US 3372504 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 12, 1968 G. K. c. HARDESTY ILLUMINATING APPARATUS Filed July 12, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l `Elf/drill R m N E V m George K. C.-Hc|rdes1y ATTORNEYS March l2, 1968 G, K. cv.`|-|ARDESTY 3,372,504
ILLUMINATING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2.
Filed July l2, 1965 FIG 1441.- Hl. l inrit.. Hull.
l 'm/vErs/Tof?` George K C. Hqrdesty Fl G. e..
ATTORNEYS United States Patent Utilice 3,372,504 ILLUMINATING APPARATUS George K. C. Hardesty, R0. Box 155, Mayo, Md. 21106 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 245,720, Dec. 19, 1962. This application July 12, 1965, Ser. No. 471,019
Claims. (Cl. 40-130) ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLGSURE An illuminated display device is provided in which the obverse surface comprises a light conducting panel overlying the obverse side of a first reflector plate; and in which -there is included a second reflector plate in spaced opposition with the first reflector plate; third reflector plates overlying either one edge or opposing edges of the light conducting panel and bridging the space between the first and second reflector plates; la light source between the first and second reflector elements, light from the source being injected into the light conducting panel by the third reflector plates; and radiant means such as indicia at the obverse side of the rst reflector plate, receiving the light transmitted through the light conducting panel from the edge or edges thereof and directing the light outwardly through the obverse surface of the display device; and in which the light source is completely enclosed between the areflector plates to provide complete concealment of the light source. A changeable transmittance band light source is also provided in cooperation with selectively photoresponsive indicia at the obverse face of the first reflector plate in another embodiment of the invention.
This invention relates to illuminating apparatus and more specifically to new and novel electric lighting devices embodying uniformly illuminated light-emitting panels for the display of indicia and other purposes of illumination.
This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 245,720, for Illuminating Apparatus, filed Dec. 19, 1962, now abandoned.
It is an object of this invention to provide new and novel lighting devices embodying a light-emitting surface characterized by its brilliance, relatively uniform illumination, simplicity and low cost.
Another object of this invention is to provide a new and novel lighting device embodying a panel radiator and wherein the light source means for illuminating said radiator is completely concealed from view and optically coupled to the panel to effect optimized light transfer from the source means to the panel radiator.
Another object of this invention is to provide a new and novel lighting means having twenty-four-hour-per-day effectiveness in the display of indicia, thus providing effective visual color and luminance contrast under conditions of external daylight, dawn, twilight, and darkness in a practical device of widely versatile, pleasing decor.
Another object of this kinvention is to provide a new and novel lighting device for the illuminated display of indicia and the like that is compact, affords a relatively high degree of brilliance for uniformly illuminating such indicia and in addition provides other special lighting effects.
Still another object of this invention is to provide new and novel changeable color means for lighting devices.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a new and novel lighting device comprising a panel radiator, light source means for illuminating said panel radiator, the said source means being completely concealed from the obverse surface of the lighting device and panel radi- Patented Mar. 12, 1968 ator and optically coupled to the panel to effect optimized light transfer from the source means to the panel radiator, and changeable color means cooperating with said light source to modulate the visible radiant energy emanated from said panel radiator.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide new and novel illuminated indicia display means which is highly eflicient, of a practical size, exhibits uniform brilliance of illumination, is readily fabricated and requires an optimally minimum amount of normal, simple maintenance.
This and other objects of this invention will become more fully apparent with reference to the following specillcation and drawings, which relate to several preferred embodiments of the invention.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an illuminated display type lighting device of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a cross-section taken .along line 2 2 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 3 is another embodiment of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a partial perspective of a color changing means of the present invention;
FIGURE 5 is a top plan view in partial cross section of the embodiment of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional perspective of an illuminated lighting device embodying a color changing means; land FIGURE 7 is a cross-sectional perspective of a multiple purpose lighting device of the present invention.
Referring in detail to the drawings and in particular to FIGURES l and 2, a lighting device 10 of the present invention is shown as including an obverse surface 12, comprising the external surface of a transparent light 14, mounted in a five-sided housing or hollow framing means 16.
The rear side 18 of the housing 16 comprises a rectangular backing plate deformed outwardly across its longitudinal axis to form la shallow V-shape in cross-section, the apex 20, as shown in FIGURES l and 2, running coextensively with the longitudinal axis of the lighting means 10.
