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Publication numberUS3134498 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 26, 1964
Filing dateJun 18, 1962
Priority dateJun 18, 1962
Publication numberUS 3134498 A, US 3134498A, US-A-3134498, US3134498 A, US3134498A
InventorsWilliam C Agrell, Richard C Lessner, Pasquale S Serio
Original AssigneeThomas Industries Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Troffer with removable closure and adjusting means
US 3134498 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 26, 1964 P. s. SERIO ETAL TROFFER WITH REMOVABLE CLOSURE AND ADJUSTING MEANS Filed June 18, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 l H jnzlenforsk ZwZeSSET' Pasg Bickafli 6 [65572677 William/6? Qgrel m WW May 26, 1964 P. s. SERIO ETAL 3,134,498

TROFFER WITH REMOVABLE CLOSURE AND ADJUSTING mus Filed June 18, 1962 3 Sheets- Sheet 2 INVENTORS; Pas uale Senna, rd (lLessner;

May 26, 19 4 P. s. SERIO ETAL TROFFER WITH REMOVABLE CLOSURE AND ADJUSTING MEANS Filed June 18, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTORS. Pczsguale 51 56rd), fizJc/zard Glessner ll/L'llljam/ C 62 relb,

United States Patent 3,134,498 TROFFER WITH REMOVABLE QLQSURE AND ADIUSTING MEANS Pasquale 5. Sonic, Prospect Heights, William C. Agrell, Forest Earls, and Richard C. Lessner, Des Plaines, 111., assignors to Thomas Industries Inc., Louisville, Ky, a corporation of Delaware Filed June 18, 1962, Ser. No. 2%,231 Claims. (Cl. 22%3.8)

This invention relates to lighting fixtures suitable for use in false or drop ceilings as Well as for mounting at the underface of ceilings of conventional type.

Fixtures of the character referred to are extensively used and are frequently referred to as trofiers. When used with false or drop ceilings, the fixture may be inserted into a suitable opening in the ceiling. In one type of drop ceiling the fixtures are supported by hangers from members of a grid structure or" known type, the ceiling proper being formed of suitable panels or tiles, frequently acoustic panels, supported in part, or entirely, by appropriately disposed flanges or analogous elements cmried by the proper housing. In another type of drop ceiling the underface thereof is finished with a plaster coating and the troffer is supported by means of shoulders or analogous elements on the trofier housing seating on an enclosing framework, commonly formed of lengths of 2" by 4" lumber, the lower edge of the troffer housing being flush with the plaster coating of the ceiling. As above indicated, the trofier may be used in a third manner, by being mounted on or suspended from the ceiling of conventional type.

Our invention is directed to a lighting fixture or troffer readily adaptable to use in any one of the three manners above indicated. To that end we provide hanger units removably mounted in the trotier housing for suspending the troifer from members of a grill work and for adjusting and leveling the trotfer when so suspended, such hanger units being readily removable and replaceable for adapting the troffer to its intended use. The troffer housing is provided with lower inwardly offset portions providing shoulders for supporting the troifer in a framework of a ceiling of the second type above mentioned. A further and important object of our invention is to provide means whereby a suitable closure member or panel may readily be mounted in the lower or bottom portion of the trotfer and may as readily be removed therefrom. The closure panel mounting means comprises suitable seats for the panel, with the hanger units disposed above such seats so as not to interfere with insertion or removal of the closure panel. It is also an object of our invention to provide mounting and retaining means for the closure panel which, in addition to facilitating insertion and removal thereof, imparts a finished and attractive appearance to the underface of the troifer. Furtherobjects and advantages of our invention will appear from the detail description.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a top plan view, partly broken away, of a troiler embodying our invention;

FIGURE 2 is an underneath view of the troffer of FIGURE 1, with certain parts broken away;

FIGURE 3 is a .side view of one end portion of the trotfer of FIGURE .1;

FIGURE 4 is a side View, on an enlarged scale and partly broken away, .of one of the end closure caps of the housing, thelatter being shown in section;

FIGURE 5 is asectional .view taken substantially on line 55 .015 FIGURE 3, .on an enlarged scale, certain parts'being shownin elevation;

FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken substantially on line -66 of FIGURE 5 but with the hangerretracted;

3,134,498 Patented May 26, 19.64

FIGURE 7 is an underneath view of a modified form of troifer embodying our invention, one of the lamp chambers being broken away for the major portion of its length;

FIGURE 8 is a sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken substantially on line 88 of FIGURE 7; and

