Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3597889 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 10, 1971
Filing dateOct 8, 1969
Priority dateOct 8, 1969
Publication numberUS 3597889 A, US 3597889A, US-A-3597889, US3597889 A, US3597889A
InventorsAntonio Lo Nigro
Original AssigneeAntonio Lo Nigro
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Junction box suspension unit for suspended ceilings
US 3597889 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent |72] Inventor Antonio Lo Nigro 192 Brooks St., East Boston, Mass. 02128 [2 ll Appl. No. 864,794 [22] Filed Oct. 8, I969 [45] Patented Aug. 10, I971 [54] JUNCTION BOX SUSPENSION UNIT FOR SUSPENDED CEILINGS 1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figs.

52 u.s.c1 52/28, 248/57, 248/3 43, 52/495 [51] lnt.Cl [104g 17/18 [50] Field of Search 52/28,' 495; I i 248/343,'57,2l4

[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,622,087 3/1927 Calderwood 248/343 |,709,6l4 4/1929 Fadell 248/343 2,487,645 248/214 X l 1/1949 Gershon 2,670,919 3/1954 Esoldi 52/28X 2,878,028 3/1959 Long.... 248/346X 3,2l4,l26 l0/l965 Roosw. 248/57X 3,309,053 3/l967 Baker...... 248/214X 3,343,310 9/l967 Netzetal 52/28 Primary Examiner-Frank L Abbott Assistan1ExaminerSam D. Burke Anorneys-Clarence A. OBrien and Harvey B. Jacobson ABSTRACT; A suspension unit for installation in an openwork or grid-type suspension ceiling and which can be relied upon to support a fixture-hanging junction box. It comprises a one-piece strap-iron supporting bar which is adapted to bridge the space between a pair of the usual inverted T-irons. The respective outer end portions feature right angularly positioned downwardly opening hooks which are hooked over the respectively cooperable T-irons and are held in place by accessible setserews. The straight flat't'aced median portion of the bar serves to adjustably mount a hanger clip which is carried'by the junction box.

Patented Aug. 10, 1971 3,597,889


v suspended ceilings such as are currently in widespread use in modern building structures, for example, large public buildings such as shopping centers, theaters, garages and the like and has to do, more specifically stated, with means which will facilitate installation of junction boxes of a type which are capable of reliably hanging lighting fixtures and appliances which are of considerable weight.

One of the disadvantages attending suspended ceilings has to do with the fact that the insertable and removable ceiling panels (blocks or tiles) are structurally such that they cannot be depended upon to support heavy fixtures. The most commonly used fixture is a lightweight flush mounted or recessed type which is placed in the position ofa selected ceiling panel. Under prevailing circumstances the choice and type of availablyusable lighting fixtures and appliances is such that the results desired cannot be achieved. It follows that it is the general object of the instant invention to pave the way for the adoption and use of an unlimited choice of lighting fixtures and appliances of any desirable shape, size or design ranging from simple low-price type to expensiveornamental chandeliers capable of harmonizing with any prevailing decor and at the same time to unhesitatingly cope with weight problems.

The broad ideas of providing special facilities in a suspended ceiling framework with a view toward affording balanced support means for electric lighting fixtures is not new in the field of endeavor under consideration. For state of the art purposes the reader can, if so desired, check the W. H. Fuss, US. Pat. No. 2,963,25 l. The Fuss patent has to do with suspension means supported on a ceiling framework for suspending electric outlet boxes, lighting fixtures and the like.

For further background purposes and because it may be helpful in evaluating the scope of the herein disclosed invention attention is invited to a U8. Pat. to J. Budnick et al. No. 3,104,087 which pertains to means for supporting electrical fixtures. It will be noted that the Budnick et al. patent involves a structural adaptation which cannot be successfully used for and in conjunction with suspension ceilings. In fact it is designed to be attached to wooden joists by way of flanges which are nailed or otherwise properly secured to the joists. Then, too, it will be noted that although the junction box is shown clipped to the bar hanger, the latter is of undesirable extensible and retractable construction not needed or necessary in openwork or grid-type suspension ceiling frames.

An object of the present invention is to structurally, functionally and in other practical ways improve upon prior art lighting fixture support means and, in so doing, to advance the art and to provide a junction box suspension unit which well serves the purposes for which it'has been perfected and successfully used.

