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Publication numberUS3302918 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 7, 1967
Filing dateMar 18, 1966
Priority dateMar 18, 1966
Publication numberUS 3302918 A, US 3302918A, US-A-3302918, US3302918 A, US3302918A
InventorsCohen David A
Original AssigneeCohen David A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ceiling attachment for lighting fixtures
US 3302918 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 7,, H967 D. A. COHEN CEILING ATTACHMENT FOR LIGHTING FIXTURES 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 18, 1966 IN\ "ENTOR. DIM/FD A. COHEN [K w t LYLLJWM ATTORNEY Feb. 7, 1967 COHEN 3,302,918

CEILING ATTACHMENT"'FOR LIGHTING FIXTURES Filed March 18, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2a INVENTOR. DAVID A. COHEN F /g 5 w WT ATTORNEY United States Paten O 3,302,918 CEILING ATTACHMENT 1 R LIGHTIZNG FHXTURES David A. Cohen, 7414 Foothill Drive, fian Mateo, @alif. 94402 Filed Mar. 18, 1966, Ser. No. 535,439 7 Claims. (Cl. 248-343) This invention relates in general to electric light fixture mountings, and relates more particularly to such mountings by means of which light fixtures may be easily installed and removed.

There has been considerable interest in and need for a type of electric light fixture mounting which permitted easy installation and removal of the fixture, particularly on ceilings. Traditionally, light fixtures have been mounted utilizing a ceiling box having the required electric wires therein. The fixture is mounted by splicing or otherwise connecting the wires of the fixture to the corresponding wires in the ceiling box, and then bolting or otherwise fastening the fixture to the box itself for mechanical support. Removal of the fixture required a corresponding unsplicing of the wires in the box and unbolting of the fixture from the support box, resulting in an awkward and time-consuming procedure.

Over the years, the patent art has proposed a number of different structures aimed at facilitating the installation and removal of light fixtures. A number of these proposed structures have involved the use of an electrical box in the ceiling having a female electrical outlet therein into which a male electrical plug associated with the fixture is inserted. After plugging in the male plug, the fixture is secured to the outlet box by screws or other means. Removal of the fixture is accomplished by unbolting the fixture from the box and removing the plug from the female outlet. Such structures have the advantage of eliminating the need for unsplicing or otherwise disconnecting the electrical wires in the box, since the electrical connections are made and broken by plugging and unplugging, but such structures still do not offer the ideal solution to the quick and easy installation and changing of ceiling light fixtures, since they are often large and result in unsightly wires or connections which must be hidden by a large canopy.

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a novel structure for mounting light fixtures employing a yoke member which detachably engages a special cover on a conventional electrical box. The cover is provided with a female receptacle member which has electrical connections to a power source. The yoke is designed to receive an electrical plug containing male prongs which engage the female elements of the receptacle when the yoke and plug are positioned. When the yoke and plug are so positioned, the yoke firmly engages the box cover to support the fixture, and also holds the male plug firmly and prevents any rotation or other movement thereof, to maintain good electrical contact at all times.

The yoke is also provided with a hollow nipple member extending downwardly therefrom through which the electric wires from the male plug pass for connection to the fixture to be suspended. This nipple may also be threaded on the outside thereof to receive a bushing which engages the fixture canopy to press it firmly against the ceiling after mounting of the fixture.

The prestent invention is adapted for use with either cord-hung or chain-hung fixtures. If a cord-hung fixture is employed, the fixture will be provided with a cord restrainer which is supported by the yoke member and which serves to remove any strain from the wires in the male plug. If a chain-hung fixture is used, the yoke member may be provided with a hook to receive the end of the chain. In both cases, the fixture is effectively supported by the yoke member, which also serves to maintain the male plug in contact with the receptacle in .the box.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved lighting fixture mounting which is easily installed and removed and which results in a compact structure.

It is an additional object of this invention to provide a lighting fixture mounting employing a yoke member which supports the light fixture, the yoke member releasably engaging the cover of a ceiling box to permit easy installation and removal of the light fixture.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a lighting fixture mounting employing a yoke member which is detachably secured to a cover on an outlet box having female electrical openings therein, the yoke supporting an electrical plug which mates with the female openings when the yoke is positioned by securing the ends thereof to openings in the cover.

