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Publication numberUS3781759 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 25, 1973
Filing dateAug 14, 1972
Priority dateAug 14, 1972
Publication numberUS 3781759 A, US 3781759A, US-A-3781759, US3781759 A, US3781759A
InventorsShelly N
Original AssigneeGulton Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fluorescent lamp receptacle
US 3781759 A
Abstract
A receptacle adapted to receive the end portions of fluorescent lamp units, and to support them in a mechanically as well as electrically snug relation in position of use. The unit includes a receptacle base portion, one or more slots disposed therein for receiving the pins extending axially from metal end cap portions of a conventional fluorescent lamp, resiliently positioned electrical terminals within the slots, means for positioning the end portion of the lamp against movement in all radial directions relative to the lamp axis, and axially movable locking means movable between at least one open position permitting movement of the lamp end cap portion into a desired position of registration within the receptacle, and at least one other position for partially surrounding the end portion of the lamp for locking the lamp against the positioning means. In use, the movable retainer is positioned axially beyond the end of a lamp end cap, and a lamp is inserted with the lamp pin aligned with the slot. The movable retainer is then urged axially inwardly with respect to the lamp to engage the end cap, to retain the lamp snugly in position of use. In preferred embodiments, the insertion of the lamp activates biasing means for biasing the locking means axially into the lamp-retaining position. Also, in a preferred embodiment, axial movement of the locking means in the direction axially away from the body of the lamp activates ejection means for positively urging the lamp in a radial direction with respect to the axis of the lamp outwardly of the receptacle. In use, the locking means, which snugly engages the end cap portion of the lamp may be held in position by a spring unit, by a detent associated with the receptacle or otherwise. Since the lamp is supported by the end cap, it is not adversely affected by vibration, particularly that present in buses, railborn vehicles, airplanes, and the like.
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United States Patent 11 1- Shelly, Jr.

[ Dec. 25, 1973 1 FLUORESCENT LAMP RECEPTACLE [75] Inventor: Newton L. Shelly, Jr., Denton, Tex.

[73] Assignee: Gulton Industries, Inc., Metuchen,

[22] Filed: Aug. 14, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 280,472

52 US. c1. 339/54, 339/45 T 51 1n1.c1....; non 13162 [i] Field of searcl n339750 56, 45, 33, 119, 176

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,221,402 11/1940 Kurtzon ..339/45T Primary ExaminerMarvin A. Champion Assistant ExaminerTerrell P. Lewis Attorney-Joseph P. OHalloran [57] ABSTRACT A receptacle adapted to receive the end portions of fluorescent lamp units, and to support them in a mechanically as well as electrically snug relation in position of use. The unit includes a receptacle base portion, one or more slots disposed therein for receiving the pins extending axially from metal end cap portions of a conventional fluorescent lamp, resiliently positioned electrical terminals within the slots, means for positioning the end portion of the lamp against movement in all radial directions relative to the lamp axis, and axially movable locking means movable between at least one open position permitting movement of the lamp end cap portion into a desired position of registration within the receptacle, and at least one other position for partially surrounding the end portion of the lamp for locking the lamp against the positioning means. In use, the movable retainer is positioned axially beyond the end of a lamp end cap, and a lamp is inserted with the lamp pin aligned with the slot. The movable retainer is then urged axially inwardly with respect to the lamp to engage the end cap, to retain the lamp snugly in position of use. In preferred embodiments, the insertion of the lamp activates biasing means for biasing the locking means axially into the lamp-retaining position. Also, in a preferred embodiment, axial movement of the locking means in the direction axially away from the body of the lamp activates ejection means for positively urging the lamp in a radial direction with respect to the axis of the lamp outwardly of the receptacle. In use, the locking means, which snugly engages the end cap portion of the lamp may be held in position by a spring unit, by a detent associated with the receptacle or otherwise. Since the lamp is supported by the end cap, it is not adversely affected by vibration, particularly that present in buses, railborn vehicles, airplanes, and the like.

8 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTEDUEC 25 4915 SHEET 1 BF 3 PATENTEI] DEC 25 I973 SHEET 2 BF 3 FLUORESCENT LAMP RECEPTACLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to lamp mountings and receptacles, and'more particularly, to arrange for mounting tubular fluorescent lamp units. At present, a generally standardized system of fluorescent tube mounting has been adopted and placed in commercial use on a wide scale. In a typical construction, a pair of oppositely facing, lamp-receiving receptacles are provided, one for each end of the cylinder of a cylindrical fluorescent lamp, with receptacle bodies being slotted so as to receive and retain contact pins projecting from the metal end cap portion of the tubes. The slots in the receptacle bodies are arranged so that the fluorescent tubes can be mounted in the receptacles which are placed in a predetermined position to receive the tube therebetween for insertion of the pins in theslots, and during insertion, the lamp is rotated about its axis and moved so as to reach a position in which the pins are regarded as locked within the receptacle. In this arrangement, the terminals within the receptacle are spring-urged into electrical contact with the pins extending from the ends of the fluorescent tubes, whereby the metal pins serve both as electrical conductors and as mechanical supports for the tubes. Once the tube is properly installed, such an arrangement has been generally regarded as convenient and feasible for the ordinary stationary-installation. While it is well known that, in comparison to incandescent lighting, fluorescent lighting provides greater design flexibility, improved esthetics, greater illumination for comparable cost, and produces less heat and longer life in usage, in addition to other advantages, not all possible applications of fluorescent light use have as yet been fully exploited.

