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Publication numberUS3678443 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1972
Filing dateMay 19, 1969
Priority dateMay 19, 1969
Publication numberUS 3678443 A, US 3678443A, US-A-3678443, US3678443 A, US3678443A
InventorsRudolph Koehler
Original AssigneeRudolph Koehler
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical lamp socket
US 3678443 A
Abstract
A form lighting assembly and lamp sockets therefor wherein each socket has a heavy duty resilient clip stiff enough to maintain the socket in a fixed orientation on the form. The clip may either be integral with the exterior side wall of the socket or may be carried on a separate tongue itself firmly anchored to the socket.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Koehler [151 3,678,443 145] July 18,1972

[54] ELECTRICAL LAMP SOCKET [72] Inventor: Rudolph Koehler, 32 Fleming Drive, Willowdale, Ontario, Canada [22] Filed: May 19, 1969 [21] Appl. No.: 825,821

Peterson ..240/ 1 0 3,113,754 12/1963 Jansson ..248/74 3,127,229 3/1964 Beck. ....339/99 3,154,281 1011964 Frank ..339/126 X 2,299,733 10/1942 Benander ..339/119 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,352,504 l/1964 France ..174/72 Primary Examiner-Richard E. Moore Attorney-Leon Arthur's 57] ABSTRACT A form lighting assembly and lamp sockets therefor wherein each socket has a heavy duty resilient clip stifl' enough to maintain the socket in a fixed orientation on the form. The clip may either be integral with the exterior side wall of the socket or may be carried on a separate tongue itself firmly anchored to the socket.

10 Claim, 8 Drawing Figures Patented July 18, 1972 Inventor RUDOLPH KOEHLER ELECTRICAL LAMP SOCKET This invention relates to an electrical lamp socket which is particularly adapted for firm mounting on a relatively thin, elongated form and particularly the invention contemplates the combination of such a form with a plurality of such sockets mounted thereon in spaced relation providing what is known as form lighting. In such form lighting, the elongated form may take any desired shape which may be emphasized by strategic positioning of lamp sockets therealong and it is also desirable that the orientation of the sockets relative to the form and relative to one another is preserved.

In the prior art, various combinations of electrical lamp socket and clip have been provided for mounting a said socket on an appropriate support but most of these known socket and clip combinations have been'primarily intended for mounting the socket for a random. decorative effect, for example,-such as onthe branches of a Christmas tree, wherein the retention of orientation of the socket relative to the support and. relative to other sockets on the support is unimportant. Such clips have usually been of a generally light-weight construction and have not been primarily intended toretain their associated socketin a fixed predetermined orientation relative to the appropria'te support on which it is mounted.

Also known in' theprior art are electrical lamp sockets adapted to be rigidlymounted on a special type of form such as by-a positive clamp which maintains the socket in an absolutely fixed alignment relative to the form. Such arrange ments', however, have included the use of a screw clamp for securing thesocket within a preformed aperture or recess in the form. i

It is, therefore, a broad object of the present invention to provide an electrical socket capable of being detachably secured to a simple form in a quick and easy manner but which is nevertheless capable of maintaining a fixed alignment relative thereto and it is an associated object to provide a form lighting assembly including a plurality of such sockets mounted on a form in a firm manner so as to maintain a fixed predetermined alignment relative to one another and to the form.

It is a further object of the invention to provide an electrical socket having a relatively stiff clip thereon for disengageable engagement ,with a form as aforesaid and it is a yet further object to provide such a socketwherein the clip is oriented relative thereto to permit side-by-side mounting of a plurality of such sockets on a said form.

It is a yet further object to provide an electrical socket as aforesaid wherein the clip is of heavy duty construction and is formed of a relatively stiff material for firmly mounting the socket as aforesaid but, at the same time, is limitedly resilient to permit passage of the form thereinto and to effect subsequent frictional gripping of the form by the clip.

To meet the foregoing and other unspecified objects of the invention, there is provided an electrical socket for mounting on a relatively thin linear support, said socket being provided with a heavy duty clip on its exterior which is disengageably engageable with said support for mounting the socket firmly thereon. Said clip comprises a pair of mutually confronting jaws defining therebetween an open-ended recess having a constricted entry; the jaws being sufficiently stiff to exert a strong clamping pressure on an oversized support contained in the recess but at least one of the jaws being limitedly resilient to flex under stress permitting passage of the support into the recess and thereafter to resume constriction of the recess entry to contain the support in the recess.

