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Publication numberUS3700887 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 24, 1972
Filing dateOct 6, 1971
Priority dateOct 6, 1971
Publication numberUS 3700887 A, US 3700887A, US-A-3700887, US3700887 A, US3700887A
InventorsMarx George M
Original AssigneeNu Lite Fluorescent Mfg Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Latch and hinge structure for diffuser of fluorescent light fixture
US 3700887 A
Abstract
A combination hinge and latch structure for the diffuser of a fluorescent light fixture, comprising at each end of the fixture two transversely spaced, transversely pivotable latch members on the housing of the fixture spring biased into engagement with two latch elements on the diffuser. The latch members are provided at their lower ends with transversely-outwardly-facing hooks and transversely-outwardly-facing cam surfaces which extend upwardly from the hooks to transversely-outwardly-facing notches in the latch members. The latch elements are engageable with the hooks to support the diffuser in a lowered position, and are slidable upwardly along the cam surfaces into the notches to support the diffuser in a raised position. When the diffuser is in its lowered position, one latch element of each pair can be disengaged from the corresponding hook to permit the diffuser to swing downwardly for access to the interior of the housing. Fingers on the latch members transversely outwardly from the notches therein are engageable with the diffuser to prevent unhooking of one side of the diffuser when the other side thereof is unhooked.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Marx [45] Oct. 24, 1972 [72] Inventor: George M. Marx, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

[73] Assignee: Nu-Lite Fluorescent Mfg. Co., Inc., Commerce, Calif.

[22] Filed: Oct. 6, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 186,863

[52] US. Cl ..240/147 [51] Int. Cl ..F21v 17/00 [58] Field of Search .240/5l.11 R, 78 R, 78 ID, 146, 240/147, 149

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,624,387 11/1971 Eargle, Jr ..240/51.11 R

3,549,879 12/1970 Meyer ..240/ 147 3,539,802 11/1970 Gamett et a1 ..240/ 147 X 3,525,544 8/1970 Jacobs ..240/147 X 3,185,835 5/1965 Muller et a1. ..240/147 X 2,997,321 8/ 1961 Bobrick ..240/147 X 2,975,271 3/1961 Dvorak ..240/ 147 2,825,798 3/ 1958 Zingone ..240/ 147 X Primary Examiner-Joseph F. Peters, Jr. Attorney-Harris, Kern, Wallen & Tinsley [57] ABSTRACT A combination hinge and latch structure for the diffuser of a fluorescent light fixture, comprising at each end of the fixture two transversely spaced, transverse ly pivotable latch members on the housing of the fixture spring biased into engagement with two latch elements on the diffuser. The latch members are provided at their lower ends with transversely-outwardlyfacing hooks and transversely-outwardly-facing cam surfaces which extend upwardly from the hooks to transversely-outwardly-facing notches in the latch members. The latch elements are engageable with the hooks to support the diffuser in a lowered position, and are slidable upwardly along the cam surfaces into the notches to support the diffuser in a raised position. When the diffuser is in its lowered position, one latch element of each pair can be disengaged from the corresponding hook to permit the diffuser to swing downwardly for access to the interior of the housing. Fingers on the latch members transversely outwardly from the notches therein are engageable with the diffuser to prevent unhooking of one side of the diffuser when the other side thereof is unhooked.

3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures LATCH AND HINGE STRUCTURE FOR DIFFUSER OF FLUORESCENT LIGHT FIXTURE BACKGROUND OF INVENTION The present invention relates in general to a combination latch and hinge structure for the diffuser of a fluorescent light fixture, and, more particularly, to a structure which normally retains the diffuser in an upper position seated against the housing of the fixture, but which permits downward movement of the diffuser into a lowered position, and which then permits pivoting of one side of the diffuser downwardlyinto a still lower position to permit access to the interior of the housing.

