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Publication numberUS3172350 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date9 Mar 1965
Filing date18 Jan 1961
Priority date18 Jan 1961
Publication numberUS 3172350 A, US 3172350A, US-A-3172350, US3172350 A, US3172350A
InventorsEdward P Bucek, Stier Walter
Original AssigneeCurtis Electro Lighting Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lighting fixture with air diffuser
US 3172350 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 1965 E. P. BUCEK ETAL LIGHTING FIXTURE WITH AIR DIFFUSER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 18, 1961 FIG 7 F158 INVENTORS Edward P Bucek Wa/fer Sfier d5 [/ZZzMw Hm Ahys.

United States Patent l 3,172,350 LIGHTING FIXTURE WITH AIR DIFFUSER Edward P. Bucelr, Lyons, and Walter Stier, Chicago, 12]., assignors, by mesne assignments, to Curtis-Electra Lighting, Inc., Chicago, ill.

' Filed Jan. 18,1961, Ser. No. 83,504

3 Claims. (Cl. 9840) This invention relates in general to light fixtures and more particularly to fluorescent light fixtures which are adapted to provide a port for the conduction of either ventilating or exhaust air.

For the past several years a practice has developed of connecting an air duct to a light mture and passing air through the fixture into a room therebeneath. This has been especially popular with fluorescent fixtures which may line a good portion of the ceiling of a room in many commercial and industrial establishments. The ducts are arranged adjacent the room ceiling so that certain spaced apart ones of the fixtures are fed cool or warm air depending on the season and other fixtures may serve to provide vents for the exhaust air in the room. The duct work and other apparatus such as the plenum chamber through which the air is fed are usually concealed by a false ceiling which generally comprises an acoustic material and which may abut or slightly overlap the edges of the fixture to provide a flushror smooth appearance between the respective edges.

The practice of passing air of different temperatures adjacent the fluorescent tubes or lamps creates undesirable effects. Thus the respective .tu-bes, if operated in an environment of different temperatures, have different light efficiencies and different life periods thereby creating very unequal lighting and maintenance conditions for the various fixtures, and in various parts of the room, as some fixtures may alternately pass warm or cold air, others either cold or warm and still others no air. It may also be mentioned that cold air passing adjacent the lamps may cause the color of the associated lamps to.vary from the colorof the other lamps thereby creating a disturbing visual effect.

In addition, since the ducts which feed or exhaust the air are brought into the fixture through the top and as a plenum chamber is generally provided intermediate the fixture and feed duct, a substantial spacing must be pro vided between the acoustic or camouflage ceiling and the primary ceiling from which the fixtures and ducts are supported. This results in a great deal of lost space, but solutions to this problem do not permit widening the openings in the camouflage or acoustic ceiling, which openings are of a predetermined dimension. ;Further, the door or closure structure by which the lamps are enclosed, but which permits access thereto must be arrangedso as to provide no interference with the apparatus through which the air is carried and furthermust be level or flush with the bottom of the fixture to preserve appearances.

Another-problemthat should bementioned in conjunction with such fixtures 'is that the installation and maintenance thereof has resulted in-jurisdictional problems between various unions as to their areas of responsibility. Thus, members of electricalunionsmay, for example, be requiredto return after their original work is completed anddismautle aportionof the'fixtures, before a member of another union can repair or install the air conduit or duct work related to'the fixture.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved fluorescent light fixture which may also serve toprovide an air conduit.

-It is a further object of this invention to provide a light fixture which permits either exhaust or ventilating 3,172,356 Patented Mar. 9, 1965 air to be extended therethrough without creating unnecessary interference with the lamp operation in'terrns of either the lamp efliciency or maintenance.

It is another object of this invention to provide members for a fluorescent fixture which can interchangeably be utilized to enable the fixture to serve as a source of ventilating air or not as required and which ma also serve to rigidize the fixture during shipment.

It is a further object of this invention to provide economical closure means for a fluorescent light fixture which can be interchangeably related to the fixtures'oas to provide desired access. i

It is yet another object to provide a closure means for a combination light and ventilating fixture which may be disposed flush With fixture surface and which will present no interference to the installation of air conduits disposed along the fixture side.

Other objects together with the various features of this invention will become apparent on examination of the following specification, claims and drawings.

FIG. 1 is a broken bottom elevational view of a fixture incorporating the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the fixture shown in FIG. \1 illustrating the relationship of the air conduits to the lamps;

FIGS. 3 and 4 are respective enlarged sectional views illustrating the port and door closure structure;

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate the door hinge and latch arrangement respectively; i V

FIG. 7 illustrates a portion of the port control channel, and

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the channel taken through the line 8-8 in FIG. 7.

In FIG. 1 a fluorescent fixture or trofl er 10, commonly called a diffuser troifer, as seen for examplefrom floor level, is illustrated in part. The trofier10 comprises a door or closure portion 12 through which access is had to the fluorescent lamps 18 and an outrigger or flange portion 30 adjacent each elongate side of the closure .12. The troffer as is well known comprises inclined side walls 20 and top wall 19 each ,havingproper reflective properties for directing light from lamps 18 into the room beneath the fixture. The socket connections for the lamps 18 areomitted.

The door 12 comprises sections :14 on opposite short sides of the fixture and the elongate sections 16'for the opposite long sides ofthe fixture 10. The flanges :30 each have an elongate rectangular opening or port 28 therein as best seen in FIG. 2, which may eitherbe left open or have the legs 32 or-34engaged therein.

The flange 30 is simply a continuationofthe wall .29, which is provided with a horizontal wall 56 that joins the vertical wall 3;1 before completing the juncture to -3! h op inao r l fl n 3 i m by bending back a cut-out portion from flange 30 toforrn the Wall 39. Flange 30 isprovided with a 45 .ang le ice bend 54-, whose only function is to serve as an abutment joint for acoustical tile in the false or camouflage ceiling, which is laid in ilu-sh with theplane of flange 30. The bend'54 may, of course, be fashioned in any nurnber of manners or discarded, depending upon the'type 1of ceiling and the type of joint to be made with the camoufiage ceiling. From-FIG.'2 it will be seen that the troffer 19 is supported from the primary ceiling by meansof the substantially U-shaped strap 59 and the toggle bolts 55 engaging the top wall 50 of the fixture .10.

The strapSli and toggle bolts 55 are of welljknown type and the fixture .19 is hung thereon betweenone or more air conduits or diffusers, if the diffusers are to be used with the fixture. Neither need then be disconnected to permit work to be done on the other. This removes one area in which unnecessary expense or jurisdictional problems arise due to the necessity of permitting, for example, an electrical worker to dismantle the fixture for permitting either final connection or adjustment of the air flow damper to be performed by a worker in another union. The vertical legs of the strap are omitted as these simply perform well known functions in connection with supporting portions of the acoustic ceiling and/or air conduits.

The ballast and connections (not shown) for the lamps 18 may be located between walls 22 and 60. The retaining wall 22 supports the reflective wall 19 and has flanges which retain the self-tapping screws 15. These screws 15 fasten the retaining wall and may, though not necessarily, protrude through the side walls 20 to separate the air conduit 11 from the fixture 10. An insulating space between fixture and the air conduit 11 extending from the plenum chamber 17 is provided by the contour of the air conduit when installed in the slot.

The conduit 11 and chamber 17 are each provided with a top flange at 65 and 66 respectively which rest on the wall 60 of the troffer and each of side walls 61 and 62 also have a bottom horizontal flange which may rest on horizontal leg of the channel 33 and the horizontal leg 56 of the side wall 20 respectively.

If the diifuser troffer 10 is to provide ventilating air, the air from the plenum chamber 17 is directed down through the conduit v11 formed between the walls 61 and 62 and through port 28. In some cases, as for example when a pressurized ventilating air supply is provided, the open portion of port 28 is defined by the inclined leg 34. Normally, however, the port 28 is left completely open if supplying ventilating air. The leg 34 also may be associated with the port 28 when the port is to be used for an air exhaust. In this case the leg 34 serves to disguise the port and prevent the intake of impurities. Alternatively, air may be evacuated from the room when the leg 34 is removed from port 28. In either event, warm air can simply rise through the opening 28 into either the space between the ceilings or an exhaust duct. Due to the fact that Underwriters Laboratory has dictated that no passage be provided through the fixture to the space between ceilings in order to minimize the danger of spreading fire, the trotfer side which is not to be used for passing air has its port 28 closed, as shown in FIG. 4. The leg 32 is then provided in port 28 to completely close the port 28 in flange 30. The legs 32 and 34 are each opposite legs of a channel member having a substantially U-shaped cross-section with the leg of the U designated 32 bent inward.

Referring now to the channel section 33 as seen in FIGS. 3, 4, 7 and 8 by which the opening or port 28 may be controlled to provide an air path from the plenum chamber 17 or to close the port 28, it will be seen that the bar of the U is provided with a number of cut-out legs 29 that are bent transverse to the bar. Thus, when the bar of the U-shaped channel 33 is placed against wall 39, the cut-out legs 29 are sufliciently long to ensure that the channel 33 is held quite securely when snapped into position between the walls 3-1 and 39 to snugly retain the U-shaped member 33 in position during shipment. In

addition, the screws 35 are provided at several positions.

along the length of channel 33 to ensure that the walls 39 and 31 are maintained in parallel relationship along their length and that wall 39 mates securely with the channel 33. It will be immediately appreciated that the channel 33 can by simple rotation of 180 on longitudinal axis enable either leg 32 or leg 34 to be placed in the port 28 so that port in the trofler 10 may be either sealed completely or used for ventilation, as explained. As the channel 33 is of very economical material and construction, it may easily be discarded without substantial loss to provide either a supply or an exhaust vent through 28 if needed.

The door carries the glass 13 and is provided to enclose the lamps 18 within the troffer 10. It fits between the vertical side walls 31 and is hingedly connected to the troffer by means of a pair of hinge elements such as 40. The hinge elements 40 are spaced along the elongate side 16 of the door and each is a simple substantially U-shaped wire having a horizontal extension on the side legs which permit the hinges to be rotatably secured to the door at the mounting elements 46.

Sufficient friction is provided at extensions 45 to inhibit excessive rotational action of the hinges so that the door 12 may be raised with the hinges protruding therefrom before mounting on the troffer. The bar 44 of each U-shaped hinge is then passed through a respective aperture 42 in the side wall 20 when the door is installed as shown by the dotted lines in FIG. 4. The aperture 42 has descending legs 43 on each side to form a tongue 47 whereby after the bar 44 passes through the aperture 42 and the door 12 is permitted to drop, it carries the bar 44 of binge 40 below the recess 42 so that hinge 40 and tongue 47 are engaged as shown in FIG. 5. The door 12 is then hingedly secured to one wall 20 of the troifer 10. As may be seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the hinge 40 rests adjacent the wall 56 and therefore provides no interference to the air conduits.

The door may now be latched in its closed position by means of the latch 48 on the side of the door opposite hinges 40. The latch 48, as seen in FIG. 6, engages an opening 52 in the wall 56. Latch 48 is normally biased into a perpendicular position with respect to the door 12 by the spring 49. When the door is closed the latch 48 engages the edge of opening 52 in Wall 56 and due to the wedge-shaped construction of latch 48, the latch pivots back to enter through the opening 52. After the edge of wall 56 disengages from the wedge-shaped portion of latch 48, the spring 49 causes immediate engagement of the lip of latch 48 with the wall 56. To release the latch thereafter the lever arm 53, which extends into opening 59 of door 12 and flush with the door 12, is operated to free the lip of latch 48 from wall 56. This permits the door 12 to pivot about the hinges 40 supporting it at the other side as shown in FIG. 4. As may be seen in FIG. 1 suitable latch apertures 52 and tongues 47 are provided on opposite sides of the trofier 10 so that the door 16 may be hinged and latched to either side depending on which is most desirable.

In summary then, it will be appreciated that a number of troffers 10 may be suspended from a primary ceiling and that certain ones of the troffers will furnish a port 28 through which fresh or ventilating air is supplied to the room beneath the primary ceiling. Other troflfers have a port 28 which is opened to exhaust air by, for example, discarding channel 33, while still other trotfers which need furnish no such function have their ports closed by leg 32 of channel 33. One fixture 10 may serve to supply ventilating air on one side and exhaust air at the other; supply air from both sides and, if desired, from a pressurized plenum; exhaust air at both sides; close one side to either exhaust or ventilating air and provide either exhaust or ventilation at the other side or have both sides closed to air passage. Each trolfer will be suspended by means such as toggle bolts 55 from the straps located about the room after the air difiuser conduit has been mounted. The fixtures or troffer when once placed in position on the toggle bolts by a member, for example, of an electrical union, need not thereafter be disturbed. The door 12 may be hingedly engaged on the tongues 47 by engagement of the hinges 40 therewith either at that time or at some subsequent time as needed.

