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Publication numberUS3213274 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date19 Oct 1965
Filing date17 Jan 1964
Priority date17 Jan 1964
Publication numberUS 3213274 A, US 3213274A, US-A-3213274, US3213274 A, US3213274A
InventorsTheophile A Stiffel
Original AssigneeStiffel Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lighting system with pole type lamps
US 3213274 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 19, 1965 T, A, sTlFl-EL 3,213,274

LIGHTING SYSTEM WITH POLE TYPE LAMPS Original Filed Jan. 16, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Oct. 19, 1965 T. A. STH-*FEL 3,213,274

LIGHTING SYSTEM WITH POLE TYPE LAMPS Original Filed Jan. 16, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent O 3 213 274 LIGHTING SYSTEM WIH POLE TYPE LAMPS Theoplrile A. Stitiel, Chicago, lil., assignor to The Stifel Company, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Continuation of application Ser. No. $2,780, Jau. 16, 1961. This application Ian. 17, 1964, Ser. No. 342,327

9 Claims. (Cl. 240-81) This application is a continuation of my copending application, Serial No. 82,780, filed January 16, 1961 and now abandoned.

This invention relates to improvements in means for electrically connecting pole type structures which are adapted to be supported by and between a lioor and ceiling surface or between two supporting surfaces.

One of the objects of this invention is to provide a pole type structure which is supported by and between floor and ceiling and which is electrically connected to a ceiling unit, which pole type structure may serve as a lighting fixture, or as a combination lighting ixture and electrical outlet, or as an electrical outlet.

My Patent No. 2,965,751, issued December 20, 1960, relates to a pole light fixture adapted to be supported between oor and ceiling and having electrical connections at the upper end t make electrical Contact with a socket or sockets in a ceiling fixture. The present invention discloses another type of construction wherein the electrical outlet is embodied in the ceiling and which permits an electrical socket or sockets to be formed as part of a ceiling arrangement, which enhances the attractiveness of the ceiling and does not give an appearance of ceiling sockets, which could be unattractive.

Other objects will become apparent as this description progresses.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is an eievational view of this invention.

FIGURE 2 is a plan view of a plurality of ceiling socket units mounted on the ceiling and taken generally on the lines 2-2 of FIGURE l.

FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of one of the ceiling socket units.

FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of a housing7 or panel for one of the ceiling socket units.

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged sectional View taken on lines 5 5 of FIGURE l of one of the ceiling socket units mounted on the ceiling and showing the upper end of the pole fixture in electrical contact therewith.

FIGURE 6 is a top plan view taken on lines 6 6 of FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken on lines 7-7 of FIGURE 6.

FIGURE 8 is a sectional View of the central or socket portion of FIGURE 5, but showing the position of the closure member in the ceiling socket when the socket is not receiving or supporting a pole fixture.

FIGURE 9 is an enlarged view partly in section of the lower portion of the lighting fixture pole, and

FIGURE l0 is a view of a modilied pole light fixture.

As shown in FIGURE 2, the ceiling has mounted thereon a plurality or series of ceiling socket units, each of said ceiling socket units being generally designated by the numeral 1t). The socket units may be arranged across the entire ceiling surface, such as, for example, shown in FIGURE 2, or said ceiling socket units may be arranged in individually spaced units or in groupings, with each group consisting of a plurality of units. If arranged in individual units or in groupings the ceiling socket units should be positioned on the ceiling at the most likely positions that a pole light fixture would be apt to be supported between tioor and ceiling. Obviously, if the 3,213,274 Patented Get. 19, 1965 ICC ceiling units cover the complete ceiling or a substantial part of the ceiling, then the pole light fixture or fixtures may be supported anywhere in the room between floor and ceiling without requiring the use of a cord extending from the pole light fixture to a wall socket.

In the arrangement shown in FIGURE 2, wherein the ceiling socket units cover the entire ceiling or substantially the entire ceiling, a uniform and attractive ceiling surface design is formed. Attractive designs and formations may be produced by the individual spacing or groupings of ceiling socket units.

The socket portion of the ceiling socket unit is normally closed so that when viewed it would appear as though the unit was av decorative part of the ceiling and it would not appear as a socket or an electrical outlet.

