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Publication numberUS3456104 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 15, 1969
Filing dateFeb 23, 1966
Priority dateFeb 23, 1966
Publication numberUS 3456104 A, US 3456104A, US-A-3456104, US3456104 A, US3456104A
InventorsWilliams Christopher
Original AssigneeWilliams Christopher, Elton Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lighting fixture having a lamp socket with insulation piercing means
US 3456104 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 15, 1969 v c. WILLIAMS LIGHTING FIXTURE HAVING A LAMP SOCKET WITH ATTORNEYS WI ll) United States Patent 3,456,104 LIGHTIN'G FIXTURE HAVING A LAMP SOCKET WITH INSULATION PIERCING MEANS Christopher Williams, Brooklyn, N.Y., assignor, by mesne assignments, of one-third to Elton Industries, Inc., Oyster Bay Cove, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Feb. 23, 1966, Ser. No. 529,529 Int. Cl. F21v 21/16 US. Cl. 246-88 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A lighting fixture to be mounted on an insulated twowire conductor. The fixture includes a tubular core through which the conductor passes, and this core has a wall formed with openings passing therethrough. At its exterior the core pivotally carries a socket member provided with a lamp socket for receiving a lamp. Contacts for the lamp and the lamp socket extend from the pivotally mounted socket member through the openings of the core and terminate in sharp ends which pierce the insulation of the conductor to respectively engage the wires therein so as to connect the lamp in the socket to the conductors when the socket member is turned to a position located alongside the tubular core.

This invention relates to an improvement in a lamp socket, and in particular, to an improved lamp socket which permits the ready installation of lighting fixtures upon a conductor by means of sharpened extensions extending from the lamp socket, which pierce the insulation of the conductor to make contact with the conducting wires.

The present invention provides a lamp socket having two extending pointed contacts which are adapted to pierce the insulation of a two-wire conductor, so that each contact makes electrical connection with one of the conductors. In this manner, the lamp socket is connected to a source of power, while also providing the means by which the socket and lamp fixture are mounted upon the conductors, the mounting being achieved solely by the retaining force of the connection between the pointed contacts and the conductors. Support of the socket and lamp fixture is afforded by contact between the pointed contacts and the conductor insulation.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a novel lamp socket by means of which quick and effective mounting of the lamp socket to the source of power, without the need of fastening devices, such as screws or clips, is achieved.

It is also a purpose of the present invention to provide a lamp socket which eliminates the need for supports other than that provided by connection between the lamp socket and the conductor.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a lamp socket and fixture by means of which the socket may be readily connected to and removed from a conductor to position the fixture with a variety of design possibilities.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a lamp socket and lamp fixture which is inexpensive, easy to install and which provides for a variety of decorative arrangements of lighting fixtures.

In accordance with the present invention, the lamp fixture comprises an upstanding core member upon which at least one section containing a lamp socket is pivotally mounted. An axial passageway is formed through the core section, and is adapted to receive therethrough a conductor, comprising two wires, each having a rubber or plastic insulation surrounding it. Two clips or sharp 3,456,104 Patented July 15, 1969 ened contact points extend from the contacts of the lamp socket, each of which is adapted to pierce the insulation of one of the wires of the conductor, so as to make electrical connection with the conductor, while simultaneously engaging the lamp socket and lighting fixture upon the conductor. The core member has radial slots therein through which the clips or sharpened contacts may project to pierce the insulation of the conductors therein. The fixture is installed upon the conductor by pivoting one of the socket members against the core member, whereupon the clips pass through the radial slots and pierce the conductor insulation to produce the desired fixture installation and electrical conduction path.

In a preferred embodiment of the above intention, two socket members are provided, placed on either side of the core member, each of which is pivotally mounted upon the member.

