US 3551723 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 72] Inventor Henri Popko Van Groningen  Field of Search 313/1 10, Essendonkstraat 6, Essen-'near-Antwerp l 17, 220, 221, 271-274, 285, 286, 290, 312, 318, Belgium 250; 240/4155; 339/57 [21 Appl. No. 738,257 22 Filed June 19 1968  References Cllcd  Patented Dec. 29, 1970 UNITED STATES PATENTS Priority June 2 1967, 18, 1967, y 28, 1,696,663 12/1928 Becker 339/57 1968 1,839,479 1/1932 Hartman 339/57  Belgium 2,606,278 8/1952 Smith 339/57 [31 N 46 47504 and 47992 2,629,839 2/1953 Greenlee 31.3/201 332,337 6/1914 Germany 328/57X [$4] LIGHTING FIXUTRE WHICH IS FLEXIBLE AND CAN BE COIL'ED 6 Claims, 12 Drawing Figs.
 lnt.CI. Hold l/88, Hold 19/42 Primary Examiner.lohn W. l-luckert Assistant Examiner-B. Estrin Attorney-Richards & Geier ABSTRACT: Flexible lighting fixture consisting of a transparent tubular element formed by an open section provided with two longitudinal grooves containing electric leads, said section being subsequently bent to form a tube and containing a series of bulbs contacting said leads.
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' element ILIGIITING FIXUTRE WHICH IS FLEXIBLE AND BE The present invention concerns a lighting fixture which can be bent aswellas coiled, nd is Specially intended for outside lighting, whereby said; fixture canbe of considerable length and provided with light pointsat equal distances or not. Such lighting. fixture can be usefully employed for beaconage and lighting of roadst gene'ral lightingsuch as; park lighting, adver- A very considerable advantage of such lighting fixture can for instance be found inthe laying of roads and in a general way in' such places. where visible beaconsmust be extended over several hundred meters, whereby such beacons must lend themselves to an easy displacement, must be watertight and able to withstand comparatively rough service.
The lighting fixture according toithe. presentinvention mainly consists of a transparent tubular element of any convenient length, characterized by thefact that said tubular element is manufactured bymaking use of an open section which FIGS. and 11 are respectively cross sections by planes of a which the traces follow the straightlines X-)( and XI-XI of FIG. 1 illustrates in a diagrammatic-way a light fixture 1 conforming to the present invention, which can preferably be closed at both ends and wherein two series of light points 3 and 4 respectively are housed, for which purpose three electric leads 56--7 respectively are provided in the fixture and is subsequently folded over so am form this tubular element; in this section thereare at least two longitudinal grooves into which the .electricalleads can be housed, and inside aforesaid tubular element, a series oflittle lampswhich make contact with aforesaid electricleads. Y i e According to the present invention, such lighting fixture can either be used for normal lighting, or as a substitute, in other words, as lighting by means of which it is possible to light together and/or alternately two or several rows of colored or noncolored.light points,.unless in the latterca'se, one series of light points can be used for normal lighting while the other series is usedras a warning signror the like, such as blinkers, etc. According to'the present invention, aforesaid transparent tubularelement is preferably made by, starting form an open section which can forinstance be obtained by extrusion, whereby said section is provided on one side with at least two longitudinal grooves, while at the otherside and ateach lateral edge aflangeis provided, the arrangement being such that .wfter said element'has been formed,"aforesaid flanges, outside the element, are fastened to each other.
.Also, according to the present invention, the electric leads which are being housed. inaforesaid longitudinal grooves, oreferably consist of cylindrical wires in order to secure the Highest possible deformability of the fixture. 5
In special modes of embodiment, aforesaid leads can how ever also assume any othershape, such'as alongitudinal' strip of material with rectangular, cross section,
folded in zigzag,woven'wire,.etc.