FIGURE 9 is a sectional view taken substantially on line 9-9 of FIGURE 8, on an enlarged scale, certain parts being shown in elevation. The troffer of our invention comprises a downwardly opening box-like housing having a top wa l 10, side walls 11 and end walls 12, the latter being provided by end caps 13 having top flanges 14, upper and lower side flanges 15 and 16' and a bottom flange 17. The top wall 19 is provided with two lengthwise ribs 18 of generally V-shape in cross section pressed downwardly therefrom and defining between them a shallow channel 19 extending the full length of wall 10. The top flange 14 of each end cap 13 is slotted to accommodate the ribs 18 and has suitably disposed tabs 20 pressed therefrom for securing the wiring of the fixture or troffer; as shown in FIGURES 2 and 4. The lower portions of the side walls 11 are inwardly oifset, as are the lower portions of the end caps 13, providing side and end shoulders 21 and 22, respectively, spaced an appreciable distance above the bottom or lower edge of the troffer, for supporting the latter in a suitable frame of a false or drop ceiling of the type above mentioned. The flanges of the end caps 13 fit snugly in the ends of the main or body portion of the housing and are suitably secured thereto in any suitable manner, conveniently by spot welding.

The housing, constructed as above, is of generally rectangular shape in plan, straight sided and defines a lamp compartment. Lamp holders 25, of suitable known type, are 'secured to the top wall 10 of the housing at opposite sides of channel 19 and adjacent the end walls 12, conveniently by screws 26. The holders 25 receive the ends of fluorescent lamp tubes 27, providing electrical connections therefor, as is known. A lamp ballast 28 is mounted in channel 19 and is secured to top wall 1% by nut and bolt means 29. The ballast 28 is enclosed by an upwardly opening cover 36 of channel cross section, the lower wall of which diverges downwardly providing a Wire way 31 extending beneath the ballast 23. Cover 36 fits in channel 19 and is releasably attached thereto in a suitable known manner.

Each of the side walls 11 is provided, at the lower edge thereof, with an upwardly and inwardly inclined flange 34 attached by a relatively narrow horizontal flange 35 to the lower edge of side wall 11. The upper portion of flange 34 is bent outwardly and then upwardly to provide a seat 36 having at its outer edge a retaining shoulder 37; as shown more clearly in FIGURE '8. The flanges 34 extend substantially the full length of the housing, to the bottom flanges 17 of the end caps 13 and have their ends beveled or inclined upwardly and inwardly as shown more clearly in FIGURE 2. The bottom flange 17 of each end cap 13 is provided with an upward and inward extension inclined similarly to the flanges 34 .of the side walls 11, such extension 17a having inclined ends and fitting between the inclined ends of the flanges 34. A retaining strip 38 is hingedly mounted by a piano hinge 39 the outer leaf of which is suitably secured, conveniently by spot Welding to the upper face of flange 17, strip 33 constituting the other leaf of the hinge. The lower portion of strip 33 is slightly offset outwardly to receive the extension 17a of flange 17, as shown more clearly in FIGURE 4. Retaining strip 38 is thus mounted for movement outwardly and inwardly of the lamp compartment toward and away from end wall 12, its outward movement being limited to substantially vertical position by a suitable stop bracket 40 spot welded to end wall 12. The retaining strip 38 is of approximately the same width as the side flanges 34 and is of a length to fit therebetween, the ends of the respective strips 38 being beveled or inclined similarly to the ends of the flanges 34. When the strips 38 are in their normal inner positions the beveled ends thereof match the beveled ends of the flanges 34 and the upper edges of strips 38 are disposed approximately in the common plane of the seats 36, the latter being disposed in a common plane transversely of the housing.

The seats 36 receive a panel closure member, which may be an imperforate light diffusing panel formed of plastic, glass or any suitable material. The panel 43 is of a width to fit snugly between the retaining shoulders 37 at the outer edges of the seats 36 and of a length to extend approximately to the inner edges of the lower side flanges 16 of the end caps 13, as shown. When the retaining strips 38 are in their normal inner position they eflectively preclude displacement of the panel 43 and, in conjunction with the side flanges 34 provide a frame with mitered corners underlying the panel 43 and imparting a neat and attractive appearance to the trofler, when viewed from beneath. When it is desired to remove the panel 43, the end retaining strips 38 are turned upwardly and outwardly to substantially vertical position, the ends of the panel 43 being raised slightly for that purpose, after which the panel 43 may be tilted slightly transversely and then withdrawn from the housing. In like manner the panel 43 may be replaced in the housing, resting upon the seats 36, after which the ends of the panel may be raised slightly and the retaining strips 38 returned to their normal position. It will be understood that the panel 43 may be replaced by any other suitable type of panel or closure member, such as a louver or lattice type of panel. Accordingly, the term panel as used herein is to be construed as meaning any suitable type of closure means.