Briefly the herein disclosed concept relates to a prefabricated adapter unit which, specifically construed, comprises a length of flat-faced strap iron which is of one-piece construction and provides a substantially rigid supporting bar. This bar is of predetermined accurate length proportional to the space which is to be bridged thereby, said strap providing a bar of requisite rigidity to accommodate a slotted hanger clip, that is, a clip which is fastened to or otherwise carried by a slotted top wall of a conventional-type junction box. The respective end portions of the strap iron or bar are provided with downwardly offset bent portions. Each bent portion is L.- shaped and has a horizontal part united with a right angularly disposed downwardly opening U-shaped terminal end portion which defines a bar mounting and attaching hook. The respective hooks are fitted over the vertical flanges of customary T- irons which are employed in the ceiling frame. 'lheouter leg or bill portion of the hook is equipped with a setscrew which permits the hook to be securely anchored.

Stated more explicitly, the body portion of the strap iron or bar is of requisite length and straight from end to end and become subsequently apparent reside in the details of con struction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a view in perspective showing several inverted T- irons in phantom lines such as are embodied in an openwork or grid-type suspension ceiling frame and showing the im' proved attachable and detachable prefabricated adapter unit and how it is constructed and preferably used.

FIG. 2 is a view with parts in section and elevation on an enlarged scale showing two T-irons in section and showing the unit partly in section and elevation partly in and how it is mounted to support the clip-retained junction box.

And FIG. 3 is a section taken on the vertical section line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

With reference first to FIGS. 1 and 2 the aforementioned suspension ceiling frame or frame structure is a conventional type. In the arrangement illustrated the frame members are denoted at A, B and C. The paired spaced parallel coplanar members B and C are of customary inverted T-shaped construction and are referred to as T -irons, the horizontal flanges being denoted at 6 and the vertical or upstanding flanges at 8. It is to these flanges that the end portions of the adapter unit 10 are detachably and adjustably secured. The adapter unit comprises a single length of flat-faced strap metal the main or body portion of which is denoted at 12. The respective end portions are the same in construction and each end portion is provided with a substantially L-shaped bend or bent portion I4 which comprises a depending component 16 and a horizontal component 18 which in practice resides atop or adjacent to the upper surface of the ceiling panel or block 20 as shown in FIG. 2. The terminal of the bent portion 18 is joined with the inverted U-shaped fastening means which is here referred to specifically as an inverted or downwardly opening book 22, more particularly a book which fits removably over the flange 8. The outer leg of the hook, also referred to as the bill portion, is denoted at 24 and is provided with a setscrew 26 which serves to secure the hook conveniently and accessibly in place.

The body portion of the bar 10 serves to accommodatingly and adjustably support a conventional junction box 28. This junction box has a top wall provided with slot means 3] to accommodate the upstanding spaced parallel legs of a U-shaped attaching clip 30. The legs extend up through the slot and are, in turn, provided with slots, said legs being denoted at 32 and the slotted portions 33 being adjustable along the bar in the manner clearly evident in Figs. I and 2. If desired an assem bling screw 34 may be used to hold the usual threaded nipple 35 of the clip means 30 in place for use.

The fixture hanging junction box is attached to the support bar in such a way that it can be slid freely along the entire length and can be secured by tightening its setscrew at any selected position. (This feature provides adjustability in placing and centering of the fixture box.) A hole is then made on the ceiling panel directly below where the box is secured and the fixture (not shown) is then hung.

The hanging fixture cannot be pushed upwards or out of place because its box 28 is secured on the bar 12 which in turn is secured at both ends to the 'l-irons B. Thus, the fixture is virtually immovable despite the fact that the ceiling panels can be pushed out of place in the usual manner by a touch of the finger.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described. and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.

I claim:

