US 3183346 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1965 J. H. SPAULDING ETAL 3,183,346
FLUORESCENT LIGHTING FIXTURE 4 Sheets-Sheet. 1
Filed Dec. 26, 1962 JOSEPH H. SPAUL GERALD M. RODMAKER ATTORNE y l, 1965 J. H. SPAULDING ETAL 3,183,346
FLUORESCENT LIGHTING FIXTURE 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 26, 1962 INVENTORS JOSEPH H. SPAULDING BY GERALD M. RODMAKER jf ATTORN mm; mm
y 11, 1965 J. H. SPAULDING ETAL 3, 4
FLUORESCENT LIGHTING FIXTURE 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Dec. 26, 1962 INVENTO S JOSEPH H. SPAULDING GERALD M RODMAKER ATTORNEY avw 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTORS ATTORN JOSEPH H y 1965 J. H. SPAULDING ETAL FLUORESCENT LIGHTING FIXTURE Filed Dec. 26, 1962 United States Patent 3,183,346 FLUORESCENT LIGHTING FIXTURE Joseph H. Spaulding and Gerald M. Rodmaker, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignors to Whiteway Manufacturing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Dec. 26, 1962, Ser. No. 247,216 15 Claims. (Cl. 24025) The present invention relates to a lighting fixture or illuminator, and is concerned particularly with a fixture of the fluorescent tube type employing one or more ballasts for modifying the operating electric current as required for properly energizing the tubes, and wherein mounting of the fixture upon a support is effected at one end only of the fixture. This general form of lighting fixture is commonly used for illuminating floor or ground areas, both indoors and outdoors, wherever high-intensity diffused lighting is considered desirable.
An object of the invention is to provide an illuminator of the type mentioned above, with means for increasing the overall efliciency, and materially reducing operation and maintenance costs without increasing the cost of manufacture.
Another object is to provide an elongate illuminator of the cantilever type which, by means of various structural improvements, is rendered capable of withstanding stress and vibration of great intensity such as may be imposed by accidental impacts, high winds, and adverse weather conditions.
Another object is to provide structural improvements in a device of the character stated, whereby the light tubes and the ballast elements for energizing them are advantageously related in a manner such as to prolong the life of these constituents while at the same time enhancing the design and attractiveness of the fixture.
A further object of the invention is to incorporate in a device of the character stated, improvements of structure which facilitate, expedite, and lower the cost of manufacture and assembly, and such servicing as may be required subsequently to installation.
Another object is to effectively seal the fixture against entry of insects, dust, moisture, and other foreign substances having a tendency to impair the lighting function.
Still another and very important object of the invention is to provide an illuminator having the hereinabove described characteristics with means for mounting the electrical ballasts transversely of the housing at locations adjacent but beyond the ends of the light-producing tubes whereby the heat of the ballasts will be effectively dissipated into the atmosphere at such a rate as to effect a cool ballast operation. The ballasts and light tubes are so isolated from one another as to prevent the transfer of heat from one to another.
The foregoing and other objects are attained by the means described herein and illustrated upon the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the improved lighting fixture mounted overhead upon a post or mast, and as seen from below.
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view, on an enlarged scale, looking at the underside of the inner end portion of the fixture, with parts in section and parts broken away and with the transparent door omitted.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged vertical cross-section taken on line 33 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a cantilever bracket shown in elevation at the right end of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a transverse cross-section taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 6 is a transverse cross-section showing a modification.
Patented May 11, 1965 FIG. 7 is a bottom view of a modification in which the fixture includes more than one ballast.
FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-section taken on a medial line longitudinally of FIG. 7, and including a housing window or door.
In fluorescent fixtures or illuminators of the type herein disclosed, the use of one or more ballasts or inductances is required for supplying high voltage electric current to energize the light tubes. As is well known in the art, ballasts operate most effectively at relatively low temperatures, usually below C., and when the operating temperature exceeds 90 C. the life of the ballast is very materially foreshortened.