Also in accordance with the invention, there is provided a form lighting assembly including an elongated relatively thin linear support and a plurality of electrical sockets as aforesaid secured thereto at spaced-apart intervals therealong; the sockets being maintained in a substantially fixed predetermined orientation relative to one another and to the support.

Other objects of the invention, more or less broad than the foregoing, will become apparent from the hereinafter following description of the elements, parts and principles of the invention given herein solely by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein like numerals refer to like parts and wherein:

FIG. I is a part top plan and part front elevational view of a form lighting assembly according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic side elevational view of an instant socket mounted on a form illustrating various orientations of the socket relative to the form;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged side elevational view of a socket constructed in accordance with the invention and mounted on a form; 7

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of .a modified form of socket constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged part sectional, part elevational side view of an instant socket clip at one stage in its engagement with a form;

FIG. 6 is a similar view to FIG. 5 showing the position of final engagement of the clip with the form;

FIG. 7 is a schematic elevational view of a form lighting assembly according to the invention, and

FIG. 8 is a part sectional, part elevational side view of an instant socket clip embodying a modification thereof.

A fonn lighting assembly in accordance with the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 7 of the drawings wherein there is shown a row of the instant lamp sockets S mounted, in this embodiment, in side-by-side parallel relationship upon a support l0 so as to overhang it; the support 10 in this embodiment being comprised of a stem 10a and an integral head 10b of greater overall transverse cross-section than the stem 10a. The stem 10a may include decorative or advertising material as indicated at 10c.

Also in accordance with the invention, each socket S is provided with a heavy duty clip 12 enabling firm disengageable mounting of the socket S upon the support 10. It should be appreciated that, although the support l0 as illustrated in FIG. I is comprised of a stern 10a and head 10b, almost any suitable form of support may be utilized provided only that it is relatively rigid and is of a transverse cross-sectional dimension permitting its accommodation within the clip 12.

Each said clip 12 is oriented relative to the socket S upon which it is provided to permit the mounting of a plurality of such sockets S in the side-by-side relation illustrated in FIG. 1; the clip also being sufficiently stiff to exert a strong gripping or clamping pressure upon the support 10 to maintain a chosen predetermined orientation thereon. At the same time, the clip has sufficient resilience to accommodate some flexing under stress to permit engagement thereof about the support 10 in a manner which will be described in more detail herein.

As shown in FIG. 2, the socket and clip assembly permits positioning of the socket S on the support 10 at a predetermined orientation relative thereto. The schematic representation of FIG. 2 shows a support 10 of circular transverse crosssection whereby a clip 12 of a suitable cooperating internal section would enable a socket S to be positioned at any desired angular orientation on the support 10. However, as described and illustrated in more detail herein, it is preferred to utilize a support 10 having a polygonal or square transverse cross-section and a clip 12 of corresponding internal section whereby the socket S is selectively positionable at angular spacings around the support.

Although two embodiments of the invention are shown respectively in FIGS. 3 and 4, it should be appreciated that the clip proper 12 may be of the same construction in both embodiments, it only being necessary that it is supported relative to the socket S in relatively immovable relation thereto. Said clip 12 on each socket S is comprised of a pair of mutually confronting jaws 14-14 rooted on a common base B (see FIGS. 5 and 6) and defining an open-ended recess 16 between them for receiving the support 10 therein. It will be appreciated that, in order to retain the socket S firmly upon the support 10 in a predetermined orientation therewith, the jaws 14-14 must be sufficiently stiff and strong to resist accidental displacement relative to the support 10 and must also be rigidly carried on the socket S itself.

As illustrated and described herein, the jaws 14-14 defining the clip 12 are either integral with the socket S (as illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3) or are integral with a separate member 18 itself rigidly secured to the socket S (as illustrated in FIG. 4). In either embodiment, the jaws 14-14 may be considered to be rooted on the common base B as aforesaid provided either by the exterior body side wall 20 of the socket S or the separate member 18 respectively.