Objects and advantages other than those set forth above will be apparent from the following detailed description when read in connection wtih the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing the details of the mounting structure of this invention used to suspend a ceiling lighting fixture;

FIGURE 2 is a side view of the mounting structure, illustrating the hinging action of the yoke member upon being released from the cover of the outlet box;

FIGURE 3 is a view along line 3-3 of FIGURE 2, showing the shape of the end of the yoke member which provides the releasable supporting action;

FIGURE 4 illustrates the outlet box cover and particularly illustrates the special openings therein which receive the ends of the yoke member; and

FIGURE 5 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the yoke member employing a different method of securing the yoke to the box cover.

Referring to FIGURE 1, the invention is illustrated in connection with mounting a light fixture 11 on a ceiling 12. Ceiling 12 may be provided with a conventional junction or outlet box 13, as shown, which may be secured to ceiling 12 and rafters by any suitable means, such as by a strap 14 extending across adjacent rafters. Box 13 itself does not form any part of? the present invention, and may be of any type found in existing or newly installed Work. Electrical power is supplied into box 13 by conductors 16 which are connected to a suitable power source (not shown). Conductors 16 are connected with in box 13 to a receptacle 17 which is secured to the cover 18 of the box. Receptacle 17 may be of any suitable commercially available type having female openings therein for the insertion of the male elements of a mating electrical plug. As shown in FIGURE 4, a receptacle 17 may be provided with three prong openings therein to receive a three-prong plug, one of the pron-gs representing a ground, as is well known in the art. However, it will be understood that the invention is equally operable with a conventional twoprong outlet, or with any other number of prongs.

Still referring to FIGURE 4, cover 18 is provided with a pair of conventional openings 18a which receive screws 19 (FIGURE 1) for securing cover 18 to box 13. Cover 18 is also provided with a pair of special openings therein 18b, for cooperating with the yoke member of this invention. As shown, slot 1812 has a generally rectangular shape, while slot is generally T-shaped.

Referring now to FIGURE 2, this invention provides a yoke member 21 which serves the dual functions of mechanically supporting the fixture relative to box 13 and of firmly positioning the electrical plug which mates with female receptacle 17 in box 13. Yoke 211 is of the general shape shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 and is provided at one end with an ear or lug portion 21b which is adapt ed to extend into opening 18b of cover 13. The other end of yoke 21 is provided with a tip portion 210 having a T-shape (FIGURES 1 and 3) which cooperates with opening 180 in cover 18 to provide a locking action. The width of the head of T-sha-ped portion 21: is such that it will pass through the corresponding head of the T- shaped slot 180. By making yoke 21 of a material having a suitable resilience or spring, and by designing it such that the distance between tips 21b, 21c is slightly larger than the distance between openings 13!), 13s in cover 13, it will readily be seen that a locking action is provided. That is, lug 21b is first inserted in opening 285 and the portion of the yoke containing tip 21c is then pressed inwardly sufficiently to allow tip 210 to pass through the head of the T-shaped slot 18c. After this, the pressure is released and the end of the yoke springs outwardly, with the shank of the T of tip 210 sliding in the corresponding shank of the T of slot 180. Thus, the yoke is firmly locked to cover 18, but may be easily removed therefrom by pressing the end of the yoke inwardly until the T-shaped portion 21c overlies the head of T-shaped slot 180 and then pulling downwardly to free tip 210 from slot 13c.

In addition to the above supporting action, the yoke member of this invention also positions and supports the male electrical plug which cooperates with receptacle 17. This plug may be of any suitable type, such as a plug 25 having male prongs 25a which are adapted to extend into the openings in receptacle 1?. As best shown in FIGURE 2, plug 25 has electrical conductors 26 connected thereto internally and extending therefrom to fixture Ill. Conductors 26 preferably have sufiicient slack in them adjacent plug 25 to permit plug 25 to be inserted into receptacle 17 when yoke 21. is in the released position shown in FIGURE 2. After insertion of the plug in the receptacle, yoke 21 may be swung upwardly from the position of FIGURE 2 to the locked position described above and shown in FIGURE 1. The depth of yoke 21 is selected relative to the height of plug 25 so that even though plug 25 is not physically secured to the yoke, when the yoke is in the locked position shown in FIGURE 1, the yoke firmly supports and positions the ping in receptacle 17, preventing any rotation or other undesired movement of the plug.

Yoke 21 also carries a threaded nipple 28 which extends downwardly therefrom and is secured to the yoke by an enlarged shoulder portion 23a. Nipple 28 may be provided with a bushing 29 which engages the nipple threads to clamp a canopy 3t} against ceiling 12 after installation of the fixture.