The life of commercially available ballasts is shortened by 50% if the operating temperature of the ballast is increased by as little as 10% over 90 C., and although 90 C. is considered the allowable minimum ballast tempera ture acceptable by the underwriter laboratories, it is comcomplace and the rule, rather than the exception, for ballast temperatures to greatly exceed 90 C. in commercial fluorescent outdoor lighting fixtures.
It has been established that the life of a ballast will be increased by at least 50% if it is operated at tempera tures 10% below 90 C.; and although this fact has been well known to the industry for a number of years, the in dustry in general has been unable to provide a fluorescent outdoor type lighting fixture with means for permitting the ballast to continuously operate at temperatures which are below the recognized 90 C. maximum.
It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide a fluorescent tube illuminating fixture with means whereby the ballast temperature under continuous operation is kept substantially below 90 C., resulting in high operating efliciency and low maintenance expense of the illuminator, while at the same time the fixture is structurally strengthened and balanced to effectively withstand severe stresses and strains imposed by high winds and other forces to which it may be exposed in service.
With reference now to the accompanying drawings, 12 in each instance indicates an elongate fluorescent light tube to which high voltage electric current is supplied from one or more ballasts or inductances wired in the usual manner not relevant to the present invention. The ballasts are indicated by the characters 14 and 16 in the several drawing views, the understanding being that some fixtures will require only a single ballast, while others may require two, depending upon the number or capacity of the light tubes constituting the fixture. It is considered good practice, generally, to operate not more than three large tubes from a single ballast, and to utilize a second ballast when the fixture contains from four to six light tubes.
When a single ballast 14 is employed, as in FIG. 3, it is placed transversely of the length of the fixture and as close as possible to the head end thereof, so that the weight of the ballast has minimal bending moment effect upon the fixture at its head end support 18, FIG. 1. The support 18 which provides a mount for the head end of the fixture may be a post as shown, or it may in some instances be a wall bracket or equivalent structure. When a second ballast is needed, this may be arranged transversely of the fixture at its outer or free end, as at 16 of FIG. 8.
The fixture includes a head end plate 20 and a tail end plate 22 spaced apart to define the length of the fixture, said plates being connected by an elongate cover sheet or panel 24 of sheet metal. Cover sheet 24 at its opposite ends are connected to the end plates by means of screws or other fasteners 26, which pass through the cover sheet and anchor in lateral flanges or shelves 28 formed on the end plates. -As indicated upon FIG. 5, the longitudinal side portions 30 of the cover sheet are wrapped downwardly and inwardly about the endmost shelf areas 32, to terminate in longitudinal reinforcing flanges 34 which define the width of a bottom opening through which light rays from tubes 12 are directed downwardly.
The bottom opening of the fixture may be closed by a translucent door 36 adapted to be swung open about a hinge connection 38. The door may include a longitudinal frame member 40 embracing one side edge 42 of the door panel, and having an inwardly turned flange 44 to engage cover flange 34 in hinging relation. The opposite side edge 46 f the door panel may be embraced by a second frame member 48 carrying a series of thumb screws or the like 50 which engage with threaded openings 52 in cover sheet 24 adjacent to that reinforcing flange 34 which is opposite the hinge connection 68. By this arrangement, door 36 may be swung open when necessary to eifect light tube replacements or other servicing of the fixture.
With further reference to end plate 20, this member is preferably a metallic casting having a central hub 54 including an opening 56 through which are passed the necessary electric conductors 58 feeding operating current to ballast 14. From hub 54 extend the oppositely directed coplanar arms 60 which preferably are integral with the hub, and which carry the shelves 28 and shelf portions 32 previously mentioned. End plate 20 includes also an integral forwardly extending ballast support ledge 62 having a smooth upper surface 64 and a ribbed under surface 66, the latter presenting heat-radiating fins 68 exposed to the exterior of the fixture.
