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Publication numberUS3548186 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 15, 1970
Filing dateJan 24, 1968
Priority dateJan 24, 1968
Publication numberUS 3548186 A, US 3548186A, US-A-3548186, US3548186 A, US3548186A
InventorsBrock Walter B
Original AssigneeBrock Walter B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reading lamp shield
US 3548186 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 15, 1970 w. B. BROCK 3,548,186

READING LAMP SHIELD Filed Jan. 24, 1968 FIG. 5 INVENTOR WALTER B. BROCK BY J ITTORNEY United States Patent 3,548,186 READING LAMP SHIELD Walter B. Brock, RD. 1, Victor, NY. 14564 Filed Jan. 24, 1968, Ser. No. 700,184 Int. Cl. F21v 11/18 US. Cl. 24046.03 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An inverted cup-shaped enclosure having a plurality of angularly-spaced, axially-extending slots is mounted around the light bulb of a lamp. A second inverted cupshaped enclosure having an equal number of angularlyspaced, axially-extending slots surrounds the first enclosure. When the light bulb is out, the slots of the two enclosures are out of register. When the light bulb is turned on, however, the heat of the bulb warms up a bimetallic spiral spring which connects the two enclosures, so that gradually one enclosure is rotated relative to the other. Thus, the light given off is gradually increased to permit a persons eyes to accommodate to the illumination. In a second embodiment of the invention, there is but one bulb enclosure. It has louvers instead of slots; and as the lamp warms up the bimetallic spiral spring, the louvers are opened gradually to increase the illumination produced by the lamp.

This invention relates to lamps, and more particularly to a novel device for automatically controlling the intensity of light that is initially transmitted by an electric reading lamp, or the like, each time it is turned on.

Most people are acquainted with the disagreeable, sometimes dangerous experience of being momentarily blinded, when it is necessary to turn on a light or lamp in a dark room in the middle of the night. The shock to the eye, when the retina is exposed suddenly to the light, is not only uncomfortable, but can be harmful; and the momentary blindness, if repeated often enough, could eventually lead to permanent impairment of vision. Morevore, during the period of time it takes for a persons eyes to become accustomed to sudden, bright light, the person may collide with furniture, doors, etc., and hurt himself.

The primary object of this invention is to provide a relatively simple, safe and inexpensive lamp bulb shield or dimmer, which will prevent momentary blindness, when a light is suddenly turned on in a dark room.

Another object of this invention is to provide a novel device for automatically controlling the intensity of the light transmitted by an electric lamp, so that when it is first turned on, the lamp will shine with less than full intensity and will only graduallyreach its full illuminating capacity.

A more specific object of this invention is to provide a shield or dimmer, which surrounds an electric light bulb to minimize the quantity of light transmitted when the bulb is initially turned on, and which responds to an increase in the heat of the bulb to increase the quantity of light transmitted thereby.

Other objects of the invention will be apparent hereinafter from the specification and from the recital of the appended claims, particularly when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a lamp incorporating an automatic light shield or dimmer made in accordance with one embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view on an enlarged scale taken through the axis of this shield;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2 looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a modified light shield or dimmer made in accordance with a further embodiment of this invention, and showing the shield in its closed or dimming position;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 5-5 in FIG. 4 looking in the direction of the arrows; and

FIG. 6 is a sectional view on the same scale as FIG. 5, and take along the line 6-6 in FIG. 5 looking in the direction of the arrows.

Referring now to the drawing by numerals of reference, and first to the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3, 10 denotes a conventional lamp comprising a base portion 12, and a conventional shade 14, which may be mounted on the base 12 in any known manner. Supported on the base 12 within the shade 14, and surrounding the lamp bulb (not illustrated), is a dimmer 16 comprising an inner cylindrical sleeve or shield 18, and an outer coaxial cylindrical sleeve or shield 20.

