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Publication numberUS3058085 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 9, 1962
Filing dateDec 9, 1958
Priority dateDec 9, 1958
Publication numberUS 3058085 A, US 3058085A, US-A-3058085, US3058085 A, US3058085A
InventorsSkinner Harvey G
Original AssigneeWestmoreland Plastics Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fluorescent lamp holder
US 3058085 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 9, 1962 I H. G. SKINNER 3, 85

FLUORESCENT LAMP HOLDER Filed Dec. 9, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. llarrgfi. 521711221:

I BY L 7 1 Oct. 9, 1962 H. G. SKINNER 3,058,085

FLUORESCENT LAMP HOLDER Filed Dec. 9, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 r 7 7 F M; f Z 20' -lllllll -I4, g

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atent Ofiice Patented Oct. 9, 1962 3,058,085 FLUORESCENT LAMP HOLDER Harvey G. Skinner, Ligonier, Pa., assignor to Westmoreland Plastics Company, Inc, Latrobe, Pa, a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Dec. 9, 1958, Ser. No. 779,248 7 Claims. (Ill. 3359-53) This invention relates to fluorescent lamp holder sockets having a housing which can be made in one piece. More particularly, my invention pertains to a molded fluorescent lamp holder One-piece construction which, moreover, provides means for cradle holding the pin contacts of a fluorescent lamp which may be readily inserted and removed from such lamp holder.

Lamp sockets heretofore made even when using molded plastic therein, commonly utilized a closure back or had other features detrimental to general cleanliness, mass production manufacture and rapid assembly. Many such prior devices had one or more portions which moved bodily in the course of endeavoring to connect and hold the pins of a fluorescent lamp therein. And in numbers of prior constructions, the insertion and removal of a lamp were often problems and arcing tended to occur with many exteriorly of the socket.

Such deficiencies of prior practices will be overcome by embodiments of this invention. Thus, in this invention the housing is a relatively complete enclosure including the back wall molded in one piece of a suitable material such as certain plastics are. Moreover, lamp holders of my invention may be readily assembled by unskilled personnel and will securely cradle and hold the pins of a fluorescent lamp inserted therein, irrespective of the mounting position selected. Such insertion and the removal of such a lamp may be performed without difiiculty, without the use of parts that are bodily movable. Still further, the new construction will meet or surpass prescribed standards for lamp holders.

Other objects, features eand advantages will be apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings, which are illustrative only, in which FIGURE 1 is a view in front elevation of a lamp holder embodiment of this invention prior to the insertion of the holder contacts therein;

FIGURE '2 is a view partly in section taken along line II-II of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the lamp holder embodiment shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a View in front elevation of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 1 with a portion of the front broken away generally along line IVIV of FIGURE 3 and with the contacts and lead-in wires inserted in place therein;

FIGURE 5 is a view in front elevation of another lamp holder embodiment of this invention with a portion broken away;

FIGURE 6 is a view in rear elevation of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 7 is a view in side elevation, with a lower portion broken away, of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 8 is a plan view of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 5; 1

FIGURE 9 is a schematic illustration of one mode of inserting contacts in the embodiment of FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 10 is a bottom View of a pair of lamp holders of this invention operatively supporting a bi-pin type of fluorescent lamp;

FIGURE 11 is a view in front elevation of a portion,

including the base, of another embodiment of this invention prepared for outdoors use;

FIGURE 12 is a plan view of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 11;

FIGURE 13 is a view in side elevation of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 1 1; and

FIGURE 14 is a view in section taken along line XIVXIV of FIGURE 12.

Referring to FIGURES 1 to 4, inclusive, of the drawing, there is shown therein one embodiment of a onepiece molded lamp holder 10 of my invention in assembled relation With insulated electric current carrying conductors 111 provided with exposed ends 12 soldered respectively to shaped contact strips 13 for snap connection to cradling and support of two pins 14 at one end of a fluorescent lamp (not shown). Another such lamp holder 10 would be provided in a fixture in facing relation to the illustrated lamp holder 10 to receive the two pins at the other end of such lamp. Such holders 10 usually are mounted in one or more such pairs on a fixture and 0p eratively connected when required to an appropriate starter. Preferably, a hollow housing 15 for holder 10 is molded from a strong-bodied plastic with high dielectric strength such as are found among various types of thermosetting plastic materials including those of phenolic, alkyd, urea and melamine character compositions. Such housings of this invention are producible in a single automatic molding press operation at relatively low cost to provide, when the contact strips and conductors are assembled therewith, a complete connected lamp socket which firmly cradles and secures the pins of a bi-pin lamp to be used therewith.

