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Publication numberUS3419986 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 7, 1969
Filing dateMay 11, 1966
Priority dateMay 11, 1966
Publication numberUS 3419986 A, US 3419986A, US-A-3419986, US3419986 A, US3419986A
InventorsVincent Maze Perry
Original AssigneeVincent Maze Perry
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sign construction with translucent reflector
US 3419986 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

P. V. MAZE Jan. 7, 1969 Sheet I of 2 Filed May ll, 1966 W W L /7&

I INVENTOR. Hen/;y l Maze T TORN E KS.

Jan. 7, 1969 P. v. MAZE 3,419,986


United States Patent O] 3,4 l 9 ,986 Patented Jan. 7, 1969 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An illuminated and illuminatng sign has a translucent reflector that houses the source of illumination in the centrally located dished out face portion thereof. The reflector has outwardly diverging translucent sides with a translucent and inwardly refiecting sign face positioned opposite the source and spaced outwardly of the end extremities of the diverging sides. The light source cooperates with the subject Construction in that it has a wafered ;face plate. Each bubble thereon acts as an individual light source thereby aiding in ditfusing and spreading the light rays over the entire face and through the translucent reflector. The translucent reflector may be colored, thereby producing colored light rays which are substantially the same color as the reflector in order to accentuate ;significant colors and objects for advertising and display purposes.

This invention is an improvement over my Patent No. 3,076,277, issued Feb. 5, 1963, entitled, "Illuminated Sign.

One object of the invention is to provide a uniquely illu-minated and illuminating sign that makes maximum functional and aesthetic use of all light emanating from 'the source employed. This complete utilization of avail- .able light results in significant saving in lighting costs, 'both from the standpoint of the type and quantity of 'illumination sources required, as well as the watt-hour `power Consumption of a single source.

Another object of the invention is to provide an illumi- 'nated sign structure wherein the halo elfect disclosed 'in my previous patent, supra, is enhanced and improved .and wherein efl icient, eflective usefulness and versatility are maximized.

Another object of the invention is to provide an illumirated and illuminatng sign having at least two opposed 'face panels, each capable of carrying advertising copy, .each illuminated and illuminatng in unique manner from 'a single light producng source and wherein at least one of the principal faces has a markedly greater display area than the adjacent area of the light source.

A further object of the invention is to provide an illuminated and illuminatng sign of the character described 'which is uniquely adapted as to light other nearby objects and surfaces while simultaneously effectively lighting and displayng the sign.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a sign const'uction that produces a controlled, diifused night light while simultaneously illuminatng at least one face panel.

Another object of the invention is to provide for an .illuminatng `and illuminated sign, an improved reflector structure, manufactured of translucent :material such as plastic, said reflector having aiiixed thereto improved rneans for mounting a large translucent light transmitting .and reflecting face panel at an extended distance there- 'f'om, said mounting means permitting easy insertion and removal of said panel therein.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved illuminated and illuminatng sign including a re- 'flector and a display panel wherein either or both the face panel and reflector may be const ructed of translucent plastic of varied color. This feature enables sign light fluxes emanating through the various colors to be used `to accentuate distinctive product colors in and around advertising displays and to illuminate ceilings or walls with pleasing light tones while simultaneously providing illuminated copy or indicia `on more than one sign display face.

A still further object of -my invention is to provide a unique method of and structure for simultaneously illuminating advertising sign display surfaces and at least a 'portion of a room, wherein said sign may be located, all from a single light source within the sign structure.

Other and further objects of the invention will appear in the course of the following description thereof.

In the drawings, which form a part of the instant specification and are to be read in conjunction therewith, em- 'bodiments of the invention are shown and, in the various views, like numerals are employed to indicate like parts.

FIG. l is a front View of a first form of the inventive illuminated and illuminatng sign showing the main dis- .play panel and a portion of the support frame therefor.

FIG. 2 is a rear elevation of the sign of FIG. 1 showing the illuminated and illuminatng reflector and the sup- 'port frame for the front panel.

FIG. 3 is a side-elevation of the sign of FIGS. 1 and 2, the View taken from the left-hand side of FIG. 2, the sign 'shown chain supported, spaced outwardly from a vertical wall surface.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged section taken along the line -4-4 of FIG. 2 in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional detail taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 1 in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 6 is a side elevation of a second form of the subject sign, same shown ceiling mounted, the ceiling structure seen in section.

FIG. 7 is a top plan View of the sign of FIG. 6, looking directly downwardly onto the top of the sign from the ceiling.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional detail of the structure -of FIG. 6 taken substantially along the line 8-8 of FIG. 6 in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged sectional detail taken substan- -tially along the line 9-9 of FIG. 7 in the direction of the `arrows.