The ledge 62 has its length dimension extending transversely of the fixture, and can accommodate the full length of a ballast supported thereon in physicalcontact. The width of the ledge accommodates the width of the ballast, as FIG. 3 indicates. The ledge being of metal, it is effective for transferring ballast heat to atmosphere outside the fixture, thereby keeping the ballast cool as long as it is electrically energized. Also, the transverse disposition of ledge 66 and ballast 14, at a location close to the mounting element 18, ensures a minimum of bending moment imposed upon the fixture due to the considerable weight of the ballast.
With reference to FIG. 2, it is noted that the straight forward edge 66 of ballast support ledge 62 is provided with means 70 to accommodate screws 72 whereby alight tube socket plate 74 may be mounted upon ledge 62. Socket plate 74 may include a fiange 76 to underlie the margin 66 of the ledge, where it is fastened by screws 72, to dispose the socket plate in spanning relation to the fixture with plate 74 standing upright upon the ledge. Plate 74 thereby serves as a partition Wall isolating the ballast 14 from the light tubes supported in sockets 89, the plate conforming substantially with the inside configuration of housing element 24. Extending laterally from socket plate 74 is a rearwardly directed abutment 78 which may be in the form of a flange, FIG. 3, to impinge upon ballast 14 and preclude shifting of the ballast relative to support ledge 62.
To impart rigidity and preclude sag or twisting of the fixture, there is provided a cantilever bracket 82 and an elongate spine element 84, the latter being supported by the cantilever bracket and reaching the tail plate 22, beneath the length :of cover sheet 24 (see FIGS. 3 and 4). Bracket 82 may comprise an upright base portion 86 furnished with a group of transverse parallel bores 88 adapted to register with complementary bores 90 in end plate 20, and through which may be inserted screws or bolts (not shown) for fixing the cantilever bracket base upon the end plate interiorly thereof, FIG. 3. The bracket base may be reinforced about its central opening 92 by an integral inwardly directed rib 94 which may serve also as a back-stop for ballast 14. Opening 92 1S aligned with opening 56 of end plate 29, to accommwate the lead wires 58 extending through support 18.
From bracket base 82 extends a pair of integral parallel tongues 96 and 98 arranged substantially at right angles to the base, and each tongue may be in the form of an inverted U-shape having depending spaced parallel legs 100 and 102. The innermost legs of the tongues may be continuations of reinforcing rib 94, whereas the outerlegs 100 terminate in outer reinforcing flanges 1040f base 82. Each tongue 96 and 98 has an upper wall 106, which walls are disposed in a common plane.
At locations near the free ends of tongues 96 and 98, the legs thereof are drilled transversely to provide holes 108 for receiving the long bolts 110, FIGS. 3 and 4. These bolts serve to secure to the tongues an elongate rigid cantilever beam 112 which extends from the tongues 96-98 to the tail end plate 22.
The cantilever beam may be fabricated from steel sheet stock formed to provide a pair of spaced parallel inverted U-portions 114, the legs 116 of which are spaced apart to snugly embrace tongues 96 and 98. A central upright U-portion 118 is flanked by the inverted U-portions 114-114, and has legs in common with the latter. The beam accordingly is of one-piece construction and comprises three U-portions, one of which is centered between two U-portions that are inverted. One end portion 120 of the cantilever beam is drilled transversely through all its legs 116 as shown, to receive the same bolts 110 that pass through the openings 108 of tongues 96 and 98.
The spine element 84 previously mentioned may be in the form of a rigid elongate U-channel having upright parallel legs 122-122 and a connecting web 124, this channel being inverted and embraced between the legs 116 of medial channel 118 of the cantilever beam. Spine element 84 has an end portion 126 where the legs 122- 122 thereof are drilled transversely in correspondency with holes 108, so that bolts 110 anchor the spine element as well as beam 112, to the cantilever bracket tongues 96-98. The forward end 128 of spine element 84 may terminate short of reaching end plate 22, if desired.