As an example, fluorescent lighting of vehicle interiors has not yet reached a fully developed state. One reason for the initially slow development of fluorescent interior vehicle lighting was that it was difficult and expensive to provide the required alternating current energy source required by fluorescent lights, particularly in systems which would be available at low cost and which were compatible with vehicle engines and accessory systems operating at varying speeds in use. The advent of more sophisticated electronic devices, such as smaller and more economical inverters, for example, has done away with a principal objection to the use of fluorescent lights in transportation equipment. However, aside from the question of an available source of power, the requirements for light fixtures or receptacles for use in mobile vehicles have been much more severe than requirements for fixtures used to mount fluorescent lights in stationary installations.

This is because, for example, in mobile applications, the fluorescent lamp units are subjected to considerable vibration of greatly varying forces and frequencies from both interior and exterior sources, including irregular movement generated by the condition of the road bed or street, weather conditions in an airway, motor or compressor vibration, changes in vehicle speed and the like. Accordingly, attempts to use conventional fluorescent light mountings in such installations have often provided disadvantageous, normally because the fluorescent lamp, especially in large sizes, were not able to be satisfactorily supported within the receptacle merely by the metal pins extending from the end cap of the fluorescent tube, in mobile use conditions. Accordingly, there has been a recent need for an improved fluorescent tube mounting system, and particularly a system well adapted for use in mobile installations such as on rail and highway vehicles, aircraft and the like.

While it is well known that the problems arising from vibration are particularly acute with respect to interior lighting in mobile systems, it is also recognized that socalled stationary installations are likewise subjected to vibration such as motor vibration, and building vibration associated with nearby traffic, earthquake and the like. Moreover, many stationary installations are located in domestic, small commercial and small industrial environments in which the fluorescent tubes are likely to be replaced by inexperienced and unskilled individuals. In such an environment, it is not unlikely that the tube will not be properly rotated into the proper locked position, or will be rotated beyond the proper locked position with the result that shortly after it is installed, the tube will become either electrically or mechanically disengaged from the receptacle. it is not unlikely that in such environments, the fluorescent tubes will be substantially exposed, or whatever cover is available is left open for a few moments after relamping so that the installet can try it out, with the result that upon mechanical disengagement the tube will literally fall from the fixture. Those who have observed such a phenomenon will appreciate that this is an extremely undesirable aspect of such fluorescent tube receptacle systems because of the extreme safety hazard associated with the shattering of fluorescent tubes such as, for example, over work benches, over washing machines and tubs, over dry goods merchandise counters, and in food preparation areas, and the like.

In view of the shortcomings of prior art lamp mounting systems, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved lamp receptacle.

Another object is to provide a receptacle that is especially adapted to receive fluorescent light tubes therein.

The further object of the present invention is to provide a lamp mounting system which is less subject to damage by vibrations than prior art systems.

It is the further object of the present invention to provide a lamp mounting system wherein the fluorescent tubes are supported firmly in position of use by direct contact between a portion of the lamp receiving receptacle and the tubes or the end cap of the tube, rather than by the electrical pins.

It is the still further object of the present invention to provide a fluorescent lamp receptacle having means for repositioning the tube with respect to the receptacle in a desired position, and movable means adapted to engage the tube on another surface thereof for snugly locking the tube in place.

It is an object for important embodiment of the present invention to provide a receptacle having lamp locking means which are responsive to the insertion of the lamp in the receptacle whereby an installer need not be at either or both ends to lock and check the proper installation of the tube.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a fluorescent lamp receptacle system adapted to permit easy changing of lamps, while being reliable in use and able to be manipulated with a minimum of effort.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a fluorescent lamp receptacle having a biased detent associated with the locking system thereof to prevent loosening of the lamp, locked in the receptacle, under the influence of vibration.

Another object is to provide a lamp mounting receptacle which includes means for positioning the tube with respect to the receptacle and which includes a moveable locking assembly urged into the locked position thereof by resilient means.

A still further object of a preferred embodiment of the present invention is to provide a fluorescent lamp receptacle system which includes lamp ejection means, which ejection means provides for positive ejection of the tube outwardly with respect to the receptacle.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a lamp receptacle which includes a body portion having means therein for receiving one or more pins extending from the end cap of an associated fluorescent lamp, with an electrical contact for each pin resiliantly urged into position of contact with the pin, means for positioning one part of the end portion of the lamp in registry with the receptacle body, and axially movable locking means associated with the body for movement to a locked position for engaging another part of the end of the lamp, whereby the lamp is principally supported in a position of use by the locking and positioning element.

