a single filament electric lamp comprising, in combination; a housing of generally rectangular cross-section; a pair of contacts mounted at one end of said housing, said contacts being electrically interconnected; a pair of armatures extending in parallel relationship longitudinally of said rectangular housing and adjacent the open top thereof, one of said armatures cooperating with each of said contacts; an operating member oscillatably mounted above said armatures for oscillation about an axes transverse to said armatures; said operating member cooperating with said armatures to maintain said armatures in position out of contact with said contacts when said operating member is in a central position, to engage one of said armatures with its cooperating contact in one extreme position of oscillation of said operating member, and to engage the other of said armatures with its cooperating contact when in the other extreme position of oscillation; a diode rectifier having two terminals and comprising an integral conductive housing portion; a pair of upstanding posts, one adjacent each end of said housing, a heat dissipating member for said diode rectifier, said member comprising a channel shaped piece of high heat conductivity and a resilient coverplate extending across said channel holding said diode rectifier in position therebetween, said resilient coverplate having rectangular notches therein, the sides of said notches being resilient, said sides engaging said upstanding posts and holding said heat dissipating member in contact with the base of said switch housing, means connecting one of said diode terminals to each of said switch armatures and a second heat dissipating member, said second heat dissipating member being fixed to said switch housing and extending over substantially the entire area of the exterior base and side walls thereof.

8. A lamp dimming switch as claimed in claim 7, wherein said operating member is held in position against said armatures by a coverplate, said coverplate being positioned by a mounting strap fixed to said switch housing and wherein said external heat dissipating member has its edges in heat transfer relationship with said mounting strap to thereby add the area of said mounting strap as a heat dissipating body.

9. A dimming switch for a single filament electric l-amp comprising, in combination; a housing; a pair of stationary contacts mounted in said housing; a pair of movable contacts also mounted in said housing, each one of said pair of movable contacts cooperating with a respective one of said pair of stationary contacts; a single selectively positionable operating member cooperating with said movable contacts to maintain both thereof out of contact with their respective stationary contacts in one position, to engage one of said movable contacts with its respective stationary contact in a second position, and to engage the other of said movable contacts with its respective stationary contact in a third position, a direct electrical connection between the contacts of one of said pairs of contacts; a diode rectifier having two terminals mounted in said housing, said diode rectifier having one of its terminals connected to each of the contacts of said other pair of contacts; a terminal for an external circuit on one of said stationary contacts; and a second external circuit terminal on one of said movable contacts.

10. A device as claimed in claim 9 characterized in that said operating member comprises a three-position lever for positioning said movable contacts and further characterized by detenting means to hold said lever in its center position,

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 502,444 Moore Aug. 1, 1893 2,815,487 Kaufman Dec. 3, 1957 2,896,125 Morton July 21, 1959

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US502444 *Aug 1, 1893 Daniel mcfarlan moore
US2815487 *Jun 11, 1953Dec 3, 1957Northrop Aircraft IncSignal converter
US2896125 *May 27, 1957Jul 21, 1959California Comp Products IncElectric lamp switching mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3735020 *Sep 29, 1971May 22, 1973Lutron Electronics CoHeat sink wall plate with off-center mounting openings
US4166236 *Jan 24, 1977Aug 28, 1979Peter AndrewsElectric energy saving three-position combination switching device
US4259619 *May 16, 1977Mar 31, 1981Power Controls CorporationThree-way light dimmer switch
US4549116 *Jun 26, 1981Oct 22, 1985Peter AndrewsElectric energy saving two-position combination switching device
Classifications
U.S. Classification307/146, 315/DIG.300, 200/559, 313/46, 323/905, 315/200.00R, 315/272
International ClassificationH01H3/02, H01H9/02, H01H23/16, H01C10/50, B60R16/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01C10/50, H01H9/0271, Y10S315/03, H01H3/0213, Y10S323/905, H01H23/168, B60R16/005
European ClassificationB60R16/00A, H01C10/50, H01H9/02E, H01H23/16E