The individual ceiling socket unit 10 is mounted on the ceiling, as best shown in FIGURE 5, and as will now be described,. The ceiling surface is indicated by the numeral 12, and secured to said ceiling surface in spaced relation are a plurality of mounting brackets 14, with one of the legs of the bracket secured to the ceiling by fastening members 16.

A panel 1S of insulating material is secured to the other leg of the bracket 14 by means of fastening elements 20 to support the panel 18 in spaced relation to the ceiling surface 12. The mounting brackets are distributed in spaced relation along the ceiling surface to support the insulating panels 1S. The panel 18 supports spaced furring strips 22 which are secured to the panels 1S by fastening elements 24. The under surface of the furring strips 22 are angularly inclined as lat 26, the angle of inclination being toward the center between each pair of spaced furring strips.

Secured to the insulating panel 18 by suitable fastening elements 28 are a pair of spaced electrical conducting elements 30 which, as shown in the drawings, are strips which are convoluted to form longitudinal channels 32 which curve inwardly adjacent the lower end to form lips 34 and then curved outwardly and terminate as `at 36. These Contact strips 3l) may be narrow strips or they may be continuous, as shown in FIGURE 3, and extend the length of the ceiling if the ceiling units 10 are intend-ed to be positioned adjacent each other throughout the length of said ceiling. If the strips 30 are narrow strips they are electrically connected to other strips of otherindividual units so that one source of current supplies it to all the strips. If they are continuous, the current will iow through the length of the strips.

Each ceiling unit 10 includes ya generally square-shaped housing or panel which is formed preferably of a plastic electrically non-conducting material. The housing or panel generally indicated at 38 includes a plurality of bottom surface portions 40, each sloping inwardly and upwardly from the sides towards the center so that the depth of the center area is less than the depth of the sides. The surface portions 46 provide ya central square-shaped socket opening 42. The housing or panel 38 has four upwardly extending sides 43 with two ralined sides provided with cutouts 44 to accommodate the furring strips 22. The sloping bottom surface portions 40 are inclined complementary to the angle of inclination of the furring strips 22 so as to tit thereagainst, as best shown in FIGURE 5. The panel or housing 38 of each of the ceiling units 10 is secured to said furring strips 22 by fastening elements 46.

The lower ends of the electrical conducting strips 30 are confined w-ithin the housing or panel 38 and said strips 30 are positioned adjacent the central opening 42 so that the terminal of the pole light iixture can make contact with the strips 30 when inserted in the socket opening 42.

The socket opening 42 of the panel 38 is normally closed, as best shown in FIGURE 8, by a spring pressed closure member generally indicated at 48, which includes a circular disc 50 mounted on a stem 52 which extends through an opening in the insulating panel 18. A coil spring 54 surrounds the stern and is positioned between the panel I8 and the disc 50 to normally -urge the disc downwardly in the position shown in FIGURE 8, to close the socket opening 42 of the housing or panel 38. A washer 53 is xed to the end of `the stem to limit its downward movement.

The disc 50 normally rests against the bottom surface of the housing or panel 38 adjacent the central socket opening 42, as shown in FIGURE 8, and in this position the square-shaped socket opening 42 is closed or blocked by virtue of the fact that the disc 50 is larger than the |area of the socket opening. Thus, in a normal condition, one viewing the ceiling units on the ceiling would not see any exposed openings. It is only when the pole light fixture is positioned so that the upper end thereof enters the socket opening 42 that the disc 50 'and stem 52 are moved upwardly lagainst the bias of the spring 54, as shown in FIGURE 5, to accommodate the upper end of the pole light xture and to permit the circuit to be closed to the electrical conducting elements 30.

The electrical conducting strips 3) are connected by conducting elements 56 to a soure of current supply. If the strips 30 extend the length of the ceiling then conducting wires can supply the current to the entire strip, however, if short strips 30 lare used for each of the ceiling units I0, such as shown in FIGURE 6, then they may be electrically connected along their spaced lengths by conducting wires, not shown.