Shield 18 is open at its lower end, and is closed at its upper end by an integral, transverse end wall 22, which has centrally thereof a reduced diameter cap portion 23 that projects slightly above (FIG. 2) the remainder of wall 22 coaxially thereof. Intermediate its ends the shield 18 is provided with a plurality of axially extending, identical slots 24, which are equi-angularly spaced from one another about the axis of shield 18. Secured at their upper ends in a conventional manner to the inside of the cap portion 23, and projecting downwardly into shield 18 are two, conventional, bulb-gripping wire loops 26, which may be used to removably support the inner shield 18 on the lamp bulb in a known manner. The upper, closed end of the shield 18 is provided with a plurality of circular holes 28 to allow heat from the lighted bulb to pass upwardly through the shield.

The outer shield 20 is also open at its lower end, and is closed at its upper end by an integral, stepped transverse wall 30, that has a reduced-diameter axial extension or cap portion 32, which overlies the cap portion 23. Intermediate its ends the outer shield 20 is also provided with a plurality of axially extending, angularly spaced slots 34, which are identical in number and shape to the openings 24 in the inner shield 18. The closed, upper end of the outer shield 20 is also provided with a plurality of circular openings 36 for exhausting heat from the top of the dimmer.

Interposed between the cap portions 23 and 32 of the inner and outer shields 18 and 20, is a heat-responsive, bimetallic coil 38, which surrounds the reduced diameter portion of cap portion 23 and has one end secured to the outside of said cap portion and has its other end secured to the inside of the cap portion 32. Coil 38 is secured to the cap portions 23 and 32 in such manner that, when the assembled dimmer 16 is at room temperature, the outer shield 20 is positioned so that its slots 34 are out of registry with the slots 24 in the inner shield 18.

The shields 18 and 20 may be made from, for example, a metal, plastic or fabric material, or combinations thereof.

In use the dimmer 16 is supported, for example by the wires 26, on a lamp bulb, which is secured in the conventional bulb socket on top of the lamp base 12. Assuming that the bulb is turned 01f, and that the dimmer 16 is at room temperature, the sleeves or shields 18 and 20 will be in the relative positions illustrated in FIG. 3 with solid portions of shield 20 registering with the slots 24 in sleeve 18, so that when the lamp is first turned on, substantially most of its light will be prevented from passing radially through the slots 24 and 34 of sleeves 18 and 20. This amount of light will be relatively small in comparison to the amount normally transmitted by a conventional lamp, and will in no way cause discomfort to a persons eyes. However, as soon as the lamp 10 is turned on, the heat from its bulb begins to warm the bimetallic coil 38, so that the coil will cause the outer shield 20 to be rotated relative to the inner shield 18, to bring the slots 34 gradually into registry with the slots 24. Thus gradually the amount of light that is allowed to pass radially outwardly through the dimmer 16 is increased as a persons eyes gradually accommodate themselves to the light.

If a person is awakened in a darkened room, by a telephone or by a babys cry at night, for instance, and turns on the light switch, a lamp that is provided with a dimmer 16 will glow dimly at first, and then gradually will increase in brilliance until the openings 24 and 34 register with one another. This occurs when the temperature of the coil 38 has stabilized, at some temperature above room temperature. When the light is turned off, the temperature of the coil 38 returns to room temperature, and the coil 38 returns to the position illustrated in FIG. 3, thereby rotating the outer shield 20 back to its dimming or lightblocking position as shown in FIG. 3.

The shield 40, which is shown in FIGS. 4 to 6, comprises a louvered enclosure 42 having an annular bottom 44, and an inverted cup-shaped top 46. In its center top 46 has a reduced diameter portion 48 to which conventional bulb-gripping wire loops 26 are secured in the same manner as in the first embodiment. Between plates 44 and 46 there extend a plurality of angularly-spaced, parallel shafts 50 (FIG. which are rotatably journaled at opposite ends in plates 44 and 46 adjacent the marginal edges of the plates.

