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Publication numberUS3540687 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 17, 1970
Filing dateOct 31, 1969
Priority dateOct 31, 1969
Publication numberUS 3540687 A, US 3540687A, US-A-3540687, US3540687 A, US3540687A
InventorsAngelo C Cuva
Original AssigneeAngelo C Cuva
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Light socket retainer
US 3540687 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

.. United States Patent [1i13,540,687

[ 72] inventor Angelo C. Cuva 5 1 References Cited 6Sumac Drive, Sunnyvale, California UNITED STATES PATENTS l] pp 72 5 2,482,855 9/1949 Lloyd I 248/225X [22] Fi'ed 0 31 19 9 3,141,359 7/1964 Bennett 81 al 248/1X Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 739,433, FOREIGN PATENTS June 24, abandoned 629,040 9/1949 Great Britain 248/223 [45 1 Patented 1970 Primary Examiner-Roy D. Frazier Assistant Examiner-J. Franklin Foss [54] LIGHT SOCKET RETAINER Attorney- Harvey G. Lowhurst 7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S. Cl. 248/316,

24/73, 248/225 ABSTRACT: A light socket retaining means having a base ele- [51] lnt. Cl... F2l p 1/02, ment, for mounting to a house or like structure, and a clip- F2lv 21/00 type light socket holder attachable to the base element and [50] Field of Search 248/316, provided with clip elements for receiving and retaining a light socket.

Patented Nov. 17, 1970 I 3,540,687

Sheet l of 2 I N VE NTOR.

ANGELO C. CUVA l k TTORNE Y Patented Nov. 17, 1970 3,540,687

INVENTOR. ANGELO c. CUVA MUNLW ATTORNEY 1 ucnrsocksrasramaa This application is a continuation-in-part of copending application Ser'. .No. 739,433 filed June 24, l968.now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an improved light socketretaining means for hanging strings of lights and other o'rnaments, an d,

' more particularly 'the invention is directed to a meansfor securing a continuous strand of lights to the ceiling or wall of a house or other structure. The invention provides for a base element which may be securely mounted to a house, or like structure and which is adapted to receive and securely support a removable clip-type socket holder adapted to retain anelectrical light socket firmly therein.

An occupant-desiring to decorate his residence or place of business during Christmas or some other occasion often.

mounts decorative lights around the outside or within the building. Strands of decorativelights are commonly provided with continuous conductive wiring alongwhich light sockets that are located at regular intervals and which accommodate decorative electric lamps or bulbs. Spacing of the sockets in suchlight strings is not standardizednor necessarily uniform within a given string nor do the sockets exhibit uniformconfigurations. Mounting means commonly provided on light Numerous'dis'advantages are thusapparent in the prior art which limit-application ofe tistingniounting'means according 'to light socket characteristics or the possibility of damage to wiring or electrical and structural integrity of light strands commonly available.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION lt-is therefore 'an objective of the presentinvention to providea. convenient reusable mounting means by which a decorative string of lights'may be readily affixed to any substantially flat surface.

Another-object is to provide a mounting means by which the most advantageous orientation of the bulbs may bemaintained. 1

Another objective is to provide a mounting means by which thelight sockets are securely held'to reduce damage to the strings, suchas spring clips, are'intended' for and adapted to proved far from satisfactory as being an unsightly, temporary I and even dangerous expedient. Abrasion and fraying .of the electrical insulation in they area of contact between wiring and the support is likely and may result in short circuits and the attendant fire hazards, especially where the apparatus is suspended from metallic fasteners.

