US 3525544 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 25, 1970 A. F. JACOBS 3,525,544
COMBINATION LATCH AND HINGE APPARATUS Filed Sept. 27, 1968 JNVEA/TO/Q Her/me}: (lac-05s 5 United States Patent 3,525,544 COMBINATION LATCH AND HINGE APPARATUS Arthur F. Jacobs, Hollywood, Calif., assignor to Prudential Lighting Corporation, Los Angeles, Calif. a corporation of California Filed Sept. 27, 1968, Ser. No. 763,272 Int. Cl. Ec 19/06, 19/10 U.S. Cl. 29218 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A combination latch and hinge apparatus for attaching a diffuser to a fluorescent lighting fixture housing including a bracket means supported at each end of the fixture housing and having a pair of laterally spaced apart openings, a pair of elongated latch members pivotally mounted at each end of the diffuser and in operative engagement with the bracket means, each of the elongated Fluorescent lighting fixtures in which a plastic diffuser is attached to the fixture housing so as to enclose the fluorescent lighting bulbs and to diffuse the light in the most advantageous manner are well known in the art. When the diffuser is in place, the fluorescent lighting bulbs as well as any starter units are entirely enclosed within the fixture. Accordingly, such fixtures must be provided with means for attaching the diffuser to the housing which is relatively easy to detach to as to provide easy access to the enclosed components. The prior art attaching mechanisms have not been entirely satisfactory because they have generally provided for either complete removal of the diffuser from the housing or for hinged connection between the diffuser and housing.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a combination latch and hinge apparatus for attaching a diffuser to a fluorescent lighting fixture so that the diffuser may be removed entirely from the housing or may be hinged along one longitudinal edge thereof providing access to the enclosed components in either mode of operation.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a combination latch and binge apparatus of the abovedescribed type which is simple in operation and economical in construction.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a combination latch and hinge apparatus of the above-described type which is versatile in that the diffuser may be hinged along either longitudinal edge thereof providing easy access in close quarters.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a combination latch and hinge apparatus which is reliable and safe to use in the hinged mode of operation by providing means for preventing the diffuser from being accidentally disengaged from the housing when in the open condition.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention wall be readily appreciated as the same become better understood by reference to the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawing.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fluorescent lighting fixture housing;
FIG. 2 is an end sectional view of an exemplary combination latch and hinge apparatus for attaching a diffuser to a fluorescent lighting fixture housing constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line III-III of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view as in FIG. 2 with the diffuser shown in an intermediate open position;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line VV of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 is an end sectional view as in FIG. 2 showing the diffuser in the hinged open position.
Referring now to the drawing, there is shown an exemplary embodiment of a combination latch and hinge apparatus for attaching a diffuser to a fluorescent lighting fixture housing. The fluorescent lighting fixture is illustrated in FIG. 1 and generally comprises a housing 20, a diffuser 30, and a combination latch and hinge apparatus for attaching the diffuser 30 to the housing 20, indicated generally at 40.
The lighting fixture housing 20 comprises a top wall 21, sidewalls 22, 23 (see FIG. 2) and end walls 24, 25. The diffuser 30 includes a bottom wall 31, sidewalls 32, 33 and end walls 34, 35. The diffuser and housing are shown in the operative position in FIG. 1 and as seen best in FIGS. 2 and 3, the upper end portion of the diffuser 30 is received within the lower portion of the housing 20.
The diffuser is attached to the fluorescent lighting fixture housing through the exemplary combination latch and hinge apparatus indicated generally at 40. The latch and hinge apparatus at each end of the housing is in all respects identical and it will thus be necessary to describe only the apparatus on one end of the fixture. Such apparatus includes bracket means which may comprise a horizontal wall member 41 fixedly secured to the end wall 24 of housing 20 and extending inwardly in a plane vertically upwardly spaced from the bottom edge of the housing walls. The housing 20 may also be provided with a horizontal lip or member that extends in the same plane as wall member 41 and is attached to the inner surface of each of the sidewalls 22, 23 of housing 20, such lips being indicated at 26, 27.
The horizontal wall member 41 is provided with a pair of laterally spaced apart openings 42, 43, a second pair of openings 44, 45 are also provided in wall member 41 and are disposed laterally outwardly of the first pair of openings 42, 43-.
The latch and hinge apparatus also includes a pair of elongated latch members indicated generally at 50, 51. The members 50, 51 are pivotally mounted in spaced apart location to the diffuser end wall 34 through pivot pins 52, 53, respectively. Elongated member 50 includes an upper portion having a hook-shaped end indicated at 54 and a lower portion extending below the pivotal axis and indicated at 55. Similarly, elongated latch member 51 includes an upper end portion having a hook-shaped end 56 and a lower end portion indicated at 57. The upper end portions of the members 50, 51 each have an outwardly facing surface 58, 59, respectively, in which is disposed outwardly facing notches 60, 61, respectively. The outwardly facing surfaces 58, 59 are inclined upwardly and inwardly so as to form ramps for reasons to be explained hereinafter.
The combination latch and hinge apparatus also includes spring means indicated generally at 62 and interconnecting the lower portions of latch members 50, 51 so as to urge such lower portions toward one another and thereby urging the hook-shaped ends of the upper portions of such members away from one another. It will be understood that the latch members 50, 51 are disposed so that the hook-shaped ends 54, 56 and the notches 60, 61 are directed laterally outwardly or away from one another.
The lighting fixture also includes means for mounting the fluorescent light bulbs which comprises the sockets indicated at 65, 66 for supporting the light bubs 6 7, 68. The socket 65, 66 may be supported by the horizontal wall member 41.
