US 3721817 A
A lighting fixture adapted to be semi or completely recessed within a wall of a building structure and especially within a ceiling wall thereof. The lighting fixture includes a plaster flange structure adapted to be secured within the building wall and having a ring-shaped collar extending through an opening provided in the wall for this purpose. A hollow axially elongated baffle housing extends through the collar and is held in place with respect thereto by spring retainer means fixedly secured to the collar and resiliently gripping the baffle housing. At its inner end, the baffle housing is connected with a socket cap which closes the same and provides a connector socket adapted to receive the base of a light bulb therein. A spring fastener releasably interconnects the socket cap and baffle housing; and access into the interior of the fixture for bulb replacement is provided both inwardly through the ceiling wall, as by withdrawal of the baffle housing and socket cap therefrom through the plaster ring structure, and from within the interior of the building wall by removal of the socket cap from the baffle housing.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Contratto  RECESSED LIGHTING FIXTURE  Inventor: James Contratto, San Leandro,
 Assignee: U. S. Industries, Inc., New York,
 Filed: Oct. 7, 1970  App1.No.: 78,875
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,044,887 10/1966 Great Britain ..240/78 R 1,221,135 1/1966 France ..240/143 OTHER PUBLICATIONS Lighting Inc. Catalog, October 1960 51March 20, 1973 Primary ExaminerSamuel S. Matthews Assistant Examiner-Michael D. Harris Attorney.loseph B. Gardner [5 7] ABSTRACT A lighting fixture adapted to be semi or completely recessed within a wall of a building structure and especially within a ceiling wall thereof. The lighting fixture includes a plaster flange structure adapted to be secured within the building wall and having a ringshaped collar extending through an opening provided in the wall for this purpose. A hollow axially elongated baffle housing extends through the collar and is held in place with respect thereto by spring retainer means fixedly secured to the collar and resiliently gripping the baffle housing. At its inner end, the baffle housing is connected with a socket cap which closes the same and provides a connector socket adapted to receive the base of a light bulb therein. A spring fastener releasably interconnects the socket cap and baffle housing; and access into the interior of the fixture for bulb replacement is provided both inwardly through the ceiling wall, as by withdrawal of the baffle housing and socket cap therefrom through the plaster ring structure, and from within the interior of the building wall by removal of the socket cap from the baffle housing.
4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures Pmmmnmom 5,721,817
JAMES CONTRATTO 52. BY: FIG. 6 5 m ATTORNEY RECESSED LIGHTING FIXTURE This invention relates to lighting fixtures and, more particularly, to a completely recessed or semirecessed lighting fixture suited for use in association with a wall of a building structure and especially a ceiling wall thereof.
Recessed lighting fixtures are generally old and well known, and they have come 'into extensive use for a number of reasons among which include their inobtrusive character, antiglare characteristics, and in many cases because they improve the esthetic appearance of a room as a result of their concealment. The present invention is concerned with lighting fixtures of this type, and has among its general objects the provision of an improved recessed lighting fixture.
Further objects, among others, of the present invention are to provide an improved lighting fixture of the character described which can be completely or partially recessed and is quickly and easily displaced, whenever desired, between a completely recessed and semirecessed position; which affords access into its interior for lamp or bulb replacement either from below (i.e., upwardly through the ceiling) or from above; which is easy to mount or install; and which includes a hollow axially extending baffle housing closed at its inner end by a socket cap equipped with a connector socket adapted to receive the base of an incandescent light bulb therein, the socket cap being releasably secured to the baffle housing by spring fastener structure facilitating quick and easy release of the cap from the baffle housing, and further includes a plaster flange structure and spring retainer means fixed to the plaster flange structure and frictionally engageable with the baffle housing to support the same selectively in a completely recessed or semirecessed position.
Additional objects and advantages, especially as concerns particular features and characteristics of the invention, will become apparent as the specification continues.
Embodiments of the invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a broken perspective view illustrating the fixture in position with respect to a ceiling wall;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view through the fixture shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the friction retainer means interconnecting the plaster flange structure and baffle housing;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the spring fastener I used to releasably interconnect the cap and housing;
FIG. 5 is a broken side view in elevation of a modified fixture; and
FIG. 6 is a side view in elevation of a modified spring fastener used with the fixture illustrated in FIG. 5.