In U.S. Pat. No. 3,193,229 to Stock,'the use ofa nonconductive hook is taught for suspension of light stands from the rain gutter of a home. Although reducing the hazard of electri This invention contemplates the use-of a seriesof light cal shorting, the hanger still supports the light by the electrical I wiring leaving the socketscontaining the fragilebulbs to swing freely in the wind and possibly sustain damage by impact with.

adjacent structures. Seasonal precipitation, common. .when outside decorative lighting is employed, can also be detrimental to lighting equipment. The sockets, electrical connections therein, and electrical contacts with the bulbs 'ar'eparticula rly susceptible to corrosion and water damage. Where suspended by the interconnecting wiring the sockets and bulbs normally occupy the low points, between supports, at which precipitaa pair of slideways'by which a light socket holder is releasably,

tion naturally collects, an obviously undesirablesituation:The; hanger taught by Stock is further limited to use in conjunction.

with rain gutters and does not lend itself to mountinglightsto;

the eaves where no gutters exist, to the gables, or to surfaces within the house.

In US. Pat. No. 3,189,: 10 to Trueson, a holder is disclosed for mounting Christmas lights by the'sockets and thus circum- Truesons holder retains the light sockets by friction and in other than an upright orientation the sockets may become disengaged from the holder due to vibration or forces induced by the free swinging wiring between supports. The holder taught by Trueson is particularly adapted for use with sockets from which the wiring extendslaterally and may not accommodate.

- vents the problems, attendant to support by the wiring.

sockets commonly provided with wiring connections at their bases. There isno standardization of external configuration.

nor size of light, sockets which in addition to presence of mounting clips may limit applicability of a holder required to fit a socket closely.

I situated fragile bulbs andloosening thereof within the sockets.

Another objective is'to provide a mounting means by which .a strand of lights may-be subjected to the least damage or deterioration from the natural elements commensuratewith use. I

A further objectiveis to providea mounting meanswhich .does not result in chafing, wear not breakage of the electrically conductive wiring.

A s'till'fur'ther objective isto provide amounting means which will hold the light sockets securely regardless of variations in conformation' -'and placement of electrical wiring thereto. I v

A still further object is to provide amounting means which,

when not inuse, is unobtrusive and does not materially detract from theappearance of the surface of structure upon which A still further object of the present invention is to provide a novel mounting means havinga base member which may be permanently secured: to a mounting surface and a socket holder which may be detached from the base member when notin use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION mounting means so located as to 1 match the spacing v and desired positioning of the light sockets-of a strand of decorative lights.

Each mounting means has a base elementfixed more or less permanently tea-substantially flat surface of a buildingand a "clip-type light socket holder which attaches to the base ele ment.

sive ,.staple or other appropriate fastening means and provides supported. The light socket holder includesflanges for engag- 1 in'g said slideways for support thereby, and has a pair of flexible-arcuate clips which receive and firmly-retain-a light socket therein.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become readily apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments ofxthe invention when read in connection with theacconipanying drawings in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS I FIG. I isa fragmentary perspective view of a house'showing a plurality .of Ii'ghtsocket retainers employed in fixing a string 7 of lights to the eaves, gable-and other surfaces of the house;

FIG. 2 is aperspective view of the light socket retainer-as mounted to a horizontal surface;

FIG. '3 is a side elevational view of the light socket retainer fastenedtoa vertical surface;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the inventionshowing the'lightsocket holder detached from the .basememben.

FIG; 5 is a bottom plan-view showing the underside of the socket holder perspectively illustrated in FIG. 4; and

FIG. '6 is a side view of the socket holder illustrated perspectively in FIG. 4.

The 'base element is aff xed to the building surface by adhe- DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT I ing 13 of the house. Trim and moldings at such locations provide substantially flat surfaces to which the light socket retainers 30 are attached. The light socket retainers 30 may be affixed to any reasonably flat surface and may thus be emby a nail 6 1 driven through attaching portion 45. Outwardly ployed to attach strands of decorative lights to walls, ceilings or other surfaces in artistic or decorative patterns or to provide special lighting effects.