The peripheral configuration of the housing 15 along the horizontal side portions of the lighting means 10 comprises inwardly opening, upper and lower, V-shaped channels 22 and` 24, respectively, having the interior surfaces thereof as continuations of the interior surface of the backing plate 18. The channels 22 and 24 may be integrally formed with the backing plate 18 if desired. Substantially the entire interior surface of the backing plate 18 and channels 22 and 24 comprises a complex light reflector generally referenced 26 in FIGURE 2. Each reflective portion of the reflector 26, because of the respective V-shaped configurations thereof may alternatively be described as concave reflective means.
A light source 2S comprising, for example, first and second elongated fluorescent lamp tubes 30 and 32, respectively, is mounted substantially coextensively with the apex 20 interiorly of the backing plate 1S, such that a substantially uniform line shaped light source is effected. The lamp tubes 30 and 32 are horizontally racked in a suitable support means 34.
The structure of the lighting means 10 is substantially completed by the inclusion of an opaque plate 36, coextensive with the inner face of the transparent light 14, the said plate 36 having an internal reflecting face 38 adjacent the light source 28 and facing the reflector face 26 of the backing plate 18. Thus, the light source 28 is enclosed in an internally reflective cavity.
The obverse surface 40 of the opaque plate 35 is adapted either to carry indicia d2 in any form suitable to reflect or radiate light outwardly through the light 14, as will be hereinafter more fully described, or may be provided with surface characteristics such that its entire obverse surface 4t) will reflect or radiate light outwardly through the light 14 to contrast with indicia 42A placed on the obverse surface 12 of the latter. As will be hereinafter more fully described, there are some instances where this surface or the indicia thereon are advantageously made of glass beads or other material having pronounced retro-reflective properties. In general, the surface 40 is in superficial but not optical contact with the reverse surface of light 14.
The reflecting cavity around the light source 28 is sealed off at the ends of the lighting means by conforming end caps 44, as illustrated in FIGURE 1. One of the end caps 44 may be formed integrally with a wall bracket 46 or the like for the purpose of mounting the lighting means 10 on a wall or the like.
The transparent light 14 has a substantial thickness of a magnitude such that light reflected from the inner surfaces of the V-shaped channels 22 and 24 may be directed into the top and bottom edges 48 and 50, respectively, as shown in FIGURE 2, thereby effecting an edge lighting effect, transversely illuminating the reverse surface or indicia on the reverse surface of light 14 and is to be hereinafter more fully described.
Referring next to FIGURE 3, wherein like parts to FIGURES 1 and 2 bear like reference characters, a lighting means 10A is shown wherein the transparent light 14 comprises an inner layer 14A and an outer layer 14B, the said layers being juxtaposed and coextensive in the embodiment shown. The layers 14A and 14B are both transparent but are provided with respectively selected light transmittance characteristics as will be hereinafter more fully described.
With reference now to FIGURES 4 and 5, a color changing illumination source 28A for lighting means of the present invention is shown as including an opaque rectangular housing 52 having upper and lower rectangular emission slots 54 and 56, respectively, in the upper and lower walls thereof. The said emission slots 54 and 56 are set at respectively opposite but equal acute angles with respect to the longitudinal axis of the housing 52.
A rear compartment 58 in the housing 52 encloses a drive motor 60, lamp ballast 62, and a spring loaded tension means 64 all mounted on an inner wall 66 of the compartment 58.
The motor 60 includes an output drive 68 passing through the wall 66 and mounting a drive pulley or drum 70 within the housing 52 at one end thereof.
The tension means `64 includes an anchor pin 72, on the wall 66, pivot pin 74 on the wall 66, rocker arm 76 pivoted intermediate its ends on the pivot pin 74, tension spring 78 connected from the anchor pin 74 to one end of the rocker arm 76 and a bushing 80 at the other end of the rocker arm 76. The bushing 80 mounts the axle 82 of an idler pulley or drum 84, the said axle extending through the wall 66 to mount the drum 84 within the housing 52 at the opposite end thereof from the drive drum 70. The axes of rotation of the drums 70 and 84 are parallel.
The fluorescent lamp A of a length at least that of the emission slots 54 and 56 is mounted in suitable socket means 34A on the wall 66 between the two drums 70 and 84.
The drums 70 and 84 mount an endless belt 86 which passes between both the upper and lower sides of the fluorescent lamp 30A and the upper and lower emission slots 54 and 56, respectively.
On the belt 86 are a plurality of continuous bands 86A, 86B 86N (N being equal to the number of color or transmittance changes desired) of selectively varied light transmittance properties having a skewed disposition on the endless belt 86 of the same pitch as the emission slots 54 and 56, such that as the belt 86 travels over the drums 7() and 84, the bands 86A 86N will be travelling transversely of the emission slots 54 and 56 in parallel disposition therewith.
