US 3131871 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 5, 1964 J. P. FOULDS 3,131,871
COMBINATION RAIL AND LUMINAIRE Filed NOV. 28, 1960 Invervtror: John P. Foutds His Adv-b 0&5
United States Patent Ofiice 3,131,871 Patented May 5, 1964 3,131,871 COMBINATION RAIL AND LUMINAIRE John P. Foulds, Hendersonville, N.C., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Nov. 28, 1960, Ser. No. 72,105 Claims. (Cl. 240-2) This invention relates to a low mounted luminaire or guard rail lighting device and, more particularly, to a combined rail and luminaire for illuminating surfaces such as roadways, highways, causeways, airport runways, bridges, parapets, etc.
. I-t an object of the invention to provide a continuous rail member of rigid construction having incorporated therein means for effectively lighting the adjacent area. it is a further object to provide a structure wherein the light sources and auxiliary equipment, including wiring, ballast members and terminal connectors are eifectively enclosed and protected. It is a still further object to provide a structure wherein the light sources and auxiliary equipment are readily accessible for inspection and maintenance.
The novel features of my invention will be pointed out in the appended claims, and a full understanding of the invention will be had from a reading of the following description taken in conjunction with the drawing where- 111:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary isometric view of a rail lighting device constructed in accordance the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the device taken along the plane 22 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevation, partly broken away, of the device.
Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawing, it will be seen that in the preferred embodiment of the present inven tion, there is shown an elongated channel-shaped member 1 that is supported in a predetermined position above a given surface or area on supporting means 2. The supporting means 2 may be standards or columns of any pre: determined height. Any suitable means maybe utilized to secure the supporting standards 2 in position adjacent an elongated area, such as a roadway or pedestrian cause way, as illustrated by the bolts and nuts designated gener ally by the numeral 4.
In order that the illustrated device may be utilized to provide a substantially uniform level of illumination along the length of a continuous surface, a plurality of elongated openings 5 are provided in at least one wall of the channel-shaped member 1, and light-transmitting plates or windows 6 are positioned :over these openings to protect the interior of member 1 from exposure to the elements. It will be understood that the openings 5 are disposed in that wall of the member 1 which is adjacent the surface to be illuminated.
It Wil be appreciated that a plurality of members 1 will ordinarily be utilized in end-to-end relation, thereby to aiford means for illuminating a substantial length of an elongated surface. Since it is desirable to maintain the rigidity of the entire structure, as well as to protect the interior of the channel-shaped members 1 as completely as possible from the elements, a plurality of releasable securing means, such as the connecting straps 7, with underlying gaskets 7', are disposed around the juxtaposed ends of the channel-shaped members 1 and secured in position by any suitable means, such as a fastening screw arrangement 8.
In accordance with the present invention, the channelshaped member 1 is mounted on the supporting standards 2 and secured thereto by any suitable means, such as the bolts 9 through its transverse base 9. Also, an elongated partition 10 is disposed in the center of the channelshaped member 1 and extends substantially the full length thereof to divide the channel-shaped member 1 into first and second elongated compartments C1 and C2 (FIG. 2) As illustrated in FIG. 2, the partition '10 is secured to the channel-shaped member 1 by the bolts 9; however, it will be appreciated that the partition 10 could be made integral with the elongated channel shaped member 1 if such a form of manufacture is deemed desirable.
In the illustrated embodiment, a plurality of elongated light sources are supported within the second compartment C2 of the channel-shaped member -1 by a plurality of electric socket means which are mounted on the partition 10 at longitudinally spaced points therealong such that a socket is disposed adjacent each side edge of each window 6. An elongated lamp 12 (FIG. 3) is mounted in each pair of sockets 11. In a preferred embodiment of the invention the sockets 11 and the elongated lamps 12 are fluorescent lamps and associated sockets of a suitable type, such as those frequently employed in commercial use for the illumination of industrial and residential buildings. Of course, suitable ballast means and electric connecting terminal means will be employedto energize the lamps 12, and such ballast and terminal means may be mounted in either the first or the second compartment of the channel-shaped members 1; however, for a reason to be explained hereinafter, it is preferred to locate these components in the second compartment C2 with the lamp 12.
order to provide electric current to the lamps 12, while at the same time protecting the current supply cables or 24 (-FIG. 2) from the elements and excessive danger of breakage, such wiring may be placed in the first compartment C1 of the channel-shaped member 1, shown on the left side of partition 10 in FIG. 2. It will be understood that a plurality of apertures are formed in the partition 10 at spaced points therealong so that connections may be made between the wiring disposed in the first compartment C1 of the channel-shaped member 1 and the ballast and terminal means preferably disposed in the second compartment C2. Thus, the first compartment is not obstructed with any ballasting or terminal means, so it afiords an ideal conduit for a plurality of electric or other suitable electric current conducting means. A particular advantage of this conduit means is that when the cover 3 is removed from the channel-shaped member 1, the wiring may be readily inspected and, if necessary, rep-aired.
