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Publication numberUS3405315 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 8, 1968
Filing dateOct 13, 1965
Priority dateOct 13, 1965
Publication numberUS 3405315 A, US 3405315A, US-A-3405315, US3405315 A, US3405315A
InventorsIi William C Moreland
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Electric Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular lighting system and control means using a single interconnecting conductor between any two lamp circuits
US 3405315 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


assignor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Oct. 13, 1965, Ser. No. 495,411 5 Claims. (Cl. 315-166) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A circuit arrangement for selectively establishing lighting groups, the arrangement comprising a master switch for controlling the application of a signal to a switching device connected to control the application of power to a lamp or fixture associated therewith. Other lamps or fixtures are controlled by the same master switching by being connected thereto through associated single conductors and serially connected selector switching devices. The lighting groups are formed by simple operation (closing and opening) of the appropriate selector switching devices which complete or open circuits between the master switch and power controlling switching devices associated with the other lamps or fixtures.

The present invention relates to a versatile lighting system and control means which can be quickly and safely modified so that control locations may be moved and the combinations of fixtures operated from a control location changed to comply with the rearrangement of rooms.

Presently, many modern buildings, and especially schools, are constructed with large open areas subdivided into rooms by non-load bearing partitions. As conditions, needs and requirements change within the building, the non-load bearing partitions are rearranged to change the size and location of rooms. With the prevalence of room rearrangement schemes, a lighting system and control means is needed that will permit light fixtures to be controlled from any location in the building as well as permit separate control and operation of lights or group of lights as partitions are moved and rooms created anew. Such a system would then generally be capable of controlling the lighting of any room size, configuration or location.

With this type of flexibility and versatility the need remains to keep initial and modification cost down so that the system is inexpensive to install and safe and simple to modify. Costly rearrangement of current carrying conduits and junction boxes by skilled electricians does not meet the requirements of economy, simplicity and safety of operation.

There presently exists no low cost, flexible lighting circuit arrangement and control means that will allow quick, easy and unskilled manipulation and modification of room lighting modules so that control locations may be quickly moved and light fixture combinations operated from control locations easily changed to comply with room relocation. It is to this end, namely the providing of a safe and inexpensive yet highly versatile lighting control means, that the present invention is directed and which forms the principal object thereof.

Another object of the invention is to provide a flexible lighting circuit arrangement having a relatively low installation cost and low changeover costs using simple means and unskilled labor.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a versatile lighting arrangement and contol means in which the power wiring for lighting fixtures need not be moved 3,405,315 Patented Oct. 8, 1968 or otherwise disturbed with the rearrangement of room partitions.

Another object of the invention is to provide a lighting system in which power need not be removed from the sys tem to effect circuit changes.

A further object of the invention is to provide a portable lighting circuit control means which requires no electrical conductors in room walls and partitions.

In general these and other objects of the invention are accomplished by a unique combination of lamps or lighting fixtures, feed lines, a multiposition selector switch and a light switch control device. Applicants lighting means may take the form of a luminaire unit which can contain one or more lamps, a lamp ballast means, a selector switch and a means for applying power to the ballast and lamps. The luminaire unit may also contain a receptacle or other suitable means for receiving a light switch control means in the form of a plug-in type unit. When two or more luminaires are used to illuminate an area their selector switches can be connected together by a lead running between them. One of the luminaires is then connected to a light switch which is made operative to apply a line voltage, available at all times at each luminaire unit, to the lamps associated with each unit. If a relay is used in each luminaire to apply the line voltage to the lamps, the light switch (connected to the one luminaire) can be adapted to supply say a low voltage to all the relays. The luminaire lamps can thereby be energized and deenergized by the light switch directly connected to one luminaire. This is accomplished by the selector switches being set to provide a current path to the relays for the energizing low voltage made available by the light switch. When it is desired to remove certain of the units from operation, their selector switches are simply reset to provide an open circuit so that no voltage can be applied to the respective relays. Room partitions may therefore be moved at will insofar as lighting is concerned, since the selector switch can electrically isolate any given block of lighting modules and the light control switch can be plugged into any one of the luminaire units. The light switch may be brought to a door jamb or jambs, or to a teachers desk or blackboard depending somewhat upon the type of remote switching means employed.

For a better understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference may be had to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a typical layout of lighting modules constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic circuit diagram showing lighting means and a control means for the modular system shown in FIGURE 1; and

FIGS. 3 and 4 are alternative plan views of modular lighting layouts modified in accordance with the principles of the invention.

