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Publication numberUS3620401 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 16, 1971
Filing dateMay 11, 1970
Priority dateMay 11, 1970
Publication numberUS 3620401 A, US 3620401A, US-A-3620401, US3620401 A, US3620401A
InventorsLund Alvin R
Original AssigneeMarkstone Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Recessed lighting fixture including mounting clamp means
US 3620401 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Alvin R. Lund Carpentersville, Ill. [2|] Appl. No. 36,060 [22] Filed May II, 1970 I45] Patented Nov. I6, 1971 7.1 Assignee Markstone Manufacturing Company [54 RECESSED LIGHTING FIXTURE INCLUDING MOUNTING CLAMP MEANS 12 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 220/3.6, 248/27 [51 1 Int. Cl H023 3/08 [50] Field of Search 20/36, 3.5; 248/27 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,328,968 1/1920 Russell 220/3.6 UX 1,400,155 l2/l92l Greenburg 220/3.6 X 2,885,106 5/1959 Miller 130 56 2,970,713 2/l96l Kellberg. 3,052,369 9/l962 Taibi ABSTRACT: Mounting clamp means for detachably securing a recessed lighting fixture housing in a plaster frame. Spring steel clamp members are pivoted on fixed members in openings in the housing sidewall and their lower portions provide frame-engaging elements while their upper portions are arcuate to provide biasing elements which urge the engaging elements downwardly. The clamp members pivot between an idle retracted position wholly within the housing and a projected clamping position in which the frame-engaging elements and arcuate portions are outside the sidewall and the former are biased by the latter firmly against a flange on the plaster frame. A depending tab on the inner end of each engaging element abuts the sidewall to limit outward movement of the clamp means, and an elongated upright flap above the tab closes the opening the sidewall in the projected position.

RECESSED LIGHTING FIXTURE INCLUDING MOUNTING CLAMP MEANS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a means for selectively clamping a housing sidewall to a plaster frame in a recessed lighting fixture. The procedure of installing or removing a recessed lighting fixture from a ceiling can be very awkward and cumbersome. The installation is performed by first seating a plaster frame in the ceiling and then positioning a housing construction in the plaster frame and clamping them together. However, since installation is made from below the ceiling the clamping device must be accessible from within the housing sidewall, and due to limited space in the housing and inconvenience of working at ceiling level it is desirable to have easily manipulated means of clamping the housing and plaster frame together, and preferably one requiring no tools.

Similarly, the removal of the housing should be quick and easy.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a new and useful means for clamping a recessed lighting fixture housing to a plaster frame.

The recessed lighting fixture includes a plaster frame having an upper outward flange to engage the upper surface of the ceiling, and a housing having a sidewall with an outwardly directed circumferential flange at its lower end to prevent upward passage of the housing through a hole in the ceiling when the housing is positioned in the plaster frame. In the preferred embodiment of the clamping means of this invention, the housing sidewall has a pair of generally rectangular openings having lower margins that are not substantially above the plane of the outward flange when the housing is positioned in the plaster frame with its lower flange engaging the bottom margin of the plaster frame. A fixed member integral with the housing sidewall is between the upper and lower marginsof each opening. A one-piece spring is associated with each opening and has a loop at its upper extremity encircling the fixed member to provide a pivotal mount for movement of the spring radially through the opening between a retracted position wholly within the housing and a projected position in which an outer portion of the spring extends out of the housing and an inner portion remains within the housing. The spring has a lower part which overlies the upper flange in the projected position and an arcuate upper part which urges the lower part against the upper flange in the projected position to engage the flange and secure the housing to the plaster frame with the housing lower flange biased against the lower margin of the plaster frame.

Thus, the present invention provides a simple and inexpensive means for clamping the housing to the plaster frame, and one which is readily accessible and requires no tools.

At the inner portion of the lower part, each spring has a downwardly bent tab which engages the sidewall to limit outward movement of the springs in the projected position. The tabs have a return bend at the bottom affording an elongated upright flap which is generally parallel to the tab.

