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Publication numberUS3867626 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 18, 1975
Filing dateOct 5, 1973
Priority dateOct 5, 1973
Publication numberUS 3867626 A, US 3867626A, US-A-3867626, US3867626 A, US3867626A
InventorsBertram A Wilson
Original AssigneeBertram A Wilson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Soffit lighting unit
US 3867626 A
Abstract
A soffit unit for installation over a previously mounted light in which the entire unit is supported by end caps or pans fixed to the wall.
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O Unlted States Patent 1191 I 1111 3,867,626 Wilson 1451 Feb. 18, 1975 SOFFIT LIGHTING UNIT 2,708,711 5/1955 M cGinty et al. 240/2 BV 1 1 Inventor: Bertram Wilson, 507 Seminole 51 ,231??? 1111322 3121????111311 33 23/15 5% Em, 16505 3,077,536 2/1963 Gamett 240/73 R 0 5, 3,319,060 Bfll'tlCl R [21] Appl' Primary Examiner--Richard L. Moses Attorney, Agent, or FirmRalph Hammar [52] US. Cl. 240/73 R, 240/1 R, 240/51.11 R [51] Int. Cl F215 1/02 [58] Field of Search 240/5L1l R, 52 R, 1 R, [57] ABSTRACT 240/2 73 73 2 EV A soffit unit for installation over a previously mounted [56] References Cited lifhtairps \ggiecdhttohehinggen unit is supported by end caps UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 p 2,569,518 10/1951 Deutsch et a]. 240/73 R 10 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures FIG/2 FIG. 13 FIG. 14

SOFFI'I LIGHTING UNIT This invention is a soffit lighting unit which may be installed after the installation and wiring of the electric lighting source and after the painters, plumbers, carpenters and other building trades have finished. The installation is independent of the lighting fixture and accommodates the variations in dimensions usual to the building industry. The installation gives a custom fit from a minimum number of stock sizes.

In the drawing,

FIG. I is a front view of an installation in which a pre-' ferred form of soffit unit is installed;

FIG. 2 is an end view of the FIG. 1 installation;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic exploded perspective of the parts of the unit;

FIG. 4 is an elevation of a unit with the front panel removed using incandescent lights and showing the ranges of adjustment of overall width of the unit;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 using fluorescent lighting units;

FIG. 6 is a perspective showing the first stage of installation;

FIG. 7 is a perspective showing the first step of the installation of the front panel;

FIG. 8 is a perspective of the unit after installation of the front panel;

FIG. 9 is an end view of one form of front panel;

FIG. 10 is a view of one of the end caps with the front panel an a light diffusing panel installed;

FIG. 11 is a perspective of a unit with another form of front panel;

FIG. 12 is an end view of a connector cap;

FIG. 13 is a section on line l3l3 of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is an elevation ofthe back end of the connector cap; and

FIG. 15 is a section through another front panel.

The soffit unit is shown in connection with an installation having a vanity 1, a wall mirror 2, a fluorescent lighting fixture 3. The installation may also have wall cabinets 4, 5 diagrammatically shown in dotted lines. Before the soffit unit is installed, all of the foregoing can have been installed and any necessary painting or finish completed.

The parts of the soffit unit as shown in FIG. 3 consist of left and right end caps 6, 7, a front panel 8, a light diffusing panel 9 and a rear angle track 10 for supporting the light diffusing panel 9.

The end caps or pans are mirror'images of each other made of decorative plastic. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, each end pan has an end wall 12 surrounded by front, back, top and bottom peripheral side flanges l3, l4, l5, l6 outstanding from corresponding edges of the end wall 12. The visible surfaces of the ends caps may be treated or shaped to provide any desired decorative effect. The end caps are installed by screw fasteners 17a, 17b fastening the back flanges 14 to the supporting wall 18. These constitute the entire support for the soffit unit. Screw 17a is preferably fastened as close as possible to the upper rear corner between the flanges l4, l5. Screw 17b is fastened close to the front of the corner between flanges l4 and 16. A washer 170, under the head of screw 17b clamps the rear angle support 10 to the wall 18. The installation is not limited to vertical walls such as 18. In some cases it may be necessary to support the end caps from a ceiling in which case the screws will fasten the top flange 15 to the ceiling. By

PAGE 2 means of a suitable templates, holes for the fasteners may be drilled so the end caps 6, 7 are flush with the adjacent surfaces 19, 20 of the wall cabinets 4, 5, or with any other wall surface in case the wall cabinets are not present. Installation of the end caps flush with the surfaces 19, 20 gives a custom fit which improves the appearance of the installation. The spacing between the surfaces 19, 20 is subject to the variations usual in building construction and the flush installation of the end caps 6, 7 conceals these variations.