Housing 15 is provided with a base portion 16 and a body portion 17 formed generally by a back wall 18, a front wall 19 and side walls 20 joined integrally in the course of the molding operation along their respective corners. The housing 15 is generally hollow extending from a flat base edge 21 to a lamp end 22 and is symmetrical to each side of a medial plane represented by the section line I I-II of FIGURE '1. The side walls 20a of base portion 1 6 are part of side walls 20 but are offset by transversely extending shoulders 20b continuous with the walls 20 and 20a. The holder walls in base portion 16 are provided with a plurality of openings 23 of different orientations for conductors 11 that might be led in therethrough. In the embodiment being described, such conductors enter the interior of housing 15 by way of the openings 23 in the front wall of the base portion.

A mounting bracket 24 is provided integral with the front wall of the base portion 16 between the openings 23 and may be utilized to attach holder Ill to a lighting fixture, or a starter socket, or otherwise. Bracket 24 is molded with a T-shaped recess 25 between the arms 26 thereof for connection normally to a suitable fastener. Generally, the holders 10 will be mounted base-up with edge 21 against the supporting member and such mounting will not interfere with the action of the new holders in the course of inserting a lamp therein or withdrawing one therefrom.

The side walls 20 in the body portion preferably taper somewhat toward lamp end 22 and are provided with re-entrant extensions 27 which make a turn to pro vide generally hemicylindrical cavities 28 facing the interior of housing 15 toward base portion 16. A medial plane passage 29 is provided between the outer sides of the ends of those extensions 27 for the bi-pins at one end of a suitable fluorescent lamp. In molding holder 15, the cavities 28 have a counter-recessed portion 30 extending from the inside of the back wall to the rear side of arcuate flanges 31 the height of which, as may be seen from FIGURE 4, is approximately the thickness of a contact 13.

Back wall 18 is imperforate and terminates in a straight transverse edge 32 perpendicular to the medial plane at lamp end 22, such edge being about tangential to the bottom of the outside curve of the extensions 27 in the illustrated embodiment. Front wall 17 is cut out: by means of the molding operation in the form of a Wlshbone or general gothic arch shape 33 having a crest 34 pointed toward base portion 16. The outer ends 35 of opening 33 are spaced away from the medial plane far enough to enable the pins 14 to be moved into and supportably cradled in the contacts 13 and cavities 28 after the lamp pins 14 have first entered the interior of holder through passage 29 and been moved to the dotted line position thereof shown in FIGURE 4. The dimensions of cutout opening 33 allow the necessary swinging of such pins 14 to enable them to be engaged by the holder 10.

A longitudinally extending partition 36 integral with the balance of housing is provided between the front and back walls thereof extending substantially between base edge 21 and crest 34-. The portion 37 of partition 36 nearer to crest 34 is narrower and provided with an oifset ledge to each side with longitudinally extending grooves 38 therein to receive and retain the inner ends of the contact strips 13. Strips 13 preferably are made of a tempered conductive metal such as copper or silver alloy with a selected appropriate amount of stiff springiness therein. Generally, the walls of housing 15 are relatively thin and uniform and the molding thereof can be done with precision as in the case of the arcuate flanges 31. Preferably, the inside of the side walls are provided with a land 39 extending part of the way from counter recess toward the base to engage the back of the con tact strips 13 in a somewhat flexing manner.

Each of the contact strips 13 is provided at its outer end with a hook-shaped portion 40 to fit a counter recess 30 with the outer end 41 of each contact preferably terminating within the end of its extension 27. Each strip 13 has its outer end 41 flared and an opposed transverse ridge 42 making a throat opening 43 for the hook portion 40 somewhat narrower so that a pin 14 will tend to expand the opening as it is snapped into secured relation in portion 40 as shown in FIGURE 4. The back portion 44 of each contact 13 extends along land 39 and slightly beyond whence it takes a rather .abrupt bend in portion 45 to put its inner end 46 in engagement proximity to its respective groove 38. The holder 10 is assembled before any lamp is inserted therein by soldering or otherwise attaching an exposed end 12 of a conductor 11 to each contact 13 as shown and then passing and pressing the contacts 13 with the attached conductors into the assembled position shown in FIGURE 4 through the interior of the hollow base 16 to the respective sides of partition 36. Such a holder is not only economical to make and eflicient to use but it also enables the sockets to be made relatively small and yet provide full cradle support for the contacts of a fluorescent lamp with less tendency to are and with relatively greater insulating advantage. Further, the one-piece construction assists in protecting the device against the entry or accumulation of dirt and, as described above, the holder may be mounted in any position selected.