I. In combination. an openwork grid-type suspended ceiling frame structure embodying a pair of spaced interconnected parallel coplanar inverted T-irons, an adapter unit designed and adapted to bridge the space between coacting portions of the respective T-irons, said adapter unit comprising a single length of strap iron embodying an elongated fiat-faced body portion and correspondingly constructed integral end portions, each end portion having a terminal downwardly opening strap-iron attaching hook removably hooked over a vertical flange portion of the respectively cooperable T-iron, each holddown bend, said bend having a horizontal part which is disposed at right angles to the adjacent inner leg of the cooperatively adjacent hook and is thus adapted to rest firmly and retentively atop a coacting surface of a ceiling panel, a junction box for electric lighting fixtures and appliances, and clip means for slidably and adjustably mounting said junction box, on said strap iron.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1622087 *Mar 6, 1924Mar 22, 1927Nat Metal Molding CompanyBar hanger for the support of outlet boxes for the wiring of buildings
US1709614 *Sep 26, 1927Apr 16, 1929George J FadellElectric-fixture support
US2487645 *Jul 28, 1947Nov 8, 1949Benjamin GershonMinnow bucket
US2670919 *Mar 29, 1950Mar 2, 1954Esoldi VincentAdjustable support for ceiling lighting fixtures
US2878028 *Aug 15, 1957Mar 17, 1959A Mfg Co AbAdjustable dolly
US3214126 *Nov 2, 1962Oct 26, 1965Bowers Mfg Company IncOutlet box support
US3309053 *Apr 12, 1965Mar 14, 1967Su Ev IncHolder for paint cans
US3343310 *Nov 16, 1964Sep 26, 1967Integrated Systems IncOverhead ceiling structure with an integral fixture assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3711052 *Jan 28, 1971Jan 16, 1973Westinghouse Electric CorpSupport hanger for interior lighting fixture
US3714744 *Oct 12, 1971Feb 6, 1973Koziarz JElectrical fixture hanger
US4041657 *Sep 18, 1975Aug 16, 1977Fastway Fasteners, Inc.Fixture support for grid type ceiling
US4114326 *Aug 19, 1976Sep 19, 1978Eclipse Mfg. Inc.Fixture hanging assembly
US4114327 *May 13, 1977Sep 19, 1978Williams Arthur CLight fixture support
US4126971 *Apr 21, 1977Nov 28, 1978Eclipse Mfg. Inc.Fixture hanging assembly
US4149693 *Dec 2, 1977Apr 17, 1979Lonigro AntonioFixture support with twisted central portion
US4513994 *Jan 31, 1983Apr 30, 1985Robbins & Myers, Inc.Ceiling fan and outlet box support
US4645158 *Aug 27, 1985Feb 24, 1987Man-Mor Industries, Inc.Ceiling fan mounting apparatus
US4717099 *May 15, 1986Jan 5, 1988Hubbard George RFire sprinkler alignment bracket
US5009383 *Apr 30, 1990Apr 23, 1991Daniel J. ChapmanSuspended ceiling electrical bracket
US5045985 *Mar 15, 1990Sep 3, 1991Lightolier, Inc.Self locking adjustable mounting bars
US5226626 *Oct 28, 1991Jul 13, 1993Driscoll Dennis FCeiling panel and fan construction
US5316254 *May 14, 1992May 31, 1994Mccartha Robert DJunction box support for suspended ceilings
US5345729 *Feb 25, 1993Sep 13, 1994Wildeck, Inc.Support for tamper proof securing light fixture on suspended ceiling panel
US5374812 *Jun 17, 1993Dec 20, 1994Lightolier Division Of The Genlyte Group IncorporatedRecessed lighting fixture
US5435514 *Apr 20, 1994Jul 25, 1995Fan Tex, Inc.Fan hanger support for drop ceilings
US5606147 *Apr 14, 1994Feb 25, 1997Eclipse Manufacturing, Inc.Electrical outlet box for hanging an electrical fixture
US5698820 *Jun 27, 1995Dec 16, 1997Parsec Products, Inc.Method and apparatus for junction box and conduit support
US5934631 *Aug 19, 1996Aug 10, 1999Thomas & Betts CorporationHanger bar assembly
US6105918 *Apr 24, 1998Aug 22, 2000Cooper Technologies CompanySingle piece adjustable hanger bar for lighting fixtures
US6119784 *Jan 8, 1999Sep 19, 2000Pnm, Inc.Support system for fire protection sprinklers
US6123154 *Jan 8, 1999Sep 26, 2000Pnm, Inc.Support system attachment mechanism for fire protection sprinklers