The troffer so far described is suitable for mounting at the underface of a ceiling or for mounting in a framework above the underface of a plaster coated or finished ceiling of the character above mentioned. In order that the trotfer may be used by inserting it into a false or drop ceiling including grill work of known type, we provide means whereby suitable hangers may be applied to the side walls of the housing. Referring to FIGURES 3, and 6, each side wall 11 is provided, a short distance from each end thereof, with an L-shaped opening or slot 45 having an upper horizontal arm opening at one end into a vertical arm. A hinger boxing 46 is mounted on the inner face of side wall 11 overlying the respective slots 45. The boxing 46 comprises an inner wall 47, top and bottom walls 48 and 49, respectively, and side walls 50. The top wall 48 is provided at its outer edge with an upwardly extending flange 51 from the upper edge of which extends a tab 52 of reduced width, the bottom wall 49 is provided with a downwardly extending flange 53, at its outer edge offset a short distance inwardly of boxing 46, and each of the side walls 50 is provided with an outwardly extending flange 54. The outer face of the boxing 46 is open and the flanges seat on the inner face of side Wall 11 with tab 52 extending through a corresponding slot 55 in the edge of the top wall 10. The bottom tab 53 seats on the upper portion of the lower inwardly offset portion of the side wall 11, being oitset a slight distance inwardly of boxing 46 for that purpose, as above noted, and is secured to side wall 11 by a screw 56 passing through side wall 11 and threading through the flange 53. A vertically disposed adjusting screw is rotatably mounted through the bottom and top walls 49 and 48, respectively, of boxing 46 and extends a short distance above the top wall 48. The upper end of screw 57 is staked or expanded to provide projections or abutments 58 efiective for restraining screw 57 against 7 downward movement relative to boxing 46. At its lower end the screw is prow'ded with a slotted head 59 between which and the bottom wall 49 of the boxing a spring washer 69 of known type is disposed about the screw eifective, in conjunction with wall and head 59, for restraining screw 57 against upward movement while also holding it against objectionable looseness and undesired turning movement. The screw 57 is disposed in approximate alignment with the vertical arm of the corresponding slot 45 and has threaded thereon one end of a hanger arm 63. of generally channel cross section. The arm 61 has a binding fit on screw 57 so as to turn therewith when released from the boxing 46, while permitting rotation of the screw 57 in either direction when the hanger arm 61 is restrained against turning movement. When the hangers are not in use the hanger arms 61 are disposed within the boxings 46 below the horizontal arms of the slots 45. The respective boxings 46 are of a length slightly greater than that of the hanger arm 61 and the distance between the inner wall 47 of the boxing 46 and the opposed area of the side wall 11 of the housing is substantially less than the length of the hanger arm 61. Accordingly, when the arm 61 is disposed within the boxing out of the plane of the horizontal arm of slot 45 it is restrained against turning movement with the screw 57. Assuming arm 61 to be within the boxing 46 and below the horizontal arm of slot 45, by turning the adjusting screw 57 in proper direction the hanger arm may be moved upwardly to a position in the plane of the horizontal arm of slot 45. When hanger arm 61 reaches that position, it is moved outwardly through the horizontal arm of slot 45 in the continued turning of screw 57, such outward movement of hanger arm 61 being limited by the edges of the vertical arm of slot 45. The hanger arms 61 are then projected and extend outwardly from the side walls 11 at approximately right angles thereto, as shown in FIGURE 5. As will be understood, the hanger arms are not projected until the trofier has been appropriately positioned in the drop ceiling so that the hanger arm 61, when projected, will overlie supporting members of the grill structure. With the hanger arms 61 seating upon the supporting members, the adjusting screws may be rotated, without turning of the hanger arms 61, for adjusting and leveling the troifer. In cases where the hangers are not required, the boxings 46 and the adjusting screw and hanger arm carried thereby may readily be removed as a unit and, when required, may as readily be replaced. When the trolfer is to be used in a drop ceiling comprising tiles or panels, angle strips 62 may be secured in any suitable manner to the lower edge portions of the side walls 11 of the housing, to provide flanges for supporting tiles or panels of the ceiling extending about the trotfer housing. Ordinarily the angle strips 62 may be omitted and provided only as needed.