At 130 is indicated alight reflector secured by means of screws or equivalent fasteners 132 which pass upwardly through beam 112 and spine element 84. The opposite ends 134 and 136 of reflector 130 (FIG. 3) may bear against the upper portions of socket plates 74 and 138 to impart stability thereto. Socket plate 138 traverses the light fixture at the tail end plate 22, and defines the outer end of the light tube chamber. Plate 138 carries tube sockets 140, and may be secured in any suitable manner to end plate 22.
In the FIG. 3 construction, no provision is made for mounting a ballast within the confines of tail end plate 22. In the modification of FIGS. 7 and 8, however, tail end plate 222 is of sufficient width and depth to provide a ballast support ledge 142 for accommodating the ballast 16. Ballast 16 rests directly upon ledge 142 and is in 7 physical contact therewith so as to transmit ballast heat to end plate 222, which in turn dissipates the heat to atmosphere with the aid of radiation fins 144 east integrally with the metal of the end plate.
Ballast 16 of FIGS. 7 and 8 may be held in place upon ledge 142 by means of one or more interior struts 146 having an overhang 148 spaced from ledge 142 a distance slightly exceeding the height of the ballast housing. Struts 146 are arranged transversely of ledge 142, and may stand in vertical planes parallel to light tubes 12. The struts preferably are cast integrally with end plate 222, and each may be provided with an abutment edge 150 limiting the distance to which the ballast may be inserted into the end plate chamber. The ballast preferably fits snugly against edge 150 and overhang 148, for achieving stability and heat transfer advantages. If desired, ballast 16 may be secured in place upon ledge 142 by screws or other fasteners 152.
It may be noted here that ballast 14 at the head'end of the fixture may be secured upon ledge 62 by screws 154 with the ballast contacting the cantilever bracket 82 to gain stability and heat transfer advantages.
As best illustrated by FIGS. 3 and 8, access door 36 closes against a gasket 156 to exclude from the light tube chamber any dirt, insects, moisture or other undesirable foreign elements. The gasket may be carried either by the door or by the fixture housing, and it will preferably fully circumscribe the door opening when door 36 is closed, to assure the most efiective seal, as will be understood.
The character 153 indicates a loop or hanger on the tail end plate of the fixture, whereby the unsupported end of the fixture may be stabilized by means of a guy wire or the like, if desired, particularly to neutralize any force tending to swing the fixture laterally about post 18.
It is to be understood that various modifications and changes may be made in the structural details of the device, within the scope of the appended claims, without departing from the spirt of the invention.
What is claimed is.
1. In a cantilever type fluorescent lighting fixture, the combination of an elongate rigid head end plate including a ballast chamber extending longitudinally thereof, an elongate lamp housing having an end fixed to said end plate for support of the housing in cantilever fashion, means on the end plate for attachment thereof to a support, and an elongate electrical ballast located within the ballast chamber of the end plate transversely of the lamp housing axis and in close proximity with said attachment means.
2. In a cantilever type fluorescent lighting fixture, the combination of an elongate rigid head end plate including a bottom edge support ledge extending the major length thereof, an elongate lamp housing having an end fixed to said end plate for support of the housing in cantilever fashion, means on the end plate for attachment thereof to a support, and an elongate electrical ballast extending longitudinally of and supported in physical contact upon the support ledge of the end plate whereby heat from the ballast is transferred to the end plate through said ledge.
3. In a cantilever type elongate fluorescent lighting fixture, the combination of a rigid head end plate including a support ledge, an elongate lamp housing having an end in fixed connection with said end plate for support of the housing in cantilever fashion therefrom, means for attachment of the end plate to a support, and an elongate electrical ballast having a major heat radiating surface in close heat-conducting relationship with the support ledge of the end plate, said ballast being disposed close to said attachment means with the ballast longitudinal axis transverse to the longitudinal axis of the elongate housing, and the support ledge being provided with heat-radiating fins exposed to atmosphere exteriorly of the fixture.
