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Publication numberUS3466408 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 9, 1969
Filing dateJun 1, 1967
Priority dateJun 1, 1967
Publication numberUS 3466408 A, US 3466408A, US-A-3466408, US3466408 A, US3466408A
InventorsBasso Michael J
Original AssigneeBasso Michael J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination switch-lamp assembly
US 3466408 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Se t. 9, 1969 M. .1. BASSO COMBINATION SWITCH-LAMP ASSEMBLY Filed 'June 1. 1967 INVENTOR. )f cZae/ 7.154540 A ax/vzxsz United States Patent Oflice 3,466,408 Patented Sept. 9, 1969 U.S. Cl. 20051 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A combination switch-lamp assembly comprising housing means defining a lamp bulb base receiving socket compartment and an elongated cavity having a switch actuating button or plunger reciprocally mounted thereon. A combination terminal-socket member provided in the lamp receiving compartment for operatively supporting a conventional lamp, a resilient coil spring extending between a portion of the lamp base and the plunger member for biasing a contact member carried by the plunger into engagement with a portion of an end cap member mounted on the housing, the end cap member functioning as a terminal means and also means for securing the housing to a retaining clip member adapted to be mounted in a grounded stationary support structure.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It has heretofore been the practice to provide some type of illuminating means in the glove compartments or glove boxes of automotive vehicles. Such illuminating means have in the past consisted of separate socket means for supporting a lamp bulb, and switch or actuating means for selectively communicating electric current to the socket means to effectuate illumination of the lamp bulb. Due to the fact that the switch or actuating means was separate and remote from the socket means, it has been necessary to provide a plurality of mounting means, i.e., mounting brackets or the like, for both the socket means and switch means, as well as suitable electrical conductors for communicating electric current between the socket means and their associated switch or actuating means.

The present invention is intended to overcome the objectionable characteristics of heretofore known and used glove compartment illuminating devices through the provision of a unitized assembly which incorporates both socket means for supporting a lamp bulb and switch or actuating means for selectively energizing the bulb. The field of the present invention is, therefore, generally directed toward lamp bulb supporting socket means and associated switching means and, more particularly, toward a unitized assembly comprising both a lamp bulb supporting socket means and an associated actuating means for selectively completing an electrical circuit communicating current to the lamp bulb.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to combination switchsocket assemblies and, more particularly, to a novel combination switch-lamp assembly particularly adapted for use, although not so limited, in selectively illuminating the glove compartments of automotive vehicles, and the provision of such an assembly constitutes a primary object of the present invention.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved combination switch-lamp assembly of the above character which is of an extremely simple design, which comprises a minimum number of component parts, and which is therefore economical to commercially manufacture.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved switch-lamp assembly of the above character that may be easily installed and which will find universality of application.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a combination switch-lamp assembly which completely obviates the use of any conventional-type wire conductors between the socket and actuating sections thereof.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a combination switch-lamp assembly of the above type which is particularly adapted for use, although not so limited, in automotive vehicles having grounded-type electrical circuits.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be seen from the following detailed description which is taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURE 1 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the combination switch-lamp assembly in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a transverse cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 22 of FIGURE 1; and

FIGURE 3 is a transverse cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 33 of FIGURE 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING For convenience of description, the terms inwardly and outwardly have reference to the geometric center of the switch-lamp assembly of the present invention and the various component parts thereof. Likewise, the terms forwardly, rearwardly and derivatives thereof will have reference to the switch-lamp assembly of the present invention as shown in FIGURE 1, with the forward End of said assembly being located at the left side of this gure.

' Referring now to the drawing, a combination switchlamp assembly 10, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, is shown as comprising an actuating or switch section 12 at the forward end thereof and a socket or lamp supporting section 14 at the rearward end thereof. The socket section 14 is adapted to operatively support a suitable lamp bulb which is selectively energized or illuminated upon actuation of switching means disposed withinthe section 12 of the assembly 10, in a manner hereinafter to be described in detail.

As best seen in FIGURE 1, the assembly 10 includes an elongated, generally cylindrical housing 16, which is preferably of a molded one-piece construction and fabricated of a suitable non-conductive and non-combustible plastic material such as nylon. The housing 16 comprises a uniform diameter medial portion 18 which defines an elongated central cavity 20 and terminates at the forward end thereof in a radially outwardly extending flange or shoulder portion 22. Reciprocably mounted within the forward end of a cavity 20 is an elongated actuating button 23, which is preferably fabricated of the same material as the housing 16, i.e., nylon or the like. The button 23 comprises a generally cylindrical body portion 24 which terminates at the forward end thereof in a generally hemispherical contact portion 26. The body portion 24 is formed with a radially outwardly extending shoulder portion 28 adjacent the rearward end thereof, the shoulder portion 28 defining a pair of annular radial faces 30 and 32 at the forward and rearward ends, respectively, thereof. The shoulder portion 28 is adapted to carry a cylindrical contact member or element 34 which is fabricated of a suitable conductive material such as brass or the like and is contiguously engaged with the radially outer periphery of the shoulder portion 28-. The contact element 34 is fixedly secured to the actuating button 23 by having its forward and rearward end portions 36 and 38, respectively, crimped or similarly formed radially inwardly into engagement with the radial faces 30' and 32, respectively.