The modified form of trofier shown in FIGURES 7, 8, and 9, is similar to that of FIGURES 1 to 6, inclusive, but is of greater length to provide two lamp chambers. Lamp holders 25 are secured to the top wall 10 of the housing and receive the inner ends of the lamp tubes, there being four of such tubes disposed in pairs lengthwise of the housing. The central lamp holders 25 overlie a cross bar 65 of inverted channel cross section having end flanges 66 seating on and suitably secured to, conveniently by spot welding, the side walls 11 of the housing. The lower edges of the arms of cross bar 65 preferably are disposed approximately in the plane of the panel seats 36 providing abutments disposed to restrain endwise movement of panels 43 toward each other, it being understood that in the longer modified form of trotfer the cross bar 65 separates the compartment thereof into two lamp chambers each having a closure panel 43. The cross bar 65 overlies a retaining strip member 67 of approximately flattened V-shape in cross section. Two mounting rods 68 are provided at their lower ends with radial extensions or heads 69 seating on the upper face of the substantially horizontal central portion 70 of member 67. The rods 68 are disposed adjacent the ends of member 67 and are slidable through a relatively short sleeve or thimble 71 secured in the bight or web portion of the cross bar 65. Each of the thimbles is provided, adjacent its lower end, with a circumferential groove 72 which snugly receives the bight portion of cross bar 25. In that connection it will be noted that the body portion of thimble 71, above groove 72, is of frusto-conical shape, tapering upwardly, and the thimble preferably is formed of a plastic, such as polyethylene, which is compressible to a certain extent. The thimbles are inserted into the openings in the bight portion of cross bar 25 and are forced through such openings, being radially compressed, until the base of the body portion of the thimble passes through the opening, at which time the body portion expands radially so as to overlie the bight portion of cross bar 65, thus anchoring the thimbles in the cross bar. The thimbles 71 are of tubular form, as shown, the interior diameter being such as to fit tightly about the supporting rods 68 in pressure frictional con-tact therewith. The retaining strip member 67 is thus mounted for vertical movement toward and away from the side flanges 34 and normally is held in its raised position by the rods 68 and thimbles 71 in cooperation with the cross bar 65. The width of the horizontal central portion 70 of member 67 preferably is the same, transversely of the housing, as the width of flange 35 plus flange 34, the width of the respective arms 73 of member 7% preferably is approximately the same as the width of the respective flanges 34, the length of member 70 corresponds to the distance between the flanges 34 and the ends of the arms 73 of member 67 are beveled or inclined upwardly and inwardly similarly to the flanges "34. When the member 67 is in its normal raised position the ends thereof seat on the flanges 34 so that the trotfer presents a neat and attractive appearance when viewed from beneath. A retaining strip 38 is hingedly mounted on each of the end walls, as before, and the width of the respective arms 73 of member 67 is such that the upper edges of such arms are disposed approximately in the plane of the seats 36 when member 67 is in its normal raised position. The panels 43 are supported upon the seats 36 with their ends in proximity to the cross bar 65 and the end walls 12, as will be understood. When it is desired to remove the panel 43 the retaining member 67 is moved downward so as to be spaced an appreciable distance below the flanges 34 and the retaining strip 38 of the lamp chamber from which the panel is to be removed is turned upwardly and outwardly to its outer position. The panel may then be removed in the manner previously described, and may as readily be replaced. In that connection it will be noted that the boxings 46 for the hangers are spaced well above the seats 36 so as to accommodate transverse tilting of the panels 43 for insertion or removal thereof.

It will be understood that changes in detail may be resorted to without departing from the field and scope of our invention, and we intend to include all such variations, as fall within the appended claims, in this application in which the preferred forms only of our invention have been disclosed.

We claim:

1. In a lighting fixture, a downwardly opening housing substantially rectangular in plan comprising a top and two side and two end walls secured together and defining a lamp compartment, said side walls having at the lower edges thereof upwardly directed inner flanges providing seats for a closure panel, said seats being disposed in a common plane transversely of said housing, retaining strips hingedly mounted on said end walls below said seats and movable independently of said side and end walls outwardly and inwardly of said compartment toward and away from said end walls, and means normally holding said strips in an inner position with their upper edges approximately in said plane.