In the illustrated embodiment, it is assumed that a cord-hung fixture is to be employed. In this situation, a cord restrainer 32; may be provided. As is well known in the art, cord restrainer 32 is crirnped to or otherwise secured to conductors 26 and their outer covering or insulation 31, to relieve these conductors of any mechanical strain in plug 25. Cord restrainer 32 is physically supported by the yoke member 21, such as .by having an enlarged portion which seats on the top of nipple 28. Yoke member 21, by supporting cord restrainer 32, thus supports the weight of the fixture, which is secured to conductors 26 and insulation 31.

In the case of a chain-hung fixture, it will be clear that yoke member 21 may be provided with a hook or the like on the bottom thereof to receive a link of the fixture chain for supporting the fixture, while the electrical conductors pass through nipple 28 for connection to the fixture.

To facilitate installing fixtures utilizing this invention, the assembly including yoke 21, plug 25, conductors 26, nipple 28 and fixture 11 may be made up as a unit. In-

4 stallation would then be as follows, assuming that a cover 18 with special slots 18b, 18c and receptacle 17 was in place. Lug 21b of yoke 21 is inserted in slot 181) and plug prongs 25a are then inserted in the corresponding openings in receptacle I7. Yoke 21 is then moved upwardly about the hinge formed by lug 21b and T-shaped tip 210 inserted into slot 18c in the manner described above to firmly lock yoke 21 and the fixture to box 13 and to firmly clamp plug 25 in position relative to receptacle 17. Bushing 29 may then be advanced on nipple 28 to clamp canopy 3t against ceiling 12 to conceal box 13 and yoke 21.

Removal of the fixture is correspondingly simple and is accomplished by backing off bushing 29 to lower canopy 3i) and then pressing inwardly on the one side of yoke 21 to free tip 21c from slot 180, as described above, and then dropping that end of the yoke clear of cover 18 to the position shown in FIGURE 2. Plug 25 may then be removed from receptacle 117, and the entire assembly removed by removing lug 21b from slot 18b.

Thus, the present invention provides light fixture mounting means which permits easy installation and removal of such fixtures, while occupying a minimum amount of space since yoke 21 and plug 25 have less width than box 13 and are easily concealed by a canopy 36) designed to conceal box 13.

FIGURE 5 illustrates an alternate method of securing the yoke to the box cover without employing the resilience of the yoke member as in the embodiment described above. In FIGURE 5, cover 18 may be provided with a threaded stud Iiie extending therethrough in place of T- shaped opening 180. Stud 182 is secured to cover 18 and is adapted to extend through an opening in the tip of yoke member Zll so that a wing nut 33 or the like may be fastened to the stud to clamp yoke 21 to cover 18. Thus, the fixture may be mounted by inserting lug Zib in opening 18b as before, and then swinging the other end of yoke 21 upwardly until the opening therein is aligned with stud 18c. VIing nut 33 may then be secured to stud 1386 to complete the mounting, in which yoke 21 supports fixture I1 and also maintains plug 25 in firm electrical contact with receptacle 17.

While the above detailed description has shown, described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to various embodiments, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes in the form and details of the device illustrated may be made by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is the intention, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for mounting an electrical fixture from an outlet box, comprising:

a cover for said box, said cover having an electrical receptacle therein connected to a source of electrical energy;

a yoke member releasably engaging said cover;

an electrical plug member for mating with said receptacle in said cover, said plug member being disposed above said yoke member and being separable therefrom when said yoke member is disengaged from said cover to permit connection and disconnection of. said plug member in said receptacle, said plug member being supported by said yoke member when said yoke member is engaged with said cover to maintain good electrical contact between said plug member and said receptacle;

means electrically connecting said plug member to the electrical fixture; and

fixture supporting means carried by said yoke member for supportim the electrical fixture when said yoke member is engaged with said cover, said yoke member being releasable from said cover to permit disconnection of said plug member from said receptacle and removal of said fixture.

2. Apparatus in accordance with claim I in which said entrants yoke member hingeably and releasably engages said cover.

3. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which said yoke member has a portion of U-shaped cross section which supports said plug member, the depth of said U- shaped portion being substantially identical to the depth of said plug member.