As illustrated in FIGURE 1, an annular or ring-shaped cap member 40 is mounted on the forward end of the housing 16. The member 40 comprises a radially extending intermediate section 42 which is juxtapositioned against the forward side of the flange portion 22, the radially innermost part of the section 42 being formed with an axially, rearwardly extending portion 44 which is coaxially arranged relative to the longitudinal axis of the housing 16 and spaced radially therefrom a distance equal to the forward end portion 36 of the contact element 34, whereby forward movement of the actuating button 23 results in the forward end portion 36 of the contact element 34 engaging the portion 44 of the cap member 40. The radially outermost part of the cap section 42 terminates at a rearwardly extending section 46 which is formed with a radially inwardly extending portion 48.

The housing member 16 is adapted to be operatively mounted on a suitable stationary grounded support structure or member, an exemplary embodiment of which is shown in FIGURE 1 and designated by the numeral 50. The member 50 is formed with an annular opening 52 which is slightly larger in diameter than the outer periphery of the housing medial portion 18, but of smaller diameter than the outer periphery of the flange portion 22. The housing member 16 is adapted to be fixedly secured within the opening 52 by means of suitable mounting means such as the retaining clip 54 shown in FIGURE 1 and comprising an annular collar portion 56 extending around the outer periphery of the forward end of the housing member 16, the forward end of the collar portion 56 terminating in a radially outwardly extending flange portion 58 which is clampingly secured to the rearward side of the flange portion 22 by the inwardly extending portion 48 of the cap member 40. As seen in FIGURE 1, the collar portion 56 of the clip 54 may be formed with one or more arcuately shaped, radially outwardly deformed or upstruck ears 60 which are of a resilient character so that as the clip 54 is inserted through the opening 52, the ears 60 will be biased inwardly until the ears 60 are disposed on the rearward side of the support member 50, at which time the cars 60 will expand radially outwardly to fixedly secure the clip 54 and hence the housing 16 to the member 50. It will be noted that the arcuate configuration of the ears 60 functions to bias or cam the clip 54 and housing 16 rearwardly with respect to the support member 50 and thereby maintain the portion 48 of the cap member 40 positively engaged with the forward side thereof.

Referring now in detail to the socket section 14 of the assembly 10, as best seen in FIGURES 1 and 3, the medial portion 18 of the housing 16 is formed with a transversely extending partition section 62 which defines a central axially extending opening 64 and separates the rearward end of the central cavity from a substantially cylindrical shaped compartment 66 located at the rearward end of the housing 16. The rearward side of the partition section 62 is formed with an annular rib portion 68 circumjacent the opening 64 and with a plurality of radially outwardly and circumferentially spaced rib portions 70 which function to reinforce the partition section 62.

Mounted within the compartment 66 of the housing 16 is a combination terminal and lamp bulb supporting socket member, generally designated by the numeral 72. As best seen in FIGURE 3, the numeral 72 is preferably, although not necessarily, of a one-piece construction and is preferably fabricated of spring steel or other suitable conductive material which is plated or coated with a corrosion resistant material such as cadmium or zinc. The member 72 has one portion thereof, designated by the numeral 74, formed into a generally circular configuration that defines an annular or cylindrical socket section 76, the outer periphery of which is spaced slightly radially inwardly from the inner periphery of the V compartment 66 and the inner periphery of which defines a cylindrical lamp base receiving opening 77. As seen in FIGURE 3, the upper right-hand part of the socket section 76 terminates in a substantially flat, axially extending terminal section 78 which is disposed within an upwardly extending, generally of rectangular shaped recess 80 that is defined by an upper rearward portion of the housing 16, as seen at 82.

A plurality of generally triangular shaped, upstruck ear portions or barbs 84 are formed, two on the diametrically opposed sides of the socket section 76 and one on the upper side of the terminal section 78. The upstruck ends of the barbs 84 extend toward the rear ward end of the housing 16 and are thereby adapted to function to secure the member 72 within the compartment 66. More particularly, as the member 72 is inserted within the compartment 66 by biasing the member 72 forwardly until the forward end of the socket section 76 abuts against the rearward side of the partition section 62, the rearward ends of the barbs 84 will be depressed or deformed radially inwardly; however, at such time as the member 72 is disposed in the operative position shown in FIGURE 1, the rearward ends of the barbs 84 will expand slightly and will embed themselves in the inner periphery of the housing 16, thus fixedly securing the member 72 within the compartment 66 and recess 80.

