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Publication numberUS3740541 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 19, 1973
Filing dateDec 23, 1971
Priority dateDec 23, 1971
Publication numberUS 3740541 A, US 3740541A, US-A-3740541, US3740541 A, US3740541A
InventorsJ Conradt
Original AssigneeL & J Specialty Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lighted stair rail
US 3740541 A
Abstract
An illuminated stair rail in which a channel-shaped main rail forming member has a downwardly directed opening which is covered over the major portion of its length by a translucent plate. The channel member has a plurality of lamp bulbs connected to a low voltage supply by means of a transformer which is in turn connected to conventional alternating current line voltage, for example, 115 volts, the power supply having selectively connectable storage batteries and a control system for connecting the storage batteries to the bulbs upon failure of the household supply.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Conradt June 19, 1973 [5 1 LIGHTED STAIR RAIL 881,445 11 /1961 Great Britain 240 2 w 844,581 8/1960 Great Britain 240/2 B [75 J Inventor: James C. C0nradt,Ham1lton, Ohio 73] A551 nee: L & J S ecialt Cor Hamilton, Primary Exami"e"RiPhard Moses g Ohio p y p Attorney-James S. Hight, Herbert C. Brinkman,J1'.,

William G. Konold et a1. [22] Filed: Dec. 23, 1971 [21.] Appl. No.: 211,207 [57] ABSTRACT An illuminated stair rail in which a channel-shaped Cl 240/2 240/9 main rail forming member has a downwardly directed [5 Int. Clopening is covered ver the major portion of its Field of Search 240/2 2 1 length by a translucent plate. The channel member has 2 52/28 a plurality of lamp bulbs connected to a low voltage supply by means of a transformer which is in turn con- I References Clted nected to conventional alternating current line voltage,

UNITED STATES PATENTS for example, 1 15 volts, the power supply having selec- 2,310,53 2 1943 Orlicki.. 240 2 w tively connectable Storage batteries d a control 2,766,372 10/1956 Albris 240 2 w tem for connectmg the Storage batteries to the bulbs 3,057,991 10/1962 Grenadier.... 240/9 R X upon failure of the household supply. 3,217,156 11/1965 Sherwood 240/10.6 R 3,131,871 5/1964 Foulds 240/9 R X 8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 893,583 4/1962 Great Britain 240/2 W 2 I H l l I 111 1 1 1 1 m 1" l I' l II I {I} ,2 2,,

EA AMI-80152 Y RECT/F//Q Patented June 19, 1973 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.

LIGHTED STAIR RAIL This invention relates to an illuminated stair rail.

Attempts have been made to provide illuminated stair rails in the past, but these stair rails have, for the most part, employed relatively high voltage systems including fluorescent lighting systems. These, because of the high voltage applied, have been regarded with disfavor as being electrically unsafe to withstand the rigors of usage, particularly with the obviously required close contact of persons with the hand rail.

It has been an objective of the present invention to provide an illuminated hand rail which satisfactorily illuminates a stairway, while at the same time utilizing such a low voltage power supply as to be perfectly safe under all conditions of usage. The invention contemplates the use of a channel-shaped stair rail having its opening facing downwardly and having its opening covered by a translucent plate over the major portion of the rail. Within the channel member are located a plurality of incandescent bulbs spaced along the length of the channel member and connected to a low voltage supply. Storage batteries are connectable through an electronic control into the system so that as required they can be recharged, but upon failure of a main power system they automatically switch into connection with the incandescent bulbs so as to continuously supply energy to the bulbs during emergency situations.

The channel-shaped rail is preferably of an extruded form, having inwardly directed ribs extending along its length and located at different positions around the interior surface of the channel-shaped member. The rail structure, as will be described in detail below, admits of the selective mounting of the incandescent bulbs at any of the desired positions along its length, so as to provide that illumination which is best suited to that stairway with which the stair rail is used.

The channel configuration further admits of the mounting of all of the elements associated with the rail, as for example, the bulb brackets, the mounting posts, the splices and the covering for the channel openings in such a way that the mounting elements are visible only from the underside of the rail, thereby presenting a very attractive appearing rail.

It has been a further objective of the invention to provide illuminated hand rail, an end cap having at least one opening which is closed by a translucent plug whereby the end of the rail is illuminated.

It has been another objective of the invention to provide ventilation for the rail, the ventilation including the mounting of screens over a small portion of the length of the rail where there is no translucent plate.

These and other objectives of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. I is a diagrammatic elevational view of a hand rail in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view at one end of the rail;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view through a rail joint, illustrating the splicing structure;

FIG. 5 is an end elevational view illustrating the end cap; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-elevational view taken along the lines of 6-6 of FIG. 5.

Referring to FIG. 1, a set of stairs 10 is illustrated as having a hand rail 11 of the present invention, the hand rail being mounted on posts 12, the downwardly directed rays 13 indicating the manner in which the stair rail illuminates the stairway.