Further objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed specification and the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view in which two of the inventive lamp fixtures are disposed upon a vertical conductor;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation, partly in section, viewed along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1, showing the interior structure of a lighting fixture according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an elevation of the interior structure shown in FIG. 2, certain parts being shown in vertical cross-section taken across line 3-3 of FIG. 2, with the bulbs removed for the sake of clarity showing the inner structure of the inventive lamp socket;

FIG. 4 is a top plan View of the lighting fixture shown in FIG. 3, with one socket member in the outwardly pivoted position;

FIG. 5 is a broken side elevation of a socket member;

FIG. 6 is a section of the socket member shown in FIG. 5 taken on the line 6-6 and showing the manner in which the contacts are mounted; and

FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the individual contacts according to the present invention.

With reference to the figures, FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing two lamp fixtures 10 connected to an electrical conductor 11 which is of the type known as zip-cord, that is, two conductors each of which is surrounded by plastic or rubber insulation.

The inventive apparatus for supporting the lamp fixtures to the conductor is now described with reference to a pre ferred embodiment thereof shown in FIGS. 2 through 7. The lamp fixture 10 comprises a hemispherical dome or cover portion 12 which is closed at its lower rim by a circular cover plate 13. Through the top of dome portion 12, a passageway 14 is formed and a corresponding passageway 15 is formed through the central portion of cover plate 13, thereby forming a passage through which the conductor 11 is placed when lighting fixture 10 is fastened to the conductor. For conventional two-wire conductors the passageways 14 and 15 will be rectangular in crosssection.

A central core member 16 is mounted by any suitable means, to cover plate 13 and extends upwards to abut against dome 12. A rectangular passageway 17 is formed through core member 16 of substantially the same crosssectional dimensions as passageways 14 and 15. Passageway 17 also lies along the same vertical axis as passageways 14 and 15.

The structure of the core member 16 is shown in greatest detail in FIGS. 3 and 4, as being substantially rectangular in cross section.

Two yoke sections 18 and 19 are formed in opposite sides of the core member into which two socket members 20 and 21 are placed respectively. The socket members are hinged to the bottom portion of the core member 16 by means of hinge pins 22, so that socket member 29 is free to pivot counter-clockwise or to the left, as seen in FIG. 3, and socket member 21 is free to pivot clockwise or to the right, as seen in FIG. 3. Socket members 20 and 21 slope upwards and inwards towards dome 12 and have oppositely extending arrowheaded ends 20a and 21a. Arrowhead end portions 20a, 21a engage the outer surface of dome portion 12 to retain core member 16 within dome portion 12.

Socket members 20 and 21 are each provided with a bore section in which lamp sockets 24 and 25 respectively are secured. Sockets 24 and 25 each have a ribbed or corrugated lower portion 26 (see FIG. 6) into which the base of a bulb 27 is screwed to retain the bulb operatively within the socket. Sockets 24, 25 are disposed on opposing sides of passageway 17 and lie in substantially the same lateral plane. Two clips or contacts 28 and 29 are slipped into grooves 30 and 31 located at opposite sides of sockets 24 and 25 and extend laterally from the socket arm into the passageway 17 (see FIGS. 3 and 4) when the socket arms are swung to the closed position corresponding to the position of socket arm 20 in FIG. 3. Contact 28 makes contact with the bottom contact of lamp 27 when the lamp is screwed into the socket, and contact 29 makes contact with the threaded portion of the conducting base of lamp 27.

With reference to FIG. 7, the structure of each of the contacts 28, 29 is shown therein in detail. Contact 28 is a metallic conductive strip formed into portions 28a, 28c and 28d, each portion extending at substantially right angles from the portion adjacent thereto. A portion 28b is cut out from portion 28a and is then bent to extend substantially perpendicularly thereto in a direction opposite to that of 280. Portion 28a is formed with an arcuate lateral edge and thereby produces a sharpened end edge 28e at the lower end of portion 28d. Sharpened end 2812 is adapted to pierce the insulation of the conductor in the manner described above.

