US 3710096 A
A substantially L-shaped supporting member 31 is mounted in a slot 67 in a light fixture. Both legs are wider than the slot. Recess 71 which forms a web to connect the legs is slightly wider than the thickness of the fixture wall. The web is narrower than the slot. The support can be rotated 90 DEG when the nut 74 is withdrawn from hole 68 at the end of the slot.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 McFarlin Jan. 9,1973
ADJUSTABLE SUPPORT FOR LIGHT FIXTURES Ralph M. McFarlin, Pasadena, Tex.
Assignee: Esquire, Inc., New York,v N.Y.
Filed: Dec. 7, 1971 Appl. N0.: 205,579
, Related US. Application Data Division of Ser. No. 26,705, April 8, 1970, Pat. No. 3,652,847.
US. Cl. ..240/67, 248/207, 248/223,
. 248/244 Int. Cl ..F2lv 21/14 Field of Search .....248/207, 244, 245, 223;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,628,806 2/1953 O'Brien ..248/207 FORElGN PATENTS OR APPLlCATlONS 279,l64 .ll/l95l.
Primary Examiner-Samuel S. Matthews Assistant Examiner-Michael Harris AttorneyHyer, Eiekenroht, Thompson & Turner.
 ABSTRACT A substantially L-shaped supporting member 31 is mounted in a slot 67 in a light fixture. Both legs are wider than the slot. Recess 71 which forms a web to connect the legs is slightly wider than the thickness of the fixture wall. The web is narrower than the slot.
The support can be rotated 90 when the nut 74 is withdrawn from hole 68 at the end of the slot.
1 Claim, 14 Drawing Figures Switzerland ..248/244 PATENTEUJAN 9197s saw 1 OF 1 PAIENIEDJAI' 91915 sum 3 UF 4 FIG. 5
(90 TURNED) WW a ma 3.710.096 sum 3 or 4 I FIG. 8
PAIENTEDJAN ems sun-:1 u 0F 4 ADJUSTABLE SUPPORT FOR LIGHT FIXTURES This is a division of application Ser. No. 026705, filed Apr. 8, 1970 now U.S. Pat. No. 3,652,847.
This invention relates generally to light fixtures. in one of its novel aspects, it relates to improvements in recessed fixtures of the type which are installed and/or relamped from outside the wall in which the recess is formed, and thus beneath the ceiling in the case of a recessed ceiling fixture. In another of its novel aspects, it relates to improvements in devices for mounting capacitors or like parts within a light fixture.
One advantage of recessed fixtures of this type is that they dont require access from the inside of the wall, or above the ceiling, where space is usually at a premium and relatively remote, during installing or relamping. Normally, such a fixture includes a housing which fits closely within the lower end of the recess and is supported from the wall surrounding the recess in such a way that its lower end may be adjusted toward or away from the open lower end of the recess. A window over the lower end of the housing and a trim plate spanning the open lower ends of the housing and recess are removable from the housing in order to permit relampmg.
In prior fixtures of this type, a reflector on the side of the lamp opposite the window has permitted access to various parts within the fixture behind the reflector,
such as wiring terminals, ballasts, and capacitors, only above mentioned, space is usually at a premium and relatively remote. Also, the relatively close fit of the housing within the lower end of the recess ordinarily requires that it be supported from the wall by parts which may be manipulated from'within the housing. Heretofore, the means for providing this support, especially in such a manner as to permit the lower end of the housing to be adjusted toward and away from the open end of the recess, has been awkward and cumbersome to manipulate, and in some cases unsightly.
lt-is also desirable in fixtures of this type that the window and trim plate be supported in such a way that they maybe adjusted toward and away from the open end of the recess, so as to accommodate different wall thicknessesQThe means for so supporting the window and trim plate have also often been unsightly, and in any event difficult to manipulate from outside the wall and thus below the ceiling in the case of recessed ceiling fixtures.
An object of this invention is to provide a fixture of this general type in which access may be had to various parts within the housing of the fixture and behind the reflector from outside the wall, or beneath the ceiling.