The electrical energy for the hand rail can be a conventional volt source which is connected through a transformer rectifier 16 to conductors 17 which are connected in parallel to the bulbs 18 (FIG. 2). The transformer rectifier is connected in parallel to a storage battery supply 19, through electronic control 20 of conventional design. The electronic control permits the batteries to be charged by the transformer rectifier 16 as needed and switches the storage batteries into the circuit at such time as there is a power failure so as to keep the bulbs illuminated during emergency conditions. Such a control system is of the type sold by Progressive Dynamics Inc. of Marshall, Mich. The stair rail itself is a channel-shaped member 23 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The channel-shaped member is preferably extruded and has an upper wall 24 and two side walls 25 and 26. Two serrated ribs 27 depend from the surface of the upper wall and are adapted to receive screws 28 by which L-shaped mounting brackets 29 are secured at any place along the length of the channel. Each bracket carries a socket 30 into which the bulb 18 is mounted, each socket being connected to the conduc tor 17. At the corners 32 of the channel-shaped member are grooves 33 which provide holes by which a cap 34 can be mounted to the channel-shaped members by self-tapping screws.

In the lower end of each of the side walls 25 and 26, a pair of ribs 35 is formed, the ribs forming a groove 36 for completing the mounting of the end cap. Further, the ribs themselves are used for the purpose of supporting mounting posts and other structural elements to the channel as will appear below.

The channel-shaped member is covered over most of its lower opening by one or more translucent plates 40. Each plate is mounted by screws 41 to a structural element which is secured to the ribs 35. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the structural element consists of a flange 42 projecting from both sides of the post 12. The flange has at each side a V-shaped groove 43 which receives a mating V-shaped surface 44 on the lower rib 35. A clamping bar 45, having a similar V-groove engagement with the upper rib 35, is secured to the flange 42 by a bolt 46 and nut 47. The other side of the post 12 is similarly attached to the ribs 35.

In FIGS. 1 and 2, it can be seen that the posts are preferably mounted adjacent to the joints between rail sections which are angulated with respect to one another. The post mounting with clamping members on either side of the joint tends to provide security to the joint splice. Additionally, however, the joint may be welded at selected places as indicated at 50.

Other splices in the channel member, as illustrated in FIG. 4, are formed with clamping elements of the type described in connection with the post mounting clamping elements of FIGS. 2 and 3. The joint is spliced with three clamping bars 52, 53 and 54 having the crosssection illustrated in FIG. 3. The first step in forming the splice is to bolt the bar 52 to the serrated ribs 27 by a bolt 55. The V-shaped grooves at the ends of the bar 52 hook under the mounting ribs 56, which are extruded integrally with the railing at the upper portion of its side walls 25 and 26.

The two bars 53 and 54 are clamped to the ribs 35 in the manner illustrated in FIG. 3, with the V-shaped grooves receiving the mating V-shaped surfaces of the longitudinally extending ribs. Clamping pressure is applied by a bolt 57 and nut 58 which is located on the opposite side of the joint 59 from the bolt 55. The hexagonal head 60 of the bolt is set into a mating recess 61 to prevent the bolt from rotating while the nut 58 is being applied. Lower clamping bar 54 is provided with threaded holes 62 to receive screws 63 by which either screening 64 or translucent plates are mounted to the bottom of the railing.

The end of the railing is preferably covered by screening 64 (FIG. 2) so as to provide ventilation into the interior of the railing. The screening may be screwed at one side to the clamping flange 42, integral with the post 12. At the other end, the screening is screwed to a flange 67 projecting from an end cap 34. The end cap 34 is mounted on the railing by means of self-tapping screws 69 which are threaded in the grooves 33 and 36 at the upper and lower corners of the rail, respectively.

The end cap may alternately be formed as illustrated in FIGS. and 6 with one or more holes 70 (four being illustrated). The holes are plugged by translucent plastic members 71 through which light rays emanating from the bulbs within the interior of the railing are visible from the outside of the railing. The plug is formed of concentric rings 72 joined by radial straps 73. The space between rings is open to provide additional ventilation for the interior of the channel.

It can be seen from the foregoing that the stair rail is well suited for illuminating the complete length of a stairway. The lights 18 can be as many in number as required and can be mounted in any position along the length of the rail as required through the use of the continuous elongated serrated ribs 27.

Further, it can be observed that the light bulbs are normally energized with a low voltage which is completely safe to the users of the hand rail, and further, that in the event of a failure of the line voltage, illumination of the stairway will be continued by the switching in of the storage batteries 19.

It can also be observed that the manner of mounting posts, translucent paneling, screening and the like to the rail permits the visible surface of the rail, namely, the top wall and side walls, to be unobstructed and attractive in appearance.

I claim:

1. An illuminated stair rail comprising an elongated channel having an upper wall, two side walls and a downwardly directed opening, a plurality of incandescent lights, elongated rib means projecting into and extending continuously along the length of said channel,

means including screws threaded into said rib means selectively mounting said lights at any position along the length of said rib means,

electrical means connected to said lights to energize said lights,

and translucent plates removably secured to said channel across said opening.