:lpply the lighting bulbs, whereby the sealing of the tubular around aforesaid bulbs, does notrequire any special levice.
a strip of material whereby the light points 3 and 4 are so made that the contacts 8 and 9 respectively, are either connected between the leads 5 v and 6 or between the leads 6 and 7. In this particular case, lead 6 is for instance connected with the minus pole of a source of current, while leads 5 and 7 are connected to the plus pole of the latter. In this manner by closing switch 11, only the light points 3 light, while by closing switch 12, only the light points 4 will light. i
' In this way it is therefore obtained that, when the bulbs 3' are of adifierent color from the bulbs 4, it'is possible to light alternately rows of lamps of different colors. It is quite evident that, by inserting a switch in one or other of aforesaid circuits, Y
or in both ofthem, controlled for instance by a bimetal, it is possible to cause the luminous points 3 and/or 4 to act as blingle series of bulbs.
It is. evident that when the fixture designed in this way is only provided with two electric leads, a flexible lighting fixture is produced which, in this case, will only be fitted with one sin- 'The source of current 10 may have any convenient voltage and may be for instance a battery of 6, l2, 24v. or of any other voltage and may, on the other'hand,be replaced by a connection to the mains with a voltage of 130 v. or 220 v. (or other).
' FIG. 2 illustrates the section from which the actual lighting fixture 1' may be manufactured,. whereby the latter is 'preferably'made of a transparent or translucid noncolored and comparatively pliable material which,o'n the one hand, is flexible and which, on the other hand lends itself to being worked while on the opposite side and facing each one of said grooves,
In order to emphasize the particulars of the present invenr'ion, without implying any particular limitation, a preferred worm of embodiment is described below with reference to-the ppended drawings of which: n
FIG. .1 illustrates in a diag ammatic, way a lighting fixture .uccording to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a. part of the transparent tu- .-+ula r-element according to the present invention, in which this element is represented in the open condition;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to that of FIG. 2, but after the electric leads have been put intov place;
' FIGS. 4 and 5 represent in perspective, variants'of the elec- 'ZIIC leads as used in FIG. 3;j
FIG. 6 is a cross section of the tubular element according to "FIG. 3, after the bulbs have been put into-place and after said tube hasbee'n brought into the sealed condition;
FIG. 7 is a top view with partial cross section of the tubular element as indicated by arrow F7in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a cross section byfa plane of which the trace follows the straight line VIII VIII of FIG. 7;
PIC-.9 shows only the lampholder with lamp along a cross section by a plane .of' whicli the trace follows straight line a bulge 17 18 and 19 is provided in order'to avoid weakening the section there where the grooves are provided.
Along each side edge of this section, longitudinal 'flanges20, 21 respectively are provided, which are situated on one and the same side of the section and extend at a given angle with respect to aforesaid body 13.
Finally, the ends of aforesaid flanges 20 with a bead 22 and 23respectively. I
. The'section which has thus been made is produced for in- .stance by extrusion and will preferably be made of transparent and noncolored polyvinyl chloride.
As illustrated in FIG. 3, the electric leads 24, 25 and 26 respectively are placed. in the grooves. 14, 15 and 16 and preferably consist of red copper wire-rods. On account of the shape of said leads, it is possible to coil the fixture with a fairly small radius without encountering any particular resistance, whereas on the other hand, the unwinding of such a fixture imparts to the latter only a slight permanent deformation.
FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate, by way of a variant, two other forms of leads, viz, a simple flatstrip 27 and a strip 29 the cross secand 21 are provided I tion of which is alsorectangular but which is folded in zigzag in order to allowaparticular deformation of said leads in special cases.
. As illustrated in FIGS. 6 to 12, the actual lamp holder 29 which is being used in this case, is intended for holding L.'I".' !-bulbs 30 and consists ofa cylindrical tube 31 made of a transparent and comparativelystiff material, suchxfor instance as colorless polyvinyl chloride. Each end 'ofsaidtube is providedwith a groove 32 and 33 respectively which can cooperate with clamping rings 34 and 35 respectively, of which the inner diameter is designed for exactly fitting over the sockets 36 and 37 respectively of a bulb 30.