Another object is to provide such a fixture which may be installed and supported from the wall by parts which are hidden from view outside the wall, and which are easily and quickly manipulated from outside the wall.
Still another object is to provide a simple and inexpensive device for easily and quickly mounting various parts, such as capacitors, in the fixtures.
These and other objects are accomplished, in accordance with the illustrated embodiment of the invention, by a light fixture having a housing with side walls and anopen lower end for fitting relatively closely within the lower end of the recess in a ceiling or the like, and a reflector having an open lower end of a size for passing closely through the open lower-end of the housing. The lower end of the reflector is releasably attached to the side walls of the housing so as to support an electrical socket therein in. position to receive a lamp between the reflector and the lower end of the housing. More particularly, the means for so attaching the reflector to the housing is accessible from the beneath the ceiling, whereby it may be manipulated to permit the reflector to be moved downwardly through the open lower end of the housing,so that access may be had from beneath the ceiling to a ballast and other parts in the housing above the reflector. v
The housing is supported from the recess in a manner to permit its elevation to be adjusted relative to the recess in the ceiling, and the means for attaching the reflector to the housing permits the elevation of the reflector to be adjusted relative to the ceiling. In this way, both the housing and reflector may be adjusted relative to the lower side of the ceiling and to one another.
In the illustrated embodiment of the invention, the reflector has a frame about its lower end and a downwardly turned flange about the frame for fitting closely within the housing above its open lower end. The trim plate is L-shaped and has one leg fitting closely within the downturned flange on the reflector frame and another leg extending outwardly to cover the side walls of the housing and the separation between the side walls and the lower end of the recess. More particularly, both the reflector and the trim plate are releasably attached to the housing by fasteners which extend through the downturned flange and one leg and are accessible from below the ceiling for attaching them to the side walls of the housing.
The window has a frame which fits closely within the one leg of the trim plate so as to close the window opening in the lower end of the housing and conceal the fasteners attaching the reflector flange and trim plate to the housing. More particularly, the window is removably supported by extendible fasteners which suspend the window frame from the reflector frame, and the window frame includes a wall having a recess on its inner side to receive a pane of glass and a flange on its outer side having an outer edge fitting closely within the downturned flange. The extendible fasteners are connected to the window frame within a space between the reflector frame and flange on the window frame, so that they are also concealed.
In accordance with another novel aspect of the present invention, opposite side walls at the lower end of the housing have slots therein and enlarged holes at one end of the slots for receiving substantially L-shaped supporting members, one for each slot, to support the housing within the recess in such a manner that it may be adjusted toward and away from the lower end of the recess. More particularly, the supporting members are so constructed as to permit them to be installed and manipulated from within the housing into positions in which they provide outwardly extending flanges adapted to seat on the inner edges of the recess and to be moved between different positions lengthwise of the slot.
In another novel aspect of the invention, one of the electrical parts for the fixture, and particularly the capacitor therefor, is mounted on a bracket which includes a base adapted to be attached to a part of the fixture, and a plate to which the capacitor may be releasably attached and releasably connected to the base in such a manner as to permit removal and replacement of the capacitor with respect to the base with a minimum of time and effort.
In the drawings, wherein like reference characters are used throughout to designate like parts:
FIG. 1 is a view from below and to one side of the lower end of the fixture installed within the ceiling,
with a portion of the ceiling being broken away for illustrative purposes;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the fixture of FIG. 1, on an enlarged scale and as seen along broken line 2--2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is another vertical sectional view of the fixture, as seen along broken line 3--3 of FIG. 1;
FIG..4 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion the lower edge of the fixture;
' FIG. 5 is a bottom plan viewof the fixture, as seen along broken line 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIGS. 6 and 7 are side views of the fixture during steps preparatory to its installation within the ceiling recess;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged perspective view of the device mounting a capacitor on a wall of the fixture;
FIG. 9 is a side view of the device and capacitor shown in FIG. 8, but with a plate of the device swung to aposition above the base thereof during a step in the installation or replacement of the capacitor;
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the L-shaped member for use in supporting the fixture housing within the recess;
FIGS. ll, 12 and 13 are views of the supporting member and slot and enlarged hole in a side wall of the housing during installation of the member into supporting position with respect to the wall; and
FIG. 14 is a cross'sectional view of the member secured in supporting position with respect to the wall.