The above and other objects and advantages of the invention which will be apparent hereinafter are carried into practice by providing the lamp receptacle which includes a slotted body portion, electrical contacts disposed within the slots, means for aligning one part of the end portion of an associated lamp with a receptacle body, and movable means adapted to be placed in a position of support for an opposite part of the lamp receptacle at each respective end thereof, thereby securing the lamp in position of use by engagement with the sides of the end portions thereof while providing a path of electrical contact for pins formed in the lamp end.

In accordance with preferred embodiment of the present invention, the movable means referred to above are axially movable, and are preferably biased towards a locking position in response to the activation by the lamp being inserted, ofa biasing or trigger mechanism. Likewise, in accordance with the preferred embodiment of this invention, the objects are further achieved by the receptacle combination which includes cooperating lamp-ejection means responsive to the axial movement of the lamp-locking means to bring about positive ejection of the lamp from the receptacle.

The manner in which these objects and advantages are achieved will be more clearly apparent when reference is made to the accompanying description of the preferred embodiments of the invention set forth by way of example, and show-n in the drawings, wherein like reference numerals indicate corresponding parts 1 throughout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred receptacle of the present invention in which the position of an associated fluorescent tube is indicated by broken lines;

FIG. 2 is an end view of the receptacle shown in FIG. I as viewed from the direction of the installed associated fluorescent tube;

FIG. 3-is aside elevational view of the receptacle of FIG. 1, showing the relative position of key functional elements by dotted lines when the lamp is fully inserted;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the receptacle shown in FIGS. 1-3 in which the relative position of each functional element is indicated in broken lines when the lamp is in a partially removed position;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken approximately along the line 505 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another preferred embodiment of the present invention in which the operating position of the associated fluorescent lamp is indicated by the broken lines;

FIG. 7 is an end elevational view of the receptacle shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of the receptacle shown in FIGS. 6-7 showing the relative position of some elements when the fluorescent tube is fully inserted;

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view similar to that of FIG. 8 in which a locking element has been moved in an axial direction;

FIG. 10 is a side elevational view showing the relative position of key elements when the fluorescent tube is partially ejected;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 6 in the configuration which prevails when the lamp has been removed therefrom;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view taken approximately along the line 12-12 of FIG. 7;

. FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional fragmentary view showing a portion of a locking element when the receptacle is in the condition illustrated in FIG. 9; and

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional schematic view of the receptacle when the receptacle is in the condition illustrated in FIG. 10.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION Whereas it will be understood that the invention may be embodied in a number of different forms and may be adapted to various uses, several embodiments thereof will be described wherein the lamp to be received therein is in the form of a conventional cylindrical fluorescent tube having a metal end cap at each end having one or more electrical contact pins extending axially outwardly therefrom. One preferred embodiment is illustrated with the aid of FIGS. 1 through 5, inclusive, and another preferred embodiment is illustrated with the aid of FIGS. 6 through 14, inclusive.

Referring now to the drawings in greater detail, a lamp receptacle in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the present invention is generally indicated by the numeral 20, and a fluorescent tube associated therewith is generally indicated by the numeral 22. Lamp 22 includes a cylindrical glass body portion 24 and a metal end cap 26 having one or more pins 28 extending axially therefrom. For the sake of clarity and simplicity, only one end of lamp 22, and only one receptacle 20 is shown in connection with the embodiment illustrated in the figures, and it is to be understood that each end of lamp 22 may be substantially identical, and that a complete fixture may include two receptacle units 20 substantially identical to that illustrated, each of which may be positioned at opposite ends of lamp 22. The lamp receptacle generally designated by the numeral 20 is designed to be fixedly mounted to a wall or other fixed structure (not shown because conventional) and receives electrical energy through a pair of leads or conductors 30, 32. Leads 30, 32 are electrically connected to spring contacts 34, 36, respectively.

Receptacle comprises a body portion 38 and a pair of cooperating movable lamp positioning and retaining elements. One of these is flexible bell crank 40 pivotally mounted to pivot around axis point 42 and having an exposed arcuate lamp-engaging portion 44, and also includes relatively long biasing arm 46 and shorter biasing arm 48. Bell crank 40 is made from tough, firm, flexible and resilient plastic, so that upon flexing of any position thereof, it is biased to return to its original as-formed configuration.