A further embodiment of this invention is illustrated in FIGURES 5 to 9, inclusive, wherein parts corresponding generally in construction and functioning to the first described embodiment are provided with the same reference numerals with the addition of a prime accent thereto. Such further embodiment might be used for example where it is desired to maintain the contacts 13' spaced apart a relatively greater distance. In such further embodiment, the inner ends of the counter recesses 30 in the re-entrant extensions 27' are longitudinally indented at 50 in the molding to butt against the outer edge of the contact strips 13. The inner end of the back portion 44' thereof abuts against the near side of a rib 51 to place contact 13 in retained relation in housing 15'. It is possible to mold such ribs 51 in a single molding operation in view of the give in the plastic after it has set but before it has fully hardened, as will be understood by those having skill in the plastic molding art.

The exposed end 12' of a conductor lead 11' is Welded or otherwise attached to the front of each strip 13 on each side of a partition 36 which is relatively longer than partition 36 so that it extends nearer to passage 29. In the assembling of holder 10', the respective subassemblies on contacts 13' and conductors 11' may be mounted respectively on insertion rods 52, which may have a common scissors holder, to be pressed into position in holder 15' with spurs 53 acting to snap the inner ends of the contacts 13' into retained relation relative to the respective ribs 51, following which the tool 52 can be withdrawn. If desired, other insertion means may be used.

The front wall opening 33' has the inner end thereof forked forming a pair of indentations 34, as shown, or only a single such indentation may be made in which latter case the other holder 10 of the pair to be utilized must have the corresponding indentation on the same side of the medial plane. Preferably, the forked cutout 33' is utilized since then a person inserting or taking out a lamp does not have to concern himself with whether he rotates the lamp about an axis in one direction or the other in the course of a lamp insertion or removable operation. The dotted positions for the pins 14" indicate one possible intermediate position for such pins 14' in the interior of holder 10 preparatory to cradling as shown, or removal through passage 29, as the case may be. FIGURE 10 illustrates a bottom view of a fluorescent lamp 54 having two pins 54a at each end inserted in and supported by two holders 55 made in accordance of this invention, such holders being suitably mounted and connected to any appropriate starter.

The above described embodiments are considered more appropriate for indoor use under existing codes. However, embodiments of the invention are susceptible of being readily constructed for outdoor use. Thus, in FIG- URES 11 to 14, inclusive, the base end of a holder like holder 10 is shown somewhat changed to facilitate its being utilized outdoors. Parts in the embodiment of FIGURES 11 to 14 corresponding generally in construction and functioning to those of the holder illustrated in FIGURES 5 to 8 are provided with the same reference numerals with the addition of a sufiix a thereto. Therein, in the holder 10a of FIGURES 11 to 14, a shaped piece of fiberboard 56 is used to close the opening through the base portion 16a thereof after the holder has been assembled with the conductors 11'a and holder contacts whereupon the hollow base portion may be filled with a Waterproof bituminous potting compound 57 between the liner 56 and edges 21'a. In addition, if desired, molded hooded opening extensions 58 may be provided forwardly of the front wall opening 23a, such hooded openings 58 being open also toward the lamp end of holder 10a. In this way, an all-weather lamp holder embodiment of this invention may readily be manufactured.

Various changes may be made in details of the illustrated embodiments and other embodiments derived from the foregoing disclosure without departing from the spirit of my invention or the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A fluorescent lamp holder comprising, in combination, a one-piece moldable hollow housing of rigid plastic material, said housing having a base portion and a body portion terminating at a lamp end, said portions having integral front, back and side Walls, said front and back walls of said body portion being substantially planar and parallel, the side Walls of said base portion being generally straight and transversely outwardly of the side walls of said body portion, at least some of the walls of said base portion having electric current carrying conductor openings therethrough, the side walls of said body portion tapering somewhat toward said lamp end, said base portion having a level outer edge, a mounting bracket integral with said base portion, said back wall at said lamp end terminating substantially straight across, said side walls having re-entrant extensions at the lamp end to define longitudinally extending hemicylindrical cavities open toward said base portion in the hollow interior of said body portion, said extensions being spaced to form a passage in the medial plane of said housing between said side walls, integral arcuate flanges at the front of said extensions in a plane adjacent but to the rear of the plane of said front wall of said body portion, each of said flanges forming a counter-recess extending from said back wall to the back of said arcuate flanges, said front wall having a symmetrical opening therein to each side of said medial plane to expose the front ends of said cavities and provide room to swing the pins at one end of a fluorescent lamp therein, said opening extending from said lamp end toward said base portion generally in the form of a gothic arch with its crest nearest to said base portion, a longitudinal partition in said medial plane between said front and back Walls extending substantially from said base portion edge to said crest, said partition having a groove open toward said lamp end to each side of said medial plane, and a contact strip extending in retained relation between each groove and its respective counterrecess, each strip having a hook-shaped portion to fit said counter-recess, the outer end of said hook-shaped portion being slightly flared and terminating within said cavity, said strip being formed with a transverse ridge on the other side of said hook-shaped portion from said outer end to provide a snap opening for a lamp pin, the back of said strip extending toward said base portion along the inside of the adjacent side wall and then at an angle into engagement with said groove.