As can be seen from FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the over-all fixture, which is indicated in its entirety by reference character 20, is installed within a ceiling 21 having a recess with an open lower end 22. Such an opening may be provided, for example, by removal ofa panel from a conventional grid type ceiling support. In any event, the fixture 20 comprises a housing 23 having an open lower end 24 which fits relatively closely within the ceiling opening 22 when the housing is supported from the ceiling, in a manner to be described below.
As best shown in FIGS. 2, 5, 6 and 7, the lefthand side of the housing is outwardly enlarged to provide space for a ballast B mounted on a support 26 secured to the housing. The righthand side of the fixture includes a separate compartment 27 which is mounted on the righthand side of the housing 23 by a bracket 28. As best shown in FIG. 2, and as will be described in' more detail to follow, a capacitor C is mounted on the bottom wall of compartment 27. Also, wiring within the fixture housing 23 and the compartment 27 is connected through a conduit 29 connecting the righthand side of the housing with a front side of the compartment 27.
The spacing of the compartment from the righthand side wall of the housing 23 insulates the capacitor from the remainder of the fixture, and thus maintains its temremovable door 30 on the righthand side thereof opposite the righthand side of the housing 23.
The cross-sectional area of the'entire fixture from one side to the other thereof is at least somewhat smaller than the cross-sectional area of the ceiling opening 22, whereby the entire fixture, including the housing 23 and compartment 27, may. be moved sideways upwardly through the ceiling opening, as illustrated in FIG. 6. Thuen, when the fixture has cleared the upper end of the ceiling opening 22, it may be swung as indicated in FIG. 7, to position its lower end 24 for lowering into supported position within the ceiling opening 22.
The housing is supported in the ceiling recess by means of support members 31 which, as shown in each -of FIGS. 1 and 3, have portions which extend outwardly from the side walls of the housing for resting on a surface of the ceiling above the ceiling opening 22. As will be described in detail to follow, the supporting members are moved into the supporting position of FIGS. 1 and 3 only after the fixture has been moved into the ceiling recess above the opening 22, whereby they do not obstruct the free movement of the fixture sidewise through the opening 22, as shown in FIG. 6.
More particularly, and as will also be described, the supporting members are of such construction as to permit them to be moved into and fixed in the supported positions of FIGS. 1 and 3 from within the housing 23 and through the opening 22 of the ceiling recess, thereby avoiding the need for manipulating them from above the ceiling.
The reflector R of the fixture has an upper end 32 and side walls 33 which flare downwardly and outwardly to an open lower end. A frame 34 about the open lower end of, the reflector has a downturned flange 35 which, as best shown in FIG. 4, fits closely within the lower open end of the housing 23. An electrical socket 36 extends through a side wall 33 of the reflector to receive a lamp L in front of the reflector, and thus between its upper and lower ends. The electrical socket 36 is supported on one sideof the reflector frame 34 by means of an arm 37 welded or otherwise secured at its lower end to the reflector frame.
As best shown in FIG. 4, a trim plate T includes a lower laterally extending portion 44 and a leg 45 extending upwardly from the inner edge of the laterally extending portion 44 for abutment with the lower side of the reflector frame 34 and fitting closely within the downturned flange 35 of the frame. Thus, as will be apparent from FIGS. 2 and 3, whenthe trim plate is in its supported position, the laterally extending portion 44 thereof spans the flange 35 on the reflector frame, the adjacent side wall of the lower end of the housing, and the separation between the housing wall and the opening 22 in the ceiling recess.
