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Publication numberUS3265888 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 9, 1966
Filing dateDec 5, 1963
Priority dateDec 5, 1963
Publication numberUS 3265888 A, US 3265888A, US-A-3265888, US3265888 A, US3265888A
InventorsAdolphson Jr Carl Bradford
Original AssigneeHubbell Inc Harvey
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lighted receptacle
US 3265888 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Z, m0134414 -mb 43 M Allg# 9, 1966 c. B. ADoLPHsoN. JR 3,265,888


awakening the child by turning on the light.

United States Patent O 3,265,888 LIGHTED RECEPTACLE Carl Bradford Adolphson, Jr., Easton, Conn., assignor to Harvey Hubbell, Incorporated, Bridgeport, Conn., a

corporation of Connecticut Filed Dec. 5, 1963, Ser. No. 328,248 1 Claim. (Cl. 240--73) This invention relates to a lighted receptacle and, more particularly, to a self-lighted convenience outlet.

A common problem confronting the user of convenience outlets is that they are often situated Ain areas of low visibility. In the home, for example, such outlets may be baseboand mounted and may even be located ,partially hidden behind articles of furniture. Also, it is often desirable to be able to locate and utilize an outlet during a period of low illumination without turning on the rooms general illumination. For example, a parent may desire lto plug in a vaporizer in a childs room without In locations other than the home, it may often become diicult to iind convenience outlets. This is especially true, for example, in theaters, photographic dark rooms, and similar locations.

Still another disadvantage of prior art receptacles is that lthere is n-o way of determining whether or not the receptacle is enengized. In the event of a blown fuse or a power failure, it may be difficult to determine whether the receptacle is deenergized or whether the appliance is inoperative. A similar problem exists where switched receptacles are employed. It would normally be desirable to -be able to tell by simple inspection whether or not a receptacle is switched on or olf One attempted solution to this problem has been the provision of separate pilot lights. However, such lights often require specially made receptacles and cover plates which results in increased expense to the consumer.

The exten-t to which night lights of various types are employed is also well known. Most of these lights are purchased as sepa-rate units and are Iplugged intofoutlets at the desired location. One obvi-ous disadvantage of such lights is that they are easily removable by a small child so that they lmay not be available to per-form their intended function.

It is the primary object of this invention to provide such a receptacle which is particularly adapted to serve as a convenience outlet which visually indicates whether it is enengized or deenergized and which will also function as a night light.

The manne-r in which the foregoing objects are achieved will be more apparent from the following description, the appended claim, and t-he figures of the attached drawing, wheren:

FIG. 'l is a plan view of a duplex grounding receptacle constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross section taken lalong the line 22 of FIG. l;

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the receptacle of FIG. l, partially broken away to show i-ts internal construction;

FIG. 4 is a cross section taken along the line 4-4 of F-IG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a modified duplex g-rounding receptacle in -accordance with the invention; and

FIG. 6 is a cross section taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

The embodiment of FIGS. 1-4 illustrates a duplex grounding receptacle comprising a body 10 which may be molded of a suitable plastic or other material such as commonly used in the construction of electrical recep- Itacles. The body 10 defines a p-air of identical plug receiving single receptacles 10a, 10b. The upper surface of each of the single receptacles 10a, 10b defines a pair Patented August 9, 1966 ICC of parallel spaced slots` 12 `for receiving the contact blades of a male electrical plug. In addition, a semi-circular grounding opening 14 is formed adjacent to each pair of slots and arranged to receive the Igrounding plug of a three prong connector. The grounding openings 14 communicate with grounding female con-tacts disposed within the body 10. The slots 12 communicate with enlarged cavities 16a, 16b which contain the female electrical contacts 18a or 18th of contact-terminal members that Iare housed in the body 10. The bottom of the body 10 is open, but closed by a suitable base 20 of insulating material which defines wiring openings 22 positioned to be in line with terminal portions of the contactterminal members and receive the bared ends of electrical supply conductors. The body and base assembly is held together by means of a metallic bridge 24, which resiliently grips the assembly and, if desired, by supplemental securing means. The receptacle construction so far described is conventional and need not be further detailed.