The recessed lighting fixture illustrated in FIG. 1 denoted in its entirety with the numeral 10, and it is shown as being recessed within a ceiling wall 11 of a building structure supported between successive joists 12 thereof. Conventional hangers are employed to support fixture 10, and typical hangers include an elongated bar 14 adapted to extend between such joists 12 and further include feet 15 at the end of each bar which are turned laterally so as to lie along the associated joists and be nailed or otherwise fixedly secured thereto. A pair of hangers are provided, one on each side of the fixture l0, and the hanger bars 14 are cooperatively engaged by C-shaped brackets 16 adapted to fit over the hanger bars and be fixedly secured thereto at a predetermined location therealong by screws or other fasteners. The brackets 16 are conventional, and they are rigidly secured to the fixture 10 by L-shaped supports 17, as shown best in FIG. 2. One of the C-shaped brackets 16 may be equipped with an upwardly extending mounting component 18 upon which a junction box 19 is mounted and within which connection is made between the power supply lines and the lamp or other electric utilization device supported within the fixture 10. In this respect, the conductors leading to the fixture may be enclosed within a protective conduit 20 which is flexible and, for example, may be BX cable. The hangers 14-15, brackets 16, supports 17, mounting members 18, junction box 19, and flexible cable 20 may all be conventional components and, for this reason, will not be further discussed.
The lighting fixture 10 includes a plaster flange structure 21 adapted to be fixedly secured within a building wall as, for example, the ceiling wall 11, as shown in FIG. 1. The structure 21 includes a cylindrical annulus or ring-shaped collar 22 equipped intermediate the ends thereof with an outwardly extending annular flange 24 to which the L-shaped brackets 17 are fixedly secured by means of cap screws. Accordingly, the plaster flange structure 21 is fixed with respect to the wall 1 1 since it is rigidly attached to the joists 12 via the hangers 14, 15 and C-shaped brackets 16. The lower edge of the collar 22 is adapted to be flush with the outer surface of the building wall 11, and such edge of the collar is provided with an annular recess or channel 25 along the inner surface thereof, the purpose of which will be explained hereinafter. The plaster flange structure 21 may be formed of any suitable material, and a specific example thereof is diecast aluminum.
Extending upwardly through the plaster flange structure 21 is a hollow axially extending baffle housing 26 of cylindrical configuration provided along the outer surface thereof at angularly spaced locations with a plurality of axially extending ribs 27. At its lower edge, the baffle housing 26 is equipped with an outwardly extending annular lip 28 dimensioned to seat within the recess 25 provided by the plaster flange structure 21. The recess 25 together with the lip 28 define means for positionally locating the baffle housing 26 relative to the plaster flange structure 21 and, therefore, relative to the ceiling 11 and outer surface thereof. In the usual instance, the lower surface of the baffle housing 26 will be flush with the outer exposed surface of the ceiling 11, and to facilitate the mergence of the two, the inner edge of the baffle housing may be relieved or angularly formed as shown at 29, to enhance the esthetic characteristics of the lighting fixture l0. Along its inner surface, the baffle housing 26 is grooved or corrugated to provide a low surface brightness, and such relief of the inner surface may be provided by forming a spiral groove 30 therealong which extends substantially from end-to-end of the housing, as shown in FIG. 2. The baf fle housing 26 may be formed of any suitable material, and a poor electrical and thermal conductor such'as a phenolic is desirable, and at least the inner surface of the housing is a dark color to further reduce surface brightness.
Cooperative between the plaster flange structure 21 and the baffle housing 26 are retainer means 31 fixedly secured to the plaster flange structure and effective to support the baffle housing with respect thereto and, therefor, with respect the ceiling 11. In the form shown, the retainer means 31 provides a resilient frictional support for the baffle housing and permits relative axial displacements therebetween. The retainer means 31 includes a stiff mounting ring section 32 having an annular spring section 34 extending upwardly therefrom and equipped with a plurality of angularly spaced spring fingers 35 that are axially disposed. The spring section 34 and support ring section 32 are integral and are fixedlysecured to the collar 22 of the plaster flange structure 21 by a plurality of rivets or sheet metal screws 36 extending through openings provided therefor in the collar and threadedly received within apertures formed in the ring support 32. The spring fingers 35 incline inwardly toward the axis of the baffle housing 26 so as to resiliently grip the same, and the end portions of the fingers are bent outwardly, as shown at 37, so as to facilitate axial displacements of the baffle housing through the collar 22 in opposite directions. The retainer means 31 and especially the spring section 34 thereof may be formed of any suitable material providing the requisite degree of resilience so as to permit frictional grip of the baffle housing 26 with sufficient force to support the same, and a specific example of a suitable material is stainless steel.