In this position, a hole through the upright leg 45 is aligned with a hole through the reflector frame flange 35, which in turn are aligned with a vertical slot 46 in the side wall of the lower end of the housing. A captive nut 47 or the like is slidable longitudinally within the slot 46 and has a hole therethrough aligned with the holes through the flange 35 and leg 45. Thus, a fastener 48 may be passed through the aligned holes and slots and manipulated from below the fixture and ceiling to attach the reflector and trim plate in supported positions, or, when desired, detach them from the housing for removal through the open lower end of the housing. More particularly, the captive nut 47 may be moved longitudinally of the slot 46 to permit the reflector and trim plate to be supported at a desired elevation with respect to the lower open end of the housing, thereby accommodating for different ceiling thicknesses.
A window W includes a pane 38 of translucent glass or other light-diffusing material received within a frame 39 thereabout. As best shown in FIG. 4, the frame in cludes a wall 40 having a recess about its inner side to receive the edges of the pane 38, and a flange 42 on its outer side having an upturned end for fitting closely within the upturned leg 45 of the trim plate in the supported position of the window (FIGS. 1, 2 and 5). As also shown in FIG. 4, a gasket 43 is received within the recess 41 to sealably surround the outeredge of the pane and also seal against the lower side of the reflector frame 34 when the window is in supported position, whereby the interior of the reflector is maintained substantially dust-proof.
As will be apparent from FIG. 4, the flange 42 covers and thereby conceals the fasteners 48 from view from beneath the fixture and ceiling. Thus, the inner ends of the fasteners are within a space defined between the frame 34 of the reflector and the flange 42 of the window frame, and between the wall 40 of the window frame and the upright leg 45 of the trim plate T. As shown in FIG. 4, the lower end of a fastener 49 for removably supporting the window from the reflector is also disposed within this space, and thus also concealed from view from beneath the fixture.
As best shown in the drawings, these fasteners are vertically extensible to permit the window to be moved downwardly from its upper position across the open lower end of the reflector, to a lower position beneath the lower end of the reflector and the trim plate T, as shown in FIG. 3. In this latter position, the window may be tilted to a position permitting access to the lamp L within the reflector, or, if desired, removed entirely from beneath the housing.
Thus, the illustrated fasteners include upwardly and outwardly extending legs 50 which are urged outwardly against the opposite ends of slots 53 in the reflector frame to the broken line position of FIG. 2 by a torsion spring 51 at the lower juncture of the legs. As best shown in FIG. 4, the torsion spring 51 surrounds a pin 52 which is removably received through the wall 40 and upturned end of the flange 42 of the window frame 39. Thus, the fasteners will suspend the window in its upper position until the window is pulled downwardly with sufficient force to urge the legs inwardly, as shown in FIG. 3. In this lower position, hooks 52 on the upper ends of the legs 50 will engage the top side of the reflector frame and thus resist further lowering. In the lowermost position of the fastener, these hooks 52 are to raise the hooks and stress them inwardly for passing downwardly through the slots 54.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that when access is desired to the interior of the housing above the reflector R so as to replace the ballast B or otherwise repair or replace parts within the housing above the reflector, the window W may be moved downwardly to the position of FIG. 3 to permit access to the heads on the inner ends of the fasteners 48. At this time, the
fasteners may be backed out so as to release'both thereflector frame and the trim plate from attachment to the side walls at the lower end of the housing. This permits the reflector frame 34, and particularly its downturned flange 35, to be moved downwardly through the lower open end of the housing so as to remove the reflector from within the housing. The trim plate of course will move downwardly with the reflec' tor inasmuch as the reflector frame 34 bears on the upper end of the upturned leg 45 of the trim plate, as will the window W due to its support from the reflector frame. In moving the reflector frame downwardly through the open lower end of the housing, it may be necessary to tilt the reflector somewhat to enable the arm 37 to move past the lefthand side wall of the lower end of the housing.
