US 3681588 A
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United States Patent Lee [451 Aug. 1, 1972  CANDELABRUM AND LIGHT TRANSMITTING MEANS THEREFOR  Inventor: Norman C. Lee, Rocky Mount, NC.
 Assignee: Carolina Enterprises, Inc., Tarboro,
[2 2] Filed: Nov. 16, 1970  Appl. No.: 89,863
 U.S. Cl.....- ..240/l0 B, 240/10 T  Int. Cl ..F2lp 1/02, F215 5/00  Field of Search ..240/l0 B, 10 S, 10 F, 10 P,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,134,356 10/1938 Clemence ..240/l0 S Siegala ..240/10 T 3,465,139 9/1969 3,191,020 6/1965 Millet ..240/l0 B 1,351,562 8/1920 Foster ..240/l0 B 3,431,410 3/1969 Dolan et al-. ..240/l0.l
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 6/ 1953 France ..240/ 10 B UX Primary Examiner-Louis R. Prince Assistant Examiner-Daniel M. Yasich Attorney-Kirschstein, Kirschstein, Ottinger & Frank [5 7] ABSTRACT A light transmitting saddle at least partially surrounds a single light source. A plurality of light pipes formed integrally with the saddle transmits the energy from the light source to flame-simulating tips.
a 11 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTED AUG 1 :972
INVENTOR NORMAN c. LEE
4526 AT A L %5 V7, 4
ATTORNEYS C ANDELABRUM AND LIGHT TRANSMITTING MEANS THEREFOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to candelabra and more particularly to auxiliary light transmitting means in a candelabrum using a single source of light energy and a plurality of light conducting rods for simulating flames.
2. Description of the Prior Art It is well known that bundles of noncoherent, plastic fibers or rods, such as those made from an acrylic resin, are light conductors and are capable of transmitting light from one end thereof to the other end, particularly along non-linear paths. When light energy impinges at a low angle of incidence against an internal surface of the fibers or rods it is reflected inwardly and travels lengthwise therethrough. Light energy leaves the conductor when it impinges on a surface thereof at a large angle of incidence or when it strikes a diffused surface. Thus, light entering at one end of the fiber or rod is transmitted to the other end by the process of almost total internal reflection.
The aforementioned characteristics are broadly encompassed by the term fiber optics and have, in the past, been utilized in the design of an illuminated fixture wherein a light transmitting rod extends through the hollow interior of an opaque candle-shaped element and projects from the top thereof in the form of a flame-shaped tip. However, in the prior art only a single, light transmitting rod was utilized for any given candle-shaped element. Prior to the present invention, which will be described in detail hereinafter, it would have been necessary to use a separate light source for each rod of a candelabrum. Such construction would be prohibitively costly since, in addition to the cost of plural light bulbs, there would be the cost of separate light bulb sockets and associated electrical wiring as well as labor costs for assembly.
It is also known, from U. S. Pat. No. 3,431,410, granted on Mar. 4, 1969 to Bernard Dolan, et al., to use a multiplicity of fiber optic filaments, which can be in the order of approximately microns in diameter, together with a single light source. However, in the aforementioned U. S. patent, the ends of the fibers adjacent the light source are held together in a single bundle. There is no suggestion of the need for or desirability of an intermediate, auxiliary light transmitting member, i.e. manifold, for a plurality of light transmitting rods, the ends of at least some of which adjacent the light source extend or face in sundry different directions.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a candelabrum comprising a plurality of light transmitting rods (light pipes) that terminate at distal, preferably parallel, ends in spaced apart, flame-simulating tips. The rods are bent at some point along their length so that the proximal ends thereof terminate in one piece with a light transmitting saddle which, preferably, is U-shaped. A single It will be appreciated that the present invention provides a very simple, yet effective and relatively low cost candelabrum. Assembly procedures and costs are minimized since only a single socket and a single linecord are required for a single light bulb and a plurality of light transmitting rods. A two part, molded nontransparent plastic housing is used to enclose the single light bulb and socket and the light transmitting saddle as well as all of the light transmitting rods except for the tips thereof. A minimum of fastener means are needed for assembly purposes. Candelabra of different sizes having, by way of example only, from three to eight candles may be fabricated within the scope of this invention, utilizing a single light source and an auxiliary, light transmitting saddle cooperating therewith.