Refe'ring to the drawings, the reflector generally indicated by the numeral 10 is preferably substantially or entirely composed of a translucent material such as Plexglas or other suitable plastic. All surfaces of reflector 10 are, to a substantial degree, smooth and polished and thereby have high reflectivity characteristics. Reflector 10 has a central dished portion lila which forms the squared rear panel of the reflector. Perpendicular sides 1017 extend outwardly from rear face 10a, forming a preferably square-shaped mounting recess of a depth appropriate to accommodate a similarly shaped light source to be later described. Angled sides 10d diverge from a lip 100, which circumscribes perpendicular sides 10b, and terminate in a similar shaped 'but larger square circumscribing lip 10e. Angled sides 10d -form an open-ended, frusto-conical, outwardly diverging reflector ring adjacent the face of the light source when said source is appropriately mounted. The internal surfaces of sides 10d are reflective, -as noted.

The mounting recess, defined by reflector sides 10b, is particularly sized to receive a light source of panel fluorescent lamp type as seen at 11 in FIG. 4. The panel fluorescent lamp manufactured by the General Electric Company, identified by their code PF-12S lamp, works quite satisfactorily as the source of illumination. The particular named lamp, which is capable of producng approximately 4300 lumens, employs a corrugated or wafered face plate 11a with a glass envelope 11b arranged in a serpentine fashion 'and formed integrally with the face plate. During normal operation, approximately 2500 lumens typically emanate through the face plate while the back of the light source gives off less than half of the source's total capacity or approxirnately 1800 lumens. Face plate lla is slightly larger than the squared mounting recess and therefore circumferentially bears against and abuts the frontal exterior of lip 10::. A single clear acrylic plastic strip 12, held in place by bolted angle bracket 13, runs the length of the lower edge of face plate 11a while similar -bracket 13a contacts the upper edge of face plate 1111, thereby securely locating panel lamp 11 within the mounting recess.

I have shown two different mounting embodiments for positioning the enlarged, square, translucent sign face panel 14 adjacent the refiector sides 10d, but spaced away therefrom and from the source of illumination. In regard to the shape of panel 14, it is only necessary that the panel be similar in frontal shape with that of the light source for purposes of uniform light distribution.

Referring now to FIGS. l-S, inclusive, the sign face panel 14 is held away from refiector 10 and the entire sign is mounted in sturdy aluminurn framework. As a part of this framework, structurals 15 and 16 are designed to fit and engage the inner sides of lips 100 and 10e with structural 16 bolted to lip 10e (see bolts 16a). These square-shaped structurals are then connected by diverging aluminum angles 17 which terminate in a square faced panel receiving channel generally indcated at numeral 18. As shown in FIG. 5, a set of screws 18a extend through the outer angle 1817 and the inner angle 130 of channel 18, thusly locating sign panel 14 therewithin.

Ballast 19, with wiring 20 for fluorescent panel light 11, is preferably mounted so that it st'addles the aluminum structurals 15 and 16. However, the ballast may be remotely located from the sign structure itself, with only wiring 20 leading to the fiuorescent panel light. Alternately, and in some cases preferably for support and reflection purposes, ballast 19 will be positoned on top of, rather than under a vertically mounted refiector as shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4.

As seen in FIG. 3, the illuminated sign is supported by link chain 21 in a position adjacent a vertical wall surface. The link chain 21 is of the type that could hang from a conventional wall hook eye and in such instance, clear acrylio plastic stub legs (not shown) of a preselected length with rubber pads will be added to connect with structural 15, thereby supporting the illuminated sign a preselected distance from the wall. This preselected distance facilitates in the night lighting effect described later.

FIGS. 6-9 represent a different face panel mounting means and depict therein a panel face holding channel 22 and connectors 23, which are constncted of clear acrylic plastic. Channel 22 is open along one edge allowing for quick removal and replacement of face panels. The projected face panel 14 mounted in its associated holding channel 22, is held away from the translucent reflector 10 by the clear acrylic plastic connectors 23. Connectors 23 are fastened to the reector's diverging corners by aluminum pop rivets 24, best seen in FIG. 9, and are braised to the corners of holding channel 22.

Because channel 22 and connectors 23 are made from transparent plastic rather than aluminum, it is lighter in weight and presents less light blockage and fewer Shadows. As a result, this sign Construction is easily portable and is sometimes set or leaned against counter or display shelves.

Another typical support for this type of illuminated sign is shown in FIG. 6 wherein the sign structure is rigidly supported from a joist or ceiling area with the accompanying ballast 19 located interiorly of the ceiling. When utilizing the rigid support mentioned above, an aluminum square frame 25 will be bolted to lip 100 at selective intervals. A pair of aluminum bar extensions 26 are welded at intervals on two sides of frame 25 and are internally threaded to connect with threaded rods 27. Rod 27 'may then extend through drilled holes in ceiling 28 and threadably engage supporting plates 29 which may be nailed or otherwise connected to joist 30. The abovementioned threaded rod connection allows the distance 'between rear panel 1011 and ceiling 28 to be selectively varied by adjustment of the externally threaded rod 27.

