US 3777432 A
A lighting fixture having an improved louver grid is disclosed wherein the various fins or louvers are integreated into a grid in such a manner that the louvers, at the intersections, are mutually rigidifying and are interconnected by integral spring flanges or tabs. The louvers maybe readily assembled into the grid configuration without the use of tools or external fasteners of any nature, and may be readily disassembled for repair or replacement.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Dec. 11, 1973 3,287,874 11/1966 Stahlhut................................52/668 3,288,489 3,590,544
.1 COLLAPSIBLY JOINED LOUVER GRID 287/189 36 A 287/l89.36 A
11/1966 Jahn................. 7/1971 Shepherd...................
 Inventor: Walter E. Wyles, Somerset, NJ.
Lightolier Incorporated, NJ.
Primary Examiner-Henry C. Sutherland  Filed: Sept 18, 1972 Attorney-Arthur B. Colvin  ABSTRACT A lighting fixture having an improved louver grid is  Appl. No.: 289,851
 U.S. 52/668, 52/173, 52/D1G. .001,
287/189. A dlsclosed wherein the various fins or louvers are integreated into a grid in such a manner that the louvers,
at the intersections, are mutually rigidifying and are interconnected by integral spring flanges or tabs. The louvers maybe readily assembled into the grid configuration without the use of tools or external fasteners of any nature, and may be readily disassembled for repair E 7 zdn M 3 25 c 4% 021 E "HG ""1 ND m2 mu mh "c r "a "e "S 1 m tu e .1 .mF .1] 8 55 [1.
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sum NF 2 COLLAPSIBLY JOINED LOUVER GRID 1 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention is in the field of lighting fixtures, and more particularly constructions employing grids of intersecting louvers.
2. The Prior Art It is known in lighting fixtures to provide for mounting in the housing of the fixture a grid assembly comprised of intersecting louvers for shilding the source of light from the eyes of the occupant of a room and for redirecting the light at proper angles.
It is also known to fabricate such louvers from sheet metal and variously to shape the side edges of the louvers into partiparabolic or like configurations to achieve desired lighting results.
Heretofore, however, such louver constructions have been flimsy, especially at the intersections or crossings of the elements forming the grid. The interconnections between the crossing elements have typically involved formation of notches or cutouts which, in some instances, extend through a major portion of the panel, fin or louver material proper, thereby weakening the cut away louver element.
While the grid device of the present invention likewise involves notching or cutting away of the louvers at the intersections, the structure of the intersections is such as to reinforce and rigidify the louvers or panels at the intersections, or, more accurately, to construct the grids in such manner that forces cannot be transmitted to the weakened components.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention may be summarized as directed to an improved grid construction comprising a series of intersecting louvers or panels of bent sheet metal. The louvers or panels may be rapidly interconnected to define a grid, the construction of the intersections being such as to provide a mutual reinforcement at the intersections.
Assembly is effected without the use of tools by a relative sliding movement of the components forming the grid, the louvers being provided with integral spring flanges which lock the louvers or panels together at the intersections, responsive to sliding of the same into engagement with each other.
The apparatus includes a tool member which may be inserted into position after the grid is formed, to release an individual panel or louver from its interconnected relation with the remaining panels so as to provide a simple means for replacing one or more of the blades, should the same become damaged.
It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide an improved louver construction for a lighting fixture.
Still a further object of the invention is the provision of a louver construction in the form of a grid of intersecting panels wherein the grid may be assembled without the use of tools or external fasteners, clips, screws or the like.
Still a further object of the invention is the provision of a device of the class described wherein the louver sections which are to be assembled into the grid are formed of sheet metal bent to a three dimensional configuration, which configuration is generally triangular in transverse section and wherein the section itself is not locked against spreading but becomes locked against such spreading movement in the course of assembling the sections into an integral grid.
To attain these objects and such futher objects as may appear herein or be hereinafter pointed out, reference is made to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a lighting assembly incorporating a grid in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded isometric view of the components of the lighting fixture;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an intersecting pair of louvers shown in conjunction with a disassembly tool;
FIG. 4 is a section taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a section taken on the line 55 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 showing the position of the parts with the disassembly tool in operative posi tion.
Turning now to the drawings and with particular reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a lighting fixture 10 including a housing structure 11, within which the light source L is disposed.
The housing 11 illustratively is secured in recesses relation to the ceiling or overhead in any suitable manner. Since the housing 1 1 and its manner of connection to the sutructural components of the building may be in all respects conventional, further description thereof will not be undertaken.
Rather, the present invention is concerned with the construction of the lower assembly 15 which is pivotally secured to the housing 11 carrying the light source L.
As best seen in FIG. 2, the louver assembly 15 is comprised of a group of intersecting louver sub-assemblies 16 interconnected to define a right angle grid, which grid is, in turn, mounted with a rectangular frame assembly 17 defined by the perimeter strips 17a, 17b, 17c and 17d. It will be appreciated, as seen from FIG. 1, that after completion, the entire louver assembly 15 may be pivoted clear of the light source housing for replacement of bulbs (dash line position, FIG. 1), after which the assembly may be pivoted back into operative position (solid lines).
Since the principal contribution of the present invention is directed to the construction of'the fins and their manner of integration, reference will be made to FIGS. 2 through 6, wherein this construction is best illustrated.
The fins, panels or individual louvers 16 comprise elongated sheet metal elements bent to a generally triangular cross sectional configuration. The panels or louvers (sometimes referred to as fins) 16 include side wall portions 19 and 20 merging at a common lower edge 21. It will be appreciated that while the section is described as triangular, the side walls 19 and 20 are bent to define a section of parabolic curvature for optimum light reflection, as is well known.
Each of the side walls 19 and 20 includes an intumed top-wall portion 22, 23, respectively, downturned lips 24, 25 being formed at the inner marginal edge of the top wall portions 22, 23. The lips 24, 25 extend toward and terminate short of the common edge 21.
For convenience of description the louvers will be divided into two groups, namely, the sidewisely extending or transverse louvers 18' and the longitudinally extending louvers 18".
As best seen from FIG. 2, the louvers 18" are recessed through their top and side walls to define receiver notches 26 at the intersections of the louvers 18 and 18". The notches 26 include angular side slits 27, 28 (FIG. the side slits being curved to conform with the curvature of the cross section of the louvers. The top wall portion above the notch 26 is likewise cut away, the notch 26 terminating at an apex or lower abutment 29.
The slits 27, 28 are formed through both of the side walls 19 and 20 of the louvers 18", it being thus apparent that the sole remaining connecting portion of the louvers 18" lies in the metallic area of the side walls below the abutment 29 and above the lower marginal edge portion 21. Obviously the structural rigidity of the thus notched fins 18" is severely comprised, it being the object of the present invention to integrate the blades 18' and 18" in a manner which will, in large measure, rigidify the blades 18" after assembly so that if they are subjected to torsional, lateral or vertical stresses or impacts due to rough handling, shipping, etc., the grids will be less likely to be damaged than devices of this general type known in the prior art.
It will be further understood that the various notches, tabs, slits, cutouts, etc., hereinbefore and hereinafter described in connection with the louvers will, in accordance with known metal forming practices, be prepunched into the metal pieces, such that the metal pieces, after bending, will already include the desired apertures in proper relative position.
As shown in FIGS. 3, 5 and 6, the top wall portions 22 and 23 surrounding the notches 26 are provided with access apertures 30 to each side of the notches 26.
As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 4, the louver members 18' at the intersections are provided with a notch 31 through the lowermost edge 21 and the adjacent side wall portions immediately above the edge. The notch 31 is defined at its uppermost edge by stop shoulders 32, the height of the stop shoulders from the lower edge 21 being substantially equal to the spacing of the abutment 29 from said lower edge 21.
It will be thus appreciated that in the assembled condition of the louvers, the top wall portions 22 and 23 of the louvers l8 and 18" will be aligned in essentially coplanar relation.
.The louvers of the group 18' are provided with spring locking flanges 33, the flanges being formed by a three sided slit separating the flanges from the body of the side wall flanges at all but a fold or pivot line 34 paralleling the top wall portions 22, 23. The flanges 33 are deflected outwardly from the side walls 19 and 20 so as to project beyond said side wall portions. Preferably the flanges 33 are provided with a central groove 35, for purposes which will become apparent.
From the foregoing description it will be evident that each intersection between a louver 18 and a second louver 18" may be readily effected by merely passing the louver 18 downwardly through the notch 26 in a louver 18", the downward movement being continued until the shoulder 32 of the lower notch 31 engages against the upwardly facing abutment or shoulder 29 in the notch 26. In the final stages of such movement, it will be appreciated that the spring flanges 33, 33 will be cammed inwardly from their outwardly deflected position by side shoulder portions 36, 37 adjacent the top walls of the louvers of the group 18", the flanges 33, 33 being free to spring outwardly after the upper or locking edges 38, 38 are disposed at a level below the undersurface of the shoulder portions 36, 37 and top wall portions 22, 23. At this outwardly deflected position it will be seen that the locking groove 35 (FIG. 4) surrounds the downturned lips 24, 25 to lock the lips 24, 25 against a spreading movement.
The groove 35, by maintaining the two lips 24, 25 together, causes the blade 18" to assume and maintain a tubular conformation whereby the top wall portions are essentially integrated in the area surrounding the weakened notch 26. It will thus be appreciated that the spring flanges 33, 33 function not only to maintain the blades of the grid 18' and 18" against removal after assembly, by reason of the underlapping of the portions 38 and the shoulder portions 36, 37 and top walls 22, 23, but function in addition, as a means for substantially increasing the structural strength of the deeply notched louvers 18".
As best seen in FIGS. 3 and 6, there is provided means for separating once connected intersections. The means comprises an opening tool 39, generally U- shaped in transverse section, including a back portion 40 and side portions 41 and 42. Extending legs 43 project downwardly from the end portions of the tool 39, the legs being provided with inwardly directed cam surfaces 44.
In order to release louver 18' from a louver 18", the legs 43 are inserted through the access apertures 30, continued movement of the tool 39 downwardly toward the lower edges 31 of the louvers being effec tive to cam the flanges 33, 33 inwardly or out of the underlapping position of the shoulder portions 36, 37 of top walls 22, 23.
Preferably the top walls 22, 23 of the louvers of group 18 are recessed, as at 45, to assure that the tool will be effective to cam the flanges to a position completely clear of the top wall portions of the louvers of group 18".
The position of the parts after insertion of the tool is shown in FIG. 6 whereat it will be appreciated that the louver 18' may readily be lifted from its connection with the louver 18" without any interference between the spring flanges 33 and the top wall portions of the louvers 18'.
Fromthe foregoing description it will be readily understood that since assembly of a louver l8 and a louver 18" involves nothing more than a relative nesting movement of the noted parts, no tools whatsoever are required to effect integration of the louvers.
After the louvers 18' and 18" are connected together into a grid sub-assembly 16, the outer terminal edges of the grid are interconnected to the perimeter portions 17a, 17b, 17c and 17d. To this end, each panel or louver element of the grids 18' and 18" includes, at its outer terminal ends, a pair of tabs 46 at the upper side of each terminal end, the tabs 46 being formed from extensions of the lips 24 and 25. In similar fashion, the lower set of tabs 47 is defined by extensions of the side wall portions 19 and 20.
The perimeter portions 16a, 17b, 17c and 17d are provided with upper and lower tab receiver cutouts 48 and 49, respectively. When the tabs 46 and the tabs 47 are located in parallel and closely spaced relation whereat two tabs may be passed through a single window or cutout 48 or 49, in contrast to devices heretofore known wherein multiple tabs and multiple spaced windows must be accurately aligned before the components can be connected.
It will be appreciated that after assembly of the elements 17a, 17b, 17c and. 1711 with the terminal ends of the grids, the tabs are spread and forced flat against the surface of the perimeter portions, thus locking thecomponents together. 7
The perimeter elements 17a, 17b, 17c and 17d are, in addition, interconnected by similar tab and slot fastenings. To this end the elements 17a and 170 are provided with outwardly extending spaced tabs 50 adapted to be passed through complementally spaced apertures 51 in the perimeter elements 17b and 17d.
Optionally the configuration of the terminal end portions of the perimeter elements may be curved so that in the interconnected position the perimeter elements will be maintained as an arcuate configuration, whereby the cross sectional dimension of the rectangle defined at the top edges of the completed grid structure will be somewhat smaller than that of the bottom edge of the structure, whereby the grid, with its arcuate side walls, may be pivotally connected to the lighting fixture 11, the noted curvature of the sides providing clearance for the pivotal movements.
The assembly is completed by the addition of corner blocks 52, hinge elements 53 and latch elements 54, it being understood that the blocks, hinge elements and latch elements are held in position by sheet metal screws 55fpassing through appropriately sized apertures in the components.
The assembly may, in addition, incorporate side rail elements 56 for purposes beyond the scope of the present description.
From the foregoing it will be apparent that there is provided by the present construction a lighting fixture incorporating an improved louver assembly comprised of a series of panels or louvers connected into a grid. The principal aspect of novelty of the instant application is considered to reside in the novel construction of the louvers and the manner of their interconnection, whereby the same may be assembled into a grid without the use of tools, the louvers being provided with integral spring fasteners which function not only to connect the louver elements together against disassembly but also to strengthen and reinforce the louvers per se in the areas of greatest weakness.
There is further defined in. the instant application a grid of louvers of the type described in combination with a release tool adapted to facilitate the disconnection of an individual louver at the intersection from the intersected louver, whereby a louver, blade or panel which has been damaged may be readily removed and replaced.
Having thus described the invention and illustrated its use, what is claimed as new and is desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
l. A louver assembly comprising first and second groups of three dimensional, hollow panels formed of sheet material, said panels each including side walls converging to a common edge and a top wall, the panels of one of said group extending at right angles to the panels of the outer said group, said panels intersecting to form a grid, said intersections being defined by the panels of one said group including registering, generally V-shaped notches in the opposed walls of the panels and extending downwardly from the upper edges to an apex near said common edge, said apex defining an abutment, the shape of said notches generally matching the cross section of the panels of the other said group,
the other said panel at said intersection including at its lower edge a receiver slot adapted outwardly to overlap said abutment, said panels of said second group including at least one integral spring flange portion yieldingly outwardly biased from the walls thereof, the top walls of the panels of the first group having recess apertures therein on opposite sides of the panels of the second group at said intersection said flange portions at said intersections underlapping portions of the top wall of said panels of said first group surrounding said notches, thereby to interlock said panels at said intersections.
2. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said flanges comprise tabs connected to said side walls only along a linear fold line parallel to said top wall.
3. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said panels of said second group include a pair of said flanges, said recess apertures being adapted to receive a camming tool for deflecting said flanges clear of said underlapped portions of said top walls whereby selected panels of said groups may be removed from said assembly.
4. The assembly of claim 3 wherein said top wall portion of said panels is comprised of a pair of separate, coplanar web members extending toward each other from the upper terminal edges of said side walls, the innermost marginal edges of said web members meeting at a junction line coincident with a plane bisecting the longitudinal axis of said panels, a lip portion extending from each said marginal edge toward said common edge, said lips being disposed in said common plane, said spring flanges including notch portions, said lips being disposed within the notch portions of said flanges thereby to lock said lips against spreading in the underlapping position of said flanges.
5. A louver assembly comprising a grid defined by first and second groups of panels intersecting at right angles, the panels of each said group being formed of sheet metal bent to define a converging pair of side wall portions terminating in a common edge, a top wall portion extending from the upper edge of each side wall portion toward the other side wall portion, said top wall portions being in coplanar alignment and meeting at an abutting position coincident with a plane extending through the longitudinal axis of said panel, and depending elongated lip portions extending from the abutting portions of said top walls and terminating in spaced relation to said common edge, said intersections being formed by a notch in the top and side walls in the panels of said first group of cross sectional configuration matching the transverse cross section of said panels, the panels of the said second group at said intersections being disposed within the notches of said panels of said first group and having a slot through the common edges overlapping said abutments of said first group, the said panels of said second group including integral spring flanges defined by outwardly deflected portions of said side walls, said spring flanges, in the assembled position of said intersections, including locking shoulders underlapping top wall portions of said panels of said first group surrounding said notches, said spring flanges including channel means formed therein, said lip portions of said panels of said first group being disposed within said channel means, whereby said channel means lock said lip portions and, hence, said side walls of said first group of panels, against spreading.
6. The louver assembly of claim 5 wherein said flanges comprise tabs connected to said side walls only along a linear fold line parallel to said top wall.