Extending upwardly from the baffle housing 26 is a socket cap 38 adapted to close the upper end of the baffle housing, as shown best in FIG. 2. The cap 38 is elongated axially and has a generally cylindrical side wall 49 tapering slightly in an upward and inward direction, and it is closed at its upper end by a top wall 40. At its lower end, the side wall 39 of the cap 38 is turned outwardly to provide a flange 41, is then turned upwardly to provide a perimetric wall 42, and is thereafter bent laterally to form a lip 44 that seats upon the end of the baffle housing 26. The wall 42 seats within the hollow interior of the baffle housing 26 and forms with the side wall 39 and flange 41 an annular cup 45 that seats fastener structure 45' therein.
Located within the hollow interior of the cap 38 is a socket 46 defining a female receptacle adapted to receive the base or male connector of an electric light bulb 47. The socket 46 may be completely convention (as is the light bulb 47) and by way of example, it may be a porcelain socket equipped thereabout with a nickel plated screw shell and secured to the cap 38 in any conventional manner, as by means of cap screws 48. It will be apparent that the connectors within the conduit 20 are connected with the terminals within the socket 46 so that the light bulb 47 is energized whenever the circuit to the socket is closed.
The socket cap 38 is in the nature of a heat sink and is therefore advantageously formed of a material having good thermal conductivity such as aluminum. In this reference, a modified socket cap is illustrated in FIG. and it is denoted with the numeral 38'. The modified cap 38' has the same general configuration as that of the cap 38, and its side wall is provided with plurality angularly spaced radially disposed cooling or heat-dissipating fins 49 extending substantially from end-to-end thereof. The lower end of the cap 38' is generally similar to that of the cap 38, and it is adapted to close the upper end of the baffle housing 26 and be releasably secured thereto.
Returning to the socket cap 38, as shown in FIG. 2, it is releasably secured to the baffle housing 26 by the aforementioned fastener structure 45' which takes the form of a retaining spring cooperative with both the cap and baffle housing. The retaining spring has a semicircular segment 50 that seats within the cup 45 and extends thereabout for an arcuate distance of approximately The ends of the spring fastener 46 are turned outwardly, as shown at 51 and 52, so as to provide through diametrically aligned apertures provided for this purpose in the generally vertical rim 42 bordering the cup 45 and in the side wall of the baffle housing 26. Whenever the ends 51 and 52 are extending through the openings and apertures in the cap and housing, these two components are fixedly interconnected and cannot be separated.
The spring fastener structure 45' is operative, however, to releasably interconnect the cap 38 and the baffle housing 26 and for this purpose, means are provided for withdrawing the end portions 51 and 52 from the apertures in the baffle housing 26. In the form shown, such means include upwardly extending finger grips 54 and 55 respectively associated with the ends 51 and 52 and formed by bending the spring segment 50 upwardly, horizontally, and then downwardly to merge with the respectively associated tips or ends 51 and 52. Accordingly, the finger grips S4 and 55 have an inverted, generally U-shaped configuration. It will be apparent that when the finger grips 54 and 55 are displaced inwardly toward each other, the respectively associated spring ends 51 and 52 will be withdrawn from the apertures provided therefor in the baffle housing 26 so as to release the spring fastener 46 and socket cap 38 from the baffle housing.
A somewhat modified fastener structure is illustrated in FIG. 6 for interconnecting the socket cap 38 with the baffle housing 26, and such modified fastener structure is denoted generally with the numeral 46. The spring fastener 46' has a generally U-shaped configuration and is inverted so that the base section 50' thereof extends along the top closure wall of the cap 38', and the legs 54' and 55' extend downwardly along the sides of the cap. At their lower ends, the legs 54 and 55 are turned laterally outwardly so as to provide horizontally disposed end portions 51' and 52' that respectively extend through diametrically disposed openings provided therefor in the socket cap 38' and baffle housing 26, as heretofore explained with reference to the spring fastener 45'. Ordinarily, the spring fastener 46' secures the socket cap and baffle housing to each other, but whenever the legs 54' and 55' are displaced inwardly toward each other, the spring end portions 51 and 52 are withdrawn from the apertures in the baffle housing 26 so as to release the socket cap 38' therefrom.