Receptacle 20 also includes a second movable element generally indicated by the numeral 50 pivotally mounted in body portion 38 to pivot around a pair of pivot pins 52, 54. It is clear from the drawings that the imaginary pivot line drawn between pivot pins 52, 54 is axially within the end cap 26, and is also positioned axially inwardly of most of the lamp-retaining portion of the second pivotal element 50. Thus, retainer 50 extends between opposite sides of body portion 38 and comprises upwardly extending mounting ears 56,58 which engage pins 52, 54, and aplurality of axially extending projections 60, 62, 64 which originate from continuous back portion 66. Projections 60, 62, 64 are adapted to engage the side of end cap 26 and snugly retain end cap between themselves and exposed portion 44 of bell crank 40. Most of projections 60, 62, 64 reside axially outwardly of pins 52, 54, when lamp retaining element is in lamp-retaining position. This relationship is desirable inasmuch as it enhances the stability of the lamp-retaining configuration. Urging of the lamp in the radial direction in which the lamp would be removed only further urges the projections 60, 62, 64 axially inwardly to more securely retain the lamp.

Body portion 38 includes a housing portion generally referred to by the numeral 68 including a back wall 70, an arcuate cowling or side wall portion 72 and a face wall 74. A pair of slots 76, 78 extend acros a portion of face wall 74, and the electrical contacts 34, 36 are positioned to register with slots 76, 78, respectively.

The projections 60, 62, 64 in pivotal element 50 are spaced apart to provide bottomwardly widening slotted regions 80, 82 which register with slots 76, 78, respectively.

The structural relationships between the various elements of receptacle 20 will now be discussed in greater detail. For example, flexible bell crank 40 is, in the preferred illustrated embodiment, a complex unitary resilient bell crank in which exposed portion 44 can be regarded as a flexible lever arm at one side of pivot 42, and in which long arm 46, and a pair of shorter lever arms 48, 48, one disposed on either side of long lever arm 46, can be regarded as a pair of somewhat flexible and resilient lever arms on the other side of pivot 42. Shorter lever arms 48 are arranged to bear against rear wall 70, and longer lever arm 46 extends downwardly and, as shown in FIG. 5, bears against the back portion 66 of pivotal element 50, at an upwardly extending portion 84 thereof. It is noted that exposed portion 44 of bell crank element 40, cowling 72, and radially inwardly facing surfaces 86, 88, 90 of projections 60, 62, 64, respectively, define a substantially round region into which end cap 26 is snugly received. More specifically, end cap 26 is snugly received between portion 44 and surfaces 86, 88, and 90.

OPERATION OF FIRST PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The cooperation of the various elements during relamping is illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. During insertion of lamp 22, pins 28 enter slotted regions 80, 82 during the radially upward movement of lamp 22. In this description, and in the discussion hereinafter, reference to directions such as upwardly, downwardly, etc. will refer to the relative direction with respect to the structural element in the positions in which they are shown in the particular drawings, and it is not to be inferred that the receptacles of this invention must be operated in any one particular orientation with respect to the direction of force of gravity.

As each pin 28 passes upwardly through slotted regions 80, 82, it is thus guided toward a respective slot 76, 78 and upon the continued radially upward movement of lamp 22, pins 28 engage respective contacts 34, 36. It is noted that in order for the lamp 22 to pass upwardly to a position within receptacle 20, pivotal element 50 must be pivoted in that general axial direction, with respect to the axis of the tube, which is away from the tube. Pivoting of element 50 urges long lever arm 46 axially outwardly, and this in turn, pivots exposed portion 44 downwardly to the position illustrated in FIG. 4. Inasmuch as pivoting of relatively short lever arm 48 is obstructed due to the fact that it bears against rear wall 70, the relative movement of lever arms 44, 46 in a clockwise direction as shown in FIG. 4, with respect to relatively short lever arms 48, 48 causes these elements 44, 46 to become biased towards pivotal movement in the opposite direction. Due to the fact that lever arm 46 bears against pivotal element 50, pivotal element 50 is biased in the opposite direction also.

As lamp 22 proceeds upwardly to the point at which cap 26 first engages exposed portion 44 of lever'40, the biasing force being exerted by the flexing of lever 40, remains substantially constant. However, as lamp 22 is urged upwardly against closed portion 44, this causes further flexing of exposed portion 44 with the result that the biasing of lever 40 is increased. As soon as the end cap 26 clears above projecting portion 60, 62, 64, the combined biasing forces referred to immediately above are free to operate to urge pivotal element axially inwardly with respect to the axis of lamp 22 and this element is snapped into the position shown in FIGS. 3 and 5. In this position, therefore, lamp 22 is retained in the desired operating position shown in FIG. 3 by reason of the snug fit of end cap 26 between retaining elements 44, 60, 62, 64 engaging the side walls of end cap 26. Moreover, retainer 50 is biased or urged into the position shown in FIGS. 3 and 5 due to the resiliance of lever 40. Downwardly extending portion 86 of lamp retainer 50 is tapered so that it is moved axially away from the path of the lamp 22 as the lamp 22 is moved radially upwardly, as shown in FIG. 4.

Whenever relamping is necessary, the operator merely presses the downwardly extending portion 86 axially, that is, in the direction which is axially away from lamp 22 and this urging, by the person performing the relamping operation, increases the biasing or tension within bell crank 40 with the result that exposed portion 44 bears heavily downwardly against end cap 26. Again, as soon as the downwardly extending portion 86 clears end cap 26, the severe biasing of exposed portion 44 against end cap 26 causes the tube to be snapped downwardly out of the receptacle.