The front panel 8 is a light weight strip ofopaque material such as sheet aluminum painted or papered with a harmonizing or decorative color and having its ends telescoped into the end caps 6, 7. As shown in FIG. 9 the upper and lower edges of the panel 8 have rearwardly extending flanges 21 and 22 each terminating in' a rolled over reinforcing edge, 21a, 22a and having adjaacent the back surface of the panel and a hollow rib 21b, 22b. As shown in FIG. 10, lower edge 22 of the panel 8 rests on the bottom flange 16 of each end cap and is seated in a shallow roove 161 and the upper edge 21 of the panel is located between the front flange 13 of each end cap and a rib 23 behind the flange. The rib 23 is preferably integral with top flange 15 and end wall 12 and is therefore easily molded.

' The front panel 8 is easily installed after the installation of the end caps 6, 7 by first inserting the lower edge 22 through notches 23a in top flanges I5 as shown in FIG. 7. After the front panel has been completely lowered through the notches 230, it is then swung to the upright position with the upper edges 21 seated between the ribs 23 and the rear faces of flanges I3 and the lower edges 22 seated in grooves 16a in bottom flanges 16, as shown in FIG. 10.

The light diffusing panel 9 may now be inserted with the back edge of the panel resting on flange 24 of angle 10 and the ends of the panel resting on the upper surfaces of bottom flanges 16 of the end caps. The end caps have stops 25 which limit the insertion of the panel 9. The greater portion of the width of the bottom flanges in front of the stops 25 is available for accommodating variations in the spacing of the end caps 6, 7.

In a commerical form of the invention, the track 10 and panels 8, 9 are cut in standard sizes with a difference of 3 inches in length between sizes. The bottom flanges 16 of the end caps permit a variation of plus or.

minus 1% inches or a total of 3 inches in the overall spacing between the end caps 6, 7. This means, referring to FIG. 1, that a custom fit can be secured between surfaces 19, 20 by merely selecting from a precut standard size.

The range of adjustment of the end panels is shown pictorially in FIGS. 4 and 5. In these figures the end pans are shown in full line the closest spacing in which the ends of the furniture 8, 9 and 10 have the greatest depth of telescoping into the end pans. In dotted lines the end pan 7 is shown at its greatest spacing from the end pan 6 and in this position the furniture 8, 9 and 10 would have its minimum depth of telescoping into the end pans. In all depths of telescoping of the end pans in the range from minimum to' maximum, the front panel 8 is adequately supported and the ends of the furniture are covered or enclosed. FIGS. 4 and 5 also show adaptation of the soffit light to incandescent (FIG. 4) and fluorescent (FIG. 5) lighting fixtures. These lighting fixtures are installed and wired before the installation of the soffit light. The lighting fixtures are shown centered between the end pans in the position of minimum separation and obviously would be centered with respect to the end pans in the position of maximum separation. The centering of the lighting fixtures is not critical but would be the normal installation.

There are many possible variations of the front panel 8 to comply with decorative wishes. The sheet metal panel shown in FIG. 9 may be surfaced with any desired color or material, e.g. paint. wall paper. imitation wood treatment, etc.

In FIGS. 10 and 11 the metal panel 8 has been perforated with a desired design and in back of the panel is a translucent sheet 26 of plastic. The sheet 26 is assembled into the panel 8 in the space between the back surface ofthe panel and the ribs 21b, 22b prior to installation of'the assembly in the end caps 6.7.

The light diffusing panel 9 may be any of the commonly available panels such as translucent plastic. egg crate louvers or other panels which have the function of transmitting light while cutting off direct view of the light source. Lightweight panels are preferred because a large portion of the weight of the panels is carried by the end pans 6, 7 and heavy light diffusing panels would require heavier construction of the end pans. In the construction using plastic end pans and a sheet aluminum front panel the weight of the soffit unit can be less than a pound and one half per linear foot.