The structure of the pole light fixture is generally similar to that described in my Patent No. 2,965,751. The pole is formed of a plurality of tubular sections 58, 60 and 62, telescopically joined or nested together at their ends as therein described to form a single tubular pole. A leg 63, which will be subsequently described, extends from the lowest section 62. The upper tubular section 58 supports a plunger member 64 which is normally urged outwardly by a coil spring confined within the upper tubular section 58, all as shown in said Patent No. 2,965,751. This permits the pole light iixture to be supported by and between floor and ceiling surfaces, with the plunger 64 urged outwardly to engage the ceiling socket and to secure the pole light iixture between a floor and ceiling surface. The term Hoor 'as herein used includes any lower supporting surface, such as a desk, platform, or the like.

As best seen in FIGURE 7, the plunger element 64 is closed at the upper end by an insulating member 65. The exposed upper portion 66 of same is generally squareyshaped so that it can be accommodated in the socket opening 42. A pair of generally L-shaped electrical contact members or electrical terminals 67 and 68 are spacedly supported in the insulating member 65. Electrical conducting strips 67 and 68 extend through insulating member 65 and respectively connect terminals 67 and 68 to electrical conducting wires 69 and 70 interiorly of the pole structure.

The conducting wires 69 and 70 extend downwardly through the upper tubular plunger 64 through tubular member 58 into tubular member 60 and are in turn connected to the conducting wires leading from the lighting xtures 72 and main control switch 73 which are mounted on tubular section 60. The conducting wires 69 -and 74) are su'lciently long so as not to interfere with the movement of the plunger element 64.

Suitably secured as at 75 to the inside of the lower tubular section 62 of the pole, as best seen in FIGURE 9, is the momentary Contact switch 76 which has a movable member 78 for opening and closing the switch. Pivotally secured as'at 80 to the switch 76 is an arm or lever 81 which is adapted to actuate the movable member 78 of the switch. The lower end of tubular section 62 has a bottom wall 82 provided with an opening 83 through which extends the leg or rod 63 which is externally threaded as at 84 and to which are secured on the opposite sides of the bottom wall 82 a pair of nuts 85 and 86. The nuts 85 and 86 are adjusted relative to each other, as best shown in FIGURE 9, to provide a Certain amount of vertical free play or movement of the leg 63 with respect to the tubular section 62.

The lever or arm 81 is adapted to engage the top of the leg 63 and when the leg is in its down position, that is, when the upper nut 85 engages the bottom wall 82, the arm 81 will be out of engagement with the actuating member 78 of the switch so that the switch is open, however, when the leg 63 is moved upwardly, with the lower nut 86 engaging the bottom wall 82 of tubular section 62, the leg 63 will pivot the arm 81 upwardly to actuate the actuating member 78 to close the switch 76. This arrangement permits the pole to be vertically mounted with the electrical circuit open until the leg rests on the oor surface when the leg 63 moves up to the position shown in FIGURE 9 to close the switch 76. The leg has a rubber foot member 88 secured to the bottom thereof.

When it is desired to support the pole light xture fbetween the ceiling and floor and in electrical connection with the ceiling, the upper end of the plunger of the pole light xture is inserted in any one of the socket openings 42 of any one of the ceiling socket units, and when inserted the upper end of the plunger 64 of the pole will enter the socket opening 42 of the housing or panel 38 and engage the disc 50 to push the disc upwardly to its uppermost position, as shown in FIGURE 5. The plunger end then becomes positioned between the two electrical conductin-g strips 30 so that the electrical terminals 67 and 68 on the upper end of the plunger are in engagement with the two oppositely positioned strips 30 to close the circuit from the source of current supply to the pole light xture. Thus, in this position the circuit from the source of current supply passes from conducting wires 56 to the two strips 30 and to the terminals 67 and 68 on the plunger, and through the conducting members 67' and 68 to wires 69-70 inside to the lights 72 on the pole. The circuit to the pole light fixture remains open until the leg 63 rests on the floor surface and closes the contact switch 76. The switch 73 on the pole opens and closes the circuit to the lights 72 after the pole is in supported position between oor and ceiling.

If it is desired to remove the pole it is merely slipped out from the socket opening 42 and the closure disc 50 will be pushed down by the coil spring 54 to close the socket opening.

With this invention the ceiling surface is provided with ceiling units wherein a very attractive surface is presented, yet each of said units provides an electrical socket for the pole light fixture. The socket also provides a mechanical locking of the pole light fixture between toor and ceiling.