Since it is desired to achieve and maintain a firm engagement between the clip 12 and the support 10, it is desirable that the jaws 14-14 are stiff to exert clamping pressure on the support when it is contained within the recess 16 defined between the jaws 14-14. At the same time, it is, of course, necessary that the clip 12 be limitedly resilient permitting flexing thereof and accommodation of an oversized support 10 within the said recess 16.

The foregoing prerequisites are achieved by providing the clip 12 with a constricted entry to the recess 16 defined between the opposed converging free ends of jaws 14-14 and wherein at least one of the jaws 14 is limitedly resilient as aforesaid to flex under stress permitting spreading of said entry and passage of said support 10 therethrough into the recess 16 and thereafter to resume constriction of the said entry and to contain the support 10 within the recess 16. Preferably both said jaws 14-14 are limitedly resilient as aforesaid and may, conveniently, be locally relieved intermediate their ends, as indicated at 140 (see FIG. 5), to assist each jaw 14 to flex under stress as aforesaid.

Turning now to the socket S illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the socket proper may conveniently be of the type described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,127,229 issued Mar. 31, 1964 to H. T. Beck and comprising the body side wall 20 having an open end 22 accommodating installation of an electric light bulb L and a closed end provided by a plug 24 pressed into a channel 26 in the body to compressively connect a power cord 28 to the electrical contacts of the socket S. The specific form of socket S is relatively unimportant as regards the present invention providing that it is equipped with a heavy duty clip 12 as aforesaid immovable relative to the socket S.

In the specific embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the socket S and clip 12 are integrally molded from a suitable plastic material, for example, polypropylene, which is possessed of the necessary physical characteristics to enable the invention to be put into effect.

In the FIG. 4 embodiment, the socket proper may again be of the type illustrated in the aforesaid U.S. Pat. No. 3,127,229 but, in this construction, the plug 24 is provided with an axially-extending tongue 18 having its other end firmly receivable in a receptacle 30 integral with the body side wall 20 at the socket open end 22. In this embodiment, the clip 12 is molded integral with the tongue 18, which constitutes the separate member hereinbefore referred to, and may be formed ofa different material possessing the aforesaid physical characteristics to that from which the socket body and receptacle 30 are molded.

Thus, in each of the embodiments illustrated herein in FIGS. 3 and 4, the clip jaws 14-14 are rooted on the aforesaid common base B. Furthermore, such common base B for the clip 12 is immovable relative to the socket body since it is constituted by the socket side wall 20 itselfin the FIG. 3 embodiment and by the tongue 18 in the FIG. 4 embodiment which is itself of a relatively rigid nature and firmly supported at each of its ends by the plug 24 and receptacle 30 respectively.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, the clip 12 shown therein having jaws 14-14 rooted on the common base B may be considered as being on either of the sockets shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. That is to say, the base B may be considered as being an integral part of the body side wall 20 as hereinbefore described with reference to FIG. 3 or as being a part of the tongue 18 hereinbefore described with reference to FIG. 4.

Each jaw 14 of the clip 12 is rigidly rooted on the base B in confronting relation to the similar jaw 14 and defining the aforesaid recess 16 therebetween. The confronting surfaces of the jaws 14-14 are'profiled to form together angularly related surfaces providing a constricted entry to the recess whereby an oversize polygonal support 10 may be firmly received thereon in the manner aforesaid. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 3 to 6, the recess 16 is of substantially square internal cross-section but it should be understood that the invention herein is not limited to the provision of a clip recess 16 having this cross-sectional form. For example, the FIG. 2 schematic view shown herein visualizes a clip 12 of circular internal cross-section formed with a constricted entry to the clip recess 16 for accommodating an oversize support in the manner hereinbefore described.

In accordance with the invention, at least one of the jaws 14 is limitedly resilient to flex under stress permitting spreading of the entry to the recess and passage of the support 10 therethrough and thereafter to resume constriction of the recess entry 16. The solid line outline of the support 10 and jaws 14 in FIG. 5 show the relative position of the jaws and the support immediately prior to passage of the support through the constricted entry to the clip recess 16; it being convenient to engage the clip about the support by means of a tilting action about the longitudinal axis of the support as indicated in the full line outline of the support 10.