It will be appreciated upon a consideration of the foregoing description that the embodiment of the present invention described therein provides for positive support of th fluorescent lamp by secure engagement of the side walls of the end cap 26 thereof, and that this engagement is not affected by vibrational forces. Moreover, unless and until the lamp is completely and securely in place, the biasing effect of exposed portion 44 causes lamp 22 to be rejected instantly as soon as the installer begins to take his hands away from the lamp, thus preventing the most undesirable situation in which the lamp falls from the receptacle a few moments after the installer steps away. As a result of the automatic ejection feature, there is no question as to whether the lamp retainer 50 is in proper operating position.

The axially directed urging of the lower portion 86 of retainer 50, provides some biasing in lever 40 as a consequence of the radially directed insertion of lamp 22 into receptacle 20, and the lamp ejection bias is generated, as a result of the bearing of end cap 26 against the exposed portion 44 of crank lever 43. Unless projections 60, 62, 64 are snapped into lamp retaining position, and they will do so automatically if lamp 22 is moved into proper position as shown in FIG. 3, lamp 22 is instantly popped back out of what would appear to be an installed position, upon release of pressure by the installer. Thus, there is no question in the mind of the installer as to whether the lamp is secure or not.

SECOND PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A second preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated with the aid of FIGS. 6-14. A second embodiment in accordance with the present invention is illustrated by the receptacle generally indicated by the numeral 90. Receptacle 90 is fixedly supported on a wall or other structure (not shown because conventional) and adapted for receiving electrical energy through wires 91, 92 which are electrically connected to electrical contacts 94, 95, respectively. Receptacle 90 is similar to receptacle 20, inasmuch as receptacle 90 comprises a relatively fixed body portion, and a pair of cooperating movable elements. Thus, receptacle 90 includes body portion 96, which comprises a back wall 98, side walls 100, face wall 102 and bottom wall 104. Thus, portions of electrical leads 91, 92 and respective electrical contact 94, 95 are positioned within body portion 96. Face wall 102 has a pair of slots 106, 108 extending therethrough, and electrical contacts, 94, 95, respectively, are positioned immediately behind and in register with respective slots 106, 108. Also enclosed within body portion 96 is a pivotal biasing element 110, which is supported at either end thereof, in sockets 112, 112, in opposite side walls 100 for pivoting around pivot sockets 112, 112. Biasing element 110 is biased by means of spring 114, whereby biasing element 110 is biased to pivot clockwise as viewed in FIG. 13, or downwardly in the direction against the bottom-of wall 104, inthe position illustrated in FIG. 6. One end 116 of spring 114 is secured to a radially extending U- shaped arm number 120. That portion of spring 114 intermediate ends 116,118 is wound many times around biasing element 110.

Body portion 96, and specifically face wall 102, in-

eludes recessed track grooves means 124 in the general configuration of an elongated groove for retaining first lamp-positioning element 126, and opening 128, which is adapted to receive an axially movable element generally indicated by the numeral 130.

Lamp-positioning element 126 is radially movable within track 124, and the means for securing element 126 in position in track 124 are shown in FIG. 12. In the cross-sectional view of FIG. 12 it is better appreciated that radially movable lamp positioning element 126 comprises an arcuate axially extending end cap engaging portion 132 which is fixed with respect to traveller element 134. In the consideration of FIG. 12, it will be appreciated further that traveller 134 includes a facing element 136, the surface of which is substantially flush with the surface of face wall 102, an inwardly extending detent portion 136 comprises a relatively narrow portion 140, which runs along and immediately adjacent to face portion 136 and passes through a slot 142 at the bottom of groove 124, and also includes a relatively thicker detent portion 144, which is too thick to permit traveller 134 to be removed axially from slot 142. Compression spring 146 bears against outer wall and thickened portion 144, and is retained within a recess 148, in which thickened portion 144 also moves, and spring 146 biases radially movable element 126 in a generally downward direction, as viewed in the figures. Inner detent element 138 extends the entire length of face element 136 of traveller 134.

In FIG. 7 vertical lamp positioning element 126 is shown in solid line in the position in which rests when a lamp 22 is installed and this is the position of this element 126 shown in FIGS. 6, 8 and 12. A moved position of lamp positioner 126 is shown in broken line in FIG. 7, and this is the position shown in FIG. 7 and 11, and 14, traveller 134 serves as a detent means to keep the axially movable element in the retracted position shown in the side view of FIG. 14.