Still more particularly, the invention relates to a combination hinge and latch structure for connecting each end of the diffuser to the housing, which includes: two latch members spaced apart transversely of the fixture; two pivots respectively mounting the latch members for movement about axes extending longitudinally of the fixture; spring means connected to the latch members for biasing same toward each other; the latch members being provided with hooks which face transversely outwardly and having cam surfaces which extend from the hooks to transversely-outwardly-facing notches in the latch members; two latch elements spaced apart transversely of the fixture and respectively engageable with the hooks to support the diffuser in a lowered position, the latch elements being slidable along the cam surfaces into the notches to support the diffuser in a raised position, and being maintained in the notches by the spring means.

PRIOR ART A combination latch and hinge structure of the foregoing general nature is disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,525,544, granted Aug. 25, 1970 to Arthur F. Jacobs.

SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF INVENTION The primary object of the invention is to provide a combination latch and hinge structure for the diffuser of a fluorescent light fixture which embodies improvements on the foregoing prior structure.

More particularly, a general object is to provide a combination hinge and latch. structure wherein the latch members and the spring means therefor are mounted on the housing of the fixture and the latch elements are mounted on the diffuser, thereby simplifying and minimizing the weight of the diffuser.

An important object of the invention is to provide the latch members with fingers located transversely outwardly of the notches in the latch members for preventing unhooking of the pivoted side of the diffuser when it has been swung downwardly into its lowermost position. More particularly, an important object is to provide a structure wherein the fingers on the latch members on the pivoted side of the diffuser are engaged by the diffuser to prevent inadvertent unhooking of the pivoted side of the diffuser. Consequently, there is no danger of dropping the diffuser, which is an important feature.

The foregoing objects, advantages, features and results of the present invention, together with various other objects, advantages, features and results thereof which will be evident to those skilled in the fluorescent lighting fixture art in the light of this disclosure, may be achieved with the exemplary embodiment of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawing and described in detail hereinafter.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fluorescent light fixture which embodies the invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged transverse sectional view taken as indicated by the arrowed line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and showing the diffuser of the fixture in its raised position wherein it is seated against the housing of the fixture;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but showing the diffuser displaced downwardly into a lowered position;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3, but showing one side of the diffuser unhooked and in the process of being pivoted downwardly into a still lower position for access to the interior of the housing; and

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but showing the diffuser pivoted all the way downwardly into its lowermost position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT OF INVENTION Referring to the drawing, the fluorescent light fixture of the invention is designated generally therein by the numeral 10 and includes the usual housing 12 and diffuser 14, the later normally being seated in a recess 16 in the housing, as shown in FIG. 2. The recess 16 is formed by an inverted pan 18 carrying the usual fluorescent tubes 20.

The invention resides in a structure 22 at each end of the fixture 10 for hinging and latching the diffuser 14 to the housing 12, as will now be described.

The combination hinge and latch structure 22 at each end of the fixture 10 comprises two latch members 24 spaced apart transversely of the fixture l0 and two pivots 26 respectively connecting the latch members to the housing 12 for movement about axes extending longitudinally of the housing. A spring means 28 connected to the latch members 24 biases the upper ends of the latch members toward each other and the lower ends thereof away from each other. Preferably, the spring means 28 interconnects the upper ends of the latch members 24 and includes a tension spring 30.

The latch members 24 are provided at their lower ends with hooks 32 which face transversely outwardly. The latch members 24 are provided with transverselyoutwardly-facing cam surfaces 34 which extend upwardly from the hooks 32 and which terminate at their upper ends in transversely-outwardly-facing notches 36. Each latch member 24 is provided transversely outwardly of its notch 36 with a depending finger 38 which extends downwardly toward, but terminates above, the corresponding hook 32.

The diffuser 14 is provided at each end thereof with latch elements, preferably latch pins 40, which are transversely spaced and respectively engageable with the hooks 32, as shown in FIG. 3, to support the diffuser in a lowered position. The pins 40 are slidable upwardly along the cam surfaces 34 into the notches 36 to support the diffuser 14 in its raised position, wherein it is seated against the housing 12, as shown in FIG. 2. The bias provided by the spring means 28 insures retention of the pins 40 in the notches 36.

With the foregoing construction, it is merely necessary to pull downwardly on the diffuser 14 to displace it from its raised position, FIG. 2, to its lowered position of FIG. 3. Conversely, in order to return the diffuser 14 from its lowered position of FIG. 3 to its raised position, FIG. 2, it is merely necessary to push upwardly thereon.