2. An illuminated stair rail comprising,

an elongated extruded channel having an upper wall,

two side walls and a downwardly directed opening,

a pair of downwardly projecting parallel ribs integral with said upper wall, said ribs having serrated facing surfaces,

a plurality of incandescent lights,

means, including brackets and screws threaded into said facing surfaces, for mounting said lights at any position along the length of said channel,

electrical means connected to said lights to energize said lights,

and translucent plates removably secured to said channel across said opening.

3. An illuminated stair rail comprising,

an elongated channel having an upper wall, two side walls and a downwardly directed opening,

a plurality of incandescent lights mounted in said channel,

electrical means connected to said lights to energize said lights,

translucent plates removably secured to said channel across said opening,

an end cap secured to at least one end of said channel,

said end cap comprising a plate having at least one opening,

and a translucent plug in said opening thereby providing illumination for the end of said rail,

and a ventilation screen covering at least a portion of the remaining channel opening.

4. An illuminated stair rail comprising,

an elongated channel having an upper wall, two side walls and a downwardly directed opening,

a plurality of incandescent lights mounted in said channel,

electrical means connected to said lights to energize said lights,

translucent plates removably secured to said channel across said opening,

said translucent plates covering less than the total length of said channel opening.

5. An illuminated rail comprising,

a plurality of channel-shaped members of identical cross section,

longitudinally extending ribs projecting internally of said channel-shaped members,

mitered joints interconnecting at least some of said channel-shaped members, ribs of adjacent members being welded together to form said joints,

a plurality of incandescent lights,

means for mounting said lights at any position along the length of said channel-shaped members,

and translucent plates removably secured to said channel-shaped members to close said members.

6. A rail according to claim 5 in which said rail is generally rectangular in cross section,

said channel-shaped member having an upper wall and downwardly depending side walls.

7. A rail according to claim 6 in which said ribs are located in the upper and lower corners of said rail.

8. An illuminated stair rail comprising an elongated channel having an upper wall, two side walls and a downwardly directed opening,

a plurality of incandescent lights,

means for mounting said lights at any position along the length of said channel,

electrical means connected to said lights to energize said lights,

flanges projecting laterally from each post and engageable with the undersurface of each said rib, clamping bars disposed on the upper surface of each said rib overlying said flanges, and means securing said bars to said flanges.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2310593 *Nov 25, 1941Feb 9, 1943Leonard E RozyckiHandrail
US2766372 *Feb 10, 1955Oct 9, 1956Frank R AlbrisStair lighting hand rail
US3057991 *Oct 20, 1960Oct 9, 1962Ender Monarch CorpHandrails and means for illuminating the same
US3131871 *Nov 28, 1960May 5, 1964Gen ElectricCombination rail and luminaire
US3217156 *Feb 11, 1963Nov 9, 1965Sherwood George WEmergency lighting system
GB844581A * Title not available
GB881445A * Title not available
GB893583A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4161769 *Jul 11, 1977Jul 17, 1979Zimmerman Metals, Inc.Illuminated hand rail
US4367517 *Aug 24, 1980Jan 4, 1983Balco, Inc.Illuminated handrail arrangement
US4394718 *Mar 22, 1982Jul 19, 1983Balco, Inc.Mounting brackets for handrail system
US4912605 *Sep 21, 1988Mar 27, 1990Tir Systems Ltd.Illumination system which reduces loss of visibility caused by lamp failure
US5099402 *Nov 2, 1990Mar 24, 1992Starniri Rocco JHandrail illumination system
US5412553 *Mar 16, 1993May 2, 1995Studio Soleil, Inc.Lighted curtain hardware assembly for windows
US5450299 *Jan 23, 1995Sep 12, 1995Lepre; DominicTouch activated illuminated hand rail assembly
US5619120 *May 8, 1996Apr 8, 1997Barber; BenjaminIn an electrical power control and distribution system
US6145996 *Mar 6, 1998Nov 14, 2000Shimada Enterprises, Inc.Theater lighting system
US6213622Jan 22, 1999Apr 10, 2001Shimada Enterprises, Inc.Step lighting for theaters and the like
US6425676Sep 16, 1999Jul 30, 2002Martin G. LyonsIlluminated exterior railing systems
US6866125 *Sep 10, 2001Mar 15, 2005Ronald H. BallIllumination system for escalator handrails
US6935032 *Jan 28, 2003Aug 30, 2005Eveready Battery Company, Inc.Razor cartridge
US7699481 *Dec 14, 2000Apr 20, 2010Nate MullenMethod of wiring lighting fixtures to achieve uniform voltage drop
US7954973 *Mar 5, 2008Jun 7, 2011Stairlighting System, LLCStair lighting system, and method for its implementation
US8113686Apr 3, 2009Feb 14, 2012Osram Sylvania Inc.Guideway illuminator
EP0576383A2 *May 19, 1993Dec 29, 1993Claude MagninLocation boundary marker such as a lighting balustrade
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/146, 52/28, 362/234, 362/294
International ClassificationF21V23/00, F21S4/00, E04F11/18, F21S9/02
Cooperative ClassificationF21S4/003, F21V23/00, F21S9/022, E04F2011/1872, F21W2111/08
European ClassificationF21S4/00L, F21S9/02E, F21V23/00