The socket section 76 of the member 72 is provided with conventional lamp bulb locking means adapted to removably receive and support the base section 86 of a suitable lamp bulb illustrated in FIGURE 1 and generally designated by the numeral 88. The locking arrangement shown herein consists of a pair of diametrically opposed, generally J-shaped slots 90 that are formed in the socket section 76 and one of which is shown in FIGURE 1. Each of the slots 90 comprisess an axially extending portion 92 which terminates at its forward end in a generally circumferentially extending portion 94. As is the usual case with such locking arrangements, the slot portions 94 extend circumferentially in the opposite directions from the slot portions 92. A rearwardly extending, generally arcuate shaped recess 96 is formed in each of the slot portions 94 and functions in the usual manner to lockingly secure the base section 86 of the lamp bulb 88 within the socket section 76 of the member 72. In order to operatively assemble the lamp bulb 88 within the socket section 76, the bulb 88 is positioned such that a pair of radially outwardly extending tangs 98 provided on the base section 86 of the bulb 88 are aligned with the slot portions 92. The bulb 88 is then moved forwardly through the opening 77 until the tangs 98 engage the forward ends of the slot portions 92, at which time the bulb is rotated in a clockwise direction in FIGURE 3 until the tangs 98 are moved into registry with the recesses 96.

As best seen in FIGURE 1, a longitudinally extending, helical coil spring, generally designated 100, is disposed within the central cavity 20. The spring 100 comprises a main portion 102 that is substantially coextensive of the cavity 20 and the forward end of which bears against the end portion 38 of the contact element 34. The spring 100 also comprises a rearwardly extending portion 104 which is slightly smaller in diameter than the opening 64 in the partition section 62 and extends coaxially therethrough. The rearward end of the spring portion 104 bears against the contact or terminal portion 106 located on the forward end of the lamp bulbs base section 86.

The spring 100 serves several functions, the most important of which is to complete an electrical circuit between the terminal portion 106 of the lamp bulb 88 and the contact element 34. A further function of the spring 100 is to continuously exert a rearwardly directed resilient force against the bulb 88 to maintain the tangs 98 within the recesses 96 of the member 72, thus assuring that the bulb 88 will not be inadvertently disassembled from the housing 16, Finally, the spring 100 functions to exert a forwardly directed resilient force against the actuating button 23, with the result that the button 23 is normally urged toward the solid line position in FIGURE 1, wherein the forward end portion 36 of the contact element 34 is in contact with the portion 44 of the cap member 40.

It will be seen from the above described construction of the assembly that the forward end portion 36 of the contact element 34 and the rearwardly extending portion 44 of the cap member 40 function as switch terminals in the electric circuit within which the assembly 10 is located. More particularly, it will be seen that the spring 100 normally biases the contact element 34 into engagement with the cap member 40, whereby to complete an electric circuit between the member 72 and the stationary grounded support member 50. At such time as the actuating button 23 is depressed, the contact element 34 will be biased rearwardly away from the cap member 40, whereby to open or break this circuit.

Although the assembly 10 of the present invention is intended to find particularly useful application as installed in the glove box or glove compartment of an automotive vehicle, such use thereof is not considered to be the only application of the assembly 10; however, by way of example, when the assembly 10 is operatively installed in an automobile glove compartment, the support member 50' is preferably connected to a grounded portion of the vehicle, and the terminal section 78 is adapted to have a suitable female-type terminal member or clip (not shown), as is commonly used in the art, inserted through the rear opening 77 of the housing 16 and positively engage the terminal section 78. The terminal clip is intended to be connected to a suitable current carrying or hot conductor which is adapted to communicate electric current to the lamp bulb 88. A suitable opening 108 is provided in the terminal section 78 for receiving a detent or similar retaining portion on the aforesaid terminal clip and thereby positively secure said clip within the housing 16. The assembly 10 is intended to be located at a position toward the forward or open side of the glove compartment at a position wherein the actuating button 23 is disposed in the phantom position shown in FIGURE 1 when the glove compartment closure member or door (not shown) is disposed in its respective closed position. Accordingly, when said door is closed, the contact element 34 is disengaged from the cap member 40 to open the circuit between the member 72 and the grounded support member 50. At such time as the glove compartment door is opened the spring 100 will bias the actuating button 23 to the solid line position illustrated in FIGURE 3, thereby engaging the contact element 34 with the cap member 40 to complete the circuit between the current carrying conductor connected to the member 72 and the grounded support member 50, with the result that the lamp bulb 88 will be energized to illuminate the glove compartment. When the glove compartment door is again closed, the actuating button 23 will be biased from the solid line position in FIGURE 1 to the phantom position shown in this figure, thereby again disengaging the contact element 34 from the cap member 40 to open the circuit between the current carrying conductor and the grounded support member 50, with the result that the lamp bulb 88 will be deenergized.