Contact 29 comprises a portion 29a having corrugations formed near the upper end thereof to correspond to the corrugations or threads formed in the lamp socket 26, so that when clip 29 is fastened to the socket 26 the corrugated portion 29b mates with the corrugations of the socket 26 to achieve maximum contact area and retention between the clip 29 and the lamp socket 26. The upper end of portion 29a is bent to form a reverse angle bend 290 which mates with the outer rim of the socket 26; and the lower end of portion 29a is given a right angle bend to form portion 29d from which portion 29e extends at substantially right angles thereto. An arcuate curve forming a sharpened pointed edge 29 is cut from portion 29e. Sharpened edges 29e and 29 pierce the insulation of the conductor when the socket arm 21, 20 is pivoted from the open position shown by socket arm 21 of FIG. 3 to the closed position shown by socket arm 20 of FIG. 3. It is of significance that the setback portion 29d of contact 29 is of a greater length than the corresponding length of the setback portion 28c of contact 28.

The central core member 16 is provided with four lateral extending slots through which the sharpened ends 29 and 28s of the socket arms extend when the arms are in a closed position. As shown in FIG. 3, slots 32 are displaced from one another and the contacts 28, 29 are placed into opposite sides so that the pointed ends of the clips 28, 29 extend into the passageway 17 at different elevations along the passageway, to provide clearance between the sharpened ends of the clips. As shown best in FIG. 4, the arcuate sections of portions 28d and 29e are formed at opposite sides of their respective sections so that the projecting sharpened tips 282 and 29f are laterally displaced within passageway 17 so that each of the tips will pierce only one of the wires of the two-wire insulated conductor 11.

The socket members 20 and 21 are made of resilient plastic as are all the other elements of the fixture, except for the sockets and clips. To remove the globe portion 12 and to remove the entire fixture 10, all that need be done is to force the arrowhead portions 20a, 21a towards each other so that the globe is released from the core portion 16, and then the socket members 20, 21 can be pivoted outwardly to release the lamp fixture from the conductor 11. A bevel 33 is formed adjacent the upper end of the core portion 16 on each side of the passageway 17 to receive the more resilient end portions of the socket members 20 and 21. Thus, the arrowheaded ends 20a and 21a may be pressed toward each other to release the socket members 20 and 21 from the dome portion 12 and to withdraw the fixture and the plate 13 from the dome portion. The two hemispherical fixtures shown in FIG. 1 are arranged bottom to top. However, they may also be arranged bottom to bottom, by merely inverting one of the hemispheres. Furthermore, the spacing between the fixtures can be easily modified to suit any desired arrangement. 1-

It is to be understood that I have only described a preferred embodiment of my invention and that improvements thereto will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon studying this specification. Therefore, I wish that my invention be defined not by the embodiment shown, but rather by the scope of the claims which are appended below.

What I claim is:

1. A lighting fixture for mounting onto a two-wire insulated conductor, comprising a tubular core member having a passageway therethrough for receiving said conductor and having a wall formed with a pair of openings passing therethrough, a socket member pivotally mounted on said core member for swinging movement to and from a position extending alongside said core member covering said openings thereof, a lamp socket mounted in said socket member, and contacts mounted onto said socket member and extending from said socket member respectively through said openings of said core member into said passageway to pierce through the insulation of the conductor and engage a pair of wires thereof, respectively, when said socket member is in said position alongside said core member covering said openings thereof, whereby said fixture may be mounted on and carried by said conductor.

2. A lighting fixture as recited in claim 1, wherein said contacts have portions oifset with respect to said lamp socket, said offset portions extending parallel to the axis of said tubular core member.

