Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3767904 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 23, 1973
Filing dateMay 19, 1972
Priority dateMay 19, 1972
Publication numberUS 3767904 A, US 3767904A, US-A-3767904, US3767904 A, US3767904A
InventorsCook G
Original AssigneeSolid State Prod Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Impact resistant fluorescent lantern
US 3767904 A
Abstract
An impact resistant fluorescent lantern with a light transmitting shade positioned on a supporting base, the shade confronting a multiplicity of thin, flexible, rectangular, reflective panels therein which act as a deformable impact absorbing medium to resist breakage of fluorescent electric bulbs operatively mounted on the panels. Each panel is in a flexed condition extending arcuately between a pair of clips, the clips connecting the panel to adjacent panels and being in frictional engagement with the interior side of the shade, the flexed panels exerting a restoring force against the clips to urge the clips against the shade. A cap is positioned on the shade and means are provided to confine the shade and reflector between a cap and the base.
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Cook 1 51 Oct. 23, 1973 [54] ggqils FLUORESCENT FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,092,836 4/1955 France 240/] 1.4 R [75] Inventor: Gary L. Cook, Bloomington, Minn. [73] Assignee: Solid State Products, Inc., Primary Examiner-Roi)?" Greiner Minneapolis, Min Att0rneyGeorge F. Williamson et al.

[22] Filed: May 19, 1972 57 ABSTRACT [2]] App]. No.: 255,031 An impact resistant fluorescent lantern with a light transmitting shade positioned on a supporting base, the shade confronting a multiplicity of thin, flexible, [52] 240/112 240/114 ggz l k rectangular, reflective panels therein which act as a deformable impact absorbing medium to resist break- 2: g 3 23 age of fluorescent electric bulbs operatively mounted 1 0 240/5l'll 6 on the panels. Each panel is in a flexed condition extending arcuately between a pair of clips, the clips connecting the panel to adjacent panels and being in [56] References Cited frictional engagement with the interior side of the UNITED STATES PATENTS shade, the flexed panels exerting a restoring force 2,216,084 9/1940 Libson 240/ll.4 R X against the clips to urge the clips against the shade. A 2,355,467 3/1944 PrOulX 0/ R cap is positioned on the shade and means are provided 213641854 12/944 Kallma" 2to/5L1} R to confine the shade and reflector between a cap and 2,533,910 12 1950 Barr 240 114 R x the ham 3,544,785 12/1970 Weibel 240/] 1.4 R 2,334,005 11/1943 Hoeveler 240l5l.l R 2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures 1 IMPACT RESISTANT FLUORESCENT LANTERN BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to the field of portable battery powered lanterns such as those used in camping and for emergency lighting.

Until recently, the camping lantern field was occupied almost exclusively by gasoline powered units utilizing mantles and a fine spray of pressurized fuel. While these lanterns provided adequate light, they had the attendent disadvantages of being dangerously inflammable in a forest or tent environment, time consuming to actuate, and difficult to handle due to the high temperatures produced by the burning gasoline. Such lanterns produce an unpleasant odor and are a source of pollutionfln addition the mantles are easily damaged if the lantern is jarred or dropped, and such droppage can readily make the lantern inoperative and sometime produce fire damage to the surrounding area.

Due to the recited disadvantages of gas lanterns, portable electrical lanternshave increased in popularity as camping lanterns, but until recently have been unable to produce a high illumination level over a prolonged period with the limited electrical energy stored in the battery. Recent improvements in batteries and circuitry have made it feasible to utilize a fluorescent light bulb in such lanterns with the accompanying advantage of high illumination with greatly reduced power requirements.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel camping light construction which is relatively simple to assemble and inexpensive to produce while simultaneously providing an impact resistant structure to increase the operating life of the fluorescent bulbs. The structure of the invention provides an impact resistant electric fluorescent camping lantern which has brilliant 360 illumination while generating no polluting odorsor fire hazard.

The invention has a base containing electrical circuitry and batteries, the base supporting a light transmitting shade which is generally cylindricalwith a ho]- low,circular cross section interior. Within the'shade interior is an impact resistant reflectorformed of three thin, flexible, rectangular, reflective panels, each panel being flexed to provide an arcuate' surface extending between a pair of panel retaining clips. The flexed panels exert a restoring force against the encircling shade interior, causing the clips to be urged against the encircling shade and thereby to retain the clips in frictional engagement with the shade. A fluorescent bulb is operatively mounted on each panel. In the event the lantern is jarreddue to dropping or the like, the flexible panels flex additionally toprovide a deformable impact absorbing medium to increase the operating life'of the fluorescent bulbs. j v