In my Patent 3,076,277, supra, the light source, an opaque refiector, and a translucent sign face panel were arranged in a particular fashion to produce a halo or light circle efiect on the wall or 'hacking surface surrounding the general area of the sign. By varying the position of the reflecting surface rearwardly of the sign face, the halo position and form could be varied so long as there Was a separation between the refiector and the rear of the sign face panel. This separation allowed the reflected and ditfused light rays bouncing off the interior of the sign face panel, for example, to pass therethrough unobstructed after their initial reflection and to finally reflect against the wall or hacking surface.

The instant sign construction likewise produces the halo effect behind sign face panel 14, however the usable percentage of available light emanating from the light source is signicantly increased by use of the translucent refiector 10. Direct rays from source 11 will be projected through rear panel 10a even though panel 10:: is translucent, rather than transparent. Additional light emission and glow effect is had around the translucent diverging angled sides 10d. Thus direct, reflected, diffused and intercepted light rays are played against wall surfaces and other objects surrounding the rear and adjacent area of the sign.

As earlier noted, the face panel 14 and the light source should be approximately the same shape. I have found that by using a square light source such as source 11, the entire square face panel 14 is uniformly lighted with no dead Spots located therein. Accordingly, with the instant Construction, a substantially smaller light source will illuminate a much larger sign area, as well as optimalzing the use of the 1800 lumens given off from the back side of the light source.

A typical example of the increased usable light is seen with reference to FIG. 3. Here the instant sign construction is shown, chain dropped a preselected distance away from the back wall of a room or store window. If, for example, the back wall is opposite the store window in the front of a "building, the illuminated sign could 'be used both to display and convey an illuminated message on the sign face panel accompanied by the halo effect, while at the same time, transrnitting suicient direct and reflected light rays through rear face 10:: of the refiector to light either the entire or a significant portion of the back wall area. Thus the illuminated sign is serving in dual capacities as both a night light and as a source of advertising illumination for the message carried on the front sign face panel.

The embodiment disclosed with reference to FIG. 6 has a similarly constructed refiector ring and light source. This mounting arrangement maintains the above-mentioned dual purpose capability of illuminating the sign panel face 14, while directly lighting the ceiling 28. In this instance, it is also conternplated that the rigid mount represented 'by threaded rods 27 may be replaced by link chains of the type that will allow the sign structure to be more easily raised or lowered to suit the need of projecting direct, diffused and reflected light as the circumstances may dictate. This embodiment allows illuminated signs to actually serve as the entire illuminating source for a store, office or waiting room area. The advertising indicia or copy (not shown) may still be dislayed on frontal panel 14 while selectively spaced sign structures ranging from the ceiling will adequately illuminate the store, office or shop with a pleasant indirect light. This eifect is created by the direct transmission of forward light through face panel 14 as well as the reected and diffused light rays emanating from in and around the rearwardly refiecting face panel, the translucent reflector sides and rear panel, and the various light refiecting surfaces therearound such as the ceilings and walls. This type of light, the direct, diifused and reflected rays, has a tendency to "hug the walls and ceiling and eifectively eliminates Shadows around counters, desks and working areas below.

The unique sign Construction greatly facilitates the advertising potential of illuminated signs. By selecting colored translucent refiectors, various promnent and identifiable trademark colors and features may be accentuated in window displays or at significant display and purchase points in retail stores. For example, the instant sign Construction may be used to display advertising copy on its frontal face panel while it is chain mounted in a display window. The direct rays emanating from the light source through a color translucent reflector may highlight some significant color or object on display in the window. t

When desired, the various embodiments may be mounted away from a wall and advertising indicia or copy (not shown) may be placed directly on the rear panel 1012, for an interior message, as well as the larger message on the frontal face panel 14. The sign may be revolving, stationary, mounted on a parapet or marquee or include color translucent reflectors of the type mentioned above. In this instance, transmitted, direct, diffused and 'eflected light rays, along with the above-mentioned halo effect results in a great deal of versatility from an advertising, illuminating and displaying standpoint.

The various sign Construction mentioned above also may be utilzed for its potential room illumination ability. In this instance the distance that the sign itself is positioned away from a wall surface or ceiling surface plays a significant role in the type of illumination atforded. If, for example, the above-mentioned fiuorescent panel light were used as the light source in the FIG. 3 embodiment, it is estimated that the rear face lOa should be located some 5 to 6 inches away from the wall surface. This distance allows the direct, transmitted, dilfused and reflected light from a single sign to sufficiently light the entire back wall of a moderately sized room. Similarly an illuminated and illuminating sign of this Construction can light an area in front of a display window as well as the display window area and the room area behind it.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all of the ends and objects hereinabove set forth, together with other advantages which are obvious and which are inherent to the structure.