For soffit units of length greater than 8 ft. joiner caps shown in FIGS. l2. l3 and 14 are desirable. These caps have a center wall 28 with weight reducing openings 28a, 28b. 28c and outside dimensions corresponding to the end walls 12 of the caps 6, 7. The top and bottom edge of the wall 28 is integral with oppositely facing top and bottom flanges 29. 30, 31, 32. The top flanges 29. 30 are in alignment with the top flanges and the bottom flanges 31. 32 are in alignment with the bottom flanges 16 of the end caps 6, 7. The front ends of the top and bottom flanges are connected by a front flange 33 which is in alignment with the front flanges 13. The rear ends of the top and bottom flanges are connected by oppositely facing flanges 35. 36. each of which has an upper flat section 37 to be secured to the wall 18 by screws received in slots 38 and a lower flat section 39 to be secured to the wall 18 by screws received in slots 40.

Between the upper and lower sections 37 and 39 the flanges 35 and 36 each have an offset section 41 which when installed fits over the lighting fixture with the required clearance. The structure for holding ends of the front panels is the same as the structure in caps 6 and 7 and comprises ribs 42, 43 integral with the center wall 28 and with the top flanges 29. and grooves 44, 45 in the bottom flanges 44, 45. The ribs 43 are in alignment with the ribs 23 of endcaps 6. 7 and the grooves 44. 45 are in alignment with the grooves 16a in the end caps 6, 7.

in installation, one or more of the joiner caps is mounted on the wall 18 in alignment with the end caps 6. 7 and on spacing between adjacent caps within the range of adjustment for one of the standard sizes. The offset section 41 clears the previously mounted lighting fixture 3. By using a plurality of joiner caps. the soffit unit may extend the full length of a wall.

In FIG. 15 the front panel comprises a sheet 47 of hardboard with design perforations and a sheet 48 of translucent plastic behind the sheet 47. Aluminum extrusions 49 have grooves 50 receiving the upper and lower edges of the sheets 47, 48.

The edges ofthe sheets have a press fit in the grooves and the grip is increased by serration 51. The extrusions have flanges 52 which fits in grooves [611. 44 and between front flanges 13. 33 and ribs 23, 42. 43 in the end and joiner caps. The installation is the same as with the front panel 8. The FIG. 15 front panel is intended for heavier materials such as plywood, hardboard. etc. which may be required for some decorative effects.

What is claimed is:

1. An adjsutable soffit lighting unit housing for a lighting fixture which has been previously mounted adjacent a wall comprising laterally spaced right and left generally rectangular end caps each with an end wall and front. back. top and bottom peripheral size flanges outstanding from corresponding edges of the end wall. means for mounting each cap by one of its flanges with the end walls of the caps outstanding from said wall and the flanges of said caps spaced from and extending toward each other. and panel means cooperating with said caps for blocking direct view of the light source from said lighting fixture and providing illumination below said light source, said panel means bridging the space between said caps and having ends extending within and concealed and supported by said caps throughout a range of widths of spacing of the caps so the caps may be positioned toward and away from each other in any desired fraction from 0 to I00 percent of said range while still supporting said panel means and said panel means may be made in standard lengths and be installed to give the appearance of a custom fit.

2. The unit of claim 1 in which said panel means in cludes a generally rectangular front panel and the upper edge of the front panel are confined between the front flanges ofthe end caps and ribs behind said front flanges and outstanding from said end walls and from the under surfaces of the top flanges.

3. The unit of claim 2 in which the lower edge of the front panel is confined in a groove in the bottom flange behind said front flange.

4. The unit of claim 2 in which said upper edge of the front panel comprises a first longitudinal flange extending rearwardly from the front of the panel.

5. The unit of claim 2 in which the lower edge of the front panel comprises a second longitudinal flange extending rearwrdly from the front of the panel.

6. The unit of claim 5 in which said panel means includes a generally rectangular light diffusing panel with a front edge resting on said second longitudinal flange.

7. The unit of claim 1 in which said panel means includes a generally rectangular front panel with upper and lower edges comprising rearwardly extending first and second longitudinal flanges. said flanges having reentrant hollow longitudinal ribs behind the rear face ofsaid front panel.