Passage of the oversize support past the constricted entry of the recess will deform the clip jaws 14 to the dotted line positions shown in FIG. 5 after which the jaws, by virtue of their resilience, will close towards one another to retain the support firmly therein.

It will be understood that the support 10 may be of a somewhat larger maximum transverse cross-section than the normal internal cross-section of the clip recess 16 whereby, even when the support 10 has passed through the constricted entry to the recess 16 and is engaged therein, thejaws 14-14 will still be slightly deformed. Such a situation is indicated in the full line outline of FIG. 6, the dotted outline of the jaws 14-14 shown therein being their normal relaxed position corresponding to the full line outline of thejaws as shown in FIG.

As illustrated herein, the instant socket is also provided with an auxiliary clip having confronting jaws 32 and 14 rooted on a common base, one of which jaws 14 is constituted by the external periphery of one of the jaws of the heavy duty clip 12. This auxiliary clip may be utilized for holding decorative material, such as the tinsel 34 illustrated in FIG. 1, to disguise or camouflage a part of the support 10 upon which the socket S is mounted.

In the modification illustrated in FIG. 8, the clip 12 is shown with a closure member 36 whereby a support 10 may be more positively retained within the recess 16. As illustrated herein, the closure member 36 is comprised of a latch integrally hinged to a free end of one jaw 14 of the clip and provided with a latching formation 38 adapted to detachably engage, preferably with a snap action, behind a co-operating formation 40 on the other jaw 14. It will be appreciated that the provision of the latch 36 does not influence the gripping action of the clip 12 as hereinbefore described but may be provided as a safety feature; the latch formations 38-40 having to be positively disengaged from one another by a prying action before the clip 12 itself can be removed from the support 10 for appropriate removal or repositioning of the socket S as desired.

It will thus be appreciated that a form lighting assembly in accordance with the invention, and as illustrated schematically herein in FIG. 7, may include a plurality of any of the sockets and clips hereinbefore described with the clip tightly frictionally engaged about a support maintaining the socket in a substantially fixed orientation relative thereto.

What I claim is:

1. An electrical socket for mounting on a relatively thin linear polygonal support, said socket accommodating installation of an electric lamp with its bulb projecting from an open end thereof;

a heavy duty clip on the exterior of said socket disengageably engageable with said support for mounting the socket thereon as aforesaid;

said clip comprising a pair of mutually confronting jaws integrally rooted on a common base and defining between them an open-ended recess capable of embracing said support, the jaws and their base being formed of a relatively rigid substance; I

said jaws having opposed converging free end surfaces providing a constricted entry to said recess and the interior of said jaws forming together angularly related surfaces shaped to accommodate corners of the said polygonal support when said socket is mounted thereon and for securely positioning said socket on the polygonal support in various angular orientations relative to said support; said jaws being massive and strongly resistant to spreading to exert strong clamping pressure on an oversized support contained in said recess; at least one of said jaws having limited resilience to flex 'slightly under stress procuring limited spreading of said entry to permit passage of said support therethrough into said recess and thereafter to resume constriction of said entry to contain the support in the recess, the entry being relatively' wide to permit passage of said support therethrough with only limited spreading of the said jaws;

said clip being oriented on said socket to permit a plurality of such sockets to be mounted on the said support in spaced side-by-side relation with the bulbs projecting therefrom aligned and overhanging said support.

2. An electrical socket as claimed in claim 1 wherein said clip is oriented on said socket with the axis of said recess substantially normal to the longitudinal axis of the socket.

3. An electrical socket as claimed in claim 1 wherein:

at least one of said jaws is locally relieved intermediate its rooting on said base and its said free end assisting said jaw to flex under stress as aforesaid.

4. An electrical socket as claimed in claim 1 further includa closure member carried on one of said jaws for effecting positive closure of said recess when said support is contained therein.

5. An electrical socket as claimed in claim 4 wherein said closure member is hingedly connected to one of said jaws;

cooperating latch formations being provided on said closure member and the other one of said jaws disengageably en gageable for effecting positive closure of said recess as aforesaid.