It be seen that the equipment as thus far described comprises a plurality of elongated hollow members formed trom the channel-shaped members v1 and their associated covers 3. Furthermore, it will be seen that two means of access are provided to the interior of these elongated hollow members. The first means of access is provided by removal of the cover 3 which is releasably secured in position on the channel-shaped member 1 by suitable positioning and locking means, such as those to be described hereinaiter. The cover 3 affords access to the interior of the channel 1 for initial assembly therewith of the sockets 11, lamps 12, ballasts 19 and the necessary wiring 24 and connector blocks (not shown). The second means of access is through the openings 5 in one wall of the second compartment C2 of each of the channel-shaped members 1.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the cover 3 is releasably secured to the channel-shaped memher 1 and positioned thereon partially by means of the tongue-and-groove arrangement shown at the left side of cover 3 in FIG. 2. and indicated generally by the numeral 13. The cover 3 is further positioned by the generally V-shaped groove in a ridge 14 (FIG. 2) extending longitudinally of the inner surface of cover 3 at a central portion thereof in a manner such. that the partition 10 is engaged thereby and serves to position the cover 3 precisely above the partition 10. It will be understood that the tongue-and-groove arrangement 13 and the positioning means 14 may either extend the full length of cover 3 and member 1, as in the preferred embodiment of the invention, or they, may be formed in segments spaced along cover 3 and member 1. I Also, locking means are provided for releasably securing the cover 3 in position. In the preferred embodiment of the invention these locking means comprise a rigid hook-shaped member 15. (FIG. 2) on the channelshaped member 1, and screws 16 that are threaded through suitable tapped apertures in the right side .of the cover 3, as seen inFIG. '2; It will be understood that when the screws 16 are screwed into engagement with the lip of the hook-shapedmember 15, this member and the screws 16 will cooperate with the tongue-andgroove arrangement 13, as well as the 'V-shaped position ing means 14, to prevent the cover 3 from being moved either transversely or verticalzl'y relative to the chamelshaped member 1. The hook-shaped-member 15 may be made integral-with the cover 3 and coextensive in length therewith. V
It will be seen that with the structure illustrated in the preferred embodiment of the'invention the illuminating means and their associated electric current conductors:are housed in a rigid, compartmentalized arrangement that serves thedual function of afiording illumi nating means, and providing either a hand rail or a guard rail arrangement. Morespecifical-ly, it can be seen that the elongated partition 10 engages the ,cover 3 at its central portion and thus prevents the elongated hollow structure from being deformed, as it would be if the cover were allowed to be deflected towardthe interior of thechannel-shaped member 1.
In addition to the ready access meansafiorded by removal of the cover 3 from the member 1, access may be gained to the interior of the second compartment C2 of the channel-shaped member 1 by removing the window or cover'plate members 6 from the access openings 5. Such an arrangement is particularly desirable access tothein-terior of member ';1 is desiredfor minor maintenance or inspection purposes, such as cleaningthe interior of the windows 6, or replacinga lamp 12 that may have failed. Such ready. access is afforded by the unique strueulre of the present invention while at the same-time the interior of thechannehshaped member 1 is kept well protected from exposureto the; elements. These functions are accomplished by providingan embossment 17 (FIG. 2) along the entire length'of the base, portion of the channel-shaped member '1 to thus from a lip which engages and positions-the bottom edgesof windows 6. Resilient spring members 18' are mounted on the elongated member 15. and disposed to engage the inner surfaces of the windows 6 and bias them toward their respective openings 5. 1 It will thus be seen that thewindows 6 may be readily slid inleither direction longitudinallyalong the channel-shaped members 1 thereby to remove them from over their respective apertures 5 andthiisexpose the interior of the'second com partment C2 of'the channel shaped member 1 for any desiredmaintenance or inspection purposes. Of course,-
. As indicated'therein, the ballast 19 is supported by clips 29 attached by screws to the partition and overlying sheet metal flanges 21 extending from the 'base of the ballast 19. Each ballast 19 may be designed 'to regulate ltVO lamps 12 and may be located behind opposite the portion of channel 1 between the pair of windows 6 in each section of channel 1. A connector block (not shown) may also be attached to the partition 10 adjacent the ballast-19 for making connections between the sockets, ballast and current supply wiring.