It is an object of this invention to provide an im-' proved candelabrum utilizing a plurality of light pipes for the transmission of light energy.
An important object of the present invention is the provision of an improved candelabrum, as described hereinabove, utilizing a single light source.
An additional object of this invention, as described hereinabove, is to provide an auxiliary light transmitting member intermediate the single light source and the plurality of light pipes and in one piece with the pipes.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved, low cost candelabrum, as described hereinabove, that is relatively simple to assemble.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and in part will be pointed out hereinafter.
The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction,combinations of elements, and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter described, and of which the scope of application will be indicated in the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawing there is shown a candelabrum 10 comprising the present invention. The candelabrum 10 includes a plastic housing that is molded in two sections 12' and 12" which aresecured together along confronting edges thereof by any suitable means, such as contact cement, for example. Each of the housing sections comprises a plurality of candle halves 14a l4n and a half a base section 16. Halves of outboard feet 18 and a half of a central pad 20 are molded integrally with each of the base sections 16. The housing is non-transparent, preferably opaque.
As shown best in FIGS. '3 and 4, the upper ends of each candle half '14 includes a semi-circular recess 22 while at the lower end of each candle half 14 there is provided a similar but larger semi-circular recess 24'. A pair of end chambers 26 and a central chamber 28 are formed by the opposed base sections 16. Top wall 30, end wall 32, bottom wall 34 and side wall 36 define the I end chambers 26 while partitions 38 separate the end chambers 26 from the central chamber 28. A flange 40,
,whose function will ,be, described more fully n'ient of such material and will'permit light to enter or leave a surfaceof an elementof such material when the light-impinges on said surface at a large angle of incidence or when the surface is diffused. Five light pipes 42 are shown in the embodiment illustrated but'it shouldbe clearly understood that the invention is not limited to any particular plural number. Each light pipe 42 has a vertical section that terminates at its upper end in a diffused surface, simulated flame tip 44a44n, respectively. As may best be seen in FIG. 3 the opposed recesses 22 formed at the upper ends of each associated candle half 14 jointlyform an opening that receives the portion of the light pipe 42 that is immediately below the flame tip 44 while a central portion of each light pipe 42 is accommodated in the opening jointly formed by opposed larger recesses 24 of associated candle halves. Each light pipe is entirely disposed, except for its flame tip, within the housing 14.
Light pipe 42a and 42b are bent below the associated recesses 24 as shown by the reference characters 46a the horizontal inner ends of the light pipes 42a and-42b are directed to the right, the horizontal inner ends of the light pipes 42c and 42d are directed to the left and the central light pipe 42n is linear (straight). The inner ends of all 'of the light pipes 42a-42n terminate in an inverted, broad-aread, i.e. wide, long light transmitting saddle 48 that is U-shapedas definedby spaced apart vertical legs 49a and a horizontal top 4%. Preferably, the saddle 48 and the light pipes 42a-42n are molded as a single unit of a suitable plastic material such as an acrylic resin so as to'have the same optical property, described above, as the light pipes. in order to maximize the distribution of light, the mold for the saddle 48 preferably is fabricated in a manner such that there is no parting line on the inner surface 50 thereof.
Means 52 for supporting an incandescent lamp L is shown in F IGS. 3 and 4. The lamp support means 52, in y the embodiment illustrated, is a molded plastic member comprising a peripheral flange 54 having a truncated, upwardly converging conical section 56 extending upwardly therefrom. The flange 54 includes a pair of spaced lips 58 that are sized and positioned so as engage an edge of the flange formed in the-central chamber 28 of one of the candle halves 14. A fastener.
such as a screw 60 is used to secure the opposing edge of the flange 54 to the flange40 formed in thecentral chamber 28 of the oppositecandle half 14.