Throughout the figures like numerals will designate like parts. In FIG. 1 is shown a typical layout 10 comprising lighting module groups, each of which contains a lighting fixture 12 which may consist of a simple junction box supporting lamps and associated components, a luminaire as described above, or other suitable means or combination of means for providing room illumination that may be electrically connected together ina circuit network. Each module area dimension may he, say 5 feet square, and each set of four contiguous modules may be powered from a common junction box (not shown) though the invention is not limited thereto. Each lighting means 12 is provided with a multiposi tion selector switch 14, schematically shown in FIG. 1, for the purpose of providing a signal current path through each lighting unit 12 for a light switching control potential controlled by a master switch 18. Between each lighting unit 12 is a conductor 16 that carries the switching signal current to each unit 12 from a master control means 20 to be more fully explained hereinafter.

FIG. 2 shows two lighting units 12 and 12' employing applicants novel circuit arrangement. Selector switches 14 and 14' are shown set to provide a conductive path from the master light switch 18 (shown as a part of the control means 20) to a solenoid of relay 24 disposed in right-hand lighting unit 12. The selector switches 14 and 14 are schematically shown in FIG. 2 as each comprising four single pole, single throw switches each having one terminal commonly connected to a low voltage power lead via the switch 18. Each single pole, single throw switch is shown independent of the other three for selective operation and individual control of the lighting units or luminaires 12 only two of which are shown in FIG. 2. Thus, by selectively Opening or closing individual switches, any combination of luminaires can be energized by one master control means 20 applying a control voltage through those single pole, single throw switches set to provide a conductive path therethrough.

Selector switches 14 may take any convenient form, the single pole, single throw type of switch being depicted only for simplicity of illustration. For example, the movable contacts may be displaced by a cam means operable to make or break a conductive path to relays 24 with the cam means further giving a visual indication of switch position. Similarly, a conductive wiper with multiple contacts may be use-d to provide a current path to control relays 24. The contacts of relays 24 and 24' when closed, connect a 110 volt alternating current supply line 25 to the ballast and lamps as shown. Relay 24, as the lamp power applying means, is shown only for purposes of illustration. Obviously, other types of switching means may be used.

In FIG. 2, a low voltage is used as the energizing and switching potential for relays 24 and 24'. The low voltage is obtained from step down transformer 22 which utilizes the 110 volt line 25 to supply its primary winding. In its secondary winding is connected the switch 18. Switch 18 and transformer 22 are shown forming part of the control means 20 which may take the form of a plug-in type of subassembly and master control unit. If such a plug-in type of unit is used, each luminaire or lighting device 12 in the system should contain a receptacle to facilitate removal and insertion of unit 12 as the luminaires are taken out of and placed in use in accordance with changes made in the arrangement of rooms. Subassembly unit 20 need not of course always contain the switch 18. If light switch 18 is located on the wall or at some other location remote from unit 20, two wires may conveniently be run from the switch to the unit thereby giving the operator direct electrical control of the unit and luminaires.

Through a low voltage arrangement is shown in FIG. 2 as the light control means, other means could be used in place' thereof without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the line voltage need not be stepped down in order to provide an operating potential for relays 24 and 24'. Similarly, switch 18 can take the form of a special sensing device being responsive to a remotely transmitted signal such as a radio frequency or sonic signal.

Multiposition switches 14 and 14', as shown in FIG. 2, are set so that only the two lighting devices 12 and 12' can be operated. Other lighting devices (not shown) connected to the remaining six leads 16 extending from switches 14 and 14' cannot be energized with the switches so set; however, switches 14 and 14' may be set so that all the luminaires connected thereto may be turned on or off by operation of master control switch 18. As shown in FIG. 1, all sixteen luminaires may be energized 4;- x by the switch 18 since each selector switch 14 in each luminaire 12 can be set to provide an energizing current path to its own control relay 24 as well as to leads 16 connecting adjacent luminaires 12 with their respective control relays 24. Conversely, any or all of the luminaires shown in FIG. 1 may be isolated from the control current applied through the switch 18 by setting multiposition selector switches 14 to open positions. Thus, any manner of room relocation size and configuration is possible insofar as lighting is concerned with the'uni'que circuit arrangement as disclosed herein.

In FIG. 3, the arrangement depicted in 'FIG. 1 isfdivided in half by partition 30, and appropriate selector switches 14 are reset to electrically isolate the two upper rows of luminaires from the two lower rows of luminaires. Since two separate lighting circuits now exist, another master control unit 20 (not shown) is employed to energize the second group of luminaires with a second master switch 18' brought to a remote position (as shown) if desired.