The belt 86 is composed of Mylar polyester film or the like with the color bands 86A 86N comprising printed color tones, opaque aluminized stripes to prevent heat absorption, and other desired media of various transmittance characteristics.
Referring now to FIGURE 6, the color changing light source 23A, absent the chamber 58, is shown as included in a lighting means 10B of the type disclosed in conjunction with either of FIGURES 2 or 3 herein, in place of the light source 28. Like parts to those of FIGURES l, 2, 3, 4 and 5 bear like reference characters.
Referring now to FIGURE 7, a lighting means 10C, generally similar to those in FIGURES l, 2 and 3, is shown as including a plurality of louvres or slots 88 in that portion of the backing plate 18C thereof below the source 2SC. The upper and lower channels 22C and 24C, respectively, of FIGURE 7 and the backing plate 18C thereof need not be symmetrically positioned above and below the source 28C but the effect of the structure on the light emitted from the lamp 30C is unchanged insofar as the indicia to be displayed are concerned.
OPERATION Referring to FIGURES 1 and 2, the operation of the embodiments shown therein will now be described.
`Principal indicia y42 in edge-lighted communication with lighting means 28 are preferably of a colored photoluminescent Day-Glo material, capable in this embodiment of also being excited to glow by external daylight as well as from source 28. Alternatively, indicia 42x may be of Day- Glo material to accentuate daylight presentations without aid of source 28 while indicia 42 are colored opaque materials edge illuminated to effect a useful and pleasing presentation at night.
The entire obverse surface 40 of the opaque plate 36, or indicia 42x thereon may be selectively provided with surface characteristics such that the reflection or radiation of light outward through the transparent light 14 is of a selected greater brilliance than the radiation from either sulface of light 14 or edgelighted indicia 42 under some conditions of external illumination but will be of lesser brilliance and enhance color and luminance contrasts under other conditions of viewing.
For example, assuming energization of the light source 28 in the visible spectrum, the complex reflector 26 will cause light to be generally directed through the edges 48 and 50 of the light 14 transversely of the reverse surface of light 14. Inasmuch as surface -40 is not in optically significant contact with light 14, it may be of any material of pleasing aesthetic contrast with the indicia 42 or 42A without adverse effect on the brightness of these indicia. It is of' marked value however, in informational and warning applications to employ crinkled reflective, or glass bead retro-reflective materials for surface 40 so that there are orders of magnitude increases in the brilliance of light energy reflected through the light 14 when viewed from the obverse surface 12 when lighting means 10 is ilhlminated by automobile headlights or marine searchlig ts.
If external indicia `42A are to be utilized on the light 14, then the rise of relatively opaque materials for the indicia `42A and a highly specular reflective characteristic for the obverse surface 40 of the opaque plate 36 provides a spectacular halo image surrounding each indicia 42A as viewed against the mirror-like background. The reverse surfaces of indicia 42A (that are in optical contact with light 14) can be formulated to accentuate these luminous images. Thus, as can be readily seen, a versatile illuminated display panel is provided wherein the light source is completely self-contained and invisible to the observer, yet twenty-four-hour-a-day eflicacy of display is obtained in a practical package.
Also, in the embodiment of FIGURE 2, the lamps 30 and 32 in the source 28 may be of respectively different spectral characteristics and be selectively switched or cycled to thereby provide multiple color effects on indicia 42 as observable through the obverse surface 12 of the lighting means 10.
Referring now to FIGURE 3, multi-color as well as three-dimensional effects are provided by the embodiment shown therein.
For example, if the source 28 is comprised of fluorescent lamps 30 and 32, having a substantial amount of near ultraviolet and blue light in the emission spectra thereof, the inner layer 14A is comprised of an optical transparent material having a spectral bandwidth including the near ultra-violet and visible blue portions of the spectrum, the outer layer 14B is comprised of a sharp cut-off optical filter material with respect to short wave length ultraviolet and may have supplemental near ultra-violet and blue absorbing coatings (not shown) at 50x and Sfly. The indicia 42 are comprised of a photoluminescent material which is excited into luminance by near ultra-violet and blue light.
