US 3714414 A
An ornamental lighting structure comprises an elongated transparent plastic tube having a plurality of lamps disposed in spaced relation to one another in the direction of elongation of said tube, and electrically interconnected to one another, and to an electrical plug disposed at one end of the tube, in a series circuit. The tube is hermetically sealed about the lamps, and is constricted at spaced locations along the direction of elongation of the tube, at positions between the spaced lamps respectively, to enhance the ornamental effect of the lighting structure.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Sternius 1 Jan. 30, 1973 [541 ORNAMENTAL LIGHTING MEANS 2,644,113 6/1953 Etzkorn .313/1 x 2,137,732 11/1938 Swanson ..3l3/312 X  slemius 1,995,863 3/1935 Prideaux ..313/512 x Sweden  Assignee: Kommandilbolaget T. Sternius Ak- Primary Examiner-S. Clement Swisher hegvlag 8: Co., Stockholm, Sweden Assistant Examiner-Frederick Shoon  Filed: Feb. 9 1971 Attorney-Sommers & Young  Appl. No.: 114,024  ABSTRACT An ornamental lighting structure comprises an elon-  U.S.C1. ..240/10R gated transparent plastic tube having a plurality of  Int. Cl ..F21p1/02, F215 3/00 lamps disposed in spaced relation to one another in Field 01 Search 10 the direction of elongation of said tube, and electri- 3l3/324 cally interconnected to one another, and to an electrical plug disposed at one end of the tube, in a series  e e e ces Cited circuit. The tube is hermetically sealed about the lamps, and is constricted at spaced locations along the UNITED STATES PATENTS direction of elongation of the tube, at positions 3,633,023 1/1972 Castiglioni et a1. ..240/10 R betweenthe spaced lamps respectively, to enhance the 2,713,629 7/l955 Etlkorn R X ornamental effect of the lighting structure.
785,695 3/1905 Munns ..240/10 R UX 3,395,301 7/1968 lannelli ..313/324 X 4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures Pmminmao ms 3. 714.414
SHEET 1 [IF 2 PATENTEDJAI 3 0 I975 SHEET 2 BF 2 FlG.2b
ORNAMENTAL LIGHTING MEANS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an ornamental lighting means comprising a plurality of lamps connected in series and adapted for connection to a voltage main. In
ornamental lighting means of this kind, previously known, the lamps are placed in bases, and are interconnected by wires to form a seriescircuit. A lighting means of this known kind is expensive to manufacture, voluminous and, in addition, the contacts of the lamps and their supply wires, which constitute the main part of the arrangement, interfere disturbingly with the ornamental effect.
An object of the present invention is to produce an ornamental lighting means of the aforesaid kind, utilizing base-less glow-effect lamps, which are cheap to manufacture and discardabl'e, i.e., the lamps are not exchangeable.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is characterized by an arrangement wherein the lamps are placed within a plastic casing with the terminal wires projecting from the lamps being permanently connected to form a series circuit within the casing, which serves both as a support for the lamps and as a contact isolation for the lamp terminal wires.
According to an embodiment of the invention, the lamps are placed in flexible plastic tubes, for example a shrunk plastic tube, with the hose tube portions located between the lamps having a diameter smaller than that of the tube portions around the lamps, and a return conductor is preferably also provided within the plastic tube, which return conductor has one end connected to a terminal wire projecting from the last lamp. A lighting means of this kind may, for example, be used as an illuminating garland on a Christmas-tree where it gives the impression of a number of interconnected light spots arranged in an irregular pattern.-
According 'to another aspect of the invention, the lamps are arranged according to a selected pattern within a' rigid plastic casing, preferably formed as two plastic halves with opposed depressions for the lamps. The pattern arrangement, for example, may be designed as an Advent star, candlestick or the like.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which FIGS. Ia, lb and 1c show three different variants of an ornamental lighting means according .to the inven tion, including a casing in the form of a flexible plastic tube, and
FIGS. 2a, 2b, 20 show an embodiment which includes a casing in the form of a rigid plastic body.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS According to FIG. la, a plurality of base-less tubular miniature lamps 1 are permanently connected to form a series circuit, in such a manner, that terminal wires 2, 3 projecting from one end of each of the lamps are soldered together at soldered points 4. The lamps are arranged in a row within a flexible transparent plastic tube 5, which preferably is hermetically sealed to prevent penetration of moisture. The first lamp in the lamp row is connected by a connecting wire to one contact in a plug 6, and the last lamp in the lamp row isconnected by a connecting wire to a return conductor 7. The return conductor also extends through the plastic tube and is connected at its other end to the second contact in said plug 6. The lamps are provided with a built-in bridge, which prevents the series circuit from being interrupted in the case of defect of a lamp.
Upon connecting the plug 6 to the mains, the voltage arrangement forms a row of light spots to be placed, for example, on a Christmas-tree. The plastic tube serves both as a carrier for the lamps and as contact isolation for the terminal wires projecting from the lamps. The return conductor 7 is isolated and can possibly be placed outside the plastic tube. It is also possible in principle to dispense with the return conductor and to connect the first and the last lamp in the lamp row directly to the plug.
FIG. 1b shows a variant of the arrangement in FIG. 1a employing lamps 8 are of a type having connecting or terminal wires projecting from each end of the lamp in question.
For increasing the ornamental effect, according to FIG. 10 the plastic tube can be shrunk'so that the portions 5' of the tube between the lamps have a diameter smaller than the portions enclosing the lamps.
FIG. 2 shows another embodiment of the ornamental lighting means according to the invention, in which FIGS. 20 and 2b show a horizontal view and, respectively, a section through a variant of the means, and FIG. 20 shows a section through another variant.
According to FIGS. 2a and 2b a plurality of tubular In FIG. 20, the lower plastic body 16 is also provided with depressions 17, so that the lamps are located between two identical halves.
The plastic bodies are preferably sealed hermetically to prevent penetration of moisture.
Upon connection to the source of supply voltage the arrangement shown in FIG. 2 forms an illuminated star, which may be used as an Advent star or candlestick.
What I claim is:
1. -An ornamental lighting structure comprising an elongated, flexible, transparent plastic tube, a plurality of lamps disposed in spaced relation to one another within said tube in a row extending along the direction of elongation of said tube, each of said lamps being of the base-less type and having a pair of terminal wires projecting therefrom, connector means within said tube connecting one terminal wire projecting from each lamp to a terminal wire projecting from a next adfrom each of the first and last lamps in said row, respectively, to the two terminals of said plug, said plastic tubing being hermetically sealed to completely encase said lamps and connector means, and said tubing being constricted at spaced locations between said spaced lamp along its direction of elongation, to exhibit a diameter which is smaller, between each adjacent pair of said lamps, than the diameter of said tube around each of said lamps.
2. The structure of claim 1 wherein said connector means includes an elongated return conductor extending through said tube in the direction of elongation of said'tube, one end of said return conductor being connected to one of said plug terminals at one end of said tube, and the other end of said return conductor being connected to a terminal wire of the lamp positioned farthest away from said plug at the other end of said tube.
3. The structure of claim 2 wherein each of said lamps is a glow lamp.
4. The structure of claim 3 wherein said connector means include a plurality of solder joints permanently connecting said terminal wires to one another in said series circuit.