A cap is positionedon the shade, and meansare provided to join the cap to the base to confine the shade and reflector therebetween.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE, DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the camping lantern invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the lantern showing the components and drawn partially in phantom.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the lantern reflector taken along cuttingplane 3--3 of FIG. 1'. r

DESCRIPTION AND OPERATION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the impact resistant fluorescent lantern 10 is provided with a supporting base 12 on which a light transmitting shade 14 is mounted, a cap 16 positioned on the shade. A centrally located threaded post 18 is rigidly attached to the base 12 by any appropriate means known to the art and is perpendicular to the base top 20, extending upwardly through the shade l4 and through bore 21 in cap 16, the cap being firmly retained on the shade by means of aligning washer 22 and threaded retainer 23 which engages threaded post 18. A short length of post 18 extends beyond the retainer 23 to permit a carrying handle 24 or the like to be threaded thereto to permit the lantern 10 to be easily carried or hung from an appropriate hanger. I

The supporting base 12 is generally circular in cross section and typically formed of metal or plastic as an integral unit. The base is hollow and contans adequate space to accommodate the electrical circuit components and batteries to be described hereafter. A rotatable switch 25 projects through recessed wall 26 in the base and is used to actuate the fluorescent bulbs as will be further described hereafter. The recessed wall protects the switch 25 from damage if the lantern falls or rolls. The base top 20 is provided with a reflective white coating to assure high light reflection therefrom. The cap 16 is an integral unit with a lower surface 27 g which is positioned immediately above the shade 14 and provided with a white reflective surface to increase light reflectiondownward. I r I It should be understood that although a single structural'embodiment of cap 16 and base 12 have been shown herein, the shape and configuration of these components may be varied in ways known to the art, all such variations being within the purview of the claimed invention. 1

The post 18, which is securely mounted to the base 12, and the retainer 23 provides a means for joining the base12 to the-cap 16 to confine the shade 14 and reflector 28 therebetween. It should be understood that the shown means is merely illustrative and that other means known to the art could as readily have been employed, all such known means being within the pruview of the claimed invention.

The light transmitting shade 14 may be either transparent or translucent and may be formed of any appropriate material such as plastic orglass, plastic being preferred because it is more resistant to impact and breakage. The shown shade 14 is of circular cross section and cylindrical in shape with its central axis being generally centered'on the post 18, the shade 14 being hollow with a substantially circular cross section interior to receive and confine the reflector 28.

The reflector 28 is formed of a multiplicity of thin. flexible, rectangular, reflective panels 29,30 and 31, eachpanel such as panel 29 having a pair of opposite edges 32 and 33 which are substantially equal in length to corresponding edges of the remaining panels such as edges 34 and 35 of panel 30, 36 and 37 of panel 31.

Each of these panels is made of a thin but firm material, such as opaque, white, sheet plastic, which is easily flexed but has great resistance to breakage or cracking. Although plastic is used in the present invention, other equivalent materials are within its purview. Panel retaining clips 38, 39 and 40 interconnect the panels 29, 30 and 31, a pair of the retaining clips being attached to opposite edges of each panel. The clips may be made of any appropriate material, plastic being preferred.

Referring now to FIG. 3, each of the panels such as panel 29 is flexed or bent to form an arcuate surface extending from one clip 38 to an adjacent clip 39, the flexed panel exerting a restoring force, outwardly directed through the clips and toward the shade 14, tending to urge the clips against the shade 14 to retain the clips in frictional engagement with the inner surface of the shade 14. The retaining clips extend along the length of the corresponding edges of each panel to assure a relatively firm contact between the clips and the inner surface of the shade 14. The remaining panels 30 and 31 are retained in a flexed condition by clips 38, 39 and 40, all the panels being retained in a predetermined position relative to one another wherein their corresponding edges 32, 33, 34, 35., 36 and 37 are generally parallel to the central axis of the shade. Accordingly the three flexed panels 29, 30 and 31 cooperate with the clips 38, 39 and 40 to retain the reflector formed by panels and clips in frictional engagement with the shade l4 and encircling the shade axis.

Each panel has a fluorescent bulb 41 mounted thereon by means of bulb sockets 42 and 43 located at bottom and top, respectively of each panel; the bulbs are typically 4, 6 or 8 watt units. FIG. shows the mode of attachment of these sockets to each panel, the socket 43 being attached to panel 29 by means of screw 44 passed through the panel and into a bracket 45 on the socket 43. Accordingly it is seen that each fluorescent bulb 4l'is operatively mounted to the reflector by means of sockets 42 and 43 at bottom and top of each panel, the flexed condition of each panel providing a deformable medium which can move inwardly or outwardly within the approximate limits 46 and 47 shown in FIG. 3 when the lamp is dropped or jarred. This in{ herent flexibility of the panels 29, 30 and 11 which comprise the reflector 28 assures that the fluorescent bulbs 41 are not easily broken or damaged and that the bulb operating life is not adversely affected.

It has been found desirable for each flexed panel to be curved inwardly to provide a concave surface as viewed from its attached fluorescent bulb 41, the retaining clips 38, 39 and 40 being equally spaced about the inner periphery of the shade 14 to cause the identical panels to form three substantially identical bulb compartments 48, 49, and 50.

Although the lantern has been shown as having three compartments with three bulbs, it should be understood that a greater number of compartments could as readily have been used by increasing the number of panels forming the reflector 28. For example, four'panels with four retaining clips would have divided the shade interior into four bulb compartments each of which could have been provided with a fluorescent bulb.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the bottom 51 of the base 12 is provided with a removable cover 52 which is held in place by tabs 53 and screw 54. When it is desired to insert or replace the batteries and 56 within the interior of the base 12, the screw 54 is extracted and the cover 52, removed from its shown position to expose an opening through which batteries 55 and 56 can be inserted. Means for retaining the batteries in the shown position of FIG. 2 are provided in the form of a battery frame 57.

Each lower bulb socket 42 has a separate wire 58 extending therefrom and into central post 18. The wire 58 pass downward through the post and into the base interior. A second wire 59 extends from each upper bulb socket 43, entering the post 18 and extending therethrough into the base 12. The wires 58 and 59 from each bulb connect to substantially identical actuating circuits 60 (FIGS. 2 and 6). Each circuit 60 has a capacitor 61 connected in series with the bulb 41 and with the secondary winding 62 of transformer 63.

The primary coil 64 of the transformer 63 is connected across the output of inverter circuit 65, which is of a type known to' the art. The inverter circuit 65 converts the direct current of batteries 55 and 56 to alternating current used by the fluorescent tube 41.

The input of the inverter circuit is connected in series to the on-off switch 25 which selectively connects the inverter circuit 65 to the batteries 55 and 56. The batteries are 6 volt batteries and are connected in series to form a 12 volt power source. The switch 25 may alternatively be of a type which actuates all three fluorescent bulbs simultaneously or may have a plurality of positions so that one, two or all of the fluorescent bulbs are simultaneously lighted.

Although only the circuit 60 has been shown in detail, it should be understood that each of the additional fluorescent tubes on lamp 10 is provided with its own identical circuit 60 which is connected between the switch 25 and bulbs 41 to provide electrical power to the bulbs. Since a 12 volt direct current source is used with the lantern 10, it will be immediately recognized that the lantern is usable with an automobile battery as its power source; If desired,- thebatteries 55 and 56 may be of a rechargable nature and with appropriate circuitry be recharged from standard house current or directly from a 12 volt automobile electrical system.

The three circuits 60 and switch 25 collectively constitute a means for operatively delivering electrical energy from the source of electrical power, namely batteries 55 and 56, to the fluorescent bulbs 41. Although a particular circuit 60 has been shown for use with each fluorescent bulb, it should be understood that other equivalent circuits known to the art may be readily substituted and all such alternative circuits are within the purview of the claimed invention.

In operation the operator moves the switch 25 to an on position where one or more of the circuits 60 are connected to the batteries. Current flows from the batteries to the inverter circuit 65 of each of thecircuits 60, the inverter converting the direct current from the batteries to an alternating current which in turn is transformed by transformer63 to a higher voltage suitable for fluorescent bulbs 41. The capacitor 61 provides a smoother output current to each fluorescent bulb.

The clips 38, 39 and 40 of reflector 28 are in frictional engagement with the shade interior and during normal operation retain the reflector in the position shown in FIG. 1, the panels being flexed or bent to form a curved or arcuate surface on which the bulbs 41 are mounted.

When the lantern is dropped or jarred as is not unusual during outdoor activity the jarring force causes the flexible panels 29, 30 and 31 to further bend and deform within the approximate limits 46 and 47 (FIG. 3), thereby absorbing the jarring force by the panel deformation rather than fully transmitting the force to the fluorescent bulbs 41. Naturally the flexed panels return to their standard position after the jarring force has been absorbed and dissipated.

Because the fluorescent bulbs require relatively little power to produce a very considerable quantity of light, the battries are not rapidly depleted. Thepositioning of the bulbs 41 at substantially equally spaced intervals about the shade assures that full 360 lighting is obtained, the light rays striking the reflector 20 and being reflected outwardly. In addition the reflectorized surfaces 20 and 27 of base and cap, respectively, assure that little light is absorbed by these surfaces.

Because little heat is generated by the fluorescent bulbs 41, no venting is needed, and it is possible to tightly seal shade 14 between cap 16 and base 12, thereby providing a relatively tight flotation chamber within the shade. This chamber assures that the lantern 10 will float for a considerable time interval if inadvertently dropped into a body of water.

Since only a 12 volt power system is needed with the invention, there is little danger of serious electical shock to a user and the danger associated with inflammable fuels such as gasoline is avoided, providing a highly reliable, safe, and impact resistant lantern which is easily and inexpensively manufactured.

While the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described, it should be understood that various changes, adaptations and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An impact resistant fluorescent lantern for use with a source of electrical power comprising:

a base;

a light transmitting shade on said base and having a hollow interior disposed about a central axis;

a multiplicity of thin, rectangular reflective panels in said hollow interior, each panel being flexible and adapted to move toward and away from said central axis when the lantern is subjected to impact, each panel having a pair of opposite edges substantially equal in length to corresponding edges of the remaining panels;

a multiplicity of panel retaining clips in frictional engagement with the interior side of said shade, each panel being retained in a predetermined position within said shade by a pair of said clips with each clip joining an edge of one panel to a corresponding edge of an adjacent panel, the panels and clips cooperating to form a light reflector encircling said axis and located within the hollow interior of said shade;

each of said panels being in a flexed condition between the clips retaining it to form an arcuate surface extending between the clips and to exert a restoring force on the retaining clips to urge said clips against the interior side of said shade so as to hold the clips in frictional engagement with the shade;

a multiplicity of electric fluorescent light bulbs, a bulb operatively mounted on each of said flexible movable panels, the flexed movable panel providing an impact absorbing medium to preserve the integrity of said bulbs when the lantern is jarred;

a cap positioned on said shade;

means joining said base to said cap to confine said shade and reflector therebetween; and

means for operatively delivering electrical energy from the source of electrical power to said fluorescent bulbs.

2. The combination according to claim 1 wherein said multiplicity of panels is three panels and said panels are opaque and substantially identical, the said panels having three reflecting faces which divide said shade interior into three bulb compartments.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2216084 *Nov 30, 1938Sep 24, 1940Isaac J LibsonMultiple lamp reflector
US2334005 *Aug 5, 1941Nov 9, 1943Pittsburgh Reflector CompanyIlluminating fixture
US2355467 *Sep 30, 1943Aug 8, 1944Henry BoorstinWaterproof fixture for fluorescent lamps
US2364854 *May 21, 1942Dec 12, 1944Technical Service IncIlluminating fixture
US2533910 *Jan 27, 1947Dec 12, 1950Wm J Stange CoTreatment of unrendered fat with nordihydroguaiaretic acid
US3544785 *Sep 10, 1968Dec 1, 1970Joslyn Mfg & Supply CoLuminaire
FR1092836A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4002895 *Jun 6, 1975Jan 11, 1977Ocean Energy, Inc.Illuminating apparatus
US4064430 *Jul 23, 1976Dec 20, 1977Owens Virgie MMultiple light device
US4092706 *Jan 14, 1977May 30, 1978Vest Gary WPortable fluorescent light
US4268894 *Mar 5, 1979May 19, 1981Duracell International Inc.Portable waterproof fluorescent lantern
US4663697 *May 27, 1986May 5, 1987The Coleman Company, Inc.Fluorescent lantern with removable fluorescent tubes
US5192126 *Aug 1, 1991Mar 9, 1993E-Z Sales And Manufacturing, Inc.Remote control fluorescent lantern
US5237490 *Jul 7, 1992Aug 17, 1993Ferng Shing LaiSolar power-operated, construction work warning lamp with focusing device for intensifying the intensity of light
US5465196 *Jun 24, 1994Nov 7, 1995Snap-On IncorporatedPortable cordless electric utility lamp
US6206551 *Apr 8, 1999Mar 27, 2001Charles E. Stubblefield, Jr.Foldable lantern reflector and shade
US8066401Oct 30, 2008Nov 29, 2011Benson Chung-Pun LeungLight retainer assembly
EP1612469A1 *Jun 28, 2004Jan 4, 2006Berner GmbHAccumulator-powered reflector lamp
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/184, D26/41
International ClassificationF21L14/00, F21V15/04, F21S9/02, H05B33/02, F21V15/00, F21V17/00, F21V7/00, F21S9/00, F21V17/16, F21L4/00, F21V23/02, F21L14/02
Cooperative ClassificationF21S9/022, F21V23/02, F21V7/005, F21L4/00, F21V17/16, F21Y2103/00, F21V15/04
European ClassificationF21S9/02E, F21V23/02, F21V7/00E, F21V15/04, F21V17/16, F21L4/00