US6286265Feb 1, 2000Sep 11, 2001Cooper Technologies CompanyRecessed lighting fixture mounting
US6332597Feb 17, 2000Dec 25, 2001Hubbell IncorporatedMounting bracket and supporting brace
US6488097Jan 8, 1999Dec 3, 2002Pnm, Inc.Fire protection sprinkler head support
US6752218 *Nov 14, 2002Jun 22, 2004Pnm, Inc.Fire protection sprinkler head support
US6811130 *Dec 10, 2003Nov 2, 2004Kofulso Co., Ltd.Mounting structure for sprinklers
US6889943Jul 6, 2001May 10, 2005Thomas & Betts International, Inc.Hanger bar assembly
US7032680Mar 24, 2004Apr 25, 2006Pnm, Inc.Fire protection sprinkler head support
US7357541Apr 5, 2004Apr 15, 2008Genlyte Thomas Group, LlcEnclosure for socket cup for snap-in electrical quick connectors
US7673841Mar 25, 2005Mar 9, 2010Cooper Technologies CompanyHangar bar for recessed luminaires with integral nail
US7735795May 19, 2008Jun 15, 2010Cooper Technologies CompanyHangar bar for recessed luminaires with integral nail
US7784754Dec 8, 2005Aug 31, 2010Genlyte Thomas Group LlcAdjustable hanger bar assembly with bendable portion
US7805904 *Jan 17, 2008Oct 5, 2010Target Brands, Inc.Ceiling grid spanner
US7874708Jun 26, 2007Jan 25, 2011Genlyte Thomas Group, LlcT-bar mounting system
US7874711Jan 8, 2008Jan 25, 2011Cooper Technologies CompanySurface-mounted lighting system
US7896529Jun 1, 2007Mar 1, 2011Cooper Technologies CompanySurface-mounted lighting system
US7993037Aug 27, 2008Aug 9, 2011Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.Recessed light fixture with a movable junction box
US8182120Dec 15, 2010May 22, 2012Cooper Technologies CompanySurface-mounted lighting system
US8201962Mar 11, 2008Jun 19, 2012Genlyte Thomas Group LlcRecessed downlight fixture frame assembly
US8240630Apr 28, 2010Aug 14, 2012Cooper Technologies CompanyHanger bar for recessed luminaires with integral nail
US8465181Jan 30, 2010Jun 18, 2013Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.Recessed fixture housing having removable ballast box
US8561961Feb 25, 2011Oct 22, 2013Cooper Technologies CompanyCaptive hardware for improved installation
US8616513 *Jul 26, 2011Dec 31, 2013Jack Kerr, JR.Bracket having overhanging support elements for supporting an electrical box
US8622361Jul 27, 2012Jan 7, 2014Cooper Technologies CompanyHanger bar for recessed luminaires with integral nail
US8636387May 21, 2012Jan 28, 2014Cooper Technologies CompanySurface-mounted lighting system
US8939418Apr 1, 2014Jan 27, 2015Cooper Technologies CompanyAdjustable hanger bar for luminaires
US9004435Jan 6, 2014Apr 14, 2015Cooper Technologies CompanyHanger bar for recessed luminaires with integral nail
US9060607Oct 17, 2012Jun 23, 2015Cooper Technologies CompanyHanger bar for recessed light fixture mounting
US9163782 *May 2, 2012Oct 20, 2015Jack R. Kerr, Jr.Support bracket for supporting an electrical box
US20030066658 *Nov 14, 2002Apr 10, 2003Pnm, Inc.Fire protection sprinkler head support
US20040177976 *Mar 24, 2004Sep 16, 2004Pnm, Inc. A Massachusetts CorporationFire protection sprinkler head support
US20050230589 *Mar 25, 2005Oct 20, 2005Cooper Technologies CompanyHangar bar for recessed luminaires with integral nail
US20060243877 *Apr 28, 2005Nov 2, 2006Rippel Graham MHanger bar centering mechanism
US20080025031 *Jun 1, 2007Jan 31, 2008Cooper Technologies CompanySurface-mounted lighting system
US20080067313 *Nov 21, 2007Mar 20, 2008Greg HerthVariable spacing mounted versatile paddle fan and ceiling electrical box
US20090175040 *Jan 8, 2008Jul 9, 2009Russell GreenSurface-mounted lighting system
US20090184226 *Jul 23, 2009Target Brands, Inc.Ceiling grid spanner
US20120018604 *Jan 26, 2012Kerr Jr JackBracket Having Overhanging Support Elements For Supporting An Electrical Box
US20130075555 *Mar 28, 2013Jack R. Kerr, Jr.Support Bracket For Supporting An Electrical Box
U.S. Classification52/28, 248/343, 248/57
International ClassificationH02G3/12
Cooperative ClassificationH02G3/125
European ClassificationH02G3/12F2