In order to more efficiently direct light from the lamps 12 out across-the adjacent walk or roadway, there is provided an elongated sheet metal reflector 22 (FIG. 2) of suitable curvature in association with 'each lamp and substantially coextensive therewith. As shown in FIG. 2, the reflector is supported along its lower edge in a groove or slot formed in the bead 17--.and isfastened at itsupper edge to the partition 10,by screws 23.v f
While a particular preferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various modifications may be made therein'withoutsdeparting from the invention in its broader aspects. For example, it will be evident that, when desired, lamps may be mounted on bothjsides of the central partition 10, with the. provision of windows 6 on both sides of the channel member 1. Also, instead of one iamp 12 behind each window 5, "two'or. more such lamps may be provided, or one longer lamp miaybe. provided to extend/across both windows-50f each channel member 1.-
.What' I claim as new and desire to s'ecure byletters Patent of the United States is? v A rail lighting device comprising an elongated hol low member having an open top. closed :by a readily removable cover member, means supporting said hollowmember in a predetermined position above a surface, means for rigidly support-in'g -said cover member against: inward deflection secured to said hollow member and abutting said cover member,'said iast mentioned means hollow member for ltransmission of light from a lamp in said sockets comprising an elongated opening in'said wall, alight transmitting platedisposed over said el ongated opening, and means for detachably securing said plate in position over said. elongated opening, and power supplymeans, for connection to said sockets, including wiringdisposed within one of said compartments. V
V 2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein the means (for detachably securing said plate in position comprises. means defining plate positioning embossments on said one wall of the hollow member, and resilient means. mounted within said.. hollow member and disposed to, engage said plate ,thereby to biasthe plate toward said. opening thus affording means for closing the opening,
'3. A rail lighting device comprising an ,elongatedholiow member having "an open, top, means for supporting saidh'ollow member in a, predetermined position above. a surface, means detachably securing said. hollow member to said supporting means in said predetermined po.-. sition, means defining :an elongated. partition: within said member dividing the interior thereof into 'first'andsecond elongated walledv compartments, electric, current conducting means disposed in" said first compartment, electric socket means. adapted to supportan elongated electric. lamp andtransmit electric powentheretmasaid socket means being disposed in said second compartment for supporting, anzclongated-,.-lamp in, a; predetermined position therein, means deflningan elongated light-trans;v mitt-ing section in one wall of said second compartment for transmission of light-from alampinsaid sockets,
an e'longated cov'er for closing the open top of said hollow member, means for detachably securing said cover in position on said hollow member, said elongated partition abutting a central portion of said cover when said cover is secured to said holiow member thereby constituting means for rigidly supporting said cover against inward deflection toward the interior of said compartments.
4. A device as defined in claim 3 including positioning means on said central portion of said cover for centering the cover when it is moved into abutting engagement with the partition.
5. Apparatus for illuminating an elongated surface comprising a plurality of elongated hollow members, means for supporting said hollow members in a predetermined position above said surface such that the longitudinal axes of said members are in alignment, each of said members being disposed in juxtaposition with the next adjacent member in said alignment of members, each of said members comprising a channel-shaped base and a detachable cover of substantially equal length, means detachabiy securing each of said channel-shaped bases to said supporting means in said predetermined position, an elongated partition detachably secured to each of said channel-shaped bases whereby said channelshaped bases are divided into respective first and second walled compartments by said partitions, electric current conducting means disposed in each of said first cornpartments, each of said second compartments having electric sockets disposed thereinto to support elongated electric lamps in predetermined position within the second compartments and transmit electric power to said lamps, ballast means mounted in each of sad second compartments for supplying electric power to said lamps, means defining an elongated translucent section in one wall of each of said second compartments adjacent said surface whereby a light transmitting passageway is afforded from the respective interiors of each of said second compartments to said surface, means for releasably securing the juxtaposed ends of said bases and said covers together thereby to form a cont nuous hollow member having continuous first and second elongated compartments, said releasable securing means being further effective to retain each of said covers in position on its respective base and including a longitudinal groove extending along the upper edge of one side of each channel-shaped base, hook means extending along the upper edge of the other side, tongue means engaging said groove extending longitudinally along one edge of each detachable cover and a series of tapped apertures having screws Lhreaded therethrough along the other edge engaging said hook means and a positioning ridge for engaging (the upper edge of said part-L tion having a V-shaped notch therein extending longitudinally of the inner surface of each cover for centering the cover when it is held by said releasable means and rigidly supporting the same against inward deflection toward the interior of said compartments.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,310,593 Or-licki Feb. 9, 1943 2,348,930 Schepmoes May 16, 1944 2,866,082 Clayton et a1 Dec. 23, 1958 2,877,340 Spaulding Mar. 10, 1959 2,893,148 Figrnan July 7, 1959 2,914,657 Akeley et a1 Nov. 24, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,054,173 Germtany Apr. 2, 1959 1,248,915 France Nov. 14, 1960