8. The unit of claim 2 in which said top flanges have nothces behind said ribs through which the ends of the front panel may be lowered prior to moving the upper edges of the front panel into position between said front flanges and said ribs.

9. The unit of claim 6 in which said panel means includes a back angle with one side resting on said bottom flange and extending in supporting relation beneath the rear edge of said light diffusing panel.

10. The unit of claim 1 in which a plurality of sets of panel means extend end to end between said end caps 6 ends of the back flanges of the connector cap being in alignment with the corresponding flanges of the end caps, means for fastening the upper and lower ends of the back flanges to said wall, and the central portion of said back flange of the connector cap being offset outwardly from said wall to clear said lighting fixture.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No, 3,867 ,626 Dated February 18, 1975 Inventor(s) Bertram WllSOn It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In the grant (ONLY) cancel columns 1 and 2, bearing "Patent No. 3,867,625" and insert columns 1 and 2 bearing Patent No. 3,867,626 as part of Letters Patent.

Signed and Scaled this sixteenth D ay Of December 19 75 [SEAL] AIICSI.

RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Altesting Officer Commissioner ofPatents and Trademarks FORM PO-IOSO (10-69) USCOMM-DC 6037 G-PGQ 1 SOFFIT uonrmc UNIT This invention is a soffit lighting unit which may be installed after the installation and wiring of the electric lighting source and after the painters, plumbers, carpenters and other building trades have finished. The installation is independent of the lighting fixture and accommodates the variations in dimensions usual to the building industry. The installation gives a custom fit from a minimum number of stock sizes.

In the drawing,

FIG. 1 is a front view of an installation in which a pre-' ferred form of soffit unit is installed;

FIG. 2 is an end view of the FIG. 1 installation;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic exploded perspective of the parts of the unit;

FIG. 4 is an elevation of a unit with the front panel removed using incandescent lights and showing the ranges of adjustment of overall width of the unit;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 using fluorescent lighting units;

FIG. 6 is a perspective showing the first stage of installation;

FIG. 7 is a perspective showing the first stepof the installation of the front panel;

FIG. 8 is a perspective of the unit after installation of the front panel;

FIG. 9 is an end view of one form of front panel;

FIG. 10 is a view of one of the end caps with the front panel an a light diffusing panel installed;

FIG. 11 is a perspective of a unit with another form of front panel;

FIG. 12 is an end view of a connector cap;

FIG. 13 is a section on line l3 13 of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is an elevation of the back end of the connector cap; and

FIG. 15 is a section through another front panel.

The soffit unit is shown in connection with an installation having a vanity 1, a wall mirror 2, a fluorescent lighting fixture 3. The installation may also have wall cabinets 4, 5 diagrammatically shown in dotted lines. Before the soffit unit is installed, all of the foregoing can have been installed and any necessary painting or finish completed.

The parts of the soffit unit as shown in FIG. 3 consist of left and right end caps 6, 7, a front panel 8, a light diffusing panel 9 and a rear angle track 10 for supporting the light diffusing panel 9.

The end caps or pans are mirror images of each other made of decorative plastic. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, each end pan has an end wall 12 surrounded by front, back, top and bottom peripheral side flanges l3, l4, l5, l6 outstanding from corresponding edges of the end wall 12. The visible surfaces of the ends caps may be treated or shaped to provide any desired decorative effect. The end caps are installed by screw fasteners 17a, 17b fastening the back flanges 14 to the supporting wall 18. These constitute the entire support for the sofl'it unit. Screw 17a is preferably fastened as close as possible to the upper rear corner between the flanges l4, l5. Screw 17b is fastened close to the front of the corner between flanges l4 and 16. A washer 17c, under the head of screw 17b clamps the rear angle support 10 to the wall 18. The installation is not limited to vertical walls such as 18. In some cases it maybe necessary to support the end caps from a ceiling in which case the screws will fasten the top flange 15 to the ceiling. By

PAGE 2 2 means of a suitable templates, holes for the fasteners may be drilled so the end caps 6, 7 are flush with the adjacent surfaces l9,'20 of the wall cabinets 4, 5, or with any other wall surface in case the wall cabinets are not present. Installation of the end caps flush with the surfaces 19, 20 gives a custom fit which improves the appearance of the installation. The spacing between the surfaces 19, 20 is subject to the variations usual in building construction and the flush installation of the end caps 6, 7 conceals these variations.