The downward tab prevents movement of the springs past the projected position, and the upright flaps close the openings when the springs are in the projected position.

The lower parts of the springs have downturned barbs to make frictional engagement with the upper flange when the springs are in their projected position, thus assuring adequate engagement of the springs with the plaster frame in their projected position.

Further objects will become more fully apparent in the following description of the embodiment of this invention and from the appended claims.

description OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly broken away, showing a housing construction positioned in a plaster frame in a ceiling with the spring on the right in projected position and the spring on the left idle and substantially entirely retracted;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of one spring in its projected position through the housing sidewall; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one of the arcuate springs of this invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. I, a recessed lighting fixture, generally designated 20, is shown in place in a ceiling, generally designated 22. A housing construction, generally designated 24, for the recessed lighting fixture 20 has a continuous sidewall, generally designated 26, which forms a hollow lamp chamber, and a top plate, generally designated 28, which closes the upper end of the chamber.

A plaster frame, generally designated 32, has an upright an nular wall 34 seated in a hole cut into the ceiling 22, and an outwardly directed flange 38 at the upper end of the frame rests on the upper surface of the ceiling 22. An outwardly directed circumferential flange 36 at the lower end of the housing 24 abuts the lower edge of the plaster frame wall 34 and underlies the surrounding ceiling; and clamp means on the housing, indicated generally at 40, bears on the plaster frame flange 38 to position the housing finnly in the plaster frame.

In the preferred embodiment of the clamp means 40, the housing sidewall 26 has a pair of rectangular vertical openings, generally designated 42, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The openings 42 have side edges 44 and lower and upper margins 46 and 48, respectively, connecting the side edges 44. As shown in FIG. I, the lower margins 46 are slightly above the plane of the outward flange 38 when the housing 24 is positioned in the plaster frame 32 with the lower flange 36 engaging the bottom margin of the plaster frame 32. A rectangular fixed member 54 integral with the housing sidewall 26 spans each opening 42, and is spaced from and adjacent to the upper margin 48.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, upper flange engaging means is provided by a pair of one-piece springs, generally designated 56. Each spring 56 has a loop 58 at its upper extremity encircling the fixed member 54 to provide a pivotal mount for the spring. In a preferred form, the springs have a width slightly less than the width of the openings 42, and are constructed from spring steel. The springs 56 can be pivoted about fixed members 54 radially through openings 42 between a retracted position within the housing sidewall 26, as illustrated in the left-hand portion of FIG. 1 where the spring is nearly in a retracted position, and a projected position with most of the springs 56 extending out of sidewall 26, as illustrated in the right-hand portion of FIG. 1.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, each spring 56 has a lower part providing an engaging element 59 which overlies and engages the upper flange 38 in the projected position, as illustrated in FIG. I. As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, each spring 56 has an arcuate biasing element 60 at its upper part which is outwardly convex and which urges the engaging element 59 against the upper flange 38 of the plaster frame in the projected position to clamp the housing sidewall 26 in the plaster frame 32, as illustrated in FIG. 1. As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, each engaging element 59 has a pair of downturned barbs 61 on its bottom surface 62 which provides frictional engagement of the element 58 against the upper flange 38 in the projected position, as illustrated in FIG. 1. Each engaging element 59 in the projected position bears upon the lower margin 46 of an opening 42 to flex the baising element 60 and position the barbs 61, thus providing additional engagement friction in the projected position. In this position the fixed members 54 confine the springs so that the upper ends of the baising elements cannot move away from the engaging elements 58.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, each spring 56 has a downwardly bent tab 63 integral with the inner portion of the element 59 to engage the inner surface 64 of housing sidewall 26 below the lower margin 46 and limit outward pivotal movement of the spring 56 in the projected position, as shown in FIG. 1.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the bottom of each tab 63 has an integral return bend 66 providing an elongated upright flap 68 which is generally parallel to the tab 63. As illustrated in FIG. 1, when each spring is in its projected position the flap 68 closes the associated opening 42 to confonn with undetsriters requirements.