At its upper end each shaft 50 has formed thereon an integral crank arm 52, which has a pin portion 53 that projects into one of a pluraltiy of slots 54 formed in an inverted cup shaped actuator plate 56 that overlies plate 46. A heat-responsive bimetallic coil 58 is secured at one end to the exterior of portion 48 of plate 46, and at its opposite end to the interior of actuator plate 56.

As in the first embodiment, plates 46 and 56 are provided with a plurality of venting holes 61 and 62, respectively, for allowing heat from a bulb inside enclosure 42 to pass upwardly into the space containing coil 58, and outwardly through the top of plate 56.

Secured adjacent their inner longitudinal edges to the shafts 50 to rotate therewith are a plurality of elongate, pivotal louvers 64, which may be made of plastic, metal, fabric, etc. Each louver 64 is curved slightly between its longitudinal edges, so that it is arcuate in cross section; and it has an axial length only slightly less than the distance separating the top and bottom plates 44 and 46. In their closed positions (FIG. 4) the louvers 64 are disposed in coaxial, slightly overlapping relation so that they substantially completely enclose the bulb (not illustrated) on which shield 40 is mounted; and in their open positions (FIG. 6) louvers 64 project outwardly substantially radially of the axis of the enclosure 42 to expose the light bulb.

In use, shield 40 is mounted on a bulb in the same manner as shield 16. Normally coil 58 holds the plates 46 and 56 in the positions shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, wherein the louvers 64 are closed. When the lamp bulb (not illustrated) is turned on, heat therefrom actuates the coil 58, thereby rotating plate 56 (FIG. 6) relative to plate 46. This causes slots 54 to pivot the crank arms 52 clockwise (FIG. 6) relative to plates 46 and 44 so that the louvers 64 are swung from their closed to their open positions.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that applicant has devised relatively simple, automatic and inexpensive dimming devices for only gradually increasing the light when a light bulb is turned on in a dark room. The bimetallic coil 38 or 58 either winds up or unwinds as it is heated, thereby to rotate the shields 20 or 64 into and out of light blocking positions, while the openings 28, 36, 61 and 62 in the cap positions function as ventilating apertures for allowing the transfer of heat by convection from a lamp bulb upwardly past the coils 38 or 58 and out of the top of the shield. These perforated tops thus function as dampers or baffles, which permit flow of heat out of the tops of the dimmers 16 and 40 and which also tend to stabilize the temperature in the spaces between the inner and outer cap portions of the shields at a relatively high value, when the lamp has been turned on for an extended period of time, thereby causing the coil 38 or 58 to maintain the shield 16 or 40 in its fully open position until the lamp is turned off.

While the apertures 24 and 34 have been shown as rectangular, it will be apparent that the shape and number of these openings may be altered without changing their function. Similarly, in place of the resilient wire loops 26, other conventional means (not illustrated) may be used to mount the dimmer 16 on the lamp 10 around a bulb. Moreover, although the lower ends of shields 18 and 20 have been described as being open, it Will be apparent that the lower ends could be at least partially closed, provided an opening is retained for accommodating a bulb in the dimmer. Also, it will be apparent that the number and size of the louvers 64 in the second embodiment of this invention may be varied, if desired, for different lamps.

It will also be obvious that a bedside or other lamp having shields made according to the present invention might be connected in circuit with a clock radio or other timing device so that the lamp is switched on at the same time as the radio alarm and as an electric coffee pot. A person might then be waked by the alarm (perhaps to music) and at the same time his lamp would gradually illuminate his bedroom through operation of the device of the present invention, and simultaneously also his breakfast coffee would be started percolating. The person would not have to turn on his lamp; and the device of the present invention would prevent the person from being temporarily blinded by going from darkness into full light.