2. In a lighting fixture, a downwardly opening housing substantially rectangular in plan comprising a top and two side and two end walls secured together and de fining a lamp compartment, said side walls having at the lower edges thereof continuous upwardly and inwardly inclined flanges, the upper portions of said flanges being formed to provide closure panel seats disposed substantially in a common plane transversely of said housing, said end walls having flanges at their lower edges extending inwardly 'of said housing, continuous retaining strips hinged to said end wall flanges and movable independently of said side and end walls toward and away from said end walls outwardly and inwardly of said housing, and means limiting inward movement of said strips effective for holding them inclined upwardly and inwardly of said housing at approximately the same inclination as said side wall flanges and with their upper edges approximately in said plane.

3. In a lighting fixture, a downwardly opening housing substantially rectangular in plan comprising a top and two side and two end walls fixedly secured together and defining a lamp compartment, said side walls having at the lower edges thereof continuous upwardly and inwardly inclined flanges having ends beveled upwardly and inwardly of said housing, the upper portions of said flanges being formed to provide closure panel seats disposed substantially in a common plane transversely of said housing and upwardly extending panel retaining shoulders at the outer edges of said seats, said end walls having flanges at their lower edges extending inwardly of said housing, continuous retaining strips hinged to said end wall flanges and movable independently of said side and end walls toward and away from said end walls outwardly and inwardly of said housing, said strips being of a length corresponding to the distance between the ends of said side wall flanges and having beveled ends adapted to register with the beveled ends of said side wall flanges in the inner position of said strips, and means limiting inward movement of said strips eflcctive for holding them inclined upwardly and inwardly of said housing at approximately the same inclination as said side wall flanges and with their upper edges approximately in said plane.

4. In a lighting fixture, a downwardly opening housing substantially rectangular in plan comprising a top and two side and two end walls secured together and defining a lamp compartment, said side walls having at the lower edges thereof upwardly and inwardly extending flanges providing seats for a closure panel, said seats being disposed in a common plane transversely of said compartment, a cross bar mounted in said compartment and separating the latter lengthwise into two lamp chambers, retaining strips hingedly mounted on said end walls below said seats and movable independently of said side and end walls outwardly and inwardly of said lamp chambers toward and away from said end walls, means normally holding said strips in an inner position with their upper edges approximately in said plane, a retaining strip member mounted on said cross bar, and means mounting said member on said cross bar for movement upward into proximity to said flanges and downward to a position spaced from said flanges, said mounting means including means normally holding said retaining strip member in its upper position.

5. In a lighting fixture, a downwardly opening housing substantially rectangular in plan comprising a top and two side and two end walls secured together and defining a lamp compartment, said side walls having at the lower edges thereof upwardly and inwardly extending flanges extending substantially the full length of said compartment and providing seats for a closure panel, said seats being disposed in a common plane transversely of said compartment and said flanges having beveled ends, a cross bar mounted on said side walls above said seats and separating said compartment lengthwise into two lamp chambers, said end walls having at their lower edges flanges extending inward of said lamp chambers, retaining strips hingedly mounted on said end wall flanges and movable independently of said side and end walls outwardly and inwardly toward and away from said end walls, said retaining strips being approximately the same length as the distance between the ends of said side wall flanges and having beveled ends complementary to the beveled ends of said side wall flanges, means normally holding said retaining strips in an inner position with their upper edges approximately in said plane and their ends in approximate register with the ends of said side wall flanges, a 10 retaining strip member of approximately V-shape in cross section approximately corresponding in length to the distance between said side wall flanges and having ends beveled correspondingly to the upward and inward inclination of said sidewall flanges, and means mounting said member on said cross bar for upward and downward movement toward and away from said side wall flanges, said mounting means including means normally holding said retaining strip member in an upper position with the upper edges thereof approximately in the plane of said seats and its ends seating on said side wall flanges.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,518,724 Runge Aug. 15, 1950 3,018,082 Berger Jan. 23, 1962 3,019,333 Pascucci Jan. 30, 1962

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2518724 *Mar 11, 1947Aug 15, 1950Miller CoInbuilt lighting equipment
US3018082 *Oct 27, 1958Jan 23, 1962Berger Leonard GLight fixture mounting
US3019333 *Feb 13, 1958Jan 30, 1962Miller CoLighting fixture troffer and latch therefor
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5349508 *Jul 7, 1993Sep 20, 1994Magnetek, Inc.Integral housing for ballast and fluorescent lamps
US5902035 *Apr 23, 1997May 11, 1999Kenall Manufacturing Co.Lighting fixture for cleanroom and containment environments
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/3.8, 220/377, 362/217.13, 220/3.6, 220/3.7, 362/217.12
International ClassificationE04B9/18, F21V21/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21Y2103/00, F21V21/00, E04B9/18
European ClassificationE04B9/18, F21V21/00