In use, the lighting fixture 10 provides access for relamping either upwardly through the ceiling 11 or downwardly from the top through the simple snap-off interconnection of the socket cap 38 and baffle housing 26. That is to say, assuming the installation of the fixture 10 illustrated in FIG. 1, if the lamp or bulb 47 requires replacement, access to the bulb is available either directly through the baffle housing 26 or indirectly by pulling the baffle housing downwardly through the frictional grip of the spring fingers 35 and outwardly past the lower edge of the collar 22 so as to make the spring fastener 45 (or 46', as the case may be) available to enable the spring ends 51 and 52 to be withdrawn from the apertures provided therefor in the baffle housing 26, thereby releasing the socket cap 38 therefrom. Separation of these two components provides access to the bulb 47 so that it can be removed from the socket 46 and replaced. The cap 38 is then replaced on the baffle housing 26 and secured thereto by means of the spring structure 45', as heretofore explained, and the cap and baffle housing returned to their original position by displacing them upwardly through the collar 22 and into the position shown in FIG. 2.
Alternatively, if availability to the fixture is afforded through the space provided for this purpose above the ceiling ll, access to the bulb 47 is attained by releasing the spring fastener 45' so as to separate the socket cap 38 from the baffle housing. After the bulb 47 is replaced, the socket 38 is returned to the closure position illustrated in FIG. 2 and secured therein by returning the ends 51 and 52 of the spring fastener 45' to the locking position shown.
Original assembly is effected by mounting the plaster flange structure 21, as illustrated in FIG. 1, so that the lower edge thereof bordering the recess 25 is substantially flush with the lower surface, or intended elevation of the lower surface, of the ceiling 11. Suitable connection with the power supply lines is made in the junction box 19, and the ceiling can then be closed about the edge of the plaster flange structure 21. For wet or plaster ceilings, the structure 21 is permanently plastered into the ceiling surface and serves as a frame for the fixture. For dry ceilings, an opening is cut in the plaster board or tile and a trim ring (not shown) is interposed between the recess 25 of the plaster flange structure 21 and lip 28 of the baffle housing and extends laterally outwardly therefrom to cover the edges of such openings.
For purposes of finishing the installation, the socket cap 38 is pulled downwardly through the plaster ring structure 21 to permit assembly below the ceiling 11, a bulb 47 is positioned in the socket 46, the baffle housing 26 is assembled with the cap 38 (as heretofore described), and the entire unit is displaced upwardly I through the structure 21 to position the baffle housing 26 in the frictional grip of the spring fingers 35, as
shown in FIG. 2, at the completely or semirecessed location desiredl While in the foregoing specification embodiments of the invention have been set forth in considerable detail for purposes for making a complete disclosure thereof, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous changes may be made in such details without departing from the spirit and principles of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A recessed lighting fixture or the like comprising: a hollow axially extending baffle housing adapted to receive an electric light bulb therein; a socket cap adapted to close an end of said baffle housing and being equipped with an electric socket for receipt therein of the base of such light bulb; fastener structure for releasably securing said socket cap to said baffle housing to permit withdrawal of the light bulb from within the housing; a plaster flange structure adapted to be fixedly secured within a building wall and having a collar seatable within an opening provided therefor in such wall and dimensioned with respect to said baffle housing to telescopically receive the same therein and permit the housing to be withdrawn therefrom; and spring retainer means interposed between and cooperative with said plaster flange structure and baffle housing to resiliently interconnect the same and thereby support said baffle housing with respect to such building wall, said housing being locked by said fastener structure against removal from said flange.
2. The fixture of claim 1 in which said fastener structure includes a compressible fastener spring carried by said socket cap and having portions cooperative with said baffle housing.
3. The fixture of claim 2 in which said socket cap is provided at an end and is a stationary part thereof with a cup fitting within and an end of said baffle housing to close the same, and in which said spring fastener structure is supported at least in part within said cup and is equipped with end portions projecting outwardly through openings provided therefor in said cup and into apertures aligned therewith in said baffle housing.
4. The fixture of claim 1 and further comprising positioning means having cooperative components respectively provided by said plaster flange structure and by said baffle housing to positionally locate one with respect to the other in selectively different axially related positions of the baffle relative to the plastic ring.