Near either of the clamping rings 34 and 35, the body of the tube 31 is provided with passages, or with one passage 38 next to the clamping ring 34 and two passages 39 and 40 respectively next to the clamping ring 35. Each one of these passages is parallel to a dividing line 41, 42 and 43 respectively, which extend at 120 angles of each other, each to said passages being situated at a distance from aforesaid dividing line 41, 42 and 43. Through aforesaid passage 38, there extends an electrode.44 made for instance of a phosphorous bronze strip and comprising a long end 45 which, after the electrode has been fitted into place through passage 38, is exactly pinched between the latter and the inner wall of tube 31 on the one hand, and the corresponding socket 36 of bulb 30 on the hand. Starting from the inner wall of tube 31, the electrode 44 is bent through passage 38 so as to form a part 46 which is parallel to the line 41, after which, outside said tube 31 and in case use would be made of wire-shaped leads, the electrode is bent in such way as to form a semicylindrical end 47 which can subsequently cooperate with the corresponding lead.
According as to whether the bulb 30 is part of the series of bulbs 3 or 4, a second electrode 44 is provided in the same way either through passage 39, or through passage 40, as illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12, for cooperation with the bulb socket 37.
It is evidentthat the electrodes can be made in any other way, according to the shape of the lamp holder tubes being used.
The lampholders 29 which are thus formed are provided at equal or unequal distances along the section according to FIG. 3, after which this section is closed around the various lampholders. H
This folding or bending is done in such way, that aforesaid flanges arid 21, on the outside wall of the element, lean against each other with the result that, on the one hand, aforesaid light sources are firmly held in place, and that additionallythe grooves 14,15 and 16 are more or less distorted (see FIG. 6) so that the leads 24,25 and 26, and 27 or 28 respectively, are almost enclosed in their respective grooves.
The fastening of aforesaid flanges 20 and 21 against each other may be done in any convenient way, such as by sticking, heat hardenirig, riveting, etc.
In order to keep the various lampholders 29 at proper distance from each other, for preventing the leads 24,25 and 26 from coming out of their grooves and for reinforcing the fixture 'intemally, it is possible to fit between aforesaid lampholders, distance-pieces in the form of hoses made of some flexible material, which may also be polyvinyl chloride for instance.
The lighting fixture which has thus been made is closed at both ends after having been filled with transformer oil if this is required for cooling the bulbs 30.
It is evident that a lighting fixture of this kind could also be fitted with gas-discharge bulbs, such as neon bulbs for instance, in order to reduce overheating as much as possible.
ln one particular form of embodiment, little holes could be made in the flanges 20,21 at given intervals, in order to make it easier to suspend the fixture.
In this manner, a lighting fixture is obtained which is practically invulnerable, perfectly sealed and which can be easily rigged up over fairly large distances along any straight 'or' curved track, while it can also be 'e'aiily coiled after use" and lclann: l. A lighting fixture, comprising a flexible tubular element having a plurality of grooves extending longitudinally upon the inner surface of said tubular element, a plurality of electrical conductors, each of said conductors being located in -a separate groove, at least one tubular lampholder located within said tubular element, at least one electric lamp located in said tubular lamp holder, and electrodes connected with said lamp and with at least two of said electrical conductors to supply electric current to said lamp, wherein :said electric lamp comprises two opposed sockets, wherein said tubular lamp holder has a passage close to one of its ends and two separate passages close to the other one of its ends and wherein said electrodes comprise one electrode extending through the first-mentioned passage and connected to one said of said lamp sockets and one of said electrical conductors and another electrode extending through one of said two separate passages and connected to the other one of said lamp sockets and another one of said electrical conductors.
2. A lighting fixture in accordance with claim 1, wherein each of said electrodes has a semicylindr'ical end portion housing a portion of a separate electrical conductor. 1
3. A lighting fixture in accordance with claim' 1, wherein said passages extend in planes parallel to the longitudinal axis of said tubular lamp holder and equidistant from said axis.
4. A lighting fixture in accordance with claim 1, wherein said tubular lamp holder has sealed ends and is filled with a coolant.
5. A lighting fixture in accordance with claim 1, comprising two clamping rings, each of said clamping rings being carried by a separate end of said tubular lamp holder and engaging a separate socket of said electric lamp.
6. In the manufacture of light fixtures, a flexible channellike element which is substantially U-shaped in cross section and comprises a body and two diverging flanges, the outer surface of said body having a plurality of longitudinal grooves, the opposite surface of said body having a plurality of longitudinal bulges located opposite said grooves, the ends of said flanges having bulges directed substantially toward each other, said flanges being adapted to be bent toward each other over said outer surface to form a closed fixture.