Axially movable element 130 comprises a central bridging portion 150 and right and left axially extending hollow'lamp-retaining projections 152, 154. Thus axially extending lamp-retainers 152, 154 are fixed with respect to bridging portion 150, and, preferably, axially movable element 130 is retracted into body portion 96 and is moved axially outwardly from body portion 96 as a unit. Axially extending projections 152, 154 have an inner recess 156 formed therein, which recess 156 has a smoothly curving inwardly facing surface 158 (see FIG. 13). Each of the U-shaped arms 120, 122 on biasing element 110 extend into respective recesses 156, 156 and, in the position shown in FIG. 14, bear downwardly against respective smoothly curving surfaces 158, 158. As indicated above, biasing element 110 is biased to rotate in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 13, so that, as will be appreciated from a consideration of FIG. 13, biasing element 110 urges axially movable lamp-retainer 130 towards the axially extended position illustrated in FIG. 13.

The movable element 130 includes upper stops 160, 160 and lower stops 162, 162 which limit the extension of axially movable element 130. Lower stops 162, 162 move axially within axially extending slots 164, 164 in bottom wall 104. At the axially inwardly extreme of lamp-retainers 152, 154 are unlocking face elements 166, 168, respectively. Unlocking face elements 166, 168 each include an axially extending cam 170, 170 having an upwardly tapering end cam surface 172 (FIG. 13). Cams 170, 170 pass through respective notched portion 176 of axially movable element 130.,

As shown in FIG. 12 biasing elements 120, 120 reside in respective notches 176, 176 when axially movable element 130 is positioned at an extreme extended configuration. It will be appreciated from a consideration of FIG. 11 that unlocking face elements 166, 168 are radially spaced apart from the side of end cap 26, so that axial urging of lamp-retainers 152, 154 or of bridging portion 150 by lamp 22 does not act upon face elements 166, 168 and lamp retainers 130 remains locked in extended position due to the fact that biasing elements 120, 120 are detained in respective notches 176, 176. Cam 170 is long enough to permit unlocking element 166, 16810 be axially spaced apart from the opposite surfaces of lamp-retainers 152, 154 when element 130 is in operating configuration of FIG. 8. Thus, upon movement, by the person relamping receptacle 90, of unlocking element 166, axially outwardly from lamp 22 from the position of element 166 shown in FIG. 8, FIG. 12 to the configuration shown in FIG. 9 and in FIG. 13, cam surfaces 172, 172 engage locking and biasing elements 120, 120 and move elements 120, 120 upwardly whereby element 120, 120 rests on the smoothly curving surfaces 158, 158 within recess 156, 156. Continued axially outward pressure by the person relamping receptacle 90 then urges extended lampretaining element 152, 154 and consequently the entire axially movable element 130 in an axially outward direction with the simultaneous, cooperating pivoting of biasing elements 120, 120 upwardly along surfaces 158, 158 to the configuration illustrated in FIG. 14, in which axially movable lamp-retaining element 130 is completely retracted within body portion 96. In this position, bridging portion 150 of axially movable element 130 (See FIG. 6) is located axially outwardly of downwardly biased traveller 134, and spring 146 urges traveller I34 downwardly, and axially inwardly of bridging portion 150, thus detaining axially movable lampretainer 130 in its retracted configuration as shown in FIG. l4.'The downward movement of traveller 134 is accompanied by the downward movement of arcuate lamp positioning element 132 which forces lamp 22 radially out of operating position as shown in FIG. 10.

RELAMPING OF SECOND PREFERRED EMBODIMENT As indicated above, the relamping procedure is begun with the receptacle 96 in the configuration shown in FIGS. 6 and 8 in which a lamp 22 is held in operating position between arcuate retainer 132 and the axially extending lamp-retainers 152, 154 on axially movable element 130. The re-lamping procedure begins with the pressing of unlocking face element 166, 168 to move biasing and locking element 120, 120 upwardly to the position shown in FIGS. 9 and 13. It should be noted that due to the integral construction of biasing element 110, pressing either one of the face elements 166, 168 causes both U-shaped portions 120, 120 to move into the unlocked" position shown in FIG. 13. Continued pressure by the operator against face element 166, 168 in the axially outward direction indicated by the arrow at the lower right of FIG. 13 urges movable element 130 to a retracted position within body 96 and causes biasing element 120 to pivot 10 upwards. The final resting configuration is shown in FIG. 10 and FIG. 14, in which, as explained hereinbefore, the radially travelling first element 126has snapped radially downwardly instantly ejecting lamp 22 to a position against the hand of the person relamping the receptacle.

Upon ejection of lamp 22 from receptacle 96, axially movable element 130 is locked in its retracted configuration as shown in FIG. 14 and arcuate lamppositioning element 132 is biased into the configuration shown in FIGS. l0, l1 and 14, that is, at a position approximately half-way down face wall 102.

