US 3551684 A
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United States Patent 1 1 3,551,684
 Inventor James R. Burton  ReferencesCited 5531152 Wis. UNITED STATES PATENTS I111 APPI- 1 1 2 477 209 7/1949 Rouy 250/239 ggi 52 3 2,978,591 4/1961 Ringger. .lr. 250/239 4,50 1098 2 [73 Assignee McGraw-Edison Company 08 1 ll 6 Thompson 250/ 39 Milwaukee, Wis. Primary Examiner-Roy Lake a corporation of Delaware Assistant Examiner-V. Lafranchi Attorney-Charles A. Prudell  OUTDOOR LUMINAIRE ASSEMBLY HAVING PHOTOCONTROL HOUSING WITH LOUVERED LIGHT ADMITTING MEANS Clam" 6Drawmg ABSTRACT: An outdoor luminaire assembly with a housing  U.S.Cl 250/239, for ambient light sensitive control means. The housing en- 240/25 closes photocell means and has on one side a light admitting [51 1 Int. Cl F215 1/ 10, area comprising a series of parallel slits or louvers for substan- H01 j 5/16 tially limiting the direction of the entry of ambient light to the  Field of Search 250/239, photocell without unduly restricting the amount of ambient 237 light from the desired direction of ambient light.
OUTDOOR LUMINAIRE ASSEMBLY HAVING PHOTOCONTROL HOUSING WITH LOUVERED LIGHT ADMI'I'IING MEANS I BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to outdoor luminaires having photocontrol means and, more particularly, to housings for such photocontrol means.
In the construction of outdoor luminaires it is common to provide housings for photocontrol devices. Means for admitting light to the photocontrol devices must be provided therein, and such means commonly comprise openings in the sides of the housings or windows which are covered with transparent glass or plastic. Such covers tend to substantially reduce the entry of light energy and thereby affect the sensitivity of the photocontrol. Examples of such devices are shown in the C. W. Huber, Jr. patent 3,366,785 and the H. P. Kelley patent 3,366,787, both issued Jan. 30, I968. This common type of transparent window or open aperture is nondirectional in its light admitting characteristics and, specifically, freely admits light from the horizontal direction or from below the horizontal direction. This permits transient light sources, such as automobile headlights or vandals flashlights, to affect the operation of the luminaire control. Prior devices having covered windows are also more complicated and expensive in construction than they need be in view of the simplified improvement of the present invention.
Prior light admitting windows or apertures generally detract from the appearance of the luminaire assembly, and their presence is generally obvious to the casual observer and is not in harmony with the styling of luminaire housings.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, an object of the invention to provide a housing for outdoor luminaire photocontrol means, which housing includes simple economical light admitting means which is to some extent directional in substantiallyrestricting the entry of ambient light from below the horizontal direction, while retaining an unobstructed opening upward toward the source of ambient light.
It is a further object of the invention to provide light admitting means of the aforedescribed type which is effective to prevent the entry of birds or undesirable insects into the housmg.
It is another object of the invention to provide a housing of the aforedescribed type which has a light admitting area which does not detract from the appearance of the luminaire assembly.
It is still another object of the invention to provide in a luminaire assembly a housing for a photocontrol device in which the photocontrol device and the photocontrol receptacle are keyed with the housing for rotation of the light sensitive area to a northerly direction.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following description.
The objects of the invention are accomplished by providing an outdoor luminaire assemblyincluding a housing for ambient light sensitive photocontrol means, which housing includes a light admitting area comprising a plurality of outwardly and upwardly slanted louvers which permit relatively free entry of ambient light from the desired ambient light source, and which substantially reduce the entry of light from sources positioned at lower relative angles. The louvers may be formed by. simply stamping and forming the louvers in a sidewall of the housing and are spaced closely enough to prevent entry of birds and undesirable insects, particularly a variety of insects known as mud dauber wasps.
The photocontrol device and photocontrol receptacle are keyed to the housing for rotation therewith to a position in which the light sensitive area faces a northerly direction.
Apertures are provided in the bottom of the housing to drain rainwater which may enter through the louvers.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an elevational view of an outdoor luminaire as sembly incorporating the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevation view of the photocontrol housing mounted on top of the assembly illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary and partially sectional view of the luminaire assembly of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a top view of one of the members of the assembly shown in FIGS. 3 and 4; and
FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the receptacle included in FIGS. 4 and 5.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows an outdoor luminaire 2 adapted to be mounted on top of a tubular supporting pole 3. The luminaire 2 includes a light source housing 4 for enclosing a light source 5 which may preferably be a mercury vapor arc discharge lamp. The light source housing 4 includes a base 6, a cover 7 and four transparent refractors 8 mounted respectively on the four sides of housing 4. Four corner posts 10 support a plate 11 to which cover 7 is hingedly attached. A pair of sliding fasteners 12 serve to secure cover 7 to plate 11. 1
Base member 6 includes an upper portion 14 which may house the socket (not shown) for lamp 5 and the ballast power supply (not shown) for lamp 5. Such ballasts and sockets are of conventional construction, and the details of their construction form no part of the present invention. Base member 6 also includes a collar 15 which fits over the end of pole 3 and may be fastened thereto by a setscrew 16. A pair of opposite radially extending ladder supports l7 are formed integrally with collar 15.
As can be appreciated, the luminaire 2 has been styled to resemble traditional or colonial lights. A photocontrol housing is rotatably secured to the top of cover 7 and is designed to resemble the covered chimney originally required in the old candle and gas lights.