2. A fluorescent lamp holder comprising, in combination, a onepiece moldable hollow housing of rigid plastic material, said housing having a base portion and a body portion terminating at a lamp end with integral front, back and side walls, said front and back walls of said body portion being substantially parallel, the side Walls of said base portion being generally straight and transversely outwardly of the side walls of said body portion, at least one wall of said base portion having electric current carrying conductor openings therethrough, the side walls of said body portion tapering somewhat toward said lamp end, said base portion having a level outer edge, a mounting bracket integral with said base portion, said back wall at said lamp end terminating substantially straight across, said side walls having re-entrant extensions at the lamp end to define longitudinally extending hemicylindrical cavities open toward said base portion in the hollow interior of said body portion, said extensions being spaced to form a passage in the medial plane of said housing between said side walls, integral arcuateflanges at the front of said extensions in a plane adjacent but to the rear of the plane of said front wall of said body portion, each of said flanges forming a counterrecess extending from said back wall to the back of said arcuate flanges, said front wall having a symmetrical opening therein to each side of said medial plane to expose the front ends of said cavities and provide room to swing the pins at one end of a fluorescent lamp therein, said opening extending from said lamp end toward said base portion generally in the form of at least one indentation with a crest toward said base portion, a longitudinally extending partition in said medial plane. between said front and back walls and substantially from said base portion edge to a position adjacent said crest, said side walls each having a low relief transverse rib and a contact strip extending in retained relation between each rib and its respective counter-recess, each strip having a hookshaped portion to fit said counter-recess, the outer end of said hook-shaped portion being slightly flared and terminating within said cavity, said strip being formed with a transverse ridge on the other side of said hook-shaped 6 portion from said outer end to provide a snap opening for a lamp pin, the back of each said strip extending toward said base portion to its respective rib along the inside of the adjacent side wall.

3. A fluorescent lamp holder comprising, in combination, a one-piece moldable hollow housing of rigid plastic material, said housing having a base portion and a body portion terminating at a lamp end, said portions having integral front, back and side walls, said front and back walls of at least said body portion being substantially planar and parallel, the side walls of said base portion being generally straight and transversely outwardly of the side walls of said body portion, at least one wall of said base portion having electric current carrying conductor openings therethrough, the side walls of said body portion tapering somewhat toward said lamp end, said base portion having a level outer edge, a mounting bracket integral with said base portion, said back wall extending straight from said edge to said lamp end, said side walls having re-entrant extensions at the lamp end to define longitudinally extending hemicylindrical cavities open toward said base portion in the hollow interior of said body portion, said extensions being transversely spaced to form a passage in the medial plane of said housing between said side walls, integral arcuate flanges at the front of said extensions in a plane adjacent but to the rear of the plane of said front wall of said body portion, each of said flanges forming a counter-recess extending from said back wall to the back of said arcuate flanges, said front wall having an opening therein to each side of said medial plane to expose the front ends of said cavities and provide room to swing the pins at one end of a fluorescent lamp therein, a longitudinally extending partition in said medial plane between said front and back walls and substantially from said base portion edge to said opening, transversely extending contact strip retaining means within said housing on each side of said medial plane and open toward said passage, and a contact strip extending in retained relation between each said retaining means and its respective counter-recess, each strip having a hook-shaped portion to fit said counter-recess, said hook-shaped portion being formed to provide a snap opening for a lamp pin.

