US 3154001 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 27, 1964 E. F. zuRAwsKl 3,154,001
FLuoREscENT LIGHT FIXTURE Filed sept. 22, 1960 pwma Qjur @gmmwzwowfw f www@ gw United States 3,154,9@i Patented Oct. 27, 1964 free 3,154,001 FLURESCENT LIGHT FIXTURE Edward F. Zurawslri, Chicago, Ill., assigner to Garcy Corporation, a corporation of Iliinois Fiied Sept. 22, 1960, Ser. No. 57,762 2 Claims. (Cl. SiS-40) This invention relates to a fluorescent light fixture, and is particularly concerned with means for providing a warm air return for an air conditioned room having fluorescent light fixtures recessed in the ceiling.
It is customary to provide fiuorescent light fixtures, particularly when said fixtures are recessed in the ceiling, with bottom panels. Although bottom panels may be secured to the fixture in any suitable manner, they are preferably hinged to the lower edge portion of the treffer along one side thereof, and are latched to the lower edge portion of the troiier at the opposite side thereof. In such installations, the longitudinal edges of the bottom panel abut the inner surface of the longitudinal edges of the troffer. The ends of the bottom panel generally abut the lower edge portion of an end plate secured to each end of the treffer.
In accordance with the present invention, the lower longitudinal edge portions of the trolfer are flared outwardly to increase the width of the lower edge portion of the trofier approximately half an inch. The width of the bottom panel is not changed, and the hinges are so mounted on one side wall of the trofier and the longitudinal side of the bottom panel as to space each longitudinal edge of the frame approximately 1A of an inch from the lower edge portion of the adjacent side wall of the trofier.
The length of the bottom panel is approximately half an inch less than the longitudinal distance between the end plates. The bottom panel is so located longitudinally relative to the hinges that each end of the bottom panel is spaced approximately 1A of an inch from the vertical plane of the major body portion of the end plate mounted on the adjacent end of the troffer. If the bottom panel is not hinged to the troffer, it will be spaced inwardly from the lower edges thereof to provide the same spacing between the perimeter of the bottom panel and the lower edge portions of the troffer and end plates. An intermediate portion of each end plate extends inwardly slightly more than 1A of an inch, then downwardly and outwardly in engagement with the upper edge portion of the end of the frame of the bottom panel. The intermediate portion of the end plate is lfiared outwardly and downwardly from its engagement with the upper edge portion f the frame of the bottom panel to engage the edge of a ceiling panel, or the corresponding edge of an adjacent end plate if two light fixtures are mounted in end to end relationship. Preferably the lowermost edge portion of the end plate is coplanar with the bottom of the ceiling panel and lowermost surface of the bottom panel.
The outwardly iiared portions of the lower edge portions of the troffer and end plates are provided with elongated slots. The slots on each side of the fixture are located in a Vertical plane between the outer edges of the bottom panel and the adjacent edges of the ceiling panel. Similarly, the slots in the end plates are each located in a vertical plane between the end of the bottom panel and the outer surface of the end plate. The slots provide a passageway for the warm air flowing upwardly in an air conditioned room. The location of the slots insures access to the slots by the warm air. The warm air is exhausted from the space above the ceiling in any suitable manner, as, for example, by means of a fan.
The positioning of the slots constituting the warm air return outwardly of the perimeter of the bottom panel makes the slots substantially inconspicious because none of the light can shine directly through any of the slots. None of the slots can interfere with the normal distribution of the light from the iiuorescent tubes mounted in the fixture. One advantage inherent in the inconspicuous appearance of the slots is that the slots do not detract from the appearance of the ceiling installation. If fixtures constructed in accordance with the invention are used in rooms that are not air conditioned, and therefore do not require a warm air return, the fixtures have the same appearance as similar fixtures not provided with slots. This advantage simplifies inventory problems for the manufacturer and for the dealers selling the fixtures.
Since the warm air return is independent of the bottom panel, the presence or absence of a bottom panel does not affect the utilization of the slots as a means for exhausting warm air from an air conditioned room. If it is desired to have fluorescent light fixtures with an open bottom, the same troffers may be used without a bottom panel. It is also possible to use troffers having slots for a warm air return with any type of bottom panels that may be secured to the troffers, or to the ceiling adjacent the trofiers, provided only that the air in the room has access to the slots.
The structure by means of which the above-mentioned and other advantages of the invention are attained will be fully described in the following specification, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings showing a preferred illustrative embodiment of the invention, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a light fixture embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross sectional view, taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1, and showing fragmentary portions of ceiling panels adjacent the longitudinal edges of the fixture;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary longitudinal sectional view, taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. l, showing one end of the light fixture and a portion of an adjacentceiling panel;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary detail perspective view of the hinge for securing one edge of the bottom frame panel A to the troffer;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary detail perspective view of the slotted section of the far siade of the trotter, as viewed in FIG. l, adapted to receive the hinge shown in FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 is a cross sectional View, taken along the line 6 6 of FIG. 1.