While the device of the present invention may be mounted, as described on the lamp bulb, the outer sleeve 20 may be made slightly longer than the inner sleeve 18, and the outer sleeve may rest on a perforated discshaped platform or collar around the lightbulb socket, so that the weight of the mechanism plus that of the lampshade will be carried by the base .12 of the lamp rather than by the light bulb.

While the invention has been described, then, in connection with various specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth, and as fall within the scope of the invention or the limits of the appended claims.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim is:

1. A lamp shield, comprising:

a first hollow member having therein a plurality of openings,

means on said member for removably mounting said member over a lamp bulb,

means for selectively opening and closing said openings in said hollow member to control the amount of light that can be transmitted by said bulb through said openings, including a second member mounted on said first member for limited movement between first and second positions relative to said first member operatively to effect the opening and closing, respectively, of said openings, and

a third temperature-responsive member interposed between said first and second members, and operative at room temperature normally to maintain said second member in said second position, and operative in response to increase in the temperature thereof above room temperature to move said second member toward said first position.

2. A lamp shield, comprising a first hollow member having therein a plurality of openings,

means on said member for removably mounting said member over a lamp bulb,

means for selectively opening and closing said openings in said hollow member to control the amount of light that can be transmitted by said bulb through said openings, including a second member mounted for movement in opposite directions relative to said first member to effect the opening and closing, respectively, of said openings, and

a third member interposed between said first and second members, and operative in response to increase and decrease in the temperature thereof to move said second member in said opposite directions, respectively,

said second member being mounted to rotate in opposite directions on said first member, and

said third member being a temperature-responsive coil connected at opposite ends to said first and second members, respectively, and operative to rotate said first member relative to said second member upon a change in the temperature of said coil.

3. A lamp shield, comprising:

a first hollow member having therein a plurality of openings,

means on said member for removably mounting said member over a lamp bulb,

means for selectively opening and closing said openings in said hollow member to control the amount of light that can be transmitted by said bulb through said openings, including a second member mounted for movement in opposite directions relative to said first member to effect the opening and closing, respectively, of said openings, and

a third member interposed between said first and second members, and operative in response to increase and decrease in the temperature thereof to move said second member in said opposite directions, respectively,

said first and second members comprising a pair of sleeves mounted coaxially one within the other in radially spaced relation,

said spaced openings being axially-extending slots in the annular walls of said sleeves, and

said third member being a bimetallic member secured at opposite ends thereof to the inner and outer sleeves, respectively, and operative at room temperature to position said sleeves so that their openings are out of registry, and responsive to heat from a lighted bulb in said lamp to move one of said sleeves in a direction to register its openings with those openings in the other sleeve.

4. A lamp shield as defined in claim 3, wherein:

said sleeves are mounted for rotation relative to one another, and

said bimetallic member is a coil surrounding the inner sleeve, and responsive to predetermined changes in its temperature to rotate the outer sleeve relative to the inner sleeve.

5. A lamp shield as defined in claim 4, wherein:

said openings in the annular wall of one of said sleeves are identical to, and equal in number to, the openings in the annular wall of the other of said sleeves, and

said openings in the outer sleeve normally register with the portions of the inner sleeve that separate the openings in the inner sleeve.

6. A lamp shield, comprising:

a first hollow member having therein a plurality of openings,

means on said member for removably mounting said member over a lamp bulb,

means for selectively opening and closing said openings in said hollow member to control the amount of light that can be transmitted by said bulb through said openings, including a second member mounted for movement in opposite directions relative to said first member to efiect the opening and closing, respectively, of said openings, and

a third member interposed between said first and second members, and operative in response to increase and decrease in the temperature thereof to move said second member in said opposite directions, respectively,

said means for opening and closing the openings in said hollow member comprising a plurality of parallel louvers movably mounted on said first member for movement into and out of closed position, and

means connecting said louvers to said second member for movement thereby in opposite directions upon movement of said second member in opposite directions relative to said first member.

