US 3748460 A
A recessed lighting fixture comprises a suspended ceiling structure including a plurality of rectangular frame members forming part of the ceiling support structure each frame member including a pair of opposite longitudinal tracks. A rectangular housing is provided with follower members defined by resilient metal bands depending from and engaging openings in the side walls of the housing and releasably slidably engaging the tracks to slidably support the housing which is longer than the frame member. A louver member registers with the frame and releasably engages the housing supporting followers. The housing is divided into a ballast compartment and a lamp compartment by a transverse lamp socket mounting panel and unitary spring elements releasably retain ballasts in the ballast compartment and releasably lock a ballast compartment closure panel in closed position. A reflector member is located in the housing and retained in position by lugs on the follower bands. The lighting fixture and support frame is characterized by the use of self-formed fastening arrangements and the obviation of welding, rivet screws and other similar fasteners. Access to the lamps, ballast compartment and the space above the ceiling is readily accessible as desired by dropping the louver member, sliding the housing and dropping an end of the housing.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Price [111 3,748,460 [4 1 July 24,1973
[ RECESSED SUSPENDED LIGHTING FIXTURE  Inventor: Edison A. Price, 17 King St., New
York, NY. 10014  Filed: Aug. 10, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 170,667
Related U.S. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 722,341, April 18,
 U.S. Cl. 240/51.l1 R, 240/9 R  Int. Cl. 1105b 33/02  Field of Search 240/9 R, 9 A, 51.11 R; 248/343  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,265,879 8/1966 Ford et a1. 240/9 R 2,888,113 5/1959 Schwartz et al. 240/9 X 2,734,126 2/1956 Kruger 240/9 R 3,081,398 3/1963 Karth 240/9 R 3,329,387 7/1967 Fischer 240/9 R Primary Examiner-Robert P. Greiner Attorney-William R. Liberman  ABSTRACT A recessed lighting fixture comprises a suspended ceiling structure including a plurality of rectangular frame members forming part of the ceiling support structure each frame member including a pair of opposite longitudinal tracks. A rectangular housing is provided with follower members defined by resilient metal bands depending from and engaging openings in the side walls of the housing and releasably slidably engaging the tracks to slidably support the housing which is longer than the frame member. A louver member registers with the frame and releasably engages the housing supporting followers. The housing is divided into a ballast compartment and a lamp compartment by a transverse lamp socket mounting panel and unitary spring elements releasably retain ballasts in the ballast compartment and releasably lock a ballast compartment clo sure panel in closed position. A reflector member is located in the housing and retained in position by lugs on the follower bands. The lighting fixture and support frame is characterized by the use of self-formed fastening arrangements and the obviation of welding, rivet screws and other similar fasteners. Access to the lamps, ballast compartment and the space above the ceiling is readily accessible as desired by dropping the louver member, sliding the housing and dropping an end of the housing.
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ATTORNEY PATENIEUJULZMQTS sum 9 or 9 ATTORNEY RECESSED SUSPENDED LIGHTING FIXTURE The present application is a Continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 722,341 filed Apr. 18, I968, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to improvements in lighting fixtures and it relates particularly to an improved suspended ceiling, recessed light fixture structure.
It is conventional practice, possessing many advantages, to provide a suspended ceiling which is hung from the main ceiling, the space between the main and the suspended ceiling containing various utility and service devices such as electrical power lines, heating and air conditioning ducts and the like. Lighting fixtures are commonly recessed in the suspended ceiling and connected to the electrical wiring located in the interceiling space. The suspended ceiling-mounted recessed lighting fixture assemblies, particularly those employing linear fluorescent lamps, heretofore proposed and employed, posses many drawbacks and disadvantages. They are awkward and expensive devices which are difficult to assemble, install, and service and often possess many unattractive features. Access to the lamps and electrical components, such as the wiring and ballasts, for repair and replacement is generally very difficult and auxilliary openings are required to provide access to the inter-ceiling space, an arrangement which leaves much to be desired.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a principle object of the present invention to provide an improved lighting fixture.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved recessed lighting fixture structure.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved suspended ceiling-mounted recessed lighting fixture structure of the type employing linear fluorescent lamps.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved suspended ceiling-mounted recessed fluorescent lighting fixture in which the lamps and various electrical components are easily and rapidly available for servicing, repair and replacement and in which the space between the main and suspended ceilings is readily accessible through the fixture registering, suspended ceiling opening without need for additional access openings.
Still a further object of the present invention is to provide an improved recessed fluorescent lighting fixture which is easily assembled and installed and in which the use of conventional fastening means such as welding, screws and rivets is substantially obviated.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a structure of the above nature characterized by low cost, ruggedness, attractive appearance, durability, ease of installation,service, and maintenance, adaptability and attractive appearance.
The above and other objects of the present invention will become apparent from a reading of the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate a preferred embodiment thereof.
In a sense the present invention contemplates the provision of a lighting fixture comprising a pair of transversely-spaced longitudinally-extending track 2 members, a lamp mount located above said track members, and follower members positioned on said mount and slidably engaging said track members.
The track members advantageously form the side members of a rectangular frame which is part of a suspended ceiling structure and include upper and lower inner channel sections confronting each other. The lamp mount comprises an open-bottomed housing having depending end and side walls and is of greater length than the frame member, the follower members comprising resilient metal bands depending from the housing side walls and having securing tongues engaging openings in the side walls. The resilient bands terminate at the lower ends in outwardly offset sections which engage the respective tracks and slidably support the housing above the frame member. A louver member registers with the frame member and along one edge thereof separably swingably engages the follower bands depending from one of the housing walls and is releasably retained in a raised position by resilient tongues on the other follower members. A socket supporting transverse panel is positioned in the housing and divides the housing into ballast and lamp compartments, the panel being provided with upset lugs engaging slots in the housing wall, and a separable bottom panel closes the ballast compartment. A plurality of inverted U-shaped leaf springs are located in the ballast compartment, one leg of each spring releasably engaging a ballast housed in the ballast compartment and the other legs releasably lock the compartment closure panel. The frame member is formed of extruded members which are of similar cross-section and are joined by coupling angles and are supported by channel structural members terminating in coupling sections.
The structure of the improved recessed lighting fixture assembly according to the present invention permits the simple and rapid replacement and servicing thereof, easy access being provided to the lamps and electrical components, the latter being normally masked and not detracting from the fixtures attractive appearance. Further, the ceiling opening delineated by the frame may be simply exposed by swinging the fixture downwardly or by removing the fixture without need for any tools, thereby providing quick and easy access to the interceiling space. The lighting fixture is easily assembled, the need for conventional fastening means being eliminated, and is easily installed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a bottom perspective view of the improved recessed lighting fixture shown in a mounted closed condition;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the mounted fixture;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged transverse sectional view thereof taken along line 33 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 44 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 3, illustrating by full line the louver member in a partially open position and by broken line in a fully open position;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of the lamp housing supporting track follower member;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 8-8 in FIG. 3, the ballast compartment cover FIG. 12 is a front perspective view of a panelsecuring element;
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the mounted fixture with a frame track section removed;
FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a follower abutment member;
FIG. 15 is a front perspective view of a housing end wall panel;
FIG. 16 is a top perspective view of the ballast compartment closure panel;
FIG. 17 is a fragmentary perspective view of the fixture reflector member;
FIG. 18 is a front perspective view of one of the lamp socket support panels;
FIG. 19 is a fragmentary front elevational view thereof illustrated with a mounted fluorescent lamp socket;
FIG. 20 is a sectional view taken along line 2020 in FIG. 19;
FIG. 21 is a sectional view taken along line 2l--2l in FIG. 19;
FIG. 22 is an enlarged fragmentary front view of a section of the socket panel and housing top wall in unassembled condition;
FIG. 23 is a top plan view thereof in an assembled locked condition;
FIG. 24 is a fragmentary top plan view of the housing shell;
FIG. 25 is a fragmentary side view of the frame support assembly;
FIG. 26 is a sectional view taken along line 26-26 in FIG. 25;
FIG. 27 is a perspective view of the end coupling section of a frame support member;
FIG. 28 is a perspective view of the support member hanger bracket;
FIG. 29 is a sectional view taken along line 29-29 in FIG. 26;
FIG. 30 is a bottom plan view ofa frame corner angle connector;
FIG. 31 is a fragmentary plan view of an improved suspended ceiling structure which is advantageously employed for supporting the improved lighting fixture;
FIG. 32 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 32-32 in FIG. 31;
FIG. 33 is a sectional view taken along lines 3333 in FIGS. 31 and 32;
FIG. 34 is a sectional view taken along line 34-34 in FIG. 32;
FIG. 35 is a fragmentary perspective view of a section of the ceiling structure;
FIG. 36 is a fragmentary plan view of another improved form of suspended ceiling structure provided with the improved recessed lighting fixture;
FIG. 37 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 3737 in FIG. 36;
FIG. 38 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 38-38 in FIG. 36; and
FIG. 39 is a fragmentary perspective view ofa section of the suspended ceiling and fixture support structure.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the present invention, reference numeral 10 generally designates the improved lighting fixture assembly which includes the lighting fixture l1 and the lighting fixture support structure 12 which advantageously functions to support the suspended ceiling panels and is carried by hanger rods 13 depending from the overhead main ceiling. The space between the main ceiling and suspended ceiling houses a number of utilities including electrical lines for lighting fixtures 11 mounted in suspended ceiling 14.
Support structure 12 comprises a horizontal rectangular frame member 16 which registers with a corresponding opening in suspended ceiling l4 and includes opposite longitudinally extending side elements 17 which define track members and transversely extending end elements 18, said elements 17 and 18 being of similar transverse cross-section and preferably formed of metal extrusions. The ends of frame elements 17 and 18 are mitered and assembled as will be hereinafter set forth.
Elements 17 and 18 are substantially channel shaped and each includes a bottom cross-web l9 and upstanding parallel inner and outer legs 20 and 21 respectively. Formed along the lower edge of each leg 20 and depending below the cross-web 19 is a rectangular channel section 22 having an upwardly directed opening constituting the lower portion of an outer channel coplanar with the inner face of frame leg 20, the upper portion of the outer channel being defined by a longitudinal opening 25 in the underface of lip 23 formed along the upper section of the frame leg 20 and openings 25 and the opening in section 22 defining therebetween inner frame tracks 15.
The outer frame legs 21, at least of the longitudinal frame member elements 17, are provided along their outer faces with longitudinally-extending confronting upper and lower channel sections 26. Longitudinal grooves are formed at the bases of the inner faces of legs 20 and 21 at the level of cross-web 19. The upper inner face 27 of leg 20 above lip 23 is upwardly outwardly inclined.
- As seen in FIGS. 25 to 30 of the drawings, frame member elements 17 and 18 are arranged with their mitered ends in abutment and are advantageously joined and interlocked by coupling angles 28. Each coupling angle 28 includes a pair of perpendicular coplanar legs 29 having integrally formed therewith resilient locking tongues 30 which are downwardly inwardly inclined from points spaced inwardly of the free ends of the angle legs 29. Rectangular slots 32 of the width of and slightly longer than tongues 30 are formed adjacent the ends of the frame leg cross-webs 19, and in the assembled condition of frame member 16 the longitudinal borders of coupling angle legs 29 engage the grooves in the inner faces of legs 20 and 21 and tongues 30 engage slots 32 with the free ends of tongues 30 abutting the outer transverse edges of slots 32, the coupling angles lying on cross-webs l9.
Adjacent end-to-end spaced frame members 16 are supported by transversely-spaced pairs of longitudinally extending horizontal parallel connector members 33 which are coupled to longitudinal frame elements 17. Each connector 33 comprises a channel section 34 including a vertical cross-web 36 and upper and lower horizontal end flanges 37 and 38 respectively. Web 36 projects beyond flanges 37 and 38 to define a coupling tongue 39 having formed therein a resilient locking tongue 40 which projects inwardly rearwardly from a point rearwardly of the free end of the tongue to a point short of the channel section 34. Formed from web 36 adjacent each end of the channel section 34 is an angular tab including an inwardly directed arm 41 terminating in a forwardly directed finger 42. A connecting member 33 extends between each pair of aligned longitudinal elements 17 of adjacent frame members 16, end tongues 19 thereof engaging at their top and bottom borders the corresponding channels 26 in frame elements 17. Tab leg 41-abuts the respective free end of frame leg 21 as exposed by a foreshortening of the height of frame leg 21 of transverse frame member leg 18, tab finger 42 engaging the inner face of longitudinal frame leg 21. Locking tongues 40 engage correspondingly shaped slots 43 formed in the ends of longitudinal frame legs 21 and their free ends abut the outer edges of slots 43.
Connector members 33 are each supported by a medially located hanger bracket 44 which in turn is supported by a transverse cross-channel 46. Cross-channels 46 are supported by vertical frame brackets which include upper cross-bars 48 having tapped vertical bores which are engaged by threaded shanks 49 of hanger rods 13 suspended from the main ceiling. Threaded shanks 49 and the associated tapped bores permit the leveling of cross-channels 46 to a common horizontal plane.
Bracket 44 includes a rectangular vertically-disposed plate 50 having along its bottom edge a forwardlyprojecting horizontal flange 51 terminating in an upwardly-directed lip 52, the distance between lip 52 and plate 50 being equal to the width of channel leg 38. Formed on plate 50 is a vertical rectangular opening 53, the outer side of which is delineated by a pair of tongues 54 formed from the plate 50 and projecting rearwardly at an angle from the upper and lower edges of the opening 53 and angled toward each other. Also formed from plate 50 is a forwardly projecting arm 56 terminating in a depending finger 57. Opening 53 is about the height and width of channel member 46 and the distances between flange 51 and the underface of arm 56 and between plate 50 and the inner edge of finger 57 are about equal to the height and width respectively of channel member 34. In the assembled condition of the structure, channel members 34 rest on flanges 51 of corresponding brackets 44 and are retained thereon by the lips 52, plates 50 and legs 57, and a channel member 46 engages bracket openings 53.
Lighting fixture 11 comprises an open-bottom rectangular housing 58 including a horizontal rectangular perforated top wall 59 and longitudinally-extending vertical side wall 60 integrally formed with and depending from the side edges of the top wall 59 and provided along their bottom edges with inwardly-directed flanges 61. An inclined panel 63 extends along opposite side walls 60, the lower edges thereof engaging the angles between flanges 61 and side walls 60 and the upper edges thereof terminating in inwardly directed horizontal flanges 63a abutting the underface of the top wall 59 and engaged at their edges by retaining tabs 64 formed from wall 59. Panels 63 and 59 define opposite longitudinal conduits for housing wiring extending between opposite ends of housing 58.
Housing 58 includes transverse end walls 64 and 65, a first light socket mounting transverse panel 66 spaced from the panel 65 and delineating therewith a ballast compartment 67 and a second light socket mounting transverse panel 68 spaced a short distance from the end wall 64 and delineating therewith a wiring compartment 69 and delineating with the relatively remote panel 66, a linear fluorescent light housing compartment 70.
Panel 68, as seen in FIGS. 18 to 23 of the drawings, includes a rectangular plate 71 corresponding in dimensions to the inside transverse dimensions of housing 58. It is formed with a plurality of spaced locking tabs 72 projecting upwardly from the top edge thereof and locking tabs 73 projecting laterally from the side edges thereof. Each of locking tabs 72 and 73 includes a rectangular base section 74 of a height approximately equal to the thickness of housing walls 59 and 60 and of a width transversely equal to that of the tranversely spaced aligned coupling slots 76 formed in the housing top wall inwardly of an end edge thereof and spaced to correspond to the spacing of the tabs 72. Slots similar to slots 76 are formed in side walls 60 to receive bases 74 of tabs 73. A triangular-shaped tongue 77 with a rounded apex, is medially positioned above base 74 and is joined thereto by an integrally-formed restricted neck 78 having downwardly converging side edges. ln assembled condition, tab bases 74 snugly engage corresponding slots 76 in the housing top and side walls 59 and 60 and tongues 77 are upset about the bases of necks 78 into abutment with the outer faces of the housing walls to effect a firm securement of panel 68 in the housing.
A plurality of socket hoods or brackets 79 are positioned along the length of the panel 68 and are integrally formed therewith, three brackets 79 being shown in the illustrated embodiment. Each bracket 79 includes a downwardly outwardly inclined top wall 80 terminating in a depending flange, outwardly converging side walls 81 and a bottom opening 82. A rectangular opening 83 is formed in plate 71 in registry with each bracket 79 and a pair of spaced apertures 84 are positioned below the bottom edge of each opening 83. A two-pin fluorescent lamp socket 86 of conventional construction registers with and depends from each bracket 79 and includes rearwardly projecting split locking lugs 87 which engage corresponding apertures 84 to lock the sockets 86 in position, each socket being provided with a pair of leads extending from the rear thereof into compartment 69. A pair of horizontal coupling slots 88 are formed in panel 68 intermediate the top and bottom thereof and inwardly of the outer brackets 79. A rearwardly directed flange 89 is formed along the lower edge of the panel 68.
End wall 64 is of rectangular shape and is provided along its bottom edge with an inwardly projecting flange 90 which underlies and projects beyond panel flange 89. Wall 64 projects beyond panel flange 89. Wall 64 projects slightly above and abuts the end edge of housing top wall 59 and is provided with a pair of spaced horizontal coupling slots 91 in longitudinal alignment with coupling slots 88. An angular connector member 92 (FIG. 12) includes a horizontal leg 94 engaging each pair of slots 88 and 91 and a depending outer leg 96 which engages the outer face of wall 64. A diagonal slot 97 is formed in connector leg 94 to an edge thereof to define an end-locking tab 98 having a diagonal cam-defining inner edge. Locking tab 98 is bent about the section joining it to the remainder of the coupling member 92 to an angle to the horizontal to bear tightly on the inner face of panel 68 thereby to lock end wall 64 thereto. Spaced recesses 99 are formed in the free edge of flange 90 in medial alignment with sockets 86 to facilitate the insertion of the fluorescent light terminal pins into sockets 86. Also formed in flange 90 are spaced pairs of recesses 100 provided with medial tongues 101 for supporting a reflector member, as will be hereinafter described.
Partition 66 is provided along its upper and side edges with securing tabs 102 similar to securing tabs 72 and 73 which tabs 102 project through corresponding slots in housing walls 59 and 60 and are upset along the outer faces of the walls 59 and 60. Formed on the inner wall of partition 66 are three light socket brackets 103 similar to and in longitudinal alignment with brackets 79, a light socket 104 being supported in registry with each bracket 103 and defining socket pairs with sockets 86 and releasably supporting therewith corresponding longitudinally-extending linear fluorescent lamps 106. Two pairs of vertically-spaced upper and lower rectangular apertures 107 and 108 respectively are formed in panel 66 adjacent the inner edges of brackets 103. The lower edge of panel 66 terminates in an outwardly directed flange 109.
End wall 65 is secured to the housing walls 59 and 60 by upset tabs 1 similar to tabs 72 and engaging corresponding slots in the housing walls, the lower edge of wall 65 being provided with an outwardly directed flange 111. A separable cover member for ballast compartment 67 is defined by a rectangular panel 112 having a rearwardly upwardly inclined flange 113 formed along its rear edge to define therewith a channel which hingedly engages the rear edge of flange 111 to swingably and separably support closure panel 112. Formed along the inner edge of panel 112 (FIG. 16) are spaced socket access recesses 114 corresponding to recesses 99 and spaced pairs of recesses 116 provided with medial tongues 117. Panel 112 is provided with a depending elbow conduit 1 affording an electric line passage into compartment 67 through an opening 105a in panel 112.
Ballast members 118 of conventional construction are replacably housed in compartment 67 and are releasably locked therein by a pair of retaining springs 119 located in compartment 67. Each spring 119 is formed of a resilient spring metal band and is of inverted U-shaped configuration including downwardly diverging outwardly sprung legs 120 and 121. Spring leg 120 has a rectangular aperture 122 formed in its lower border and terminates at its bottom edge in an ouwardly-directed flange 123 provided with a transverse slot 126 along the junction thereof with leg 120. Formed in the inner face of the upper section 125 of spring leg 121 is a hook element 127 including an upwardly inwardly inclined bottom portion 128 joining a vertical section 129 which terminates in an upwardly inwardly inclined finger 135. The leg upper section 125 is joined to a vertical upper intermediate section 130 by a horizontal shoulder 131, intermediate section 130 joining a downwardly inwardly inclined lower intermediate section 132 which, in turn, is joined by an inwardly downwardly inclined locking shoulder 133 to a depending outwardly inclined tongue section 134. An outwardly directed tab 136 projects from the inner face of leg section 130. In assembled condition, spring leg sections 125 abut the outer faces of panel 66, the hook elements 127 projecting through apertures 107 with portions 128 thereof abutting the top edges of apertures 107. Spring leg 121 projects inwardly through apertures 108 with shoulders 131 abutting the top edges of apertures 108 and shoulders 133 and tongues 134 projecting below panel flange 109 inwardly of panel 66, and tabs 136 engage the bottom edges of panel 112. In the closed position of panel 112, tongues 134 project through corresponding slots 136 and project through corresponding slots formed adjacent the free edge of panel 112, shoulders 133 engaging the underface of panel 112. Panel 112 may be released for swinging to its open position or for separation by pressing outwardly on tongues 134 to shift shoulders 133 into alignment with slots 105 so that the panel may be swung downwardly past shoulders 133 and tongues 134. The panel 112 is locked in its closed position merely by swinging it upwardly so that slots 105 engage tongues 134 and swing them inwardly until the slots 105 pass shoulders 133.
A spring-contracting tool 137, as seen in FIGS. 9 and 10, is provided and includes a handle-defining base 138 having positioned at its outer end an upstanding relatively long arm 139 and at a point spaced inwardly thereof a distance about equal to that between contracted spring legs and 121, an upstanding relatively short arm 140 parallel to the arm 139, the arms 139 and 140 being joined at their bottoms by a crosspiece secured to handle member 138. In releasably locking spring 119 in a contracted condition attendant the mounting or removal of a ballast 118, arm 119 is inserted a short distance through the slot 126 along the outer face of spring leg 120 and swung to urge the spring leg 120 to its contracted position, and the tool 137 is then fully raised with the arms 139 and 140 engaging the outer face of spring leg 120 and the inner face of the panel 66, as seen in FIG. 9, tool arm 140 projecting between panel 66 and the lower section of spring leg 121. Spring leg 120 is released to its normal expanded position by lowering and separating tool 137.
Housing 58 is supported above frame member 16-for longitudinal slidable movement along tracks 15 by a plurality of follower members 141 secured to and depending from housing side walls 60 and engaging tracks 15. An equally longitudinally-spaced pair of follower members 141 is positioned on each side wall 60 and are mutually transversely aligned and are spaced inwardly of the outer ends of housing 58 to permit a predetermined longitudinal movement of housing 58. Follower members 141 are multifunctional, serving releasably to retain the fixture reflector member and support the louver member as well as slidably to support housing 58.
Each follower member, as best seen in FIGS. 6 and 7, is integrally formed of a band of a resilient spring metal and includes at its top a short upwardly inwardly inclined tongue 1 42 joined at its bottom to a vertical section 143, which in turn is joined at its bottom to a normally donwardly slightly inwardly inclined section 144. Depending from section 144 is a vertical section 146 terminating at its bottom in a short vertical restricted neck 147 which terminates in an inwardly directed narrow shoulder 148 provided at its inner edge with a short depending neck 149 from which depends an integrally formed vertical follower element 150. Follower 150 has parallel vertical upper side edges and lower edges 152 which converge downwardly from the bottom edges of side edges 151 to a rounded bottom apex 153.
An upwardly inwardly directed hook member 154 is medially formed on the inner face of follower 141 and projects from the junction of follower sections 143 and 144 and includes a bottom outwardly projecting arm 156 and an upwardly directed finger 157. Medially projecting inwardly from the junction of follower sections 144 and 146 is an integrally formed upwardly inclined reflector retaining arm 158 having a convex upper face. A' resilient retaining tongue 159 medially projects from neck section 147 and includes an inwardly upwardly inclined arm 160 terminating in an outwardly upwardly inclined leg 161. lntegrally formed on the inner face of follower element 150 is a bail support hook member 162 having a semi-cylindrical lower section 163 terminating at its top in an upwardly inwardly inclined leg 164 which defines at its lower edge a restricted throat or passageway to the knuckle-defining lower section 163.
In assembled condition, the upper part of each follower 141 abuts the outer face of a housing side wall 60, tongue 142 projecting through a corresponding horizontal slot 165 formed adjacent the upper edge of side wall 60 and the hook member 154 projects through a corresponding rectangular aperture 166 formed in side wall 60, the hook member bottom arm 156 engaging the upper edge of the aperture 166. Retainer arm 158 is spring-urged to the under face of side wall flange 61. Follower 151 registers with a track 15 and abuts the inner face of frame leg 20, the follower element apex engaging channel section 22 and slidably resting in the base of .the channel therein and the upwardly convex follower shoulder 149 slidably engaging the bottom edge of the inner leg of channel 25. Thus, housing 58 is longitudinally movable along the frame member and is limited in its movement short of the follower 150 reaching the adjacent frame and legs 18 by stop members 165 (FIGS. 13 and 14) of angular configuration and including a square slide plate 166 engaging the tracks along the inner faces of frame and legs 18 and inwardly directed legs 167 perpendicular to and of lesser height than plates 166 and movable into registry with the longitudinal tracks 15 in the path of follower elements 150. It should be noted that follower elements 150 are resiliently outwardly urged into engagement with the longitudinal tracks 15 and may be selectively separated therefrom and positioned in engagement therewith.
Positioned in housing 58 is a unitary reflector member 168 which includes three transversely-spaced integrally-formed longitudinally-extending downwardly concave curved channel sections 169 individually functioning as reflectors for corresponding lamps 106. The outer longitudinal edges of reflector member 168 terminate in outwardly directed horizontal flanges 170 which underlie housing side wall flanges 61 and are so retained by the follower member tongues 158 which engage the underfaces of flanges 170. The lower adjacent longitudinal edges of reflector sections 169 are joined by horizontal cross webs 171 having medial longitudinal grooves 172 formed therein. The ends of reflector member 168 abut the panels 66 and 68, the ends of the grooves 172 being engaged by the opposite tongues 101 and 117 and the corresponding rib portions of web 171 registering with notches and 116 in panels 64 and 112.
A louver member 173 is releasably supported in registry with frame 16 and comprises a rectangular frame 174 including opposite parallel longitudinal side walls 176 and 177 respectively and end walls 178. Spaced curved louver elements of known construction extend between and are supported by the louver frame walls to form curved wall rectangular cells in the known manner. The lower edges of frame walls 176, 177 and 178 are provided with outwardly projecting flanges 179 terminating in upwardly directed lips 180 which delineate with the bottom borders of the louver frame walls, channels which engage frame leg sections 22 when louver member 173 is in its normal mounted position.
The louver frame wall 176 has formed or located along its upper outer face two longitudinally spaced pairs of longitudinally spaced coaxial knuckle-defining loops 181. Each pair of knuckles 181 engage a depending wire bail 182 which includes a bottom cross-piece 183 which engages and rests in a respective follower member hook element 162, and a pair of upwardly diverging legs 184 which terminate in outwardly directed coaxial horizontal legs 186 engaged by the knuckles 181. The louver frame wall 177 has formed along and below its upper border a pair of longitudinally spaced outwardly projecting lugs 187 which are releasably engaged by follower tongues 159 releasably to retain louver member-173 in its raised condition.
The improved lighting fixture assembly described above is characterized by the obviation of conventional fastening means such as screws, rivets, welding and the like and with a few exceptions, the fastening elements are self-formed. Access to lamps 106 for replacement purposes is obtained merely by pulling louver member 173 downwardly at side wall 177, as shown in FIG. 5, to effect disengagement between lug 187 and tongue 159 and swinging louver member 173 to a freely suspended position from bails 182 which permit the free swinging of louver member 173. Access to ballast compartment 67 is obtained by separating louver 173 from follow members 141 which is effected by detachably lifting bail cross-pieces 183 from the follower member hook sections 162. Housing 58 is then slid to the right, as viewed in FIG. 13, as limited by a stop member 165 and until the ballast compartment end of housing 58 registers with the opening delineated by frame member 16. The closure panel 1 12 is then opened in the manner described above. The opening defined by frame member 16 may be substantially completely exposed for access to the interceiling space or for other purposes by separating a pair of laterally-spaced follower elements 150 from their tracks by suitably pressing them inwardly out of engagement with the tracks and then swinging the released end of the housing 58 downwardly to a suspended position through the frame opening about the other pair of follower elements 150 which are retained in the tracks, the edges of these follower elements 150 turning in the lower track channels. Housing 58 may be completely removed from frame member 16 by separating all of the follower elements 150 from the tracks and moving casing 58 as desired. Casing 58 is mounted on frame member 16 and located in its normally-closed position by reverse procedure to that described above.
Referring now to FIGS. 31 to 35 of the drawings which illustrate a suspended ceiling structure which may be employed to advantage in supporting the improved lighting fixture described above, the ceiling structure includes a frame assembly 190 suspended from an overhead main ceiling and provided with spaced rectangular areas 191 and 192 delineated by frame members and having registering therewith lighting fixtures and ceiling tiles respectively. The frame structure 190 includes parallel longitudinally extending stringers or beams 193 which are interconnected by tranversely extending cross-pieces 194.
The beams 193 are advantageously formed of aluminum extrusions and each includes a vertical web 196 provided along its upper edge with a horizontal flange 197 terminating along opposite edges in depending lips 198. Coplanar horizontal flanges 199 are formed along opposite faces of vertical web 196 below the lips 198 and terminate in depending lips 200 substantially coplanar with lips 198.
Formed along the bottom of vertical web 196 is a horizontal flange including oppositely directed relatively short and long legs 201 and 202 respectively, the flange leg 201 terminating in an upwardly directed lip 203 coplanar with a corresponding lip 200 and the flange leg 202 being provided with an upwardly directed lip 204 coplanar with a corresponding lip 200, the outer free section of the flange leg 202 defining a support ledge 206. Longitudinally spaced horizontal locating slots 207 are formed in the web 196 intermediate the bottom edge thereof and the flange 199.
The cross-pieces 194 are angle members each including vertical and horizontal legs 208 amd 209 respectively and extend between adjacent stringers 193. In the assembled condition of the frame 190 the angle member legs 209 extend substantially to the bottom sections of corresponding lips 203 and the vertical legs 208 extend substantially to the respective webs 196. The lower corners of the legs 208 are cut away, as at 210 to clear the lips 203. The angel member legs 208 terminate at opposite ends thereof in integrally formed rectangular panels 211 perpendicular to the respective leg 208 and extending along the direction of the corresponding leg 209. The panels 211 slideably abut the webs 196 and their lower borders register with the tracks delineated by the flanges 201 and lips 203.
Formed in each of the panels 211 is an outwardly directed lug 212 which slideably engages a corresponding web slot 207. Formed in the upper opposite end sections of the angle member leg 208 are horizontal ears 213 which are positioned above the corresponding leg 209. Associated with each car 213 is a V-shaped leaf spring clip 214 which includes upper and lower diverging spring legs 216 and 217 respectively. The upper spring leg 216 terminates in an upwardly directed flange 218 which registers with a respective track defined by a lip 200 and flange 199 and a corresponding part of the web 196. The lower spring leg 217 has its end bent under and rearwardly to form a loop section 219 which in the assembled condition has its rearwardly directed leg catching the outer edge of a corresponding ear 213. It should be noted that the angle member legs 209 are directed away from the adjacent light fixture areas 191.
The suspended ceiling frame 190 is hung from the main ceiling by a plurality of inverted V-shaped leaf spring hook or clamp members 220, each of which includes an upper apertured knee section 221 and depending inwardly sprung diverging legs 222. Each of the legs 222 terminates at its lower end in an upwardly inwardly inclined arm '223 joined to leg 222 by a curved elbow 224, the arm 223 terminating in an upwardly directed leg 226, which, in the frame assembled condition, registers with a track defined by a lip 198, flange 197 and the upper border of web 196. In coupling a clamp member 220 to a beam 193 it is merely pressed downwardly over a flange 197 which engages the clamp inclined arms 223 to spread the spring legs 222 until the hook legs 226 clear the lips 198 and spring back into engagement with the web 196. The clamp member 220 is then raised to bring the upper edges of the hook legs 226 into engagement with the underface of flange 197. Each of the clamp members 220 is suspended from a corresponding overhead ceiling support by a wire 227 attached to and hanging from the overhead support and looped through the aperture in the clamp knee section 221.
In the suspended ceiling and recessed light structure last described, ceiling tiles 228 are arranged edge to edge and are provided with end shoulders which rest on the ledges 206. A lighting fixture as earlier described is positioned in each space 191 and a ceiling tile 229 is disposed in the space 192 between successive spaces 191 by sliding an angle member 194 away from the next member 194 delineating a space 192 with the lugs 212 sliding along slots 207. A tile 229 is inserted in the enlarged space 192 and the angle member urged toward its opposite counterpart, and the end shoulders formed on the tile 229 brought to rest on the angle member legs 209. The shifted angle member 194 is locked in position by a spring clamp 214.
In FIGS. 36 to 39 of the drawings there is illustrated another improved form of suspended ceiling structure and light fixture track assembly which may be employed to advantage. The suspended ceiling frame includes a plurality of transversely spaced longitudinally extending beams 230 substantially similar in structure to the beams 193 and suspended in the manner described above. Each of the beams 230 includes intermediate and lower confronting channel shaped longitudinal tracks 232 and 233 similar to those of the beam 193.
Extending between selected pairs of beams 230 are transverse cross-pieces 234 in the form of angle members having vertical legs 236 and horizontal bottom legs 237, the legs 237 of a pair of cross pieces 234 delineating a lighting fixture area, being relatively outwardly directed. A coplanar rectangular tab 238 of reduced and engages the bottom track 233. A horizontal ear 241 is formed in each end of the angle member leg 236 above the horizontal leg 237 and a locking spring 242 of the same construction as the locking spring 214 engages the corresponding ear 241 and upper track 232 in the manner earlier described.
Formed in opposite end sections of each angle member leg 236 is an inwardly directed panel 243 terminating at its free end in a medially located locking tongue 244 having a curved bottom edge. A pair of transversely spaced longitudinal track members 246 extends between each pair of cross-pieces 234 and are supported by longitudinally aligned pairs of panels 243. Each of the track members 246 includes a vertical web 245 provided along its top edge'with an inwardly directed horizontal flange 247 terminating in a depending lip 248 which define an upper downwardly facing channel shaped track 249. An inwardly directed horizontal flange 250 is formed along the bottom edge of the web 245 and terminates in an upwardly directed lip 251 of greater height than the lip 251 of greater height than the lip 248 and coplanar therewith to define a bottom upwardly facing channel shaped track 252.
The cross-piece panels 243 abut the inner faces of the end sections of webs 245 and their upper borders engage the upper tracks 249 and abut the under face of the flange 247. The locking tabs 244 project through vertical slots in the web 245 and are bent to engage the outer face of and clamp the web 245 and interlock the track members 246 and cross-pieces 234. A longitudinal lip 253 depends from the outer face of the web 245.
The lighting fixture is of the construction earlier described and includes follower members 254 which are similar to follower members 141 and cooperate with the upper and lower tracks 249 and 252 in the manner set forth above. The lighting fixture'includes a louver member 256 corresponding to louver member 173, and having a bottom outwardly directed flanges 257 engaging the underfaces of lips 253. The suspended frame structure supports the ceiling tile in the manner earlier described. it should be noted that the longitudinal sections of the frame structures not provided with cross pieces 234 or 194, as the case may be, are reinforced by transversely extending angle members 258 resting on and extending between corresponding pairs of longitudinal beams and provided with bottom recesses which engage the upper borders of the beams.
While there have been described and illustrated preferred embodiments of the present invention it is apparent that numerous alterations, omissions and additions may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.
1. A lighting fixture comprising a pair of transverselyspaced longitudinally-extending track members, a lamp mount positioned above said track members and comprising a rectangular open-bottomed housing including a top wall and depending longitudinal side walls, follower members positioned on said mount and slideably engaging said track members, each of said follower members including a vertical resilient band having an upper section engaging a respective side wall of said housing and a lower section releasably engaging a corresponding track member, a reflector member positioned in said housing and including longitudinallyextending flanges underlying the lower edges of said side walls, said resilient bands being provided with inwardly-directed upwardly-sprung fingers engaging the underfaces of said flanges.
2. A lighting fixture comprising a pair of transverselyspaced longitudinally-extending track members, a lamp mount positioned above said track members and comprising a rectangular open-bottomed housing including a top wall and depending longitudinal side walls, follower members positioned on said mount and slideably engaging said track members each of said follower members including a vertical resilient band having an upper section engaging a respective side wall of said housing and a lower section releasably engaging a corresponding track member, each of said track members including a longitudinally extending wall provided along its lower inner face with a longitudinallyextending upwardly-facing channel, the lower section of said resilient band being outwardly off-set and having a bottom edge registering with said channel.
3. The lighting fixture of claim 2 wherein each of said track members includes a longitudinally-extending lip positioned above each of said channels, the lower section of each of said resilient bands having an upper shoulder releasably engaging the underface of said lip.
4. A lighting fixture comprising a pair of transverselyspaced longitudinally-extending track members, a lamp mount positioned above said tracks and comprising a rectangular open-bottomed housing including a top wall and depending longitudinal side walls and transverse first and second end walls and being of a width less than the transverse distance between said track members, a longitudinally spaced pair of follower members depending from each of said side walls and slideably engaging said track members and longitudinally slideably supporting said housing above said track members, at least one of said follower members of each pair thereof being disengagable from a respective track member, a pair of transverse cross pieces extending between and secured to the ends of said track members and defining a rectangular support frame therewith, the length of said casing being greater than that of said frame and the longitudinal distance between said follower members being less than that between said crosspieces, and a vertical transverse panel spaced from said first end wall and extending between said side walls and delineating a ballast compartment with said side walls and first end wall and a lamp compartment with said side walls and said second end wall, the length of said lamp compartment being approximately equal to the distance between said cross-pieces, said transverse panel having a transverse slot formed therein above the bottom edge thereof and including a lead spring member positioned in said ballast compartment and comprising a pair of depending resilient sprung first and second elements, said first element projecting through said slot and depending below the lower edge of said panel and terminating in an angular latching finger and said second element being sprung toward said first end wall and being adapted to engage a ballast member, and a cover panel swingably engaging along one edge thereof the lower edge of said first end wall and releasably engaging said latching finger along its opposite edge.
5. The lighting fixture of claim 4 wherein said sprung second element has a tool receiving aperture formed adjacent to the free end thereof.
6. A suspended ceiling light supporting structure comprising a plurality of transversely spaced longitudinally extending beams provided with tracks along the confronting faces of adjacent beams, means for horizontally suspending said beams from overhead supports, cross-pieces extending between and slidably engaging adjacent tracks, and means for adjustably locking said cross-pieces to selected positions along the beams includes a coupling flange extending along the upper border thereof and said suspending means comprises a coupling member including a pair of depending spring arms terminating in inwardly directed hook sections engaging the under face of said coupling flange.
8. The structure of claim 7 wherein said flange terminates in depending lips and said hook members include arms upwardly inclined toward each other.