In order to install a new lamp into the fixture, a lamp is moved upwardly with its end cap axially within end face 102, whereby its pins 28, 28 are permitted to pass on either side of face element 136 of traveller 134. It is noted that bridging portion 150 is retracted deeply within body portion 96 so that pins 28, 28 can pass radially along a line which is axially inwardly of bridging portion 150. (See FIG. 1 1) Continued radial movement of lamp 22 upwardly brings end cap 26 against arcuate positioning element 126. Further continued movement of lamp 22 past that point, therefore, urges travelling element 134 upwardly against the downward bias of spring 146. Pins 28, 28 engage respective contacts 94, 95. As soon as traveller 134, and more particularly, lower portions of traveller-retaining element 140, 144 pass upwardly above bridging portion 150, biasing element snaps axially movable lamp-retaining element into the operating configuration shown in FIGS. 6, 8 and 12. If the person relamping the receptacle should stop the upward axial movement of lamp 22 prior to that point at which axially movable lampretaining element 130 snaps into place, the biasing effect of the spring 146 instantly ejects the lamp back into the hands of the installer. The result is that there is no possibility of the lamp remaining in what would appear to be operating position unless it is securely locked in place by axially movable lamp-retaining element 130.

Thus, the receptacle 90 is quite similar to the receptacle 20 with respect to operation and cooperation of the various elements. Thus, each embodiment 22, 90, includes lamp-retaining means 50, 130 which are axially movable and engage side walls of lamp structures 26 rather than lamp pins 28, 28. Hence, in embodiments 20, 90, electrical contacts 34, 36 and 94, 95, provide only electrical connection with the lamp 22, and provide substantially no support for lamp 22. Each of the embodiments 20, 90 also include radially movable elements 44, l26 which are encountered by the lamp during insertion of the lamp in the receptacle 20, 90, andwhose continued movement activates respective biasing means for axially urging lamp-retaining elements into lamp-locking position.

Likewise, each of the embodiments indicated by the numerals 20, 90 includes biasing means which maintain lamp-retaining elements in lamp-retaining position, with the result that these embodiments will not permit the lamp 22 to be moved to a non-supported position as a result of vibration, or other normally encountered movement of such as that movement associated with the movement of vehicles such as buses, trains, aircraft, and the like.

I claim:

1. A lamp receptacle unit comprising, in combination: a receptacle body having means therein for receiving at least 1 pin extending from the end cap portion of an associated lamp unit, at least one electrical contact for each pin so received; means resiliantly urging said contact into a position of electrical engagement with that pin; means for positioning a portion of said lamp in a desirable position of registry within the receptacle, and for receiving and engaging a portion of the sidewall of the end portion of said lamp radially within a portion of said receptacle; pivotal axially movable locking means for engaging another sidewall portion of said end of said lamp generally opposite the portion thereof engaged by said positioning means, said locking means being arranged for axial movement between at least first and second positions; said first position of said locking means permitting removal and replacement of said lamp, and said second position-of said locking means being a position of support for said end portion of said associated lamp, and pivot means for pivotally mounting said locking means, in which said pivot means is positioned to provide a pivot axis which is located in a radial plane with respect to the axis of the lamp, and which pivot axis is situated within said associated lamp element, when the lamp is in said desired position of registry.

2. A lamp receptacle unit comprising, in combination: a receptacle body having means therein for receiving at least one pin extending from the end cap portion of an associated lamp unit; at least one electrical contact for each pin so received; means resiliantly urging said contact into a position of electrical engagement with said pin; positioning means for positioning an end portion of said lamp in a desired position of registry with said receptacle, said positioning means including means for engaging a portion of the side of end portion of said lamp, and pivotal axially movable locking means for engaging another portion of. said lamp and generally opposite the portion thereof engaged by said positioning means, said locking means being axially movable with respect to said lamp between first and second positions, said first position of said locking means permitting removal and replacement of said lamp and, said second position of said locking means being a position of support for said end portion of said associated lamp; ejection means responsive to the axial movement of said locking means from said second position to said first position for positively urging said associated lamp laterally outwardly of said desired position of registry with the receptacle, and pivot means for pivotally mounting said locking means, in which said pivot means is positioned to provide a pivot axis which is located in a radial plane with respect to the axis of the lamp, and which pivot axis is situated within said associated lamp element, when the lamp is in said desired position of registry.

3. A lamp receptacle unit comprising in combination: a receptacle body having means therein for receiving at least one pin extending from the end cap portion of an association lamp unit; at least one electrical contact for each pin so received; means resiliently urging said contact into a position of electrical engagement with said pin; positioning means for positioning an end portion of said lamp in a desired position of registry with said receptacle, said positioning means being movable in a radial direction, with respect to said lamp, and being positioned to engage a side portion of an end portion of said lamp during the radial movement of said lamp into said receptacle; pivotal axially movable lamp-detaining means adapted for engaging another portion of the side of said end portion of said lamp, said another portion being generally opposite the portion thereof engaged by said positioning means, said lampdetaining means being axially movable with respect to said lamp between first and second positions, said first position permitting removal and replacement of said lamp and, said second position being a position of support for said end portion of said associated lamp; means responsive to the radial movement of said positioning means during the insertion of said lamp for urging said lamp-detaining means in an axial direction from said first to said second position; ejection means responsive to the axial movement of said lamp-detaining means from said second position to said first position for positively urging said associated lamp laterally outwardly of said desired position of registry within the receptacle; and pivot means for pivotally mounting said lampdetaining means, in which said pivot means is positioned to provide a pivot axis which is located in a radial plane with respect to the axis of the lamp, and which pivot axis is situated within said associated lamp element, when the lamp-is in said desired position of registry.