The housing 20 comprises a cup-shaped enclosure 2! and a generally conically-shaped snap-on cover 22. Referring to FIG. 3, cover 22 is formed with an inwardly facing annular groove 23 formed near its periphery. A spring 24 which is substantially hexagonal in shape is assembled within the open upper end of enclosure 21 with three corners 25 of the hexagon extending through elongated apertures 26 formed in enclosure 21. The corners 25 extend through apertures 26 to engage groove 23 to provide yieldable detents to hold cover 22 in place over enclosure 21. Cover 22 may be, therefore. snapped on or off.
Within housing 20, there is mounted a photocontrol device 29. Photocontrol 29 is mounted in a conventional manner on a photocontrol receptacle 30 which is of conventional construction. As best shown in FIG. 4, receptacle 30 is rotatably secured to the top of cover 7, and enclosure 21 is fastened to receptacle 30 and is keyed to rotate therewith.
FIG. 6 illustrates a bottom view of receptacle 30 showing that receptacle 30 has a central circular protruding area 31 through which extend contacts 32 to make contact with the corresponding plug contacts (not shown) of photocontrol device 29. Lead wires 33 are connected to contacts 32. Extending radially from the base of circular area 31 are four equally spaced lugs 34 which do not extend downwardly from receptacle 30 as far as area 31 but extend sufficiently to perform a keying function as will be more fully described hereinafter. A pair of radially opposite vertical apertures 35 are provided through two of lugs 34 to accommodate a corresponding pair of mounting screws 36, as shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 5 shows atop view of enclosure 21 with the receptacle 30 removed. In the central portion of the circular bottom on enclosure 21 there is a concentric frustoconica] portion sloping upwardly. Between the sidewalls of enclosure 2I and frustoconical portion 40 there are four equally spaced circular drain holes 41. In the truncated top of frustoconical portion 40 there is formed a circular aperture 42 which conforms loosely to the outer diameter of raised area 31 on receptacle 30. Extending radially from circular aperture 42 are four key slots 43 which serve to engage lugs 34 on receptacle 30. Receptacle 30 is thereby keyed to enclosure 21 for rotation therewith.
Referring again to FIG. 4, there is shown a central circular aperture 44 in the truncated top of a frustoconical portion 45 formed in the top of cover 7. A resilient lower gasket 46 is placed between frustoconical portion 45 of cover 7 and frustoconical portion 40 of enclosure 21. An upper resilient gasket 47 is placed between frustoconical portion 40 and a peripheral flange 48 on receptacle 30. Gaskets 46 and 47 serve to provide a watertight seal between receptacle 30 and cover 7 when mounting screws 36 are tightened. A pair of radially opposite plates 48 are threaded onto the lower ends of mounting screws 36. The inner ends of plates 48 abut against the periphery of raised area 31, and the outer ends of plates 48 engage the lower sides of frustoconical portions 45. Plates 48, therefore, serve to firmly clamp the receptacle assembly in place when mounting screws 36 are tightened.
Photocontrol 29 may preferably be of the type manufactured by Fisher Pierce Sigma Instruments, Incorporated, Braintree, Massachusetts and identified as Model 66903. Photocontrol 29 has a generally opaque cover 50 with a transparent window area 51 formed therein. A circular resilient sealing gasket 53 is interposed between photocontrol 29 and receptacle 30. Immediately behind window 51 there is mounted a photocell 52. When the intensity of light falling on photocell 52 is sufficiently low, photocontrol 29 is effective to cause lamp to turn on and, as the intensity of light falling on photocell 52 increases to a sufficiently high level, photocontrol 29 is effective to cause lamp 5 to turn off. The operation and construction of photocontrol 29 and associated circuitry is conventional and well known to those skilled in the art, and the detailed construction thereof forms no part of the present invention. Therefore, for the sake of brevity, the construction and operation of photocontrol 29 are not elaborately described herein.
In the side of enclosure 21 immediately adjacent window 51 there is formed light admitting means comprising three vertical rows of horizontal louvers 54. When luminaire 2 is installed, normal practice would require that housing and photocontrol 29 be rotated until window 51 and louvers 54 face the northern sky. Louvers 54 are stamped and formed from the sheet metal side of enclosure 21 in parallel planes which slope upwardly and outwardly. This orientation of louvers 54 is effective to relatively freely admit ambient light to photocell 52 from a direction generally aligned with the planes of orientation of louvers 54. Light from sources positioned relatively lower will be substantially restricted by louvers 54. Light from transient light sources, such as headlights or the flashlights of vandels, will be substantially restricted while illumination from the desired light source, namely the northern sky, will be relatively freely admitted to operate photocontrol 30.
Louvers 54 are spaced closely to prevent the entry of birds or undesirable insects, particularly wasps of the variety known as mud daubers.
Louvers 54 are also effective to preserve appearance of luminaire assembly 2. To the casual observer the existence of the light admitting area formed by louvers 54 is less obvious than a gaping open or plastic covered light admitting opening. Louvers 54 are also effective to conceal the photocontrol 29.
Louvers 54 are obviously of economical construction in that they may be formed in housing 21 by a relatively simple shearing and forming operation. Any rain water which enters through louvers 54 will be prevented from entering below cover 7 by gaskets 46 and 47 and will exit housing 20 through drain holes 41.
While the embodiment heretofore described in effective to accomplish the stated objects, it is not intended that the invention be confined to the preferred embodiment since it is susceptible of modification without departing from the scope of the appended claim.
Iclaim: 1. An outdoor luminaire assembly comprising: an electrically powered light source; a housing for the light source; light sensitive photocontrol means for controlling the operation of said light source; and a photocontrol housing for said photocontrol means mounted on the light housing having a cover and sides forming an enclosure for the photocontrol means with a plurality of upwardly and outwardly slanted louvers at one side of the housing thereby permitting free entry of ambient light from light sources positioned generally in the plane of orientation of said louvers with said photocontrol housing rotatable on said light housing and with said photocontrol means aligned to receive light substantially only through said louvers.