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Патент USA US2406145

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Aug. 20, 1946.
. Filed `March v8, 1944
5 Sheets-Sheet 1
._ ,2... .
„Z5-@banjo 7’ .
Aug. 20, 1946.
2,406,145 `
Filed March 8,- 1944
3 Sheets-Sheet 2 ì
Aug. zo, 1946. ' "
' Filed Maman 8, _1944
3 sheets-sheet s
Tipea/¿07" .l
~ dán
Patented Aug. 20, 1946
John E. Holmes, Auburndale, Mass.
Application March 8, 1944, Serial No. 525,531
6 Claims.
This invention relates to a fluorescent lighting
unit particularlyadapted for illuminating the
interior of a show case or the like.
(Cl. 240---6)
The invention has for an object to provide a
novel and improved fluorescent lighting unit of
show case or other similar unit to be illuminated
and whichA are capable of retraction and ex
tension to permity insertion and removal of the
elongated fluorescenty lamp, and whose construc
J tion is such as to maintain a safe arcing distance
the character specified in which provision is
from thel terminal connections to the exterior of
made for mounting the fluorescent lamp in a
novel and improved manner to provide mini
mum liability of arcing or grounding from the
terminals and whose structure enables it to con
form in all respects to the regulations adopted
by the National Board of Fire Underwriters.
With this general object in` view, and such
others as may hereinafter appeanthe invention
the safety housing at all times.
consists in the lighting unit> and in the various
structures, arrangements and combinationsV of
parts hereinafter v,described and particularly
defined in the claims at the end of this speciiica
In the preferred form of the invention, as em
bodied in a showcase, the lighting unit includes
a reflector or shield which may and preferably
will comprise the front rail thereof, forming a
part of the frame of the show case, and support- -
ing the adjacent edges of the top and front glass
panels. The ends of the show case may and pref
erably will be constructed to provide a hollow
interior to receive and conceal the wires leading
from the supporting sockets.
Referring now to the drawings, the present
lluorescent lighting unit, indicated generally at
_Inthe drawings illustrating the preferred ern--V 20 I0, is preferably illustrated as embodied in a show',
‘o'cdiment4 of the invention, Fig.l 1 is a front eleva
tion of a show case embodying the present fluor
escent lighting unit, some of the parts being
broken away and shown in cross section; Fig. 2
is an enlarged cross sectional view in side eleva
tion taken on the line 2_2 of Fig. 1; Fig. 3 is
an enlarged detail' view in longitudinal cross sec
tion of a terminal housing embodied in the pres- `
ent lighting unit, the housing beinglshown in its
case I2 and includes an electric discharge _tube
or fluorescent lamp I4, preferably of the cold
cathode type which is arranged to be operatively
supported at either end in a pair of safety hous
ings, indicated generally at I5, and preferably
mounted at each end of the show case. `The
safety housings I5 may and preferably will be
made `of porcelain, glass, Vplastics or other di
electric material, and, as herein shown, each
‘ extended position and with one end of the lamp 30 housing includes a `stationary tubular member IB
in which provision is made for connecting a .ter
inserted; Fig. 4 is asimilar View with the hous
minal wire I8, and a longitudinally movable tu
ing shown in its retracted position and with the>
bular member 2,0 provided with a socket 22 for
lamp disconnected; Fig. 5_ is ra perspective view
receiving one end of the fluorescent lamp. The.
of one end of the lighting unit as embodied in
a show case, some of the parts being shown sep- . ` stationary member I6 as herein illustrated is pro
arated for clearness of illustration; and Fig. 6 is
a cross sectional vieWVof- a »modified form of
mounting for use with the present lighting unit,
to be referred to.
In general, the present invention contemplates
an improved ñuorescent lighting unit partic
ularly adapted for use in illuminating the interior»
of a show case or the like and in which provisionv
vided with an annular recess 24 arranged to
slidingly or telescopically receive a reduced por
tion 26 of the tubular movable member 20 Where
by‘ tol permit extension and retraction of the
socket housing member 20 with respect to the
terminal housing member I6 for insertion or re
moval of the elongated fluorescent lamp I4. The
stationary member is „also provided withA an ex-Y
teriorly threaded end portion 28 for cooperation
is made for mounting the lighting unit in a novel
and improved manner whereby to provide a 45 with a suitable receptor support for the lightin
unitto be hereinafter described.
" .
a Vsimple Aand eñicient >structure for detach
ably supporting the contact ends of the iiuoreséA
cent lamp in engagement with the terminals pro-è`Y
vided therefor, and Whose structure is such-that
the liability of inadvertent arcing from the ter
minals is reduced to a minimum.
'In accordance with .the present invention, the
illustrated lighting unit includes a pair of ex-ì
tensible socket members comprising safety ìhous--`
As best shown in Figs. 3 and 4, the insulated
>terminal wire I8` is connected to an adapter 30
which is supported within a central opening 32
‘formed in a centrally disposed and longitudinally
extended cylindrical portion 340i the stationary
member I6. The baredend portion of the termi'
nal wire I8 is preferably extended through a cen
tral bore V35 of the adapter and soldered at the
ings Whichmay be supportedat each end of theV 55 extended end in a countersunk portion provided
The adapter 39 is provided with a
the outer end of the housing member 20 is equal
flanged head 38 which is seated against a portion
¿lû of reduced diameter formed within the open
to or in excess of the minimum arcing distance re
quired by the National Board of Fire Underwrit
ers. Also, the stationary housing member I6 is
5 constructed to dispose the vend oi the flangedV
ing .32, the other end of the adapter extending
through said portion, and is provided with eX
head 38 of the adapter 3E] a sufficient depthV from
the threaded end 28 of the housing I6 to assure
. `ternal threads for cooperation with a second
adapter Ԥ32 which is internally threaded.
secondadapter 42 is also provided with a Yiiangedv
a minimum arcing distance equal to or in excess
‘ head 4.4 which engages with the top of the cylin
of the National Board of Fire Underwriters
standards. The remaining point Of. eXposure or
possible path of leakage of the current comprises
the air space deñned by the distance from the
head 44 of the adapter 42 downwardly between the
drical portion l34 _of the stationary housing mem
' Vber I5 whenV the two adapters are screwed up
» tight as illustrated in Figs. 3y and 4.
As herein illustrated, the socket member 22,
which may be ofthe split fuse holder type for
yieldingly engaging the end of the iiuorescent
lamp, may and preferably will be permanently
cylindrical portion 34 and the inner surface of
the telescopically engaged portion Zß of the
member 2t, then Vacross the bottom edge 2l of
fixed within the tubular housing member Zyl. The f1 .such portion and upwardly between the outer
attached end of the socket is formed of 'a reduced
diameter and extended through a collaredplorf^
surface of the portion 26 and the inner surface of
the .tubular outer wall of the member I6 to thetion 46 formed in the tubular member, the shoul 20 outer edge of said member I6.Y In order to assure`
dered portion 48 of the socket resting against one
the maintenance of a safe arcing distance through
the above deñned path at all times lduring the
edge off the collaredportion and the extended .end
offthefsocket being hushed over or spun against
extension or retractionfof the sliding lmember 20,
theopposite edge V¿ofthe collar as indicated atv
the annular recess 24 is made of suücient depth
älltopermanently secure the. socket in place.
Y 25 `and the'telescopically engaged portion Z6 is made
- In order toprovidea connection' between the
of sufficient length so that whenY the movable>
terminal connections or adapters 30, 42 carried
by. .theY stationary housing member I6 and the
member 2li is moved to its position of maximum
extension into operative engagement withÀ the
lamp, the airspace through the above deñned
socket 22 carried by the movable housing mem
ber 2.3. and to maintain contact therebetween dur 30 path will-.equal or exceed the minimum distance
ing extension and contraction thereof, a sliding
or extensible .connection is provided, herein shown
Provision is also made for breaking the con
_as comprising a female member or bushing 52
tact between the male and female connecting .
screwedv into the internally Vthreaded adapter ¿l2
members 5,2, 54 in the event that the movable
member 2i! is inadvertently extended beyond the
and'aecooperating male> member or slidingcon-A
tfact-Ä'lziin..754A` slidingly fitted within the bushing
z-‘equi'redV safety distance and tothis end the mem
bers> 5,2, 5.4 are so proportioned. as to separate
52.' As herein shown, the outer end of the con-->
tact pin 5d -is disposed withinthe socket 22 and`
upon suchV abnormal projection of the housing.
is; providedV with an ,enlarged head 5.6 for en
Howeven as illustrated in Fig.Y 3, a suitable stop
gagement withan inwardly flanged portion 58
pin >ilärrnay and preferably rwill be provided in the
end .of the male member 5¿4_ forengagement with
atfthel bottom of the socket member, as clearly
shown in Figs. 3. and 4l Thus, in operation, when
the closed Vend of a slotted portion 51 in the fe
the socket housing member 21.0 is extended to op
malemember v52 to prevent extension of the mov
erfatively`- engage theend of the lluorescentV lamp,
able -member 2!! beyond the required safe distance
as'sh'own in Fig. 3, the contact pin 54 is moved
to thus'positively assure the’ maintenance of a
forward in the bushing 52 while maintaining
Contact therewith,
When the socket housing
member- 2_!l is retracted >to the. full depth of the
safe arcing- 'distance from any live conductor to a
Y possible ,grounding pointadjacent the outside
@the housíng-
annular recess 24., as shown in Fig. 4, the female
From the description .thus far _it will be .ob
member 52 is arranged to pass through the open 50 served that the present .safety housing provides
ing in the bottom of the socket 22 formed by the
a simple and eflicient unit to permit- extension and-_
inwardly flanged portion l53„ the male mem
contraction into and out of operative engagement
ber being moved back by the engagement Yof the
Withthe `contact ends-.or-«the ñuorescent lamp and Y'
endof the lamp during the shifting'thereoi in
whose construction is 'such` as to maintain the
the removing operation,> or, the male member 55 maximum required separation between any por
may remain in' its'extended position to be again
tions of the high voltage conductorsto a possible
engaged by the bottom .of the socket when the
grounding :wint outside the shielding housing
latterris `moved forward intooperative engage
andthat any `type of metal vreflector o-r metal supe
mentwith the. lamp.
porting structure for the housings may be used
The present fluorescent lampY housing is- de-v 60 without danger of arcing from the live conduc- .
, signed to conform with the standards adopted by
the National Board of Fire Underwriters for ter
minalsand receptacles for gas tubing operating
at high voltages which require that the live ter-v
minals andconductors shalljbe so supported asto
-Referring now to Fig. 1, the present fluorescent
lighting unit is preferably» illustrated as enflbtld.ledl in the'ShQWvcaseflZ having top. and .front ’
glass panels En, 16,2 and hollow .end panels §54.
maintain a separation of atleast 11/2 inches be~
Asherein shown the saietyhousings .i5 'arey y
tween the conductor and, any grounded metal.
The present lighting unitfpreferably employs a
mounted in. internally threaded receptorsßß in
whiplrthey threaded .end 2,8 of the housings may
cold `,cathode type of iiuorescent lamp operative at
bevreceived.. VThe receptors maybe Vsecu-red 'to the
around 15,000 vous andfisfusually providèdwitn 70 inner -wall 68 of each@ end panel 6g byscrews: l0».
ai` shield or `reflector which may befmade of metal.
In order to provide a1more¢1i-igidf~attachment»to
Thus, inthe above described Vembodiment ofthe
the. Ypanels and to assure proper alignment; the
receptors may beV proyidedwith shouldered por-J
invention, the socketmemberçZî‘is disposed at a
suiiicient depth'inV the housing member. 20 so that
the'distance 'from the top ofthe live socket to
tionsaflzzextended'into a bore in thel'inner Wall ' >
lThe. receptors.“ :may ybe. made. of ‘a 'plastic
or other suitable dielectric material, or, they may
be made of metal since the construction of the
housing is such as to reduce to a minimum any
danger of arcing from the live conductors.
‘ .As herein shown, each receptor 66 is preferably
fromthe live conducting elements to a possible
grounding point adjacent the,v outer ¿surface__~_of
thehousing, such as the supporting elements or
the lreflector rail whereby to reduce` to a mini
mum liability of arcing from» said elements to
disposed in theupper front 'corner of the end
such possiblegrounding points.
rabbeted portion conforming to the contour of
following claims.
While the »preferred embodiment of _thegin
panels B4 ofthe show case, and, as best shown
vention has been herein illustrated and described
in Fig. 5, each receptor is rabbeted as indicated
it will be understood that the invention may be
at 14, around its inner edge to receive the ends
of vthe Afront rail'16 of the show case frame, the 10 embodied in other forms within the scope of the
Having thus described the invention, what. is
the‘rail to form a flush exterior surface. The rail
claimed is:
' .
16 may be secured to the receptors by screws 18
1. In a fluorescent lighting unit for use in a
andas thus constructed the front rail serves as
a reflector or shield for the elongated lamp. The 15 show case' or'thelike having top and front glass
panels and hollow end panels, a pair of safety
reflector rail may be made of a suitable plastic
housings comprising extensible shielding 'mem
bers’for operatively supporting thev ends of'a
fluorescent lamp, means for supporting said
'lß‘may and: preferably will be suitably grounded.
1 The frontV rail 16 is also preferably designed to 20 safety housings comprising a- pair of receptors
attached to said hollow end panels, said hollow
' support the front edge ofV the top glass panel
end panels being arranged to receive and conceal'
60 in a recess 80 formed by an offset 82 in the
materialëor maybe made of metal. When Vmade
ofîmeta'l; the receptors» 66,'a'nd the reflector rail
the Wiring from the unit, a reflector rail com
upper lwall 84 of the rail, and, a grooved por
prising the front rail o-f the show case frame at
tion 86 formed integrally with the front wall 88
of the rail is provided to receive the upper edge 25 tached to said‘receptors and disposed in close
proximity to said safety housings, said front rail
of .the-front glass panel B2 as illustrated. The
having provision for supporting the adjacent
reflector rail is preferably designed lto effect il
edges of said top and front glass panels, live con
lumination of the interior of the show case and
ducting elements of relatively high voltage sup
to serve as a shield to prevent any glare from the
lamp from being directed toward the observer 30 ported within said housings, the arrangement
being such that said safety housings may be lon
standing in front of or in the rear of the show
contracted to permit insertion of said
lamp and thereafter extended into operative'po
From the above description it will be observed
sition, with all conductive material within said'
that when thus embodied in a show case the in
housings shielded at all times.
sulated wire leads I8 may be drawn through thef
2. In a fluorescent lighting unit, a safety hous
hollow end panels 64 to thus conceal the lead
ing for operatively supporting the end of a fluo
wires from view and to leave the interior of the ‘
rescent lamp,4 comprising: an insulating member
show case free from wiring or wiring conduits.
having an opening therein adapted to receive
It will also be observed that the reflector rail
conceals the safety housings from the View of 40 an> insulated cable having a bared >end, so that
the insulated portion of said cable will extend
the observer thus providing a compact and ef
to 1a point substantially within said insulating
iicient unit for »embodiment in a show case.
member; ~ a'_ conducting member vsecured within
In some instances, it may be desired to support
said insulating member for connection Awith the
the ends of the safety housings I5 independently
of the ends of the show case, and, for this pur 45 bared end of said insulating cable; an elongated
hollow insulating member telescopically associ
pose, as illustrated in Fig. 6, a modified form of
ated with said first named insulating member;
support may comprise a receptor 90 provided
a lamp socket secured within said hollow insu
with an elbow 92 formed integrally therewith
lating member spaced inwardly from both of the
and arranged to receive a' conduit 94 through
which the wires are extended. The contour of 50 ends thereof; and means maintaining an elec
trical connection at all times .between said con
the modified receptor may and preferably will
ducting member and said lamp socket, the ar
be such as to fit snugly within the front reflector
rangement being such that said safety housing
rail and may be attached thereto by screws 18, as
may be longitudinally contracted to permit inser
above described.
Likewise, the present iiuorescent lighting unit 55 tion o-f said lamp and thereafter extended into
operative position, with all conductive material
may be supported within the show case inde
within said housing shielded at all times.
pendently of the front rail. In such instances,
3. In a iiuorescent lighting unit, a safety hous
the receptors 9D may be used and a separate
ing for operatively supporting the end of a ñuo
reflector section attached thereto. Such units
may be supported in any position within the show 60 rescent lamp, comprising: an insulating member
having an opening therein adapted to receive
case remote from the front rail or frame of the show case.
an insulated cable having a bared end, so that
the insulated portion of said cable will extend
to a point substantially within said insulating
member 20 may and preferably will be provided
with an integral lug 2| extending radially there 65 member; a conducting member secured within
said insulating member for connection with the
from for convenience in sliding the housing mem
bared end of said insulating cable; an elongated
ber into and out of operative engagement with
hollow insulating member telescopically associ
the ends of the fluorescent lamp.
ated with said ñrst named insulating member; a
From the above description it will be seen that
the extensible safety housing embodied in the 70 lamp socket within said hollow insulating mem
ber spaced inwardly from both of the ends there
present lighting unit comprises a shielding mem
of; an elongated bushing secured to said conduct
ber for the live conducting elements supported
ing member and an elongated pin slídably re
therein and that the construction of the hous
ceived by said bushing and engageable Iwith said
ing is such as to maintain at least a predeter
mined minimum unshielded distance or air space 75 lamp socket, said bushing and said pin maln
As illustrated in Fig. 4, the movable housing
i tairiiii'g‘at al1 'times 'an electrical connection bei
tween said conducting member and said lamp
socket, the' arrangement being such that vsaid
safety housing'> maybe longitudinal]'y'ì'r’bontracted`
to permit insertion’ ofïsa'idlamp and'thei‘eaft‘er
'extended into operative position, withv all con
diictive material within said 'housing îshielde'd Yat
low insulating member; a ¿conducting member
secured within said hollow'insulatin'g member for
connection with lthe bared end of said ’insulated
cable, a secondA 'hollow insulating member tele
scopically associatedrwith said first-'named hollow
insulating member; a'lamp socket Within said sec'-`
ond-named hollòwfinsulating member spaced in
wardly from both of the ends thereof; and means
VV4.1111' a ñu'oi‘es'cent lighting unit, Ia 'safety ATrous-
maintaining an >electrical connection at all times
ing for operatively supporting the end of a fluo
l0 between said conducting member and said` lamp
socket, `the arrangement "being such that `said
safety housing may loe'longitudinally vcontracted
to permit insertion of said lamp and thereafter
extended into operative position, with allV con
ductive material within said housing shielded at
rescent lamp, comprising: an insulating` inem
ber having an opening' therein adapted to'recèi've
an insulated cable having a bared end, so that
the insulated portionl of îsaid cable will' extend
to a point substantially Vwithin said insulating
memberçfa conducting'member secured within
said .insulating Amemberrfor connection with the
al1 times.
6. In a‘fluore'scent lighting unit, a safetyïhouse Y
bared end of said insulated cable; an velongated
Vhollow insulating member telescopîcally associ
ing for operatively supporting'the end of `ya fluo-k
rescent lamp, comprising: an insulating'l :member
atediiwith vsaid 'first-named insulating member; a 20 Yhaving a longitudinally rextending opening dis
lamp 'socket within said hollow insulating mem
posed centrally thereof adapted to receive an
ber spaced inwardly from both ofthe ends there
insulated cable having a bared Vend 'so that‘the Y
of.; an' elongated »bushing secured to said -con
insulated portion of vsa'idcable 'extends substane
ducting member; an elongated pin slidably re
tially within said insulating member, Vand a lon'-L
ceived’by said bushing and engageable with said 25 gitudinally extending annular recess arranged
lamp socket; and a 'stop member mounted von
concentrically with respectV to said opening; a
said v-p'in and engageable with' a portion of said
conducting member secured within `said 'insulat
bushing 'for limiting the outward movement of
ing member for connection with the bared end
said pin with respect to said bushing, said bush
of said insulating cable; an elongated hollow fin-‘
ing and said pin maintaining at all times an elec
trical connection between said conducting mem
30 sulating member having a longitudinally 'exe
tending portion slidably received in said-annular
berrand said llam-p socket, the 'arrangement being
recess of said first-named insulating member; a
such that said safety housing may be longitudi
lamp socket secured within said hollow- insulat
nally contracted to permit insertion of said lamp
ing member spaced inwardly >from both vof the
and thereafter extended into operative position, 35 ends thereof; and Ymeans maintaining an electrif
Withgall 'conductive material within said housing
cal connection at all times «between said cion
, l
ducting member and said `lamp socket, the yar
5. In-a‘fluorescent lighting unit, a safety hous
rangement 'being such that said safety housing
shielded-at all times.
ing for operatively supporting the end `of a fluo
rescent lamp, comprising: Ya hollow insulating
member having an opening therein adapted to
receive >an insulated cable having a bared end,
so that ‘thevfinsulated por-tion of said cable will
extendeto a vpoint substantially within Asaid hol
may be longitudinally contracted to permit ‘in--y
40 sertion of said lamp and thereafter extended into
operative position, with 'all conductive material
within said-housing lshielded at all times.
Y JOHN E. YHoLMias.'
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