Referring to the drawings, the troffer 2 comprises a flat top wall 3 and longitudinally extending side walls 4. Each side wall has a vertical upper section 5, an outwardly curved intermediate section 6, and an outwardly and downwardly flared lower edge portion 7. The flared portion 7 is connected to the curved section 6 by a narrow horizontal portion 8. A plurality of elongated slots 9 extend through the iiared portion 7 in longitudinally spaced relationship. The number of slots 9 depends upon the length of the fixture. It is possible to provide a single slot of any desired length, but a plurality of short slots -is preferred because of the more attractive appearance of the fixture provided with slots of uniform length around the entire perimeter.
The lower edge portion of the troifer extends horizontally outwardly `from the lowermost edge of its fiared portion 7, then upwardly, and loutward-ly, as indicated at 10, 11 and 12 respectively. The section 10 is coplanar with the bottom surface of a ceiling panel 13 and bridges the gap between the lowermost edge of the flared portion 7 of the troffer and the adjacent edge of a ceiling panel 13. The section 11 abuts the inner edge of the ceiling panel 13. The section 12 extends into a kerf 14 in the ceiling panel that helps support the fixture.
The upper portion of the trotter serves as a wiring channel and as a housing for conventional structure such as a ballast 15, a transverse support strip 16 at each end of the troffer for supporting socket bases 17, and fluorescent light tubes 18 mounted in sockets 19 that are integral with the socket bases and depend therefrom below the support strips 16.
A curved panel 20 extending the length of the trofer has its outer edges 21 Welded to the vertical wall sections 5. The portions 22 of the panel adjacent the outer edges 21 are curved above the fluorescent light tubes 13 and downwardly to a limited extent between them to form reflecting surfaces adapted to direct the light downwardly through a bottom panel 23. The bottom panel may be formed of glass, plastic, or any other suitable material.
The bottom panel 23 is supported by a bottom panel frame 24 in the form of a hollow rectangular member having tubular sides 25, 26, and tubular ends 27. The outer edge of the tubular side 25, is spaced approximately 1A of an inch inwardly from the vertical section 11 of the treffer. In this position, the top surface of the tubular side 25 is juxtaposed against the underside of the horizontal portion 8 of the troffer. The top surface of the tubular side 26 is similarly juxtaposed against the underside of the horizontal portion 8 on the opposite side of the troffer. Both outer longitudinal edges of the bottom panel frame 24 are positioned between the slots 9 in the opposite longitudinal edges of the troffer. The space between the outer edge of each side 25, 26 and the adjacent depending portion of the lower edge portion 7 of the trolfer permits the warm air rising in an air conditioned room to have unobstructed access to the longitudinally extending slots 9 at each side of the fixture.
An end plate 28 is secured to each end of the troffer 2. These end plates are identical, and therefore only one will be described. The end plate comprises a fiat section 29, shaped to conform to the cross sectional configuration of the troler 2, and a flange 30 extending laterally from its upper edge and from each side, The flange 30 lits snugly against the end of the troffer to hold the end plate firmly in place.
As shown in FIGS. l and 3, an intermediate portion of the flat section 29 is bent inwardly, as indicated at 31, in a plane above the top 32 of the tubular end 27 of the bottom panel frame 24. The intermediate portion of the end plate is bent downwardly, as indicated at 33, to engage the top 32 of the tubular end 27, and then is flared outwardly and downwardly, as indicated at 34, into the plane of the underside of the ceiling panel 13. The outer end of the intermediate portion of the end plate extends upwardly, as indicated at 35, in the plane of the flat section 29. The upwardly extending portion 35 is juxtaposed against the inner edge of an adjacent ceiling panel 13.
The upstanding portion 35 of the end plate is spaced approximately 1A of an inch from the outer edge of the tubular end 27 of the bottom panel frame 24. A slot 36, similar to the slots 9, extends toward the outwardly flared portion 34 of the end plate. The slots 36 cooperate with the slots 9 to provide a substantially continuous warm air return extending around the perimeter of the lower edge of the fixture. The intermediate portions of the ends of the fixture are bent inwardly, because an outward flare, similar to the flare of the lower edge portions 7 at the sides of the fixture, is impractical. The fixtures are sometimes installed in end to end relationship, and an outward flare at the end of each fixture would prevent spacing the fixtures in close end to end contact.' In rooms having light fixtures arranged in end to end relationship, the novel configuration of the end plate provides the advantages of a slot for the exhaust of warm air from the room without interfering with the end to end relationship of the light fixtures.