4. A fluorescent lamp holder comprising, in combination, a one-piece moldable hollow housing of relatively rigid material, said housing having a base portion and a body portion terminating at a lamp end, said portions having integral front, back and side walls, said walls of said portions extending generally in the same direction, said base portion having a level outer edge, integral means for holding said holder in mounted position, said back wall extending from said base portion to said lamp end, said side walls having re-entrant extensions at the lamp end to define longitudinally extending hemicylindrical cavities open toward said base portion in the hollow interior of said body portion, said extensions being transversely spaced to form a passage in the medial plane of said housing between said side walls, said front wall having an opening extending from said lamp end and to each side of said medial plane to expose the front ends of said cavities and provide room to swing the pins at one end of a fluorescent lamp therein, a longitudinally extending partition in said medial plane between said front and back walls and substantially from said base portion edge to said opening, a single transversely extending contact strip retaining means within said housing on each side of said medial plane and accessible through one of said ends, and a contact strip extending in retained relation between each said retaining means and its respective cavity, each strip having a hook-shaped portion to fit the inside contour of said cavity, said hook-shaped portion being formed to provide a snap opening for a lamp pin.

5. A fluorescent lamp holder as set forth in claim 4, including a liner to be positioned across the interior of said housing generally spaced from said edge toward 7 said lamp end, whereby waterproofing compound may be used to fill space between said liner and said edge to prepare said lamp holder for outdoor use.

6. A moldable fluorescent lamp holder comprising a one-piece enclosed housing of moldable material having a lamp end and an open base end, said housing having a hollow interior in unrestricted communication with said open base end and terminating at said lamp end in two integral arcuate cradling cavities forming supports open at the front thereof and having said arcuate cradling cavities facing said open base end to each side of a medial plane between sides of said housing, said housing having an integral back and said hollow interior being unobstructed between said cradling cavities and said open base end to each side of said medial plane, the opposed inner ends of said supports being transversely spaced to define a passage for lamp pins to be moved therethrough from said lamp end and received in said supports, a longitudinal partition in said medial plane adjacent said base end having shoulders parallel and adjacent to said medial plane to each side thereof, said shoulders facing said passage at said lamp end and transversely spaced apart a distance substantially no greater than the transverse spacing between sides of said passage, said hollow interior being unobstructed between said passage and said shoulders.

7. A moldable fluorescent lamp holder comprising a one-piece enclosed housing of moldable material having a lamp end and an open base end, said housing having a hollow interior in unrestricted communication with said open base end and terminating at said lamp end in two integral arcuate cradling cavities forming supports open at the front thereof and having said arcuate cradling cavities facing said open base end to each side of a medial plane between the sides of said housing, the opposed inner ends of said supports being transversely spaced to de fine a passage for lamp pins to be moved therethrough from said lamp end and received in said supports, a longitudinal partition in said medial plane adjacent said base end having shoulders parallel and adjacent to said medial plane to each side thereof, said shoulders facing said passage at said lamp end and transversely spaced apart a distance substantially no greater than the transverse spacing between the sides of said passage, op posed springy contact strips, the lamp end portions of said strips having hook shaped contours to receive said lamp pins and to fit in said supports within said housing, the base end portions of said contact strips when in position in said housing crossing above said hook shaped portions toward said medial plane to engage said shoulders respectively to retain said contact strips firmly in said housing.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 484,207 Klein Oct. 11, 1892 595,900 Great Britain Dec. 19, 1947 627,488 Germany Mar. 18, 1936 FOREIGN PATENTS 2,297,738 Beal Oct. 6, 1942 2,567,731 Rosen Sept. 11, 1951 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,058,085 .October 9, 1962 Harvey G, Skinner corrected below.

Column 8, the list of references cited should appear as shown below instead of as in the patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS 484,207 Klein Oct, 11, 1892 2,297, 738 Beal Oct. 6, 1942 2,567,731 Rosen =Sept., 11, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS 595,900 Great Britain". Dec. 19, 1947 627,488 Germany Mara 18, 1936 Signed and sealed this 12th day of March 1963.,

(SEAL) Attest: ESTON G, JOHNSON DAVID L. LADD Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents 5

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US484207 *Dec 28, 1889Oct 11, 1892 Charles j
US2297738 *Jan 28, 1942Oct 6, 1942Bryant Electric CoLamp holder
US2567731 *Nov 20, 1946Sep 11, 1951Progress Mfg Company IncFluorescent lamp socket
DE627488C *Mar 18, 1936Koerting & Mathiesen A GFassung fuer Stromverbrauchsgeraete, insbesondere Gasentladungsroehren, mit zwei an einander gegenueberliegenden Seiten angebrachten Steckerstiftpaaren
GB595900A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4645283 *Apr 3, 1985Feb 24, 1987North American Philips CorporationAdapter for mounting a fluorescent lamp in an incandescent lamp type socket
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/241, 439/744
International ClassificationH01R33/05, H01R33/08
Cooperative ClassificationH01R33/0836
European ClassificationH01R33/08H