As best shown in FIG. 4, there are channels on the upper and lower sides of the laterally extending portion 44 of the trim plate. A thin decorative strip of flexible material may be bent across its width for snapping into the lower channel. The upper channel may receive the legs of right angle members which bridge the mitered ends of the sides of the trim plate T for connecting them together at their corners.
The device shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 for mounting the capacitor C within the compartment 27, and designated in its entirety by reference character 55, includes a base 56 adapted to be secured to a wall of the compartment 27 by screws 57 or the like, and a plate 58 releasably connected to the base for disposal longitudinally over the upper side of the base and adapted to support the capacitor C on its upper side away from the base 56. Although the capacitor may be releasably secured to the plate 58 in any suitable manner, it is shown attached thereto in FIGS. 8 and 9 by means of a strap 59 extending about it and a midportion of the plate 58.
The base 56 has a pair of longitudinally spaced-apart flanges 60 and 61 extending laterally across the upper side thereof. The capacitor supporting plate 58 also has a pair of flanges 62 and 63 extending laterally across the lower side thereof, and thus toward the upwardly extending flanges 60 and 61 of the base 56 when the plate is over the base. More particularly, the inner sides of the flanges 62 and 63 are spaced longitudinally of one another a distance at least some-what greater than the longitudinal spacing between the outer sides of the flanges 60 and 61, so that the lower side of the plate 58 may be disposed longitudinally over the upper side of the base 56 with its flanges 62 and 63 outwardly of the flanges 60 and 61.
The adjacent flanges at one end of the base and plate are hingedly connected to one another to permit the plate to be swung between its position over the base, as shown in FIG. 8, and a tilted position in which the flange 63 on its righthand end is raised above the flange 61 on the. righthand end of the base 56. More particularly, the flange 62 of the plate has an inwardly extending rib 64 which is partially round in cross section to fit closely within an arcuate groove 64A along the outer side of the base flange 60, whereby the plate is guided for swinging between the positions .of FIGS. 8 and 9. More particularly, the portion of the rib 64 and groove 64A in which it fits is less than 180 of circular extent, whereby the rib is free to move into and out of the groove in a direction transverse to the length thereof.
The flanges on the righthand ends of the base and plate are adapted to be releasably connected together, when the plate is inposition over the base, so as to securely mount the capacitor C on the wall to which the base 56 is secured. Thus, as shown, a screw 65 is threadedly connectedin a hole in the flange 61 of the base for extension outwardly therefrom, and a central portion of the lower edge of the flange 63 on the plate 58 is provided with a slot 66 for fitting over the threaded portion of the screw. Thus, in the position of FIG. 9, or in another position in which the flange 63 on the plate 58 is above the flange 61, the rib 64 may be moved into the groove 64A, and the screw 65 may be manipulated to move the enlarged head on its outer end tightly against the outer end of the slot 66, and thereby securely hold the flange 63 and thus the plate 58 in place. On the other hand, the screw may be backed off to permit the slot 66 to be moved upwardly away from the threaded portion of the screw and the plate to be swung upwardly to the position of FIG. 9, after which the rib 64 may be moved out and to the left of the groove 64A to permit replacement and/or repair of the capacitor.
As previously described, and as best shown in FIG. 1, the L-shaped supporting members 31 are adapted to be installed on the housing 23 in such a manner as to provide outwardly extending portions for resting upon upper surfaces about the inner edges of the ceiling recess opening 22. For this purpose, the opposite side walls 24 of the housing are provided with holes therein consisting of vertical slots 67 having enlarged holes 68 at their upper ends, one such opening being provided for each supporting member 31. Generally, it is sufficient to provide two such supporting members, and thus two such slots, at each of two opposite side walls of the housing.
As best shown in FIG. 10, the L-shaped supporting member 31 has legs 69 and 70 arranged at right angles to one another and being wider from one lateral edge to another than'the slot 67. The leg 70 which is adapted to provide the outwardly extending supporting portion of the member 31 is thinner from one side to the other of the slot 67 to permit it to be passed through from the inner to the outer side of the housing wall, as shown in FIG. 11. As a matter of fact, the other leg 69 of the member 31 is of the same thickness, so that the two legs may be made from a single sheet of material.