The front panel 8 is a light weight strip of opaque material such as sheet aluminum painted or papered with a harmonizing or decorative color and having its ends telescoped into the end caps 6, 7. As shown in FIG. 9 the upper and lower edges of the panel 8 have rearwardly extending flanges 21 and 22 each terminating in a rolled over reinforcing edge, 21a, 22a and having adjaacent the back surface of the panel and a hollow rib 21b, 22b. As shown in FIG. I0, lower edge 22 of the panel 8 rests on the bottom flange 16 of each end cap and is seated in a shallow groove I61 and the upper edge 21 of the panel is located between the front flange 13 of each end cap and a rib 23 behind the flange. The

- rib 23 is preferablyintegral with top flange l5 and end wall 12 and is therefore easily molded.

The front panel 8 is easily installed after the installation of the end caps 6, 7- by first inserting the lower edge 22 through notches 23a in top flanges 15 as shown in FIG. 7. After the front panel has been completely lowered through the notches 23a, it is then swung to the upright position with the upper edges 21 seated between the ribs'23 and the rear faces of flanges l3 and the lower edges 22 seated in grooves 164 in bottom flanges 16, as shown in FIG. 10.

The light diffusing panel 9 may now be inserted with the back edge ofthepanel resting'on' flarige 24 of angle 10 and'theIends of the panel resting on the upper sur faces of bottom flanges 16 of the end caps. The end caps have stops 25 which limit the insertion of the panel 9. The greater portion of the width of the bottom flanges in front of the stops 25 is available for accommodating variations in the spacing of the end caps 6, 7. In a commerical form of the invention, the track 10 and panels 8, 9 are cut in standard sizes with a difference of 3 inches in length between sizes. The bottom flanges 16 of the end caps permit a variation of plus or. minus 1% inches or a total of 3 inches in the overall spacing between the end caps 6, 7. This means, referring to FIG. 1, that a custom fit can be secured between surfaces 19, 20 by merely selecting from a precut standard size.

The range of adjustment of the end panels is shown pictorially in FIGS. 4 and 5. In these figures the end pans are shown in full line the closest spacing in which the ends of the furniture 8, 9 and 10 have the greatest depthof telescoping into the end pans. In dotted lines the end pan 7 is shown at its greatest spacing from the end pan 6 and in this position the furniture 8, 9 and 10 would have its minimum depth of telescoping into the end pans. In all depths of telescoping of the end pans in the range from minimum to maximum, the front panel 8 is adequately supported and the ends of the furniture are covered or enclosed. FIGS. 4 and 5 also show adaptation of the soffit light to incandescent (FIG. 4) and fluorescent (FIG. 5) lighting fixtures. These lighting fixtures are installed and wired before the installation of the soffit light. The lighting fixtures are shown

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2569518 *Aug 23, 1948Oct 2, 1951Moe Bridges CorpMounting enclosure for lighting fixtures
US2708711 *Sep 20, 1950May 17, 1955Thomas Industries IncIlluminated valance
US2732484 *Oct 22, 1952Jan 24, 1956 lipscomb
US3064121 *Oct 16, 1958Nov 13, 1962Superior Electric CoLighting unit
US3077536 *Apr 12, 1961Feb 12, 1963Day Brite Lighting IncTwo-way lighting fixture
US3319060 *Sep 9, 1964May 9, 1967Bell Telephone Labor IncIlluminating sign
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7156537May 17, 2004Jan 2, 2007Marie Laverne CohrsStrip light shade
US7806549Jan 17, 2008Oct 5, 2010Beaulieu Jeffrey SIlluminated cabinet soffits and aprons
US20090185366 *Jan 17, 2008Jul 23, 2009Beaulieu Jeffrey SIlluminated cabinet soffits and aprons
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/330
International ClassificationF21V15/015, F21S8/04, F21S8/00, F21V15/01, F21Y103/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21V15/01, F21S8/00, F21V15/015, F21Y2103/00
European ClassificationF21S8/00, F21V15/015, F21V15/01