4. A lamp receptacle unit comprising, in combination: a receptacle body having means therein for receiving at least one pin extending from an end cap portion of an associated elongated lamp unit having an elongated axis, at least one electrical contact for each pin so received; means resiliently urging said contact into a position of electrical engagement with that pin; an axially movable lamp-retaining pivotal element adapted for engaging a portion of the side of an end cap of said lamp; flexible resilient'bell crank lever means having a first lever arm thereof positioned to encounter the side portion of an end cap of said associated lamp as said lamp is moved into a desired position of registry with said receptacle, said bell crank lever means including a second lever arm engaging said axially movable lamp-retaining pivotal element for urging said pivotal element axially in a direction toward said associated lamp when said lamp is in a desired position of registry with said receptacle; and pivot means for pivotally mounting said lamp-retaining means, and in which said pivot means is positioned to provide a pivot axis which is located in a radial plane in respect to the axis of the lamp, and which pivot axis is situated within said associated lamp element, when the lamp is in said desired position of registry.

5. The receptacle of claim 4 wherein said bell crank lever means is pivotally mounted on a second pivot axis positioned in a second plane which is radial with respect to the axis of the lamp and is positioned axially outwardly of the lamp end.

6. A lamp receptacle unit comprised of, in combination, a receptacle body having means therein for receiving at least one pin extending from the end cap portion of an associated lamp unit, at least one electrical contact for each pin so received; means resiliently urging said contact into a position of engagement with said pin; means for positioning a portion of said lamp in a desired position of registry with the receptacle, and for receiving the end portion of said lamp radially within said receptacle; pivotal axially movable locking means for engaging another portion of said end of said lamp generally opposite to the portion thereof engaged by said positioning means; pivotal mounting means for pivotally supporting said locking means, said pivotal mounting means being positioned to provide a pivot line around which said locking means pivot, which pivot line is positioned in a radial plane with respect to the axis of said associated lamp, which plane is located axially within the end of said associated lamp.

7. A lamp receptacle unit comprising, in combina- -tion: a receptacle body having means therein for receiving at least one pin extending from the end cap portion of an associated lamp unit, at least one electrical contact for each pin so received; means resiliently urging said contact into a position of electrical engagement with that pin; means for positioning an end portion of said lamp in a desirable position of registry within the receptacle, and for receiving the end portion of said lamp radially within a portion of said receptacle; radially movable traveller means and means for movably mounting said traveller means for engaging a first side portion of said lamp during insertion of the lamp in a first radial direction at a point spaced-apart from the desired operating position; first biasing means for urging said traveller means in a direction opposite said first radial direction; lamp-retaining means adapted to engage a second side portion of an end portion of said lamp, means for moving said lamp-retaining means in an axial direction, said lamp-retaining means being retractable within a body portion of said receptacle; second biasing means for biasing said lamp-retaining means for movement axially in the direction of the lamp to an axially extended position; said lampretaining means being positioned to engage and stop said traveller means when said lamp-engaging means is in said axially extended position, and said traveller means including means for moving said traveller along a path which passes across the path of movement of a portion of said lamp-retaining means to engage and stop the axial movement of said lamp-retaining means when said lamp-retaining means is retracted within said body portion.

8. A lamp receptacle unit comprising, in combination: a receptacle body having means therein for receiving at least one pin extending from the end cap portion of the associated lamp unit, at least one electrical contact for each pin so received, means resiliantly urging contact into a position of engagement with that pin; means for positioning a portion of said lamp in a desirable position of registry within the receptacle, and for receiving the end portion of said lamp radially within a portion of said receptacle; pivotal axially movable locking means for engaging another portion of said end of said lamp generally opposite that portion thereof engaged by said positioning means, biasing means for biasing said axially movable locking means into a position of support for said end portion of said associated lamp, and pivot means for pivotally mounting said locking means, in which said pivot means is positioned to provide a pivot axis which is located in a radial plane with respect to the axis of the lamp, and which pivot axis is situated within saidv associated lamp element,

when the lamp is in said desired position of registry.

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Referenced by
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US4713019 *Sep 17, 1986Dec 15, 1987Edwin GaynorSockets for compact fluorescent lamps
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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/232, 439/152
International ClassificationH01R33/08
Cooperative ClassificationH01R33/0836
European ClassificationH01R33/08H
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 25, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: GULTON INDUSTRIES, INC.
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:MARINE MIDLAND BANK, N.A., AS AGENT;REEL/FRAME:005041/0020
Effective date: 19880223
Sep 1, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: MARINE MIDLAND BANK, AS AGENT
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GULTON INDUSTRIES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004761/0969
Effective date: 19870416