7. A lamp shield as defined in claim 6, wherein:

said louvers are mounted to pivot about a plurality of parallel axes that are angularly spaced about an axis of said first member,

said second member is mounted to rotate about the lastnamed axis and has therein a plurality of radially extending slots angularly spaced about said axis, and

said connecting means comprises a plurality of pins connected to said louvers and projecting into said slots.

8. A lamp shield as defined in claim 7, wherein:

said third member comprises a bimetallic coil surrounding said axis and connected at opposite ends thereof to said first and second members respectively,

said coil being operative normally to hold said second member in a position in which said louvers are closed over said openings, and being operative upon a predetermined increase in the temperature of said coil to open said louvers.

9. A lamp shield, comprising:

a first hollow member having therein a plurality of openings,

means on said member for removably mounting said member over a lamp bulb,

means for selectively opening and closing said openings in said hollow member to control the amount of light that can be transmitted by said bulb through said openings, including a second member mounted for movement in opposite directions relative to said first member to effect the opening and closing, respectively, of said openings, and

a third member interposed between said first and second members, and operative in response to increase and decrease in the temperature thereof to move said second member in said opposite directions, respectively,

said first and second members being cylindrical and open at one end and closed at their opposite ends, and mounted on said lamp one within the other with their closed ends positioned above said bulb,

each of said closed ends having therethrough a plurality of openings for allowing air heated by said bulb to pass upwardly and out of said closed ends, and

said third member comprising a coiled, bimetallic member interposed between said closed ends, and secured at opposite ends thereof to the first and second cylindrical members, respectively, to rotate one of said members relative to the other about a common axis,

, 8 when said bimetallic member is subjected to pre- References Cited determined temperature changes. UNITED STATES PATENTS l 1b prignghieldmg apparatus for an e ectrie light bu com 2,224,726 12/1940 Finnegan, et all d 2,345,517 3/1944 Weiss 240l0.1 a movable shutter device surroundlng the bulb an 5 2,876,339 3/1959 Thome movable between open and closed positions and operative when in closed osition to limit the external illuminating effect of the bulb, and JOHN HORAN Pumary Exammer a bimetallic member disposed in juxtaposed relation to R. M. SHEER, Assistant Examiner said bulb normally to maintain said device closed, 10 when said bulb is deenergized, and responsive to the heat produced by said bulb, when illuminated, to 24() .10 move said shutter device gradually to open position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2224726 *Aug 25, 1938Dec 10, 1940Finnegan JrPhotographic camera
US2345517 *Jul 8, 1941Mar 28, 1944Paula KarpfenOrnament with light effects
US2876339 *Jul 17, 1956Mar 3, 1959Howard B ThorneIlluminated display devices
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4513358 *Jul 1, 1983Apr 23, 1985Blazer International Corp.Lamp comprising automatically actuated louver system
US4800473 *Jul 6, 1987Jan 24, 1989Denis TremblayVenitian blind lamp
US7083303 *Oct 15, 2002Aug 1, 2006Berchtold Holding GmbhOperating theater lamp having adjustable diaphragm
EP0375804A1 *Dec 30, 1988Jul 4, 1990Ruest, GillesVenetian blind lamp/lampe venitienne
EP1304524A2 *Jul 26, 2002Apr 23, 2003Berchtold Holding GmbHOperating lamp
EP2314907A1 *Oct 19, 2010Apr 27, 2011Emanuele CoccatoIllumination device
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/325, 24/30.50T, D26/137
International ClassificationF21V14/08, F21V17/00, F21V1/00, F21V11/18, F21V1/24, F21V11/00, F21V11/12, F21V11/04, F21V1/22, F21V14/00, F21V1/16, F21V17/02, F21S6/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21V1/16, F21V11/04, F21V1/24, F21V11/12, F21V17/02, F21V11/18, F21V14/08, F21V1/22, F21S6/002
European ClassificationF21S6/00D, F21V17/02, F21V14/08, F21V11/04, F21V11/18, F21V11/12