4. In a cantilever type fluorescent lighting fixture, the combination of an elongate rigid head end plate including a ballast chamber having a ledge extending longitudinally of the plate, an elongate lamp housing having an end fixedly attached at one end to said end plate for support of the housing in cantilever fashion, a lamp socket plate extending longitudinally of the ballast chamber and including lamp sockets for supporting tube-type lamps longitudinally of the housing axis, said socket plate substantially isolating the ballast chamber from any lamps held by the sockets, and an elongate electric heat-radiating ballast having a major heat-radiating surface in close heat-conducting relationship with the ledge of the head end plate, whereby heat generated by the ballast is dissipated through said ledge.
5. The device as set forth in claim 4, wherein the ballast is disposed with its axis transverse to the axis of the elongate housing, and with no part of the ballast coextending with the tube-type lamps.
6. In a fluorescent tube-type lighting fixture, the combination of a rigid head end plate and a rigid tail end plate spaced apart in substantial parallelism, an elongate lamp housing having opposite ends each fixed to one of said end plates, partition means spanning the width of the housing in spaced relation with each of the end plates to provide an elongated chamber at each end plate and an intermediate chamber, an electrical ballast in each end plate chamber, and a plurality of elongate tubular lamps in the intermediate chamber including electrical connections with said ballasts.
7. The device as set forth in claim 6, wherein the end plates are or" metal, and the ballasts have major heatradiating surfaces in close heat-conducting relationship with the end plates, whereby heat delivered by the ballast is dissipated through said end plates isolated from the intermediate lamp chamber by said partition means.
8. In a fluorescent tube-type lighting fixture, the combination of an elongate head end plate and an elongate tail end plate spaced apart in substantial parallelism, ledge means formed integral with and extending longitudinally of each end plate for supporting an electrical ballast, an elongate lamp housing having opposite ends each fixed to one of said end plates, a plurality of elongate tubular lamps each supported within the housing longitudinally thereof, and a pair of elongate electrical ballasts each supported upon and extending longitudinally of the ledge means of an end plate, with the longitudinal axes of the ballasts arranged transversely of the longitudinal axes of the lamps.
9. In a cantilever type fluorescent lighting fixture, the combination of a rigid cantilever bracket including a base and a tongue extending from and at right angles to said base, an elongate rigid cantilever beam including portions which receive the tongue of said bracket, transverse connectors rigidly interconnecting said cantilever beam to.
the tongue of said bracket, an elongate transverse end plate secured to and carried by the base of said bracket, said end plate including an interior ledge extending substantially the entire length thereof, spaced from and in.
substantial parallelism with the tongue, an elongate lamp housing overlying the tongue and the beam, and means fixing one end of the lamp housing to the end plate for extension at substantial right angles to the bracket base, a lamp socket plate fixed to the end plate. in spaced substantial parallelism with the bracket base providing .a ballast chamber including the ledge aforesaid, and an elongate ballast element supported by the ledge and extending transversely of the cantilever bracket tongue and the housing supported thereon. V
10. The device as set forth in claim 9, wherein the space between the ledge and the bracket tongue approximates one dimension of the ballast element, for snugly embracing and maintaining the latter in fixed relationship to the ledge.
11. In a cantilever type fluorescent lighting fixture, the combination of a rigid cantilever bracket including a base and a tongue extending from and at substantial right angles to said base, an elongate rigid cantilever beam in cluding portions which receive the tongue of said bracket, transverse connectors rigidly interconnecting said cantilever beam to the tongue of said bracket, an elongate transverse end plate secured to and carried by the base of said bracket, said end plate including a metallic interior ledge extending substantially the entire length thereof and spaced beneath the tongue adjacent to the bracket base, an elongate lamp housing overlying the tongue and the beam, and means fixing one end of the housing to the end plate for extension of the housing lengthwise of the tongue and away from the bracket base, a lamp socket plate traversing the lamp housing in proximity to the ledge, providing a ballast chamber between the socket plate and the bracket base, and enclosing the ledge aforesaid, an elongate heat-radiating ballast supported upon and extending longitudinally of the ledge transversely of the lamp housing, said ballast having a major heat-radiating surface close heatconducting relationship with the ledge, whereby heat delivered by the ballast is dissipated through said ledge, said ledge being provided with heatradiating fins exposed exteriorly of the fixture.