6. An electrical socket for mounting on a relatively thin linear support, said socket accommodating installation of an electric lamp with its bulb projecting from an open end thereof;

a heavy duty clip on the exterior of said socket disengageably engageable with said support for mounting the socket thereon as aforesaid;

said clip comprising a pair of mutually confronting jaws integrally rooted on a common base and defining between them an open-ended recess capable of embracing said support, the jaws-and their base being formed of a relatively rigid substance;

said jaws having opposed free ends providing a constricted entry to said recess;

said jaws being massive and strongly resistant to spreading to exert strong clamping pressure on an oversized support contained in said recess;

at least one of said jaws having limited resilience to flex slightly under stress procuring limited spreading of said entry to permit passage of said support therethrough into said recess and thereafter to resume constriction of said entry to contain the support in the recess, the entry being relatively wide to permit passage of said support therethrough with only limited spreading of the said jaws; said clip being oriented on said socket to permit a plurality of such sockets to be mounted on the said support in spaced side-by-side relation with the bulbs projecting therefrom aligned and overhanging said support;

said base being constituted by an elongated double-ended tongue anchored at each of its ends to spaced-apart positions on said socket; said clip jaws being rooted as aforesaid on said tongue intermediate the said ends thereof.

7. An electrical socket as claimed in claim 6 wherein:

said tongue is integrally attachable by one of its said ends to a closed end of the socket remote from said open end and said other end of the tongue is anchorable to the socket at said open end thereof.

8. An electrical socket as claimed in claim 7 further includan exterior channel on said socket at said closed end thereof wherein current carrying parts thereof are compressively electrically connectable to a power cord, and

a plug complementing said socket engageable with said channel for maintaining compressive electrical connection between said parts and said power cord, said tongue being integral with said plug at that one of its said ends remote from the socket open end.

9. An electrical socket as claimed in claim 7 including:

a receptacle on the exterior of said socket at said open end thereof; said receptacle providing said anchorage for said other end of said tongue.

10. An electrical socket as claimed in claim 1 further including:

an auxiliary clip on said base adjacent said heavy duty clip, said auxiliary clip comprising a pair of jaws rooted on said base and one of said jaws being constituted by one of the jaws of said heavy duty clip.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2299733 *Jan 10, 1941Oct 27, 1942Monowatt Electric CorpElectrical connector
US2453695 *Mar 21, 1946Nov 16, 1948Bernard A BellingLighting set
US2572382 *Mar 31, 1947Oct 23, 1951Howard B PetersonChristmas tree lighting bulb socket support
US2588288 *Feb 24, 1948Mar 4, 1952Joseph PohankaDental light
US3113754 *Sep 18, 1962Dec 10, 1963United Carr Fastener CorpWiring clip
US3127229 *Aug 16, 1961Mar 31, 1964 Lighting fixture with supporting clip
US3154281 *Feb 20, 1962Oct 27, 1964Frank CharlesHolder for electronic components
US3506947 *Mar 18, 1968Apr 14, 1970Curtis Dev & Mfg CoMounting for electrical terminal blocks and sockets and the like
FR1352504A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5024406 *Jan 31, 1990Jun 18, 1991Ketcham Raymond HDevice for hanging outdoor Christmas lights
US5355288 *Apr 21, 1993Oct 11, 1994Noma, Inc.Lampholder and mounting means therefor
US5481444 *Feb 16, 1994Jan 2, 1996Schultz; Thomas J.Miniature light holder
US5595439 *Oct 5, 1994Jan 21, 1997Noma Inc.Decorative light strings and multi-purpose lampholders therefor
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/575
International ClassificationF21V21/088, F21V19/00, F21S4/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21V19/0005, F21S4/001, F21V21/088
European ClassificationF21S4/00E, F21V21/088, F21V19/00A
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 19, 1984AS01Change of name
Owner name: NOMA CANADA INC.
Effective date: 19810507
Owner name: NOMA CANADA LTD.
Mar 19, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: NOMA CANADA INC.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:NOMA CANADA LTD.;REEL/FRAME:004237/0478
Effective date: 19810507
Apr 27, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: NOMA CANADA LTD.,
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:NOMA LITES CANADA LIMITED,;REEL/FRAME:003852/0716
Effective date: 19800828
Owner name: NOMA CANADA LTD., CANADA
Apr 27, 1981AS01Change of name
Owner name: NOMA CANADA LTD.,
Effective date: 19800828
Owner name: NOMA LITES CANADA LIMITED,