It will be understood, that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of the clams.

As many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departng from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown face portion with outwardly divergng sides extending therefrom,

a source of illumination postioned within said dished face portion of said reflector and operative to generate light rays outwardly of and through said dished portion,

said source having a wafered front panel with a rear serpentineglass envelope and operable to generate I light rays both forwardly and rearwardly thereof,

a translucent and inwardly refiecting sign face panel so postioned opposite said source and outwardly of the end extremities of said divergng sides that at least one-half of the direct light rays from said source of illumination must contact said panel before passing therefrom.

2. The invention of claim 1 wherein said sign face panel is held outwardly of the end extremities of said divergng sides in a transparent frame supported by transparent connectors.

3. The invention as in claim 1 wherein said translucent reflector is colored, thereby causing said illu minating light rays emanating therefrom to be substantially the color of said reflector.

4. The method of using a light source having a wafered face plate with a translucent envelope arranged in serpentine fashion and formed integrally with the rear of said plate, said method operable to simultaneously illuminate the front panel of a sign located in a window display area, an area in front of the window and an area behind said sign including said display area and an adjacent room area, said method comprising the steps of supporting a translucent colored reflector with said source of illumination therein a preselected distance from the ceiling of said display area,

projecting at least one-half of the direct light rays emanating from said source onto the rear face of a translucent and rearwardly refiecting sign face panel that is spaced away from said reflector,

directing substantially all the remaining direct light rays from the serpentine glass envelope through said reflector and into contact with said window display area and said adjacent room area behind said sign, and

projecting frontally emanating direct, diffused and reflected light rays from said sign Construction and said display area through said window and into contact with an area in front of said 'window said method thereby simultaneously illuminating said window display area, adjacent room area, an outside area in front of said window and the front panel of said sign with light rays substantially the color of said translucent reflector.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l,180,l38 4/1916 Giese 40-131 1, 803,631 5/1931 Mabee 40-152.2 X 2,46 5,034 3/ 1949 Peters 40--132 2,269,71 8 1/ 1942 Huber 40-132 3,076,277 2/1963 Maze 40-130 EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Pr'mary Exam'ner. W. J. CONTRERAS, Assistant Exam'ner.

U.S. Cl. X.R. 40-132, 152.12

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1180138 *May 15, 1915Apr 18, 1916Richard S GieseIlluminated sign.
US1803631 *Jul 12, 1928May 5, 1931Mabee Elliott BIlluminating device for the display and examination of negatives
US2269718 *Jun 19, 1939Jan 13, 1942Photoplating CompanyIlluminated sign
US2465034 *Aug 28, 1948Mar 22, 1949Raymond M Price And AssociatesIlluminated sign with ventilating means therefor
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4067130 *Nov 4, 1976Jan 10, 1978Colorlux A-SSign board casing
US4688343 *Sep 25, 1985Aug 25, 1987Ad-Dom International LimitedMessage dome for automotive vehicles
US5020252 *Nov 5, 1987Jun 4, 1991Boef J A G DeIlluminated sign system
US5381324 *Dec 23, 1992Jan 10, 1995Marketing Displays, Inc.Illuminated canopy system
US5459645 *Jan 10, 1994Oct 17, 1995Delco Electronics CorporationWide angle light coupler for image illumination
US5537302 *Nov 17, 1994Jul 16, 1996Marketing Displays, Inc.Illuminated sign with patterned openings on light dispersion member
US5613763 *Jun 7, 1995Mar 25, 1997Marketing Displays Inc.Method for installing illuminated canopy system
US5746503 *Oct 5, 1994May 5, 1998Marketing Displays Inc.Illuminated canopy system
US5931564 *Sep 22, 1995Aug 3, 1999Hillstrom; David U.Illuminated canopy system
US8562182Jun 24, 2010Oct 22, 2013FacesMe, LLCLighting fixture and method for creating visual effects and method for creating a distorted image
US20080034633 *Aug 10, 2007Feb 14, 2008Yin Kwong TangIlluminated picture frame
US20110002128 *Jun 24, 2010Jan 6, 2011Facesme LlcLighting fixture and method for creating visual effects and method for creating a distorted image
USRE36039 *Nov 29, 1995Jan 12, 1999Marketing Displays, Inc.Illuminated canopy system
U.S. Classification40/564, 40/716
International ClassificationG09F13/14
Cooperative ClassificationG09F13/14
European ClassificationG09F13/14