The springs 56 can be released from the clamping effect in their projected position by inserting the blade of an instrument, such as a screwdriver, between the tabs 63 and the -sidewall inner surface 64, and by prying the tabs 63 from their surface engagement, releasing the engaging elements 59 and barbs 61 from the upper flange 38.

Thus, in order to clamp the seated housing 24 onto the plaster frame 32, the springs 56 are simply pushed out of the housing sidewall 26 into their projected position, causing engagement of the engaging elements 59 with the upper flange 38. In order to release the clamps from their projected position, in an equally simple manner, the tabs 63 are pryed from engagement with sidewalll surface 64 and the clamps 56 are withdrawn into the housing 24 releasing engagement of elements 59 from the upper flange 38.

The foregoing detailed description is given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

I claim:

I. In a recessed lighting fixture enclosure including a plaster frame having an annular wall which seats in a hole in a ceiling and an upper outwardly extending flange to overlie the ceiling, and a housing having a sidewall with external transversely extending flange means at its lower end to engage beneath the plaster frame wall when the housing is positioned in the plaster frame, clamp means selectively engageable with said plaster frame upper flange to position said housing firmly in the plaster frame comprising in combination:

a plurality of openings in said housing sidewall which have lower margins that are adjacent the plane of the top of said outwardly extending flange when the housing is positioned in the plaster frame;

a plurality of fixed members on the housing sidewall each of which is associated with and spaced vertically from the lower margin of one of said openings;

and upper flange engaging means associated with each opening including an engaging element which may be moved radially through the opening between a retracted position wholly within the housing and a projected position in which an outer portion of the element overlies the upper flange and an inner portion remains within the housing, and a biasing element which urges said outer portion against said upper flange in said projected position to bias the housing upwardly, said biasing element having a portion engaged with said fixed member to confine said portion of the biasing element against movement relative to said engaging element.

2. The clamp means of claim 1 in which the inner portion of the engaging element includes a tab engageable with the inner surface of said housing sidewall in said projected position to limit outward movement of the engaging element.

3. The clamp means of claim 1 in which each flange engaging means has the engaging element and its biasing element integral with one another, in which each of said fixed members comprises a transverse pivot spaced above the lower end of the associated opening, and in which said end of each biasing element is pivotally mounted on the associated pivot for pivotal movement of said engaging element between said retracted and projected position. v

4. The clamp means of claim 3 in which said flange engaging means comprises a one-piece spring a lower part of which provides said engaging element and an upper part of which is arcuate to provide said biasin element.

5. The clamp means of 0 mm 4 in which the spring includes an integral depending tab adjacent the inner portion of the engaging element, said tab abutting the sidewall in projected position to limit pivotal movement of said spring out of said sidewall.

6. The clamp means of claim 4 in which each of said openings is generally rectangular and extends continuously from said lower end to said pivot, and in which said arcuate spring portion is outwardly convex and is positioned outside the housing in the projected position of the engaging element.

7. The clamp means of claim 6 including a plurality of downtumed barbs on each engaging element to make frictional engagement with said upper flange in the projected position. 1

8. The clamp means of claim 7 in which said engaging element bears on said lower margin in the projected position to flex said biasing element and position said barbs for frictional engagement with the upper flange.

9. The clamp means of claim 6 in which the spring includes an integral upstanding flap adjacent the inner portion of the engaging element to close said opening in said projected position.

10. The clamp means of claim 9 in which the spring includes an integral tab projecting downwardly from the flap, said tab abutting the sidewall in projected position to limit pivotal movement of the spring.

11. The clamp means of claim 6 in which each pivot comprises an integral portion of the housing sidewall and in which each opening in said sidewall extends a short distance above the pivot, whereby the upper extremity of the spring may be looped around the pivot.