The cavities 16a, 16b, which communicate with slots 12, are separated by central walls 26 of insulating material out of which the body 10 is formed; however, a cylindrical well 28 is formed in each wall 26 between a pair of slots 12 which extends from the bottom of the body upwardly just short of the upper surface of body 10, leavin-g outer surface portions 30a, 30b enclosing the upper ends of the wells. The diameter of each well 28 is :slightly larger than Ithe width of its central wall 26, thus forming a pair of vertical rectangular openings 32a, 32b communicating between each well 28 and i-ts two adjacent cavities 16a, 16b. Positioned within each of the cylindrical wells 28 is a neon lamp 34a, 34h, which is connected in series with a suitable resistor 36, and each of the series combinations is connected across the female contacts 18a, 18b.

It will -now be apparent that, with a receptacle constructed as described above, the neon lamps 34a, 34h will be lighted whenever, but only when, the receptacle is energized. Light from. the neon lamps will pass through the corresponding rectangular openings 32a, 32b int-o the enlarged cavities 16a, 16b. These cavities will be Hooded with light which will also issue from the slots 12. Accordingly, it will be seen that whenever a receptacle in accordance with the invention is located in a poorly lighted area, it will nevertheless be easy to locate .and use so long as the receptacle is energized. When the body of the receptacle is constructed of an opaque material, such as brown Bakelite, it will be obvious that light will issue only yfrom the slots 12. When a translucent material, such as ivorine plastic, is employed for forming the body of the receptacle, light from the neon lamp will cause the entire 'front of each receptacle to glow. In particular, light will issue strongly through the surfaces 30a, 30b. A receptacle constructed in this fashion will function very adequately as a night light for use in childrens rooms, halls, theaters, and similar locations and will still continue to be effective for locating the receptacle and indicating its state of enerlgization.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a modification of this invention which is particularly useful when the body 10 is formed of an opaque material such as the brown Bakelite referred to above. In FIGS. 5 and 6, similar reference numerals are used as in FIGS. 1-4 for corresponding parts but are provided with a prime to distinguish them. In this embodiment, the cylindrical wells 28 extend completely through the body of the receptacle to the outer front surface. The ends of the wells 28 are then closed by translucent or transparent plugs 38. By means of this construction, the night light fea-ture may be incorporated into a normally opaque receptacle, .as the illumination will issue from the translucent plugs 38 as well as from the slots 12.

It will be apparent Ilthat this invention is not limited in its applicability to any particular type of receptacle. Although a duplex gro-unding outlet has been illustrated, for example, the invention is also applicable to other types, such as non-grounding and single receptacles. It will also be apparent that, by means of this invention, all the objectives set -forth above are achieved. The receptacle can be easily located regardless of the level of the surrounding illumination. It serves as a night light and i-t also indicates its state of energization. It will further be obvious to those skilled in the art that many other variations and modifications may be made in this invention Without departing from its spirit and scope. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the foregoing description is illustrative only, rather than limiting. This invention is limited only by the scope of the following claim.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent ofthe United States is:

An electrical duplex outlet which comprises: a two part body of insulating material having a front surface and defining therein a first and a second receptacle, each including first and second cavities, said front surface defining first and second parallel `sl-ots in each receptacle communicating, respectively, with said first and second cavities, said body further including a wall portion extending between the first and second cavities of each receptacle, said wall defining first and second substantially cylindrical wells positioned, respectively, between each pair of first and second cavities and extending substantially lperpendicular to sai-d front surface but with its forward end being spaced therefrom, the opposite side of each well piercing said wall to define rectangular parallel slots communicating, respectively, with said first and second cavities; first electrical conductor means mounted in said body and including female contacts in each of said first cavities to be contacted by a connector blade inserted through a corresponding first slot; second electrical conductor means mounted in said body and including female contacts in each of said second cavities to be contacted by a connector blade inserted through a corresponding second slot; a first substantially cylindrical electrical lamp positioned Within said first Well with a substantial portion of the side wall of said first lamp intermediate its ends being in lcontact with, and supported by, the sides of said first well, .the remaining portions of the side wall of said first lamp being positioned adjacent the corresponding parallel slots to illuminate said first and second cavities therethrough, said first lamp being connected across said first and second electrical conductor means to be energized therefrom; and a second substantially cylindrical lamp positioned within said 'second well with a substantial portion of the side wall of said second lamp intermediate its ends being in contact with, and supported by, the sides of said second well, the remaining portions of the side wall of said second lamp being positioned adjacent the corresponding parallel slots to illuminate said first and second cavities therethrough, said second' lamp being connected across said first and second electrical conductor means to be energized therefrom.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,503,677 4/ 1950y McHenry et al. 2,612,597 9/1952 Sherrard 340-252 X 3,169,239 2/1965 Lacey 340-252 NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.