4. Apparatus in accordance with claim It in which said yoke member has a first tip portion having a lug thereon which is adapted to extend through a first opening in said cover, and has a second tip portion having a T- shaped member which is adapted to extend through a second opening in said cover to lock said yoke to said cover and said box.

5. Apparatus in accordance with claim 4 in which said second opening in said cover has a T-shaped configuration, said T-shaped member of said second tip portion being bendable inwardly to pass through the head of said Tshaped second opening, said second tip portion then springing outwardly to lock in the shank portion of said T-shaped opening.

6. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 including threaded bushing means extending downwardly from said yoke member and secured thereto;

canopy means having an opening therein through which said bushing means may extend; and

nut means engageable on said threaded bushing means and bearing against said canopy for positioning said canopy to conceal said fixture mounting structure.

7. Apparatus for mounting an electrical fixture from an outlet box, comprising:

a cover for said box, said cover having a first and a second opening therein and having an electrical receptacle therein connected to a source of electrical energy, said second opening having a T-shaped configuration;

a yoke member having a first tip portion for engaging said first opening and having a second tip portion of T-shaped configuration for engaging said second opening to lock said yoke member to said cover;

an electrical plug member for mating with said receptacle in said cover, said plug member being disposed above said yoke member and being separable therefrom when said yoke member is disengaged from said cover to permit connection and disconnection of said plug member in said recepatcle, said plug member being supported by said yoke member when said yoke member is engaged with said cover;

means electrically connecting said plug member to the electrical fixture;

threaded bushing means extending downwardly from said yoke member and secured thereto;

canopy means having an opening therein through which said bushing means may extend; and

nut means engageable on said threaded bushing means and bearing against said canopy for positioning said canopy to conceal said fixture mounting structure.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,200,877 10/1916 Sable 248-443 2,052,312 8/1936 Nielsen 19l--23 2,199,905 5/1940 Arras 240-85 2,673,334 3/1954 Julian et a1 339-- 3,003,732 10/1961 Sand 248- 223 FOREIGN PATENTS 208,164 5/ 1957 Australia.

CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner.

5 J. F. FOSS, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1200877 *Jun 19, 1916Oct 10, 1916Albert E SableCanopy-holder for lighting-fixtures.
US2052312 *Apr 17, 1933Aug 25, 1936Nielsen Joseph NWall outlet and fitting
US2199905 *Jan 12, 1937May 7, 1940George ArrasElectric fixture
US2673334 *Oct 3, 1951Mar 23, 1954Gen Motors CorpRetainer spring
US3003732 *Dec 24, 1958Oct 10, 1961Vulcan Radiator CoRadiator hanger
AU208164B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4001574 *Sep 12, 1975Jan 4, 1977Thomas Industries, Inc.Suspension fixture
US4661892 *Jul 1, 1985Apr 28, 1987Emerson Electric Co.Electrical plug and receptacle for lighting fixture power hook
US5725190 *Dec 15, 1994Mar 10, 1998Hunter Fan CompanySloped ceiling adaptor
US6146191 *Jul 26, 1999Nov 14, 2000Angelo Fan Brace Licensing, L.L.C.Ceiling fan with easy installation features
US6325654Feb 23, 2000Dec 4, 2001Angelo Fan Brace Licensing, L.L.C.Quick connect device for mounting a suspended electrical fixture
US6464524Aug 16, 2000Oct 15, 2002Angelo Fan Brace Licensing, L.L.C.Ceiling fan with easy installation features
US6634901Feb 4, 2002Oct 21, 2003Angelo Fan Brace Licensing, LlcQuick connect device for electrical fixture
US6799982Nov 13, 2002Oct 5, 2004Angelo Fan Brace Licensing, L.L.C.Quick connect device for electrical fixture
US6964505Jul 11, 2002Nov 15, 2005Lowe's Companies, Inc.Easily assembled lamp assembling device
US6997740Apr 5, 2002Feb 14, 2006Angelo Fan Brace Licensing, LlcCeiling fixture with easy installation features
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US7296908 *Jun 3, 2005Nov 20, 2007Abl Ip Holding LlcHousing with releasable front and back portions with electrical connection means
US7888597 *Oct 2, 2008Feb 15, 2011Aslan Industries CorporationFixture box enclosure
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Classifications
U.S. Classification248/343, 362/404
International ClassificationH02G3/20, F21V21/02, F21V21/03, H01R13/62, H02G3/18
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/62, F21V21/03, H02G3/20
European ClassificationF21V21/03, H01R13/62, H02G3/20