When it is desired to obtain access to the interior of the housing 12, asv for replacement of one of the fluorescent tubes 20, it is merely necessary to unhook one side of the diffuser 14 from the corresponding latch members 24, as shown in FIG. 4, whereupon the diffuser may be permitted to swing downwardly into its lowermost position, as shown in FIG. 5. When this is done, the fingers 38 on the latch members 24 on the pivoted side of the diffuser l4'.are engaged by the diffuser, as shown in FIG. 5, to prevent any possibility of accidental unhooking of the pivoted side of the diffuser from .the corresponding latch members. This is an important feature since it guards against accidental dropping of the diffuser 14.

It will be understood that either side of the diffuser 14 may be the pivoted side when swinging the diffuser downwardly into its lowermost position of FIG. 5. In

other words, either side of the diffuser 14 may be unhooked fromthe corresponding latch members 24.

Although an exemplary embodiment of the invention has been disclosed for purposes of illustration, it will be understood that various changes, modifications and substitutions may be incorporated in such embodiment without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the claims which follow.

I claim as my invention:

1. In a hinge and latch structure for connecting one end of the diffuser of a fluorescent light fixture to the housing thereof, the combination of: 1

a. two latch members spaced apart transversely of said fixture;

b. two pivots respectively connecting said latch members to said housing for movement about axes extending longitudinally of said housing;

c. spring means connected to said latch members for biasing the upper ends of said latch members toward each other and the lower ends of said latch members away from each other;

. said latch members being. provided at their lower ends with hooks which face transversely out wardly;

e. said latch members having cam surfaces which extend upwardly from said hooks and which face transversely outwardly;

f. said cam surfaces terminating at their upper ends in notches which also face transversely outwardly and which are located below said pivots;

g. two latch elements carried by and spaced apart transversely of said diffuser and respectively engageable with said hooks to support said diffuser in a lowered position, said latch elements being slidable upwardly along said cam surfaces into said notches to support said diffuser in a raised position;

h. said spring means maintaining said latch members in engagement with said latch elements; and

i. two fingers respectively carried by said latch members transversely outwardly from said notches and bl b 'dd'ff ser. 2. i t %%tu re a s defi ne il in claim 1 wherein said spring means includes a tension spring interconnecting the upper ends of said latch members.

3. A- structure as defined in claim 2 wherein said latch elements are pins.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2825798 *May 14, 1956Mar 4, 1958Neo Ray Products IncFluorescent lighting fixture
US2975271 *Feb 17, 1958Mar 14, 1961Art Metal CompanyLighting fixture
US2997321 *Feb 1, 1960Aug 22, 1961Sunbeam Lighting CompanyTouch latch for ceiling light fixtures
US3185835 *Jun 29, 1962May 25, 1965Trilux Lenze Gmbh & Co KgLamp for fluorescent illumination
US3525544 *Sep 27, 1968Aug 25, 1970Prudential Lighting CorpCombination latch and hinge apparatus
US3539802 *May 31, 1968Nov 10, 1970Emerson Electric CoLatch
US3549879 *Oct 13, 1967Dec 22, 1970Emerson Electric CoLighting fixture
US3624387 *Sep 30, 1969Nov 30, 1971Westinghouse Electric CorpFrameless air-handling fixture lens support
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3794830 *Apr 23, 1973Feb 26, 1974Alkco Mfg CoLocking spring and hinge for cover of lighting fixture
US4315302 *Mar 13, 1978Feb 9, 1982Keene CorporationQuartz light fixture
US4403278 *Nov 25, 1981Sep 6, 1983Harvstone Manufacturing CorporationMounting system for suspended lighting fixtures
US6827591 *Mar 7, 2001Dec 7, 2004Phoenix Contact Gmbh & Co.Electrical device and unit consisting of an electrical device and lamp diffuser
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/396, 362/225
International ClassificationF21V17/16, F21V17/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21V17/162
European ClassificationF21V17/16A
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 22, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: ITT CORPORATION
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004389/0606
Effective date: 19831122