FIG. 4 shows additional partitions 31, 32 and 33 forming four separate rooms with luminaires 12 in each room electrically isolated from the luminaires in adjacent rooms. The lighting in each room may be conveniently controlled by a separate master control unit 20 (not shown) associated with only one of the luminaires located in each room, or the lights in the four rooms may be controlled from one room by a single master control unit and light switch 18 it switches 14 are reset to provide a current path to their respective relays 24. Thus it is not necessary to use a master control means in each and every room if it is, desirable to have the lights in many rooms controlled from one room.

With each lighting unit 12 containing a. receptacle means for receiving a master control unit 20, any of the lighting units 12 may be employed to provide energizing potentials to the remainder of the units with selector switches 14 properly set. Thus FIGS. 3 and 4 show only two of the many variations in room arrangements made possible by applicants unique circuit arrangement.

Any suitable multiposition switch may be used as selector switch 14, and it may be conveniently accessible for manual operation to facilitate change in the lighting circuit to comply with rearrangement of rooms. The setting of selector switches 14 may be accomplished by the use of a long rod so that ladders need not be used where the height of the ceiling and selector switches are out of arms reach.

Thus, this disclosure has described a particular control circuit matrix and switch design in conjunction with a plug-in power source that has specific application to modular lighting systems. Its versatility is such that any given block of modules may be easily altered to form a simply controlled set. The disclosed system has the added feature that the external switching may be accomplished by any of several remote techniques if so desired by variation of the plug-in unit. Two-way and three-way switching arrangements may therefore be readily incorporated into the system so that control from the blackboard, teachers desk, or other doorway is available when desired. In addition, the control matrix might be used to send more complex signals to the luminaires: for example, voltage polarity on the control circuit might be used to select only certain luminaires for specific lowlevel lighting use or dimmers might be incorporated into the luminaires which are controlled by the magnitude of the voltage on the control circuit.

Further, the system and arrangement disclosed herein provides a completely safe circuit change-over operation needing only unskilled personnel to elfect the change. Thus, changeover costs are kept low, and the components employed in the systemare simple .and inexpensive, so that installations are also kept at a minimum. In all, applicant has disclosed means herein that guarantees a surety and ease of operation heretofore unavailable in the lighting circuit modification and control art.

Though the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is to be understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example only and that changes in details, combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A circuit arrangement for controlling the application of electrical energy to a plurality of light fixtures disposed in a pattern and each containing at least one lamp, the arrangement comprising:

a first switch associated with each fixture for controlling the application of the electrical energy to the lamp in said fixture,

a second switch associated with each fixture and elec- 'trically connected to said first switch associated therewith,

a single conductor interconnecting any two of said second switches, any two of said second switches being serially connected between any two of said first switches by said single conductor,

a master switch associated with at least one of said fixtures and electrically connected to said first and second switches associated with said one tfixture,

said master switch being eifective to control the application of a switching signal to said first switch associated with said one fixture,

said master switch being further efiective to control the application of the switching signal to other of said switches connected thereto through said single conductors and said second switches which are in a closed, circuit completing condition.

2. The control system of claim 1 wherein the second switch is a multiposition switch.

3. The control system of claim 1 wherein the second switch consist of a plurality of single pole, single throw switches.

4. The control system of claim 1 wherein the first switches are relays operable on energy supplied from the master switch.

5. The control system of claim 1 wherein one master control means is operable to control all of the first switches.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,048,978 12/1912 Levison 315321 X 1,170,924 2/1916 Matson 315--321 X 1,846,620 2/1932 St. John 315--32l X 1,911,911 5/1933 Marsh 315321 X 2,248,085 7/1941 Holcornbe 315321 X JAMES W. LAWRENCE, Primary Examiner.

C. R. CAMPBELL, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1048978 *Aug 28, 1907Dec 31, 1912William P CrockettSignal device.
US1170924 *Sep 19, 1913Feb 8, 1916Katherine M GairMaster-controlled system of electric-light wiring.
US1846620 *Apr 8, 1929Feb 23, 1932St John Robert LCircuit control system
US1911911 *Nov 1, 1929May 30, 1933Marsh Harry BSystem of illumination
US2248085 *Apr 1, 1939Jul 8, 1941Jr Philo HolcombLighting control system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3458759 *Nov 3, 1967Jul 29, 1969Current Control Devices IncRemote control lighting system
US4390814 *May 7, 1981Jun 28, 1983Gte Laboratories IncorporatedLighting apparatus
US4626747 *Jan 9, 1984Dec 2, 1986Nilssen Ole KClass-3 lighting system
US4667133 *Jan 24, 1984May 19, 1987Nilssen Ole KPower-limited lighting system
U.S. Classification315/166, 315/255, 307/85, 315/324, 315/320, 315/DIG.500, 315/315, 307/38
International ClassificationH05B41/00
Cooperative ClassificationH05B41/00, Y10S315/05
European ClassificationH05B41/00