Strands of decorative lights 20 characteristically have light sockets 21 spaced along conductive wiring 22 which provide mechanical support for electrical lamps or bulbs 23 as well as conductive contact between bulbs and wiring. In practice a series of light socket retainers 30 are used .to attach a string of lights to a building or structure. The light socket retainers are located according to the spacing of sockets 21 along the conductive wiring 22 and in accordance with the lighting pattern desired. Since decorative lighting is commonly used during limited seasons of the year, the retainers 30 are comprised of separable members; a base member 41 which remains attached in place on the structure and a light socket holder 51 which is removed along with the light string 20 for storage between seasons.

A preferred embodiment of the light socket retainer 30 is illustrated in FIG. 2 wherein a base member 41 and light socket holder 51 are made of a resilient structural plastic. The base member 41, shown mounted to a horizontal surface 14, is comprised of a substantially flat body portion 42 with a front surface 43 from which project two parallel and oppositely oriented channel elements forming a pair of parallel slideways 44. An attaching portion 45 is indicated extending rearwardlyat substantially right angles to said body portion 42. A surface 46 is provided on attaching portion 45 for abutting attachment to substantially flat surfaces. The thickness of attaching portion 45 is sufficient to maintain structural integrity yet be readily pierced by fastening means such as wire staples, nails, screws or the like.

The base member 41 is affixed to a building or other structure by fasteners through attaching portion 45 or by adhesives applied to the surface 46 for abutting attachment to flat surfaces. A particularly convenient technique has proved to be the use of a contact cement on the surface 46 which'remains covered by a protective paper until employed for attaching base member 41 to a structure.

A light socket holder 51 has flange means 52 with parallel edges dimensioned for slidable engagement with slideways 44 of base member 41. A pair of flexible arcuate-shaped clamping elements 53 extend laterally from flange means 52. The arcuate shape and flexible nature of clamping elements 53 perextending bodyportion 42 with slideways 44 permit slidable engagement of light socket holder 51 providing support for light socket 21 secured in an outward orientation as shown. It should be noted that other mounting orientations of the light sockets 21 are possible by providing two pairs of flanges 52 forming a square for 90 rotation of clamping elements 53 upon selection of adjacent flanges for slidable engagement with slideways 44 of base member 41.

Turning now to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 an alternative embodiment of the present invention is shown which includes a base member 70 and a socket holder 72 adapted for mating engagement with the base member 70. Base member 70 is preferably of unitary construction having a flat base portion 74 with a pair of turned back edges 76 and 78 whichform slideways for receiving the flanges 80 of socket holder 72. The lower ends of the slideways are closed as indicated at 82 so as to prevent the flanges 80 from passing out of the lower side of the slideways. In addition, to aid in securing the holder 72 in engagement with the base member 70, the edges 84 are tapered so as to wedgedly engage the shoulders 86 of the holder 72. Holes 88 may be provided in the base portion 74 for securing the base member to a given surface by nailing or screwing, or an adhesive may be used as the securing medium.

Projecting from the flanged portion 90 of the holder 72 is a rib 92 which connects the arcuate socket engaging portion 94 to the flanged portion 90. The arcuate portion 94 terminates in a pair of diverging tabs 96 which aid in aligning a light socket which is to be snapped into mounting engagement with the arcuate portion 94 in a manner similar to that illustrated in FIG. 2. Furthermore, the tabs 96 act as camming means for causing the gap 97 between the arcuate limbs 94 open to allow a light socket to snap into engagement with the socket holder.

In order to addadditional strength to the base portion 90, the

rib 92 and the arcuate portions 94, an integrally formed web 98 is provided at the top of the holder 72. The additional rigidity provided to the holder structure by the web 98 enables the device to be formed oflighter, more flexible material such as nylons'and other plastics which would otherwise be less suited to'this particular application.