Consequently, when viewed under cover of darkness while the source 28 is energized, the indicia 42 photoluminesce brilliantly because of the transverse excitation of the reverse surface of inner layer 14A by the blue and near ultra-violent light and radiate light out through the outer layer 14B. Essentially, all of the resulting visible light is transmitted by layer 14B. When irradiated by sunlight, however, the short ultra-violet absorbing properties of the layer 14B protect the indicia `42 from the deleterious effects of short wave length excitation while transmitting substantially unimpeded the near ultra-violet and blue essential to photo-excitation of indicia 42 and 42B. Optionally, layer 14B can be a minus visible blue and ultra-violet optical filter and protect the photoluminescent indicia from all daylight excitation.
An additional special three-dimensional effect is obtained by providing the lamp 30 with near ultraviolet and visible blue emission characteristics, providing the lamp 32 with some other visible color emission characteristics and utilizing photoluminescent and optionally reflective indicia 42 on the reverse surface of layer 14A and reflective indicia 42B on the reverse surface of layer 14B. Now by selectively switching the lamps 30 and 32 into alternate illumination, a changeable exhibitor is effected wherein the photoluminescent and the reflective portions of the indicia 42 and 42B are alternately illuminated, respectively, creating a three-dimensional changing depth display. Alternai tively, layer 14A may have both photoluminescent and other indicia to produce changing location or changing size illusions as lamps 30 and 32 are switched.
Referring now to FIGURES 4 and 5, the operation of the color changing means shown therein is as follows:
Assuming illumination of the fluorescent lamp 30A and energization of the drive motor 60, the endless belt 85 will be constrained to travel around the drive and idler drums 70 and 84, respectively, causing the color bands 86A 86N to be displaced and laterally traverse the upper and lower emission slots 514 and 56, respectively, like color bands 86A 86N traversing the said slots S4 and 56 simultaneously. Thus, light of varying color is emitted through the emission slots 54 and 56 in a sequence determined by the disposition of the color bands 86A 86N on the belt 86.
Additionally, more than one color or transmittance characteristic may be imparted to a given one of the color bands 86A 86N to provide special effects in illumination. For example, referring to FIGURE 6, assume the lamp 30A to be a fluorescent lamp, naturally rich in ultraviolet and blue light emission and further assume that the lighting means 10B is otherwise similar to the lighting means 10A of FIGURE 3 wherein photoluminescent and types of indicia 42 are present on light 14, the endless belt 86 is provided with a plurality of color bands including bands having high ultra-violet and blue transmittance and low or essentially opaque ultra-violet and blue characteristics, respectively. Then, inasmuch as the light 14 has in this instance been selected to have high transmittance with respect to both blue and ultra-violet light, the changeable exhibitor effects of the embodiment of FIGURE 3 are readily achieved as the belt 86 alternately transmits ultra-violet and blue light and then the remainder of the visible spectrum into the cavity defined by the reflector 26. As in FIGURE 2, further indicia 42B on surface 40 may be provided to give visual color or luminance contrast when the lighting means is viewed with aid of external light.
As another example, the belt 86 may be provided with a set of ordinary color tones in the color bands 86 SN and be utilized with the lighting means 10B being identical with the lighting means 10 of FIGURE 2, thereby achieving color changing effects in the reflux lighting means of the present invention.
Referring now to FIGURE 7, the lighting means 10c shown therein may be of the type disclosed in FIGURES l, 2, 3 and 6 or of the modified shape shown wherein the upper channel 22C is broadened and brought downward into closer proximity with the surface 28C.
In either event, a controlled portion of the flood of illumination emitted by the lamp 30C is permitted to escape through the louvres or slots 88 to provide conventional external illumination while the remainder is efliciently utilized in providing the illumination previously described herein for the display of indicia.
As can be readily seen from the foregoing specification and drawings, this invention provides a lighting means of optimized structural simplicity and optimized versatility in special and conventional lighting effects and/or combinations thereof.
The graphic display panel and lighting means can be readily used as thin-profile wall or post mounted twentyfour hour a day informational and directional signs with reliance on the unique combinations of reflective and radiational effects provided at the obverse surface thereof for aesthetic and attention enhancing purposes. Additionally, with the louvred casings of present invention, conventional exit and other directional signs which provide down-wash lighting effects may be mounted above doorways, in corridors and the like.
It is to be understood that the several embodiments shown and described herein are examplary and are not intended to limit the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Illuminating apparatus comprising a pair of platelike reflectors each having a light reflecting surface on at least one side thereof, said reflectors being positioned in spaced relationship with said reflecting surfaces facing one another, a light source disposed between said reflectors, a light conducting panel carried on the outer side of and in overlying relationship to at least one of said reflectors and having an area at least coextensive with the area of the associated reflector, and light directing means optically coupled with at least one edge of said light conducting panel and with said light source for injecting light from said source into said light conducting panel.
2. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein said light directing means comprises a reflector adjoining one set of corresponding edges of said reflectors and overlying the adjoining edge of said light conducting panel for receiving light from said source and directing it into said light conducting panel.
3. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein said light source comprises elongated lamp means uniformly mounted with respect to said reflectors.
4. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein said light source comprises an elongated housing having emission aperture means therein, said housing being uniformly mounted with respect to said reflectors, elongated lamp means in said housing coextensive with said emission aperture means, endless belt means intermediate said lamp means and said emission aperture means within said housing, and drive means mounting and adapted to effect translation of said belt means with respect to said emission aperture means, said belt means being comprised of a plurality of symmetrically disposed adjacent transmittance bands of materials having respectively selected spectral transmittance characteristics, said transmittance bands and said emission aperture means being mutually parallel and being disposed askew of the axis of translation of the said endless belt means.
5. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein said light source comprises a plurality of elongated lamp means uniformly mounted with respect to said reflectors, said lamp means having respectively predetermined spectral emission characteristics and being adapted to be selectively energized.
6. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein one of said reflecting elements includes a plurality of open apertures selectively directing light from said source externally of said illuminating means.
7. Illuminating apparatus comprising a pair of platelike reflecting elements each having a reflecting surface on at least one side thereof, said elements being positioned in spaced relationship with the reflecting surfaces facing one another, a light source disposed between said reflecting elements, a light conducting panel on the outer side of and in overlying relationship with and at least coextensive with at least one reflecting element, reflectors overlying each of a pair of opposing edges of said reflecting elements and said light conducting panel to close the space between said reflecting elements and to receive and direct light from said light source into said opposing edges of said light conducting panel, radiant means at the obverse side of said one reflecting element receiving light transmitted by said light-conducting panel and directing it outwardly thereof, and end members overlying the other set of opposing edges of said reflecting elements and light conducting panel effecting complete concealment of said light source.
8. The invention defined in claim 7, wherein said light source comprises elongated lamp means uniformly mounted with respect to said reflectors.
9. The invention defined in claim 7, wherein said light source comprises an elongated housing having emission aperture means therein, said housing being uniformly mounted with respect to said reflectors, elongated lamp means in said housing coextensive with said emission aperture means, endless belt means intermediate said lamp means and said emission aperture means within said housing, and drive means mounting and adapted to effect translation of said belt means with respect to said emission aperture means, said belt means being comprised of a plurality of symmetrically disposed adjacent transmittance bands of materials having respectively selected spectral transrnittance characteristics, said transmittance bands and said emission aperture means being mutually parallel and being disposed askew of the axis of translation of the said endless belt means.
10. The invention defined in claim 7, wherein said light source comprises a plurality of elongated lamp means uniformly mounted with respect to said reflectors, said lamp means having respectively predetermined spectral emission characteristics and being adapted to be selectively energized.
11. The invention defined in claim 7, wherein in said illuminating means said radiant means includes photoluminescent indicia means; said light source includes a spectral emission of the ultra-violet through visible blue portion of the spectrum; and said light conducting panel comprises an inner transmittance layer adjacent the said obverse surface of said one reflecting element capable of transmitting said visible blue and ultra-violet portion of the spectrum and an outer transmittance layer selectively opaque to the said visible blue and ultra-violet portion of the spectrum.
12. The invention defined in claim 11, wherein said light source comprises fluorescent lamp means and said inner transmittance layer is selectively opaque to substantially all but the said visible blue and ultra-violet portion of the spectrum.
13. The invention defined in claim 11, wherein in said illuminating means said radiant means further includes light reflecting means; said light source comprises lamp means adapted to alternately emit only said ultra-violet and visible blue portion of the spectrum and then other than that portion of the spectrum effecting respectively alternate radiation of light through said light conducting panel by said photoluminescent indicia means and said light reflecting means.
14. The invention defined in claim 13, wherein said illuminating means further includes second indicia means on the obverse surface of said light conducting panel.
15. The invention defined in claim 7, wherein the other of said reflecting elements includes a plurality of open apertures selectively directing light from said source externally of said illuminating means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,920,826 8/1933 wing 49-130 X 2,524,657 10/1950 Ford 40-130 2,623,313 12/1952 Fuchs 40-13() 2,722,762 1l/l955 Krajian 40-130 2,731,333 1/1956 K0 et al. 40-130 2,906,048 9/1959 Kraus 40-130 LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner.