US 3872296 A
This invention is directed to an improved lighting fixture for a hung ceiling installation and is characterized by the provision of a frame mountable above the ceiling and a reflector assembly carrying a light source, the reflector assembly including a blade spring detent construction which permits the reflector assembly to be disconnected from the frame and reattached thereto from a position below the ceiling, as for changing a light bulb, etc., the spring assemblies being so constructed as to coact with the frame in the inserted position of the reflector, to cause the reflector to be biased upwardly against stop means in the frame.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Cohen et al.
[ 1 Mar. 18, 1975 1 RECESSED LIGHTING FIXTURE  Assignee: Lightolier Incorporated, Jersey City,
 Filed: Apr. 18, 1974  Appl. No.: 461,934
4/1967 Totten 240/78 H 3,375,368 3/1968 Dorsky 240/78 H 3,560,732 2/1971 Green 240/78 HA X 3,697,742 10/1972 Bobrick 240/73 BC X 3,700,885 10/1972 Bobrick 240/78 H Primary Examiner-Richard A. Wintercorn Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Arthur B. Colvin [5 7] ABSTRACT This invention is directed to an improved lighting fixture for a hung ceiling installation and is characterized by the provision of a frame mountable above the ceiling and a reflector assembly carrying a light source, the reflector assembly including a blade spring detent construction which permits the reflector assembly to be disconnected from the frame and reattached thereto from a position below the ceiling, as for changing a light bulb, etc., the spring assemblies being so constructed as to coact with the frame in the inserted position of the reflector, to cause the reflector to be biased upwardly against stop means in the frame.
4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTED mm 1 819. 5
sum 2 0F 3 II 1. .I
9 mm m gm PATEMEB MAR l 8 I975 vsum 3 or '3 RECESSED LIGHTING FIXTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention is in the field of lighting fixtures, and particularly lighting fixtures intended to be installed in so-called hung ceiling installations.
2. The Prior Art It is known to provide in a hung ceiling installation a composite lighting fixture comprising a frame element secured to the building structure above the ceiling, and a reflector assembly extending through the ceiling adapted to be secured to the frame in a manner permitting removal in a downward direction.
In prior lighting fixtures of this type, it is mandatory on replacement of the reflector that the latter be rotated relative to the frame so as carefully to align various slots and detents employed to interconnect the noted components.
Additionally, where the replacement was not properly effected, the connection afforded permitted a drooping or sagging of the reflector relative to the housing or frame whereby the reflector might hang beneath the level of the fixtures, presenting a nonuniform appearance.
SUMMARY The present invention may be summarized as directed to an improved lighting fixture for hung ceiling installations including generally a frame adapted to be mounted above the ceiling and having a bezel projecting through the ceiling, and a reflector carrying the lighting source, insertible into mounted position within the frame by movement in an upward direction, the components to be assembled being free of elements requiring careful alignment. The lighting fixture of the present invention is characterized particularly by the incorporation therein of a novel spring retainer assembly which, in the connecting position, urges the reflector upwardly within the frame against stop or locator portions in the frame.
It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide an improved lighting fixture for a hung ceiling installation.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a lighting fixture of the type described which eliminates virtually any tendency of the reflector to droop or sag, by causing the terminal movement of the reflector to the installed position to be effected by energy stored in the springs themselves, and wherein installation of the reflector into the frame may be readily accomplished without the necessity of aligning elements of the two noted parts.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a device of the type described wherein the components are held together by spring detents constructed and arranged to exert upward biasing force on the reflector, whereby the latter is lifted into the selected position relative to the frame.
To attain these objects and such further objects as may appear herein or be hereinafter pointed out, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, forming a part hereof, in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the components of a lighting fixture in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view through the lighting fixture in assembled position in a ceiling installation;
FIG. 3 is a horizontal section taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2; and
FIGS. 4 and 5 are magnified fragmentary sectional views showing slight modifications of support spring assemblies.
Referring now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a lighting fixture 10 including generally a frame 11 carrying a junction box 12. The frame 11 preferably includes a circumferential band 13 having affixed thereto upwardly directed side brackets 14, 14.
The brackets 14, 14 include vertically directed spaced parallel slots 15. The slots 15 are aligned with spaced threaded apertures 16 formed in mounting brackets 17.
Mounting brackets 17 preferably comprise sheet metal elements bent into a general trapezoidal configuration, including a face portion 18 and inclined side wings 19 and 20. The wings 19 and 20 preferably include a vertically arrayed series of slots 21. Additionally, the side wings 19, 20 are each provided with a vertically directed saw tooth slot 22, for forming, if desired, an anchoring point for vertical support members fixed to the buildingsuperstructure, not shown.
Stabilization of the assembly may be effected by horizontal cross bars 23 having apertures 24, 25 adjacent their distal ends, such apertures forming attachment points to the building superstructure above the ceiling.
The cross bars 23 are assembled by passing the same through an appropriate pair of the slots 21 formed in the wings or legs 19, 20 of brackets 17. The bars 23 include downwardly directed teeth 26 which, as best seen in FIG. 2, are shifted downwardly into the slots 21, before attachment of the bars 23, so as to preclude lateral relative movement between the brackets 17 and bars 23, and to stabilize the fixture against tilting.
The cross bars, manner of their attachment to the superstructure and to the mounting brackets 17, form no part of the present invention, the same being described for illustrative purposes only, it being recognized that many other conventional means for mounting the frame above the ceiling may be used.
The frame 11 is secured to the mounting brackets 17 by spaced pairs of machine screws 27 inserted outwardly through the slots 15 and into the threaded apertures 16. As will be best appreciated from FIG. 2, the base portions 28 of the mounting brackets 17, in the assembled position, are seated upon the upper surface 29 of the ceiling structure 30 to support the weight of the frame, unless the latter has been otherwise mounted as by connection of the brackets 17 to some portion of the building structure above the level of the ceiling.
The structure insofar as presently described, is mounted above the level of the ceiling. The frame carries means for supporting a decorative bezel assembly 31 which extends through the ceiling proper, concealing the opening formed therein. The bezel 31 includes a plurality of horizontally directed, angularly spaced apart slots 32, three in number being shown in the illustrated embodiment. Additionally, a plurality of stops S, are formed on the bezel at angularly spaced apart locations about the inner diameter thereof.
The frame 13 includes a plurality of depending flanges 33, angularly spaced apart to correspond with the slots 32. The flanges 33 are each provided with depending, generally L-shaped bezel support springs 34,
the springs including outwardly extending shoulders 35. It will be appreciated that in order to mount or demount the bezel assembly 31, the springs 34 are flexed inwardly, the bezel inserted upwardly, whereupon the shoulders 35 of the springs may enter into slots 32, as shown in FIG. 2. The bezel is thus secured to the remainder of the fixture. The bezel assembly 31 includes an outwardly directed flange 36, which underlaps the ceiling, concealing the hole cut into the ceiling tile for mounting of the fixture.
It will be appreciated that before installation of th reflector assembly 37, access for mounting of the aforementioned components and relative adjustment thereof is provided through the aperture within the bezel.
The reflector assembly 37 includes a frusto-conic body portion 38, to the upper end 39 of which is releasably mounted a housing 40 carrying a bulb socket 41 suitably connected to electrical conduit 42. Electrical connections between the socket end of the conduit 42 and junction box 12 are, as usual, made within the junction box, the expanse of the conduit or cable provided between the box 12 and the housing 40 being sufficient to permit thereflector assembly to be lowered a substantial distance through and below the ceiling.
Preferably, the housing 40 may be connected to the reflector 38 by a pair of spring wings 43, 44 having detent portions 45, sized to enter and snap outwardly into slots 46 formed on opposed portions of the neck 39 of the reflector.
The principal advance of the present invention lies in the manner of connection of the reflector to the bezel by a series of spring members 47 fixed to the reflector adjacent the mouth portion 48 thereof.
The springs 47, as best appreciated from viewing FIG. 4 and FIG. 5, include a lower attachment portion 49, a central detent portion 50, and an upper end portion 51. Since the springs of FIGS. 4 and differ only in the specifics of the manner of attachment to the reflector 38, identical reference numerals will be used except as respects such attachment portions.
An upper cam surface 52, inclined at an angle to the vertical, is disposed between the upper end 51 of springs 47 and the detent 50. A lower cam portion 53 is interposed between the detent 50 and attachment portion 49. As will be apparent from FIG. 4, the detent portion 50 projects outwardly a radial distance beyond the rim 48 of the reflector.
The rim 48 of the reflector is of double layer construction, the outer layer being provided by an upwardly rolled flange 54 which surrounds the lowermost or mouth portion of the reflector. The annular flange 54 is in proximate spaced relation to the wall of the reflector 38, the flange and reflector defining therebetween a narrow annular slot.
In accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 4, the flange 54 is provided with a series of angularly spaced apart apertures 55. Spring 47, adjacent its attachment portion 49, is formed with a tongue 56 struck from the material of the spring.
The spring is inserted into position within the reflector by forcing the same downwardly in the space between the flange 54 and the reflector, with the tongue 56 aligned with the aperture 55. When the spring is forced downwardly, the tongue 56 is permitted to pass into the space by temporary distortion and deflection of the metallic components of the tongue and rim, the tongue 56 snapping into position within the aperture 55 shown in FIG. 4, when the tongue and aperture are aligned.
With the parts thus positioned, removal of the spring from the reflector cannot be accomplished without destruction of the reflector.
The embodiment of FIG. 5 is similar in all respects, except that a pair of pointed barbs 57 are struck from the lower portion 49 of the spring. In this construction it is unnecessary to provide holes in the flange 54 since, when the springs are driven downwardly into the annular slot between the flange 54 and the reflector, the barbs are embedded into the metal of the flange and resist removal of the spring.
As noted, the spring in its mounted position, is compressed as compared with its relaxed position, a portion 58 of the spring 47 adjacent the upper end 51 being pressed against the reflector.
In order to effect insertion of the reflector and the lighting housing carried thereby, it is merely necessary to press the reflector upwardly into the bezel 31. Upon upward movement, it will be apparent that a lower edge portion 59 of the bezel will engage against upper cam portion 52, causing a further flattening of the spring 47, permitting the detent portions 50 of the springs, which normally project a radial distance beyond the bezel, to be cammed inwardly within the confines of the bezel. Upon further upward movement, the detent 50 will pass through the bezel, it being appreciated that when the detent 50 is at a level above the uppermost edge 60 of the bezel, the springs are free to pivot outwardly away from the reflector.
As best seen in FIG. 2, the lower cam portions 53 of the springs will be aligned with and engage against the upper portion 60 of the bezel. In view of the angularity of the cam surface 53, the outward biasing forces exerted by the cam portion 53 of the spring against the portion 60 of the bezel will be translated into an upward force on the reflector. In this manner, the outward biasing portions of the springs 57 will cause the upper edge portion 61 of the rim 54 to be urged upwardly against the heightwisely aligned stops S on the bezel, whereupon the reflector is maintained in position within the bezel and cannot droop or sag.
Should it become necessary or desirable to remove the reflector, such operation may be accomplished by the simple expedient of pulling the same downwardly, whereupon the springs 47 will be cammed inwardly by interaction of the lower cam portion 53 against the upper ledge 60 of the bezel.
From the foregoing it will be apparent that there is described in accordance with the invention, a lighting fixture for hung ceilings or the like, having a reflector which is readily removable by a simple exertion of a downward force against the reflector, and reinsertible by a simple upward force, the reflector, in the inserted position, being biased upwardly by the spring components carried thereby.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A lighting fixture for a hung ceiling installation comprising a frame adapted to be mounted above the ceiling, a cylindrical bezel releasably secured to said frame, said bezel having an annular upper shoulder portion disposed above the level of the ceiling and having a lower circular flange adapted to underlie the lower surface of said ceiling, a frusto-conic, downwardly open reflector assembly releasably secured to said bezel, said reflector assembly having a depending open mouth portion, an annular rim formed on said reflector assembly surrounding said mouth portion, the outer peripheral surface of said rim fitting slidably and intimately within said bezel, stop means extending interiorly of said bezel, said stop means being disposed in the path of the upper edge of said rim to limit upward movement of said reflector assembly relative to said bezel, and a plurality of angularly spaced apart, generally vertically directed support spring members mounted on said reflector for releasably connecting said reflector to said bezel, said support spring members including a lower mounting portion secured to said reflector adjacent said rim, an upper, free end portion engaging an exterior wall of said reflector in upwardly spaced relation to said rim, a detent portion intermediate said upper and lower portions, said detent portion of said support spring members projecting a distance radially outwardly beyond said rim, said support spring members including upper and lower cam portions disposed, respectively, between said upper end and said detents, and between said detents and said lower ends, said upper cam portions being positioned and inclined to coact with said bezel to deflect said detents inwardly toward said reflector responsive to upward relative movement of said bezel and reflector, said lower cam portions, when said detents are shifted to a position above said bezel, coacting with the upper edge of said bezel to urge said rim of said reflector upwardly against said stop positions, thereby releasably to retain said reflector in said installed position.
2. A fixture in accordance with claim 1 wherein said lower mounting portions of said support spring members are sandwiched between said rim and a wall portion of said reflector.
3. A fixture in accordance with claim 2 wherein said mounting portions include a tongue member angularly extending therefrom, and said rim includes apertures within which said tongue members are received, said support spring members being retained on said reflector by the engagement of said tongues in said apertures.
4. A fixture in accordance with claim 2 wherein said mounting portions include a barb member, said barb members being angularly related to the body of said support spring member and indented into the metal of said reflector in a direction to prevent removal of said support spring members.