Screws 15 give the desired insulating space between the fixture 10 and conduit 11 while the air flow damper (not shown) may be adjusted through the flange port without calling for any work by a member of an electrical union as none of the electrical facilities need be disturbed by this process. The channels 33, if used, are, of course, adjusted prior to the completion of the installation or likewise without necessitating work by members of diiferent unions. Thus, if the port 23 is to provide access or air from the plenum chamber 17, the channel 33 may be discarded or if desired to be used, leg 34 is brought into engagement with port 23 as shown at the left of FIG. 2 and the screws 35 adjusted to assure the proper fit.

If the port 28 is to be completely closed the channel 33 is arranged so that the leg 32 overlies the port 28 and prevents air flow therethrough while the screws 35 are likewise adjusted in that instance, as shown on the right of FIG. 2. In either event, the installation of the plenum and conduit, adjustment of the channel 33, or the adjustment of a damper (not shown) in the plenum chamber may be done without requiring the disturbance of any electrical components and therefore avoids jurisdictional conflicts or excessive economic burdens in the installation or adjustment of such components.

Thus, having described an embodiment of this invention wherein a light trofifer may be used with maximum efficiency to conduct or block air and provide an efficient, economical, non-interfering closure for the lamp portion of the trotfer, it must be appreciated that the invention incorporates concepts of broader scope than those described and that these will be more eifectively set forth in the appended claims.

We claim:

1. In a light trofiier assembly including a base and downwardly extending side walls, said base being attached to a primary ceiling and said side walls extending to the level of a false ceiling spaced apart from said primary ceiling with the space between the ceilings forming a plenum chamber, the improvement comprising horizontal flanges extending outwardly from said false ceiling, the flange extending from at least one of said side walls having a port through which air may pass to or from said chamber, and means for controlling the flow of air through said port comprising a substantially U-shaped channel member including a cross bar and first and second legs extending from said bar, means for securing said channel member in said assembly whereby the channel member is positioned adjacent said flange in a manner such that either of said legs can be disposed to overlie the port defined by said flange, said first leg extending angularly, inwardly,

upwardly from said bar whereby air may pass by said first leg when it overlies said port, and said second leg extending perpendicular to said bar in the same direction as said first leg, means spacing said second leg from said one side wall to form an air passage communicating with said chamber when said first leg overlies said port, and said second leg being dimensioned to substantially block off said port when said channel member is secured with said second leg overlying said port.

2. A light troifer assembly in accordance with claim 1 wherein the means spacing said second leg from said one side wall comprises a central leg carried by said channel member and extending outwardly from the bar of said channel member in the same direction as said first and second legs, said central leg being longer than said first and second legs, a support wall extending upwardly from said flange at a point adjacent said port, the bar of said channel member being adapted to engage said support wall when the channel member is secured in said assembly, and wherein said central leg engages said one side wall to space the outer edges of said first and second legs from said one side wall.

3. A light troifer assembly in accordance with claim 1 including an air conduit communicating with the air passages formed by said channel member, first and second walls connected to said trofler and extending in spaced apart relationship adjacent said one side wall of said trofi'er, the spacing between said first and second walls defining said air conduit with the lower end of said air conduit defining an opening communicating with said air passages, and including spacer means connected to said one side wall and engaging a wall of said air conduit to hold said last mentioned wall in spaced apart relationship with respect to said one side wall to thereby maintain an insulating space between said air conduit and said one side wall.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,625,646 Goebel Ian. 13, 1953 2,960,602 Kurth et a1 Nov. 15, 1960 2,962,582 Croft Nov. 29, 1960 3,010,378 Geocaris Nov. 28, 1961

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2625646 *9 Mar 194913 Jan 1953Mitchell Mfg CompanyLighting fixture which may be used individually or attached to similar fixture
US2960602 *26 Jul 195715 Nov 1960Anemostat Corp AmericaCombined air outlet and illuminating device
US2962582 *29 Mar 195729 Nov 1960Pyle National CoCombined lighting and ventilating unit
US3010378 *22 Oct 195928 Nov 1961Thomas Industries IncLighting and ventilating system
U.S. Classification454/295
International ClassificationF21V17/00, F24F13/078
Cooperative ClassificationF21Y2103/00, F24F13/078, F21V17/00
European ClassificationF21V17/00, F24F13/078