US 3780281 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 OhIhauser et al.
1451 Dec. 18, 1973 y DEMOUNTABLE LIGHT FIXTURE FOR BATHROOM CABINET  Assignee: The Celotex Corporation, Tampa,
1 1 Fla.
 Filed: Mar. 29, 1972 [2|] App]. No.: 239,089 1 52 U.S. c1. 240/4.1, 240/2 w, 240/521, 1 1 312/223 1 51 lm. c1...; F2lv 33/00, A47b 97/00 [581 Field of Search 240/2 w, 4.1, 4.2, 240/52 R, 52.1, 106,149;312/223  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,081,397 3/l963 Tantilloet al. 240/4.l
2,876,056 3/1959 Berger 240/4.l X
1,586,244 5/1926 Hermann 240/52 R X 2,62 l ,282 l2/l 952 Novak 240/4.2 3,258,590 6/1966 1 Goodbar 240/106 R Primary Examiner-Fred L. Braun Attorney-John W. Melville et al.
57 ABSTRACT An attachable-demountable light fixture for a wall cabinet having a swing mirror door, e.g. a bathroom medicine cabinet, as well as afcabinet-lightl fixture combination, Where the cabinet is reversible, i.e.
symmetrical about a horizontal plane, so that it can be mounted with the mirror hinge either on the right or on the left, the light fixture is attachable identically without regard tothe orientation of the hinge. The
fixture is provided with a sleeve element at each side,
telescopingly engageable with the front face frame of the cabinet and automatically interlocked therewith. The fixture comprises a sheet metal encasement for a light source, open at the top, and having a translucent front panel for light diffusion. The translucent panel comprises a portion arranged to diffuse the, light downwardly, and a portion arranged to diffuse the light outwardly and downwardly.
5 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures min mum is 1925 3. 780.281
sum 1 as a mmmum 18 1925 3.780.281
sum 3 or e lighting is left unsolved.
1 y DEMOUNTABLE LIGHT FIXTURE For:
BATHROOM CABINET BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION though the height may vary in some cases. The inside dimensions of a typical cabinet body arezj 13% inches width, 17% inches height, 4% inches depth; the front face frame is: 15%ihches widthJ' i fi inches height, frame width 1 3/16 inches and the width of the return flange is 1 inch. The mirror door frame is 16 5/16 inches X 22 5/16 inches. u
Some recessed cabinets are produced with, larger dimensions and of course surface-mounted cabinets are not restricted as to width by the stud spacing in the Wall;
The most serious deficiency of this type of cabinet is of the cabinet face frame, to secure the light fixture thatit is unlighted, with no provision for adequate or uniform illumination of the mirror, the lav atoi'y or the person using these facilities. Sorneligh ti ng usually provided by installing a single incandescent larnp independently, on the wall above the cabinet, with a translucent glass enclosing shade to direct the light downwardly. Such lighting is invariably inadequate and nonuniform. Slightly better is a fluorescenttu be light fixture installed horizontally on the wall above the cabinet. Another expedient is to install a fluorescent light fixture vertically on each side of the cabinet, either attached to the side flanges of the frame or independently mounted on the wall. The cost of these light fixtures and the labor cost for their installation is excessively high and the resulting illumination is still not fully satisfactory. v
For the surface-mounted type of cabinet, attempts have been made to obtain improved lighting by placing a light fixture directly on top of the cabinet body, and attached to.it. This gives unsatisfactory resiilts because virtually all of the illumination is directed outwardly and little or none toward the mirror and lavatory. Of course, such a cabinet with a permanently attached light fixture cannot be reversible, because inverting the I cabinet puts the light fixture at the bottom. Consequently, the reversible cabinet is always produced as an unlighted unit and the problem of providing proper BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION with a mirror door, such as usually is installed above a lavatory. The fixture consists of an uppersheet metal encasement which encloses the light source and this encasement has a translucent front panel to diffuse the light. The lower section of the fixture which supports the light enclosure has a slidable sleeve at each side to engage the front face frame of the cabinet, and each sleevehas, on its rear flange, an interlocking tab to engage and interlock automatically with the return flange permanently in place when his installed on top. of the cabinet, When thus assembled, the combination of the demountable light fixture with the cabinet provides an integrated top-lighted unit that has many advantages over a wall cabinet with a separate wall-mounted light.
The demountable light fixture is especially advantageous for use with the reversible type of cabinet be-. cause the fixture is adapted for attachmentto either the top or bottom? of the face frame and is placed and attached only after thedesired direction of door open- 1 ing has been determined.
A particularly advantageous use of the demountable light fixture. is to provide greatly improved diffused lighting in a bathroom byattaching the fixture to a cabinet which is already installed. This can be done very. I readily with recessed-type cabinets which are provided with a front face frame having a return flange, on which the horizontal flange of the support frame can rest and to which the interlocking device can be secured. u
Careful analysis of the requirements for satisfactory lighting of a bathroom cabinet, mirrorand lavatory has indicated that thelight fixture shouldbe located substantially above and forwardfrom the mirror face and that the light distribution should be directional from two different planes of the diffuser panel. To achieve the most effective illumination the demountable light fixture of this invention is of special shape and dimensions, is thus located in relation to the mirror front, and is provided with a special angular two-plane diffuser panel for the front face and lower front of the light enclosure. The light diffuserconsists of two planes of a rigid, translucent sheet material preformed as an integral panel, with the planes having their axes parallel to the mirror front.
The first plane is adjacent the mirror front, above and spaced from it and is horizontal; the second plane extends upwardly and outwardly from the first plane at an obtuse angle and constitutes the frontpanel of the light encasement. The combination of these structural features of the light fixture provides directionally dispersed diffuse lighting for the mirror, lavatory, and the person using these facilities, that isgreatly improved over any lighting means previously available for this typeof wall cabinet.
PURPOSES OF THE INVENTION securely interlocked with either the top" or the bot tom of the cabinet body. This enables changing the direction of opening of the swing mirror door from left to right or vice versa atthe site of installation, as desired or found necessary for convenient use. If the opening direction is specified in advance, the light fixture may, of course, be permanently installed before shipment. This flexibility of installation avoids the necessity for producing and stocking toplighted cabinets with both right hand and left hand doors.
and interlocking devices adaptable for installation of the fixture eitheron a recess-mounted reversible cabinet or on a surface-mounted reversible cabinet, by
making suitable alterations in the dimensions and the arrangement of the attachment parts of the demountable fixture.
As one preferred embodiment of the invention, a special purpose is to provide a recess-mounted, reversible cabinet with a demountable top light fixture that is surface-mounted and adapted to be attached to and automatically interlocked with the top return flange of the front face frame of the cabinet. This makes it unnecessary to provide a wall opening for the light fixture in addition to the recessed opening for the cabinet body. With the automatic interlocking feature, the installer does not require the use of any tools to combine the cabinet with the light fixture.
A special object of the invention is to provide a demountable top light fixture that may be'installed and securely interlocked with a rectangular, recessed-type cabinet that is already in place on the wall. This may be done by simply loosening the attachment screws or bolts holding the cabinet in place, sliding the attachment sleeves of the fixture down over the top flange of the face frame until the fixture automatically interlocks with the return flange, then retightening the screws or bolts. As the fixture is surface-mounted, no cutting into the wall is required for its installation. Thisenables adding an integrated light fixture to an installed cabinet, to replace the ordinary, inadequate incandescent lamp mounted on the wall above the cabinet, such as has very commonly been used for lighting such cabinets. Thus, the novel demountable fixture can be marketed either as a complete top lighted cabinet, combined with a reversible cabinet body, or as an independent top light unit for installation on a cabinet that is already in service.
Ancillary to the above objects of the invention and affording a significant enhancement of the overall effectiveness of the light fixture is a substantial improvement in the distribution of the illumination provided by it, that results from the structural arrangement of the light enclosure and its location in respect to the cabinet. These factors, combined with the directional dispersion of the diffused light by a preformed, angular, biplanar light diffuser which constitutes the front panel of the light enclosure, are important features of the novel demountable light fixture.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective front view of the complete cabinet, assembled with the demountable top light fixture, showing one side of the cabinet body and with the mirror door partially opened to show the cabinet interior, the front face frame and one of the attachment sleeves of the fixture.
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the cabinet body, from its open face, showing on one side the holes in the face frame flange for attachment of the hinged mirror door.
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the cabinet body taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2, showing the front face frame with the rearwardly-turned flange and the shelf retainer slots.
FIG. 4 is a horizontal sectional view'of the cabinet body taken on the line 44 of FIG. 2, showing the front face frame with the return flange.
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view of the demountable light fixture, showing the locations of the incandescent lamps and electrical appliance or convenience outlet, the sleeve to engage the cabinet front frame, the interlocking tab device for securing the light fixture to the return flange, and the special angular biplanar form of the light diffuser panel.
FIG. 6 is an isometric rear view of the lower part of the light fixture assembly, showing the attachment sleeves at each end, the return flange which rests on the top of the cabinet front frame, and the interlocking tabs at each end.
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of the light diffuser panel of FIG. 5, showing the lower horizontal plane and the front plane projected upwardly at an obtuse angle thereto.
FIG. 8 is an exploded view, from the rear, of the demountable light fixture in relation to the upper part of the cabinet, showing an alternate construction to provide secure attachment of the fixture to thecabinet body.
FIG. 9 and FIG. 10 are views similar to FIG. 8, illustrating two additional modifications of attachment devices for securing and interlocking the demountable light fixture to the cabinet body.
FIG. 9a is an enlarged detailed view of the lower right-hand portion of the fixture of FIG. 9.
FIG. 11 is a schematic wiring diagram for the incandescent lamps and the electrical appliance outlet of the light fixture.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION In FIG. 1 there is shown a cabinet indicated generally at 10 and which may be a bathroom wall cabinet. The cabinet is of the so-called reversible type in that it is symmetrical about a horizontal plane so that it may be mounted either end up. Thus, a mirror door 11 may be hinged to the cabinet on one side and then the mirror may be a left opening or a right opening mirror, depending upon which way up the cabinet is installed. Such cabinets do not constitute a part of the invention and the cabinets therefore need not be described in great detail.
The front face frame of the cabinet is indicated at 12 and the light fixture according to the present invention is attached to the face frame 12 as will be described in more detail hereinafter. Supporting means for the shelves are indicated generally at 13. As best seen in FIG. 3 and in FIG. 4 the front face frame 12 has the return flange 14. In FIG. 2 the mirror has been omitted but the hinge mounting holes 15 are shown.
Referring now to FIGS. 5 to 8 inclusive, the light fixture itself and the manner of its attachment to the cabinet are more clearly shown. The light fixture basically comprises an upper encasement 16 and a supporting member 17. A diffuser 18 is mounted in the upper encasement and the diffuser is shown separately in FIG. 7. It will be observed that the diffuser, which is of a white, translucent, medium-impact polystyrene plastic, comprises two plane portions at an angle to each other. The portion 18a is horizontally disposed and diffuses light downwardly, whereas the portion 18b is disposed at an angle and diffuses light downwardly and forwardly. The upper encasement 16 is best seen in perspective in FIG. 8 where it will be observed that it is open at the top and is provided with the flanges 19 which support the diffuser 18. Within the upper encasement there is mounted the fixture 20 for preferably two incandescent bulbs 21. An electrical convenience outlet may be provided at 22 (FIG. 5).
The supporting member 17 has at each end a channel configuration 23 and a bottom return flange 24. The return flange 23a of the channels 23 is provided with .a tab 25 which may be .bent in as shown in FIG. 6 to on the top of the front face frame 12. When the supporting member 17 is slid intoposition as above described, the tabs 25 will engage under the flange of the front face frame 12 to lock the fixture in position on the j cabinet. If desired, of course, the encasement 16 may be further secured to the wall by means of screws or toggle bolts. through holes provided through the rear flange at each end, but this is not necessary.
. Referring back to FIGS. 5 and 7, in the preferred embodiment the lower horizontal plane 18a of the diffuser is about 3 inches in width and the front plane is about 4 inches in width and is preferably disposed at an obtuse angle of about 117 with respect to the. surface 18a. The thickness of the diffuser may be about 0.070 inch and the outer surface of it is preferably ribbed as shown to increase the diffusion of the transmitted light.
Some variation in the angle of the two planes 18a and 18b is permissible; but for effective directional illumination, the angle should generally be from about 105 to about 135 and preferably it shouldbe between about 1 and about 125. While the diffuser element may be made from white translucent glass, it is preferred that it be made of a lightand heat-stabilized durable plastic such as mediumor high-impact polystyrene. Such a diffuser panel is sufficiently rigid, is easy it to install, and is less subject to breakage than glass.
. 12 to act as a stop and prevent the fixture from being removed. In FIG. 9 an alternative is shown wherein a tab 27 is formed in the rear flange 23a of the slidable sleeve at each end of the support member. This flange is then bent over against the adjacent side of the sleeve beneath the return flange 12 of the face frame to provide a secure interlock, as best seen in FlG..9a.
InFIG. 10 a construction is shown wherein three tabs 28 are formed along the lower edge of the rear panel of the fixture which tabs 28 may be bent underneath the return flange 12 of the face frame after the light fixture has been assembled to the cabinet.
In the wiring diagram of FIG. 11, the twin light socket is indicated at and the convenience outlet is indicated at 22. This type of wiring is conventional in fixtures of this kind.
It will be understood that the fixture of the present I invention may be provided separately from the cabinet .so that the purchaser can then determine whether he wants a right opening door or a left opening door, and the purchaser can then attach the fixture at either end of the cabinet. The fixture may of course be used with a recessed cabinet or with a surface-mounted cabinet. The fixture may also be sold separately to be attached to a cabinet whichis already mounted. If such a cabinet is recessed, it is only necessary to loosen the toggle bolts or screws which secure the cabinet to the wall sufficiently to permit the channels 23 to be telescoped over the front face frame 12 thereof, whereupon the toggle bolts or screws securing the cabinet to the wall may again be tightened.
The fixture shown hereinis advantageous in that it provides directional diffuse illumination both downwardly to the mirror and the lavatory (and if the door n is open, to the. cabinet interior) as well as outwardly and downwardly toward the person using the facility. The fact that the fixture is open at the top makes it easier to clean the diffuser and to replace bulbs and also permits ready, heat dissipation fromthe bulbs. Furthermore it permits some illumination upwardly toward the ceiling which light would be reflecteddownwardly.
As pointed out above, the demountable light fixture may be installed on a surface-mounted cabinet. In such case, however, the slidable attachment sleeves and the interlocking device must be slightly modified. Usually the surface-mounted type of wall cabinet has a front face frame but it also has a collar which completely encases the inner body so that the return flange of the face frame is not opened for engagement of the interlocking device. It is only necessary to extend the end panels of the fixture encasement and supportmemben to the rear of the cabinet so that the slidable sleeves fit over the front and rear vertical edges of the cabinet body. They may then be interlocked with the cabinet by means of downwardly extending tabs having hook edges which can engage and interlock with mating horizontal slots at the top rear of the cabinet body.
A typical example of the preferred embodiment of the invention employs twenty-three, gauge (0.0269 inch) killed cold rolled sheet steel for the cabinet body. Preferably the sheet steel for the light fixture parts is slightly heavier, such as 20 gauge cold rolled steel (0.0344 inch). The light fixture encasement and sup porting member are preferably assembled by spot weld ing the parts to form the structure shown in FIG. 5. The
electrical junction box inside the fixture is provided with a steel cover plate 29 secured with sheet metal screws to protect the wiring. Normally two Watt incandescent lamps are recommended for use in the fixture.
It will be understood that numerous modifications recessed cabinet body with a demountable top light fixture, said cabinet body having a front face frame with a rearwardly-turned flange integral with and extending along the entire periphery of said frame and adapted to contact the wall surface and having a hinged mirror door attached to one side of said face frame, said light fixture having an upper encasement including a diffuser panel for the light source and being adapted to be surface-mounted on the wall, and having lower slidable sleeve members having. return flanges adapted to engage said front face frame of the cabinet for attachment thereto and a return flange forming a partition wall for said upper encasement, said light fixture having an interlocking device adapted to secure said light fixture to said cabinet body, said interlocking device comprising at least one inwardly bent tab portion formed on one of said return flanges, said cabinet body being reversible, whereby the direction of said door opening may be reversed by inverting said cabinet and attaching and securing said demountable light fixture to the thus inverted uppermost portion of the face frame.
2. The combination as recited in claim 1, in which said interlocking device consists of an inwardly bent tab portion formed on the return flange of the slidable sleeve at each side of the fixture attachment member, adapted to engage beneath said rearwardly turned flange of said face frame when said slidable sleeves are ture to said cabinet body comprises an inwardly bent tab portion formed on said partition wall-formin return flange adapted to engage beneath said rearwardly turned flange of said face frame when said light fixture is to be attached to said cabinet.
4. The combination as recited in claim 1 in which said diffuser consists of a preformed panel of rigid, translucent sheet material disposed in two planes with their longitudinal axes parallel to the front of said cabinet, the first of said planes being adjacent said cabinet front and horizontal, to provide diffuse illumination directed downwardly toward said mirror and the horizontal surfaces below said cabinet, the second of said planes extending upwardly and ourwardly from said first plane at an obtuse angle thereto, to provide diffuse illumination directed outwardly and downwardly toward a person viewing himself in said mirror.
5. The combination as recited in claim 4, wherein said obtuse angle is between about and about