The opposite side edges of the leg 70 have recesses 71 formed therein to provide a web 72 at the end of the leg 70 connecting it to the leg 69. These recesses are slightly wider than the thickness of the side wall 24 of the housing, andthe web 72 is slightly narrower than the slot 67. Thus, as will be apparent from a comparison of FIGS. 11 and 12, after the leg 70 has been moved edgewise through the slot 67, the supporting member 31 may be turned 90 to cause the recesses 71 to move over the inner edges of the slot 67, whereby the web 72 is located for sliding longitudinally within the slot 67.
A pin 73 extends through the leg 69 of the support member 33 and is of smaller diameter than the slot 67 to permit it to be moved longitudinally therein. A head 74 on the end of the pin 73 adjacent the wall 24, when the leg is moved through the slot 67, as shown in FIG. 11, is larger in diameter than the slot 67, but smaller than the diameter of the enlarged hole 68 at the upper end of the slot. Thus, after the leg 70 has been moved through the slot, as shown in FIG. 11, and the support member rotated 90, the web 72 of the member may be moved upwardly through the slot67 to a level in which the head 74 in the pin 73 is opposite the inner side of hole 68. At this time, the head 74 may be moved through the hole, and the. member 31 then moved back downwardly to cause the pin 73 to move longitudinally downwardly within the slot 67, as indicated by a comparison of FIGS. 12 and 13, until the horizontally disposed leg 70 is at a desired supporting level.
At this time, the supporting member is fixed in position vertically with respect to the side wall of the housingby means of a wing nut 75 on the end of the pin 73 opposite the head 74. Thus, as will be apparent from the drawings, the wing nut may be made up on the pin so as to urge it against the leg 67, and thereby tightly engage the leg 69 and wall 24 on opposite sides of the slot 67. On the other hand, the nut need merely be backed off to permit vertical adjustment of member 31 with respect to the housing.
It will thus be appreciated that the supporting member 31 can be installed in supporting position from within the housing 24. Conversely, of course, it may be removed from installed position from within the housing 24 by a reversal of the above-described procedure. Summarizing, in order to install the member 31, it is first turned to the position shown in FIG. 11, and the leg 70 is moved through the slot 67 from the inner side of the wall 24 within the housing to the outer side thereof. When the leg has moved outwardly as far as possible, the recesses 71 are opposite the side edges of the slot 67, so that the member may be swung to dispose the leg 70 in a horizontal position. At this time, the member is moved upwardly to permit the head 74 and pin 73 to be moved through the hole 68, whereby the entire member may then be moved downwardly so as to permit it to be fixed in the desired vertical position.
As shown, there is a hole 76 in the leg 70, through which nails, screws, or the like may be passed for securing the leg to the upper supporting surface within the ceiling.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all of the ends and objects hereinabove set forth, together with other advantages which are obvious and which are inherent to the apparatus.
It will be understood that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of the claims.
As many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
1. Apparatus for supporting a housing for a light fixture or the like within a recess, wherein opposite walls of the housing each has-a slot therein and an enlarged hole at one end of the slot, a substantially L-shaped supporting member for each slot, both legs of the member being wider than the slot, and one of said legs being thinner than the slot and having recesses in each side edge thereof to provide a web at its end connected to the other leg, said recesses being slightly wider than the wall thickness and said web being slightly narrower than the slot, so that said one leg may be passed edgewise through the slot from the inner side of the wall to dispose said recesses within said slot and the support member rotated 90 and moved in a direction to cause the web to slide longitudinally within the slot,
a pin extending through the other leg 'and being of smaller diameter than the slot for passage therethrough, a head on the end of the pin which faces the wall when the one leg has passed through the slot, said head being larger than the slot but smaller than the hole at one end thereof, so that after the one leg has been passed edgewise through the slot and the support member has been turned said support member can