The truncated conical section 56 includes a central well 62 in which ispositioned a lamp socket 64 having v an insulating sleeve, 66. A channel 681molded integrally with'the conical 'section56 and thefl'ange 54 provides means for bringing out a line cord from the socket to a plug 72 adapted to be connected to a conventional source of electricity. Lips 74, molded integrally with T the lamp support means 52, extend upwardly from the a the candelabrum.
From the foregoing it willibe evident that an 'im- I I roved, low cost candelabrumhas been provided.A'
simulated flame'tip is formed at-one end of each of a plural number of light "conducting rods that terminate at the opposite ends thereof in a common, light conducting saddle. Thus, only" a single light bulb, positioned between thelegs of the U-shapedsaddle,is used as the energy source for all of the light conducting'rodsl A simple, plastic housing molded in two cooperating halves provides support means for the rods, the saddle and the light source, as well as for the socket for the light source. A minimum of fasteners and assembly procedures are required. I
It thus will be seen that there is provided a device which achieves the several objects of the invention and which is well adapted to meet the conditions of practicaluse.
i As various possible embodiments might bemade of theabove invention, and as various changes might be made in the embodiment above set forth, it is to be understood that all matter herein described, or shown in the accompanying drawing, is tobe interpreted as illusnative and not in a limiting sense.
Having now described my invention, I claim as and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
l. A candelabrum comprising a housing including a hollow base and several elongated hollow candle-simunew lating parallel elements extending upwardly from said base, -a plurality. of elongated, light conducting rods, positioned within said housing and extending from said base into said elements, a first end of each said rod terminating in a flame-simulating tip abovethe upper end of the associated element, a broad-area light conducting element positioned within said base proximate the second end of each said rod and a socket means posi- 2. The candelabrum in accordance. with claim 1 wherein the lightconducting elementis an inverted saddle.
3. The candelabrum inaccordance with claim 2 wherein said saddle is U-shaped and said socket is positioned between the legs thereof.
itis desired to rebulb 4. The candelabrum in accordance with claim 3 wherein the interior surface of said saddle is smooth.
5. The candelabrum in accordance with claim 1 wherein said rods and said element are made of an acrylic resin.
6. The candelabrum in accordance with claim 1 wherein the housing is non-transparent.
7; A candelabrum comprising a housing, a plurality of elongated, light conducting rods positioned within said housing, a first end of each said rod terminating in a flame-simulating tip, a broad-area light conducting inverted U-shaped saddle element positioned within said housing proximate the second end of each said rod and a socket means positioned in said housing between the legs of the saddle for removably supporting a light bulb adjacent said element in a position in which light rays emanating from said bulb impinge on the facing surface of the element at a large angle of incidence, said socket means including conductor means adapted to be connected to a source of electrical energy, the second end of at least one of said rods terminating in one of the legs of said U-shaped saddle and the second end of at least another one of said rods terminating in the other leg of said U-shaped saddle.
8. The candelabrum in accordance with claim 1 wherein the second ends of a first plurality of said rods terminate in one piece with one of the legs of said saddle and the second ends of a second plurality of said rods terminate in one piece with the other of the legs of said saddle.
9. A candelabrum comprising a housing, a plurality of elongated, light conducting rods positioned within said housing, a first end of each said rod terminating ina flame-simulating tip, a broad-area light conducting inverted U-shaped saddle element positioned within said housing proximate the second end of each said rod and a socket means positioned in said housing between the legs of the saddle for removably supporting a light bulb adjacent said element in a position in which light rays emanating from said bulb impinge on the facing surface of the element at a large angle of incidence, said socket means including conductor means adapted to be connected to a source of electrical energy, the second end of at least one of said rods terminating in one piece with the portion of said saddle intermediate the two legs thereof.
10. In a candelabrum of the type having a plurality of elongated light conducting rods, the improvement comprising the combination therewith of a light con- ,ducting saddle having a pair of spacedly opposed legs rods terminating at the oppositely facing outer surfaces v of said saddle legs.
11. The improvement in accordance with claim 10 wherein the rods and said saddle are made of an acrylic resin.