' tional engagement between the edges 84 of the base member mits considerable deformation without permanent set thus. I

enabling clamping elements 53 to accommodate light sockets with appropriate fastening means positioned at locations I selected by the'user. The light socket' holders 51 are secured to the base members 41 by slidable engagement therewith. The light socketsZl are secured to the light socket holders 51 and the'shoulders 86 of the holder 72. Once so positioned, a lamp socket can be forced into clamping engagement with the arcuate portion 94 which will securely hold the lamp socket in position. It should be noted-that a relatively wide range of socket diameters and n'oncylindrical configurations can be accommodated. l

I When the holder is no longer needed it may beremoved from engagement with the base member by a simple lifting force applied thereto and may be stored with the lamp apparatus until the following season. By making the base member 70 out of a transparent or semitransparent material and the bulbs 23 are mounted therein. To remove a strand of lights 20 it-is only necessary to slidably disengage light socket holders 51 from base members 41, the base members remaining attached tothe building for reuse in again mounting lights at the selected locations. The light socket holders 5] may remain secured to the strand of lights or be removed for separate storage between uses.

Mounting versatility ofthe light socket retainer is illustrated in FIG. 3 wherein the invention is shown mounted to a vertical surface 15. Base member 41 is secured to vertical surface 15 skilled in the art which will not depart from the scope and such as nylon it can be very inconspicuously left in place and need not be removed. This feature'makes subsequent installation of the decorative lights quite simple while at the same time eliminating unsightly brackets or nails which may rustand discolor the wall or trim to which the lights are mounted.

Whereas certain forms of the invention have been shown and described. they should be taken in an illustrative or diagrammatic sense only. It is contemplated that there are many variations and modifications which will be apparent to those spirit ofthe invention. 1, therefore, do not wish to be limited to the precise details of construction set forth, but desire to avail myself of such variations and modifications as fall within the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A light socket retainer comprising:

7 socket in a position such that said socket is held in spaced' apart relationship with said'slide portion and with its axis substantially parallel to a plane defined by said slideways. 2. A light socket retainer as rec'itedin claiml in which said bodyportion extends substantially at right anglesito said attaching portion.

3. A light socket retainer as recited in claim 2 wherein said flange means form a square dimensioned for slidable rcception by said slidewaysi 4. A light socket retaincr comprising:

face for abutting attachment to a substantially'flat surface. a body portion having a front surface extending substantially at right angles to said attaching portion, and two opposed channel elements projecting from said front surface lorming'a pair of opposed parallel slidew'ays; and

a light socket holder including a slide portion having square flange means dimensioned for slidable reception by said slidewaysfand a pair of flexible arcuate-shaped clamping elements extendinglaterally from said slide portion for receiving and clampingly retaining a light socket in a pos ition suchthatsaid socketis held'in spaced apart relationship'wit-h said slide portionand with its axis plane defined by said square flange means.

5. A light socket retainer comprising:

a base member including a flat rectangularly-shaped surface two opposite extremities of which are folded back to form a pair of slideways, said slideways being terminated at one end by an integrally formed web means; and

a light socket holder including a slide portion having flange means I dimensionedfor slidable reception by said slideways; "an arcu ate-shaped light socket engaging retainer means coupled in spacedapart relationship with said flange means by a rib means, and web means integrally' formed with one side of said flange means, said rib means and said arcuate-shaped retainer means was to give structural rigidity to said holer means.

6. A light socket retainer as recited in claim 5 wherein the extremities forming said slideways are tapered and wherein a base member including an attaching portion having a sur- 20 said flange .means includes a pair of shoulders which fric- :tionally engage said tapered extremities so as to securesaid socket holder in said base member. i

7. A light socket retainer as recited in claim 6 wherein said arcuate-shaped retainer means includes a radial projection at each arc terminus for providing a cammingmeans for camming said arcuate-shaped retainer means outwardly as it is engaged by a light socket so as to allow the light socketto snap into mating engagement with said arcuate-shaped retainer means.

parallel to a'

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification248/223.41, 248/316.7, 362/249.1
International ClassificationF21V21/088, F21V19/00, F21S4/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21W2121/004, F21S4/001, F21V21/088, F21W2121/00, F21V19/0005
European ClassificationF21S4/00E, F21V19/00A, F21V21/088