Each end of the bottom panel frame 24 is spaced approximately 1A of an inch from the upstanding portion 35 of the end plate. The space between the outer edge of 2, the tubular end 27 of the frame and the vertical portion of the flared section 34 of the troer is unobstructed to allow the warm air free access to the slot 36. The slot 36 is spaced below the horizontal section 31 so that the air flowing upwardly through the slot 36 can readily pass into the space above the ceiling panel 13.
The warm air return is not affected by the bottom panel, since all of the slots 9 and 36 extend through portions of the treffer spaced outwardly of the bottom panel. Accordingly, the bottom panel 23 may be omitted, or may be replaced by any bottom panel that does not obstruct the slots.
The bottom panel frame 24 may be secured to the lower edge portion of the troffer in any suitable manner. One means for securing said bottom panel frame in position comprises one or more hinges 37 secured to one edge of said bottom panel frame. The opposite edge of said bottom panel frame is secured to the treffer by one or more latches (not shown).
The hinge 37 comprises a transverse section 38 having an upstanding vertical section 39 at one edge and a depending vertical section 4d at its other edge. An elongated horizontal bar 41 extends laterally from the lower edge of section 4t). The bar 41 may be integral with the hinge, or may be welded to section 40. The upstanding vertical section 39 is inserted through a slot 42 in the outer wall of the tubular side 25 of the bottom panel frame 24 and is welded to the inner surface of said tubular side.
The outwardly and downwardly tiared lower edge portion 7 of the troffer 2 is provided with a T-shaped slot having a horizontal portion 43 slightly longer than the length of the bar 41 and a vertical portion 44 depending from the lower edge of the horizontal portion to the lower edge of the treffer. The vertical portion 44 of the slot is preferably disposed centrally of the horizontal section 43. The vertical portion 44 is slightly wider than the transverse section 38 of the hinge, but is narrower than the length of the bar 41.
The bottom panel frame 24 is attached to the troffer by inserting the bars 41 through the horizontal portions 43 of the T-shaped slots and then dropping the bottom panel frame in place with the transverse section 38 of each hinge engaged with the vertical portion 44 of the slot. The weight of the bottom frame panel is suicient to hold it in place. The horizontal bar 41 rests on the bottom section 10 of the trotter, and the depending vertical section 40 of the hinge spaces the bottom panel frame vertically so that its lower surface is flush with the bottom of the troffer and with the underside of the ceiling panels 13. The transverse section 38 of the hinge spaces the adjacent edge of the bottom frame panel approximately 1A of an inch inwardly from the vertical section of the lower edge portion 7 of the troffer.
Although I have described a preferred embodiment of the invention in considerable detail, it will be understood that the description thereof is intended to be illustrative, rather that restrictive, as many details of construction may be modified or changed without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Accordingly, I do not desire to be'restricted to the exact structure described.
l. A light fixture comprising a top, a pair of longitudinally extending side walls depending from said top, an end plate secured to each end of said top and side walls, said side walls each having a lower edge portion flared outwardly and downwardly, the edges of said end plates being shaped to conform to the shape of the flared portion of said side wall, each of Said end plates having a lower edge portion extending inwardly toward the opposite end plate and then downwardly and outwardly, and a bottom panel frame positioned between the lower edge portions of said side walls and end plates, said bottom panel frame being spaced from each of said lower edge portions, each of said lower edge poriOIlS having Slots providing an unobstructed air passageway extending along each side and each end of said xture, said air passageway being spaced outwardly of the adjacent edge of said bottom panel frame and inwardly of the outer periphery of said fixture.
2. A light xture comprising a top, a pair of longitudinally extending side walls depending from said top, each of Said side walls having a lower edge portion flared outwardly and downwardly, a hinge having one portion pivotally connected to the ared lower edge portion of one of Said side walls, a bottom panel frame positioned between said lower edge portions of said side walls, said hinge having a second portion rigidly secured to said bottorn panel frame and a transverse portion spacing said panel from the flared portion of said one side wall, said one side wall having an air passageway extending therethrough in an unobstructed area aligned vertically with the space created by the transverse section of said hinge between said one side wall and said panel frame, and an end plate abutting corresponding ends of said top and side walls, said end plate comprising a at plate having 6 an intermediate portion thereof extending inwardly above the upper surface of said panel and downwardly into engagement with said panel frame, said intermediate portion having a lower edge portion extending outwardly and downwardly into the vertical plane of said liat plate, said lower edge portion of said end plate having an unobstructed air passageway extending therethrough outside the adjacent end of said bottom panel frame.
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