In operation, the diffuser 30 is normally disposed with its upper end portion inset or received within the lower end portion of fixture housing 20 as indicated in FIG. 2. In this position, it will be seen that the notches 60, 61 of latch members 50, 51 are in engagement with the edge of openings 42, 43 in horizontal wall member 41. The notches are securely engaged with the edges of the openings 42, 43 since the spring means 62 urges the notches into firm contact with the edges of the openings.
Access to the components within the fixture is provided by moving the diffuser 30 into the position as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. Such movement is effected by manually drawing the diffuser downwardly overcoming the bias of spring 62 so that the notches are disengaged from the horizontal wall member 41. The diffuser 30 may be lowered until the tips of the hook-shaped ends 54, 56 of the latch members drop into the laterally outwardly spaced openings 44, 45 in wall member 41, as seen in FIG. 4.
In the event that full access to the components within the fixture is desired, or that the diffuser may be entirely removed for purposes of maintenance, the workman may position one of his fingers into the gap between the housing and the diffuser so that the tip of the finger is in contact with the outwardly facing edge of one of the latch members. The corner of the diffuser beneath such latch member may be raised slightly with the other hand of the workman so that the tip of the hook-shaped end is withdrawn from the opening so that the member may be pivoted as shown in phantom lines in FIG. 6. The entire hook-shaped end may then be passed through the laterally inward opening so that the latch is entirely disengaged. Each of the other comers of the diffuser and its respective latch member may be disengaged in a similar manner so that the entire diffuser is removable.
Alternatively, if it is not necessary to remove the entire diffuser, access to the fluorescent bulbs may be obtained by disengaging two of the latch members, in the manner above described, so as to allow the diffuser to pivot along one longitudinal edge, as seen best in FIG. 6. It should be appreciated from FIG. 6- that when the diffuser is in the open hinged position the edge of the diffuser sidewall 32 is disposed laterally inwardly from its initial position and is in close engagement with the tip of the hook-shaped end 54 of latch member 50. In this manner, the diffuser is not easily dislodged accidentally from the housing since the necessary upward movement of the hook-shaped end 54 in order to disengage such tip from the opening 44 is prevented by the engagement of the edge of sidewall 32 with the bottom surface of horizontal wall member 41. Thus, in the open hinged position, not only easy access is maintained, but the diffuser is reliably and safely secured against accidental dislodgement.
From the foregoing description it will now be seen that the combination latch and hinge apparatus for attaching a diffuser to a fluorescent lighting fixture housing meets all of the above-mentioned objects and provides considerable advantages over prior art devices. The latch and hinge apparatus is versatile and provides an easy and facile attachment means for securing the diffuser to the housing. Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims this invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
1. Combination latch and hinge apparatus for attaching a diffuser to a fluorescent lighting fixture housing, comprising:
bracket means supported at each end by said fixture housing, each of said bracket means including a horizontal wall member having a pair of laterally spaced apart openings therein;
a pair of elongated latch members pivotally mounted in spaced apart location at each end of said diffuser, each of said members having an upper portion including a hook-shaped end and a notch intermediate the pivotal axis and said end, and a lower portion extending below the pivotal axis; and
spring means interconnecting the latch member lower portions at each end of said fixture housing so as to urge said latch member upper portions away from one another;
said latch members being disposed so that the hookshaped ends and the notches of each pair of latch members are directed away from one another, whereby said diffuser may be secured in an operative position against said fixture housing when said notches engage the edges of said bracket wall openings, may be removed by passing the hook-shaped ends down through the openings, and may be pivoted about opposite end latch members by engaging the hook-shaped end with said bracket wall and passing the spaced apart member hook-shaped end down through the openings.
2. The combination latch and hinge apparatus of claim 1 wherein each of said bracket means additionally includes a second pair of laterally spaced apart openings, said second pair of openings disposed laterally outwardly of said first pair of openings for receiving the tip portion of the hook-shaped end.
3. The combination latch and hinge apparatus of claim 1 wherein said elongated latch member upper portions each include an outwardly directed edge having said notch therein, said edge being inwardly inclined so as to define a ramp whereby vertical upward movement of said latch members urges said members against the bias of said spring means.
4. The combination latch and binge apparatus of claim 2 wherein the diffuser has side walls, the upper edge portions of which are disposed immediately adjacent said hook-shaped end tip portions when said diffuser is in the open pivoted position so as to prevent disengagement of said latch members and said bracket means.
5. In a fluorescent lighting fixture comprising a rectangular housing having top, side and end walls and a diffuser having bottom, side and end walls, the diffuser upper portion being received in the lower portion of the housing, the provision of:
latch and hinge means including bracket means supported at each end of said fixture housing, each of said bracket means having laterally spaced apart openings therein;
a pair of elongated latch members pivotally mounted at an intermediate portion thereof in laterally spaced apart relation at each end of said diffuser, each of said members having an upper hook-shaped end, a notch intermediate the end and pivotal axis, said hook-shaped ends and notches facing laterally outwardly; and
spring means interconnecting the latch member lower ends so as to bias the upper hook-shaped ends away from one another, so that said notches engage the 6 edges of said openings in said bracket means main- 2,983,535 5/1961 Henning 29217 taining the difiuser in engagement with said housing 3,370,164 2/ 1968 Green 240-447 during normal use and said hook-shaped ends sup- FOREIGN PATENTS porting said diffuser by engagement with said bracket means when said diffuser is in an extended position. 5 619,703 5/ 1961 Canada- References Cited MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS R. L. WOLFE, Assistant Examiner 1,453,510 5/1923 Lawrence 292401 10 2,683,446 7/1954 Groff "126-191 16147;240147;292--78