CHARLES R. RHODES, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2503677 *Jul 17, 1946Apr 11, 1950Mchenry Millard LIndicator socket for devices in series connection
US2612597 *Sep 8, 1947Sep 30, 1952Elwin W SherrardIlluminated electric outlet fixture
US3169239 *Oct 30, 1961Feb 9, 1965Lacey Robert ECircuit breaking receptacle
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4514789 *Mar 7, 1984Apr 30, 1985Jester Michael HIlluminated light switch plate with LED and oscillator circuit
US5277620 *Oct 7, 1992Jan 11, 1994Taylor Terry AIlluminating receptacle
US5485356 *Nov 14, 1994Jan 16, 1996Nguyen; Duc H.Receptacle power indicator
US5601451 *Apr 17, 1995Feb 11, 1997Amphenol CorporationCombination connector
US5741152 *Apr 25, 1995Apr 21, 1998Amphenol CorporationElectrical connector with indicator lights
US6078113 *Feb 1, 1999Jun 20, 2000True; Mark E.Power socket with illuminated plug blade slots
US6109760 *Dec 14, 1998Aug 29, 2000Daimlerchrysler CorporationIlluminated power outlet
US6827602 *Apr 30, 2003Dec 7, 2004Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Hospital grade receptacle with power light indicator
US7036948Aug 11, 2003May 2, 2006Bryan WyattIlluminated electrical outlet and light switch
US7118235 *Jun 24, 2004Oct 10, 2006Robert A BartonConcealed safety lighting device
US7213932 *Dec 2, 2003May 8, 2007Pass & Seymour, Inc.Electrical device with lamp module
US7726825 *Feb 22, 2008Jun 1, 2010Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Lighted power outlet system and method
US7736174Dec 4, 2007Jun 15, 2010Pass & Seymour, Inc.Illuminated face receptacle structure
US7862350Aug 20, 2007Jan 4, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc.Combination device including a guide light and an electrical component
US8393747Mar 17, 2010Mar 12, 2013Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc.Faceplate guidelight system
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US9112321 *Dec 30, 2010Aug 18, 2015Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc.Illuminated receptacle
US9502832Mar 30, 2016Nov 22, 2016Mustafa Majeed UllahkhanDuplex receptacle having a plurality of LEDs to illuminate the sockets
US20040218379 *Jun 24, 2004Nov 4, 2004Mr. Robert BartonConcealed Safety Lighting Device
US20040219823 *Apr 30, 2003Nov 4, 2004Jeff GreeneHospital grade receptacle with power light indicator
US20070193866 *Jan 17, 2007Aug 23, 2007John EderLampholder
US20090052162 *Aug 20, 2007Feb 26, 2009Leviton Manufacturing Company Inc.Combination device including a guide light and an electrical component
US20090141477 *Dec 4, 2007Jun 4, 2009Pass & Seymour, Inc.Illuminated Face Receptacle Structure
US20090213567 *Feb 22, 2008Aug 27, 2009Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Lighted power outlet system and method
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US20110228552 *Mar 17, 2010Sep 22, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc.Faceplate guidelight system
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USD634866Jun 26, 2008Mar 22, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Nightlight for an electrical device
USD674753Aug 13, 2010Jan 22, 2013Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wiring device with illumination
USD735378Mar 24, 2014Jul 28, 2015Hubbell IncorporatedNightlight
U.S. Classification362/95, 439/490, 340/642
International ClassificationH01R13/66, H01R13/717
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/717, H01R13/7177
European ClassificationH01R13/717, H01R13/717N