It Will be seen from the foregoing description of the present invention that the combination switch-lamp assembly 10 is of an extremely simple design and comprises an absolute minimum number of component parts. Accordingly, the assembly 10 will be found to be extremely economical to commercially manufacture. It may be noted that the use of the assembly 10 is not intended to be limited to grounded type circuits of the type described herein. Alternatively, the assembly 10 may be used in throughtype circuits wherein one conductor is connected to the terminal section 78 of the member 72, while another conductor is connected to the cap member 40. Thus, when the actuating button 23 is disposed in the solid line position in FIGURE 1, a circuit between these two conductors will be closed, and when the actuating button 23 is depressed, this circuit will be opened. It will also be noted that the socket section 76 of the member 72 does not necessarily have to be of the type adapted to receiveonly lamp bulbs having the tang-type mounting device hereinabove described, since the socket section 76 may be internally threaded whereby to receive and support lamp bulbs having threaded base portions. It will be further noted that the switch-lamp assembly of the present invention, by virtue of its extremely compact size, may be installed in various types of operational environments other than automobile glove compartments, and thus the assembly 10 will find universality of application.

While it will be apparent that the embodiment illustrated herein it is calculated to fulfill the objects above stated, it will be appreciated that the assembly 10 of the present invention is susceptible to modification, variation and change without departing from the proper scope and fair meaning of the subjoined claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a combination switch-lamp assembly adapted to operatively support and selectively energize a lamp bulb having amounting base section,

an elongated generally tubular housing having an integral, inwardly projecting partition section separating the interior thereof into first and second chambers,

socket means disposed in said first chamber and for operatively supporting the lamp bulb,

first terminal means in electrically conductive relationship with said socket means and adapted to be connected to a first electrical conductor,

second terminal means in said second chamber and adapted to be connected to a second electrical conductor,

contact means movable toward and away from said second terminal means, means extending through said partition section and completing an electrical circuit between the base section of said lamp bulb and said contact means,

means normally biasing said contact means toward said second terminal means, and actuating means for selectively biasing said contact means away from said second terminal means, said socket means and said first terminal means comprises a one-piece member disposed within said first chamber of said housing, said member being formed with at least one outwardly projecting fastening prong adapted to be at least partially embedded in the wall of said first chamber for positively retaining said member therein. 2. In a combination switch-lamp assembly adapted to operatively support and selectively energize a lamp bulb having a mounting base section,

an elongated cylindrical housing member fabricated of an non-conductive molded material and defining a central cavity and terminating at one end in a cylindrical compartment and at the opposite end in an outwardly extending flange portion,

a transversely extending partition means formed integrally of said housing member and disposed between said cavity and said compartment,

socket means comprising a one-piece member disposed within said compartment and defining a cylindrically shaped socket section having locking means therein adaptedto operatively support said base section of said lamp bulb,

said member being formed with at least one outwardly projecting fastening prong adapted to be at least partially embedded in the wall of said chamber for positively retaining said member therein,

first terminal means in an electrically conducted relationship with said socket means and adapted to be connected to a first electrical conductor,

an end cap member fixedly secured on said flange portion and including second terminal means adapted to be connected to a second electrical conductor,

contact means movable toward and away from said second terminal means,

an actuating button reciprocally mounted within said cavity for biasing said contact means away from said second terminal means, and

means for biasing said contact means toward said second terminal means and completing an electrical circuit between said base section of said lamp bulb in said contact means and comprising spring means disposed within said cavity and extending through said partition means.

3. The invention as set forth in claim 2 wherein said partition means defines a central opening communicating said compartment with said central cavity.

4. The invention as set forth in claim 2 wherein said spring means comprises a first section disposed Within References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,686,852 8/1954 Brown 20051.13 2,783,318 2/1957 Brown 200-51.13 2,907,852 10/1959 Long et a1. ZOO-51.13

ROBERT K. SCHAEFER, Primary Examiner D. SMITH, 111., Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 200-166, 167

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2686852 *Feb 6, 1951Aug 17, 1954Gen Motors CorpLamp supporting and operating structure
US2783318 *Oct 20, 1955Feb 26, 1957Gen Motors CorpLamp supporting and operating structure
US2907852 *Mar 13, 1957Oct 6, 1959Wade Electric Products CoSwitch
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5903107 *Dec 30, 1996May 11, 1999Wade; William G.Lighted switch apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/51.00R, 200/308, 200/250
International ClassificationH01R33/955, H01R33/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01R33/955
European ClassificationH01R33/955