12. The clamp means of claim 1 in which each fixed member is an integral part of the housing sidewall and the associated opening extends both below and above the fixed member, and in which the flange engaging means comprises a one-piece spring which has a lower part providing the engaging element and an arcuate upper part providing the biasingelement, said upper part having a loop at its upper extremity encircling the fixed member to provide a pivotal mount. and said lower part having at the inner portion of the engaging element a downwardly bent tab which engages the sidewall to limit outward movement of the spring, and a return bend at the bottom of the tab affording an elongated upright flap which is parallel to the tab and closes the opening in the sidewall in said projected position.

1 i i l

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1328968 *Aug 9, 1919Jan 27, 1920Russell Bertrom RMatch-safe
US1400155 *Sep 24, 1919Dec 13, 1921Greenburg George GName-plate attachment
US2885106 *Nov 5, 1957May 5, 1959Miller John ROutlet box for wallboard
US2970713 *May 13, 1959Feb 7, 1961Garland WSwitch and outlet box clamp
US3052369 *Dec 7, 1959Sep 4, 1962Noe TaibiSnap-in box for electric wiring
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3710972 *Jan 26, 1971Jan 16, 1973Barry RElectric outlet box mounting
US4241972 *Oct 19, 1978Dec 30, 1980Bunker Ramo CorporationPanel mount for electrical connector
US5314148 *Dec 16, 1992May 24, 1994Csl Lighting, Inc.Spring mount fixture housing
US5475577 *Jul 7, 1992Dec 12, 1995Donnelly CorporationAccessory attachment plate for vehicle panels
US5675123 *Feb 9, 1996Oct 7, 1997Cruising Equipment Company, Inc.Clam-shell housing having releasably attachable, wall-mounting mechanism
US5873553 *Jul 14, 1997Feb 23, 1999Herman Miller Inc.Mounting bracket assembly for an outlet box
US6016596 *May 21, 1997Jan 25, 2000Rodgers; JohnMounting apparatus and method of use
US6502975Aug 20, 2001Jan 7, 2003Grote Industries, Inc.Theft resistant lamp
US7331555 *Nov 17, 2004Feb 19, 2008Les Luminaires Eureka LightingRecessed electrical equipment fixture
US7673842Jul 31, 2006Mar 9, 2010Koninklijke Philips Electronics, N.VCaptive retaining spring
US8474774Oct 1, 2008Jul 2, 2013Axis AbPanel component holder
US8544807 *Jul 30, 2008Oct 1, 2013Pelco, Inc.Apparatus for mounting a surveillance camera
US8545063Mar 3, 2009Oct 1, 2013Eclairage Contraste M.L. Inc.Light fixture for mounting to a ceiling
US20050258326 *Nov 17, 2004Nov 24, 2005Les Luminaires Eureka LightingRecessed electrical equipment fixture
US20080023894 *Jul 31, 2006Jan 31, 2008Genlyte Thomas Group LlcCaptive Retaining Spring
US20090091941 *Oct 1, 2008Apr 9, 2009Axis AbPanel component holder
US20100025554 *Jul 30, 2008Feb 4, 2010Foreman William LApparatus for mounting a surveillance camera
US20110110106 *Mar 3, 2009May 12, 2011Benoit DupuyLight fixture for mounting to a ceiling
EP1108098A1 *Aug 27, 1999Jun 20, 2001John David Tilbury BurgessAperture edging member and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/3.6, 248/27.3
International ClassificationH02G3/12
Cooperative ClassificationF21V21/04, H02G3/123
European ClassificationF21V21/04, H02G3/12F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 6, 1987AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: AMTEK INDUSTRIES, INC., A CORP OF IL
Owner name: MARKSTONE MANUFACTURING COMPANY
Effective date: 19870617
Jul 6, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: AMTEK INDUSTRIES, INC., A CORP OF IL
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:MARKSTONE MANUFACTURING COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:004735/0441
Effective date: 19870617