3. A lighting fixture comprising a tabular member for accommodating an insulated two-wire conductor extending axially therethrough, said tubular member being formed at each of a pair of opposed wall portions thereof with a pair of openings passing therethrough, a pair of socket members pivoted to said tubular member on opposed sides thereof for swinging movement to and from positions extending alongside said tubular member and respectively covering said wall portions thereof, said socket members having sockets for carrying electric light bulbs and said sockets being coaxial when said socket members are in their positions alongside said tubular member, and first and second outwardly pointed electric contact members extending from each socket member toward said tubular member and through the openings of a wall portion thereof to pierce the insulation of a two-wire conductor and respectively engage the wires thereof, said tubular member having the openings in one of its wall portions longitudinally offset with respect to the openings in the other of its wall portions and all of said pointed electric contact members being correspondingly offset to extend respectively through said openings, whereby the coaxial sockets can be electrically connected with the two-wire conductor.

4. A lighting fixture for connection with and support by an insulated two-wire conductor comprising a circular bottom plate having an aperture at the central portion thereof, an upstanding core member having a passageway extending longitudinally therethrough in registry with said aperture through which said conductor passes, a first and second socket member pivotally mounted upon said core member, each having a transverse bore therethrough and a pair of grooves on opposite sides of said bore, a bulb socket mounted in each of said transverse bores, a first and second contract inserted into the respective grooves, one contact having a first portion thereof in contact with said socket and a second portion having an insulation-piercing sharpened point adapted to extend into said passageway, the other contact having a first portion thereof out of contact with said socket and a second portion having an insulation piercing sharpened point adapted to extend into said passageway.

5. A lighting fixture as recited in claim 4, wherein said core member has a pair of radially extending slots through which the sharpened ends of said contacts extend.

6. A lighting fixture as recited in claim 5, wherein said sockets have the central axes thereof lying in the same lateral plane.

7. A lighting fixture as recited in claim 6, wherein said contacts each comprise a setback portion intermediate and lying substantially perpendicular to said first and second portions. 3

8. A lighting fixture as recited in claim 7, wherein the setback portion of said first contact is greater in length than the setback portion of said second contact.

9. A lighting fixture as recited in claim 8, wherein said sharpened ends of said first and second contacts are formed at opposite edges of said portions whereby said sharpened ends are laterally displaced within said passage- Way.

10. A lighting fixture as recited in claim 9, wherein said radial slots lie at difierent axial positions along said core member and said contacts are oppositely disposed within each of said sockets, thereby staggering the positions of the sharpened ends of said contacts within said passageway.

11. A lighting fixture as recited in claim 4, further comprising a dome mounted on said circular plate and covering said central core member and socket arms, said dome having an aperture therein in registry with said passageway, and each of said socket members comprises a flanged portion extending from the upper end thereof for engaging the outer surface of said dome.

12. A lighting fixture as recited in claim 11, wherein said socket members are of suificient resiliency to permit disengagement of said flanges from said dome by lateral pressure upon them.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 960,269 6/ 1910 Burnham. 2,559,706 7/1951 Brooks 240-407 XR 2,689,945 9/ 1954 Benander. 3,115,308 12/1963 Stark 240-452 XR 3,127,229 3/1964 Beck 339994 3,286,255 11/1966 Sanchez 240-8.16 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 766,017 1/1957 Great Britain.

NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner R. M. SHEER, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 339-99

Patent Citations
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US960269 *Feb 17, 1910Jun 7, 1910S B Condit JrShock-absorbing and cord-adjusting device for incandescent electric lamps.
US2559706 *Jul 15, 1947Jul 10, 1951On A Lite CorpDecorative lighting fixture
US2689945 *Jun 24, 1952Sep 21, 1954Gen ElectricCeiling lamp adapter
US3115308 *Dec 26, 1961Dec 24, 1963IbmSnap-in housing
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5280417 *Aug 9, 1991Jan 18, 1994The Brinkmann CorporationLow voltage light fixture
US5967649 *Sep 4, 1998Oct 19, 1999Schlesinger; Robert A.Lighting device adapted to be positioned at any point along an electrical cord
US6017241 *Jan 26, 1998Jan 25, 2000Tivoli Industries, Inc.Aisle lighting lampholder
U.S. Classification362/362, 439/409
International ClassificationF21V21/002
Cooperative ClassificationF21V21/002
European ClassificationF21V21/002