12. In a cantilever type fluorescent lighting fixture, the combination of a rigid cantiliver bracket including a base and a tongue extending from the base substantially at right angles thereto, an elongate rigid cantilever beam including portions which receive the tongue of said bracket, means rigidly connecting the beam to the tongue in substantially, parallel. relation, an elongate transverse end plate secured to and carried by the base of said bracket, a second elongate transverse end plate spaced from the first end plate in substantial parallelism, an elongate lamp housing overlying the tongue andthe beam and having opposite ends each fixed to an end plate, a pair of lamp socket plates arranged transversely of the lamp housing each in spaced relation to an end plate for providing a chamber at each end plate, and elongate heat-radiating ballast members, one in each of said chambers, with the major axes of the ballastmembers transverse to the axis of the elongate lamp housing, said end plates being of metal, and ballast members having major heat-radiating surfaces in close heat conducting relationship with the metallic end plates, whereby heat delivered by the ballast members is dissipated through said end plates.
13. An elongate fluorescent tube type lighting fixture comprising in combination, an elongate light tube housing having opposite end portions, means providing a ballast chamber at one end of the housing, means supporting an elongate light tube within the housing longitudinally thereof, and a light tubeoperating ballast in said chamber operatively connected to said light tube, said ballast being of elongate form and disposed in the housing with its longitudinal axis substantially at right angles to the axis of the light tube and extending across and spaced from the adjacent end of the tube.
14. In a cantilever type fluorescent lighting fixture having a head end and a tail end, a head end plate unit having a central hub portion and relatively long arms extending laterally therefrom transversely of the fixture, a ballast support ledge projecting rearwardly from the lower edgeof said unit and extending substantially the fulllength of the latter, a cantilever bracket comprising a base plate having a top part from which a pair of spaced parallel flanged tongues project rearwardly, the flanges of said tongues extending downwardly, said base plate having the side thereof remote from said tongues positioned directly against the rearward face of said end plate, an elongate tail end plate in spaced parallel relation with the head end plate, a cantilever beam supported upon the top of said tongues and extending longitudinally thereof and having a central longitudinal channel portion engaged between the tongues, a channel spine beam lying in said channel portion of said cantilever beam, means securing said tongues, cantilever beam and spine beam rigidly together, one of said beams being secured at the tail end thereof to said tail end plate, means forming a housing overlying said tongues and beams and having opposite ends each secured to an end plate, an elongate lamp socket plate paralleling said head plate and secured to and between the longitudinal edge of said ledge and said tongues and forming therewith and with the base plate an elongate ballast housing extending across the width of the fixture, an elongate ballast member supported longitudinally of and in said housing upon said ledge, an elongate lamp socket plate paralleling and secured to said tail end plate, heat-radiating ribs on the underside of said ledge, and means carried by the first stated lamp socket plate for engaging the ballast member and maintaining the latter against movement on the flange, the said securing of said tongue, cantilever beam and spine beam together providing a strong rigid construction for resisting twisting stresses and vibration in the fixture from winds, impacts and other shock producing actions thereagainst.
15. The invention as defined by claim 14, wherein the first said lamp socket plate has a bottom edge flange underlying and secured to the ballast support ledge and the said means for engaging the ballast member comprises an abutment flange projecting from the first said lamp socket plate.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,339,244 1/ 44 Babb 240-5 1.11 X 2,555,000 5/51 Nitardy 240-51.11 2,798,149 7/57 Bodez 2405l.1l X 2,863,989 12/ 58 Wrigglesworth 24047 X 2,873,358 2/59 Dunker 2405l.11 3,012,132 12/ 61 Rosenfield 240-9 11/62 Spaulding et al. 2405l.1l X
NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.