FIGURE 10 shows a modied construction in which a pole structure like that described has included in the tubular section 60 an outlet socket 90, this outlet socket in turn being connected to the conducting wires 69 and 70, heretofore described, so that when an electrical plug, which in turn is connected to an electrical appliance or the like, is inserted in said ksocket 90 it will supply cui'- rent to said appliance. The outlet socket 90 shown in FIGURE 10 may be incorporated in the tubular section 60 as part of the lighting fixture therein shown, or a pole structure like that shown in FIGURE l, without lighting elements 72, may be formed with one or a plurality of outlet sockets 90 incorporated therein. Thus, this invention permits the pole structure to be electrically connected to the ceiling unit to be used as a lighting xture or as a combination lighting fixture and electrical outlet to which appliances can be connected, or solely as an electrical outlet.

While these ceiling units may be arranged to cover an entire ceiling or substantially an entire ceiling, they may be arranged in other formations, for example, an individual ceiling unit may be used or a series or a plurality of such units may be formed in any desired arrangement. This arrangement is very liexible and is similar to modules which may be added or subtracted for various ceiling configurations.

This invention may be defined as a lighting system comprising in combination a plurality of individual units or modules to be mounted on a ceiling, which individual units or modules are generally of rectangular shape and are mounted on the ceiling in relation to each other in any modular arrangement to form a grid or combination of individual units of any length and of any desired shape or pattern and in which each individual unit or module is provided with an electrical socket connected to a source of current supply, and wherein a pole type lighting xture is positioned to extend between the lioor and any one of the ceiling modules, and wherein means are provided for supporting said pole type lighting fixture between said floor and said ceiling module, and wherein electrical contact is established between said pole type fixture and the socket in said ceiling module.

It will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made from the foregoing without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A lighting system comprising in combination, a plurality of individual ceiling uints, each ceiling unit having a generally square-shaped housing provided with a bottom surface and upstanding side walls, said bottom surface having a plurality of sloping portions sloping inwardly and upwardly from the sides toward the center and defining a center opening, an individual socket means positioned centrally of said housing and .alined with said center opening, a pair of electrical conductors -in said ceiling unit and insulated from each other, said socket means communicating with said conductors, said individual ceiling uints being secured to a ceiling surface for permanent attachment, said plurality of individual ceiling units being secured in relation to each other to form a grid or combination of units of any desired size and configuration, a po'le member extending between a floor and one of said ceiling units, said pole member having an -upper and a lower portion, electrical terminals located at the upper end of the upper portion of the pole member, said terminals having lmeans engaging in said socket means to position said pole centrally with respect to said individual ceiling unit, said pole member having a lighting fixture mounted thereon and having an electrically conducting means supported within said pole and in electrical contact with the terminals, means for urging the upper and lower portions of the pole member axially in opposite directions to cause the pole member to firmly engage both floor and said ceiling unit to anchor said pole member in a vertical position whereby to establish electrical contact between the termina'ls and said ceiling unit, and mechanical locking of the pole member between the said ceiling unit and the ioor.

2. A structure defined in claim 1 in which the individual ceiling units are contiguous.

3. A lighting system comprising in combination, a plurality of individual ceiling units, each unit having a housing, said individual ceiling units ybeing secured to a -ceiling surface for permanent attachment, said individual units -being secured adjacent each other to form a grid -or combination of units of any desired size and configuration, each said unit having socket means positioned within said housing comprising a bottom surface and upstanding side walls, electrical conductor means connected to said socket means, a pole member extending between a lioor and one of said ceiling units, said pole member having electrical terminals located at the upper end of said pole, said terminals having means engaging in said socket to position said pole centrally with respect to said individual ceiling unit, said pole member having a lighting fixture mounted thereon and having electrically conducting means positioned within said pole and in electrical contact with the terminals, means on said pole causing the pole member to firmly engage both the floor and the ceiling unit to anchor the said pole member in a vertical position whereby to establish electrical contact between the terminals and said ceiling unit, and mechanical locking of the pole member between the ceiling unit and the floor.

`0l. A structure defined in claim 3 in which the housing is of generally rectangular shape.

S. A structure defined in claim 3 in which each ceiling unit includes a generally square shaped housing provided with a bottom surface, said bottom surface having a plurality of slopin-g portions sloping inwardly and upwardly from the sides toward the center and defining a center open-ing, and in which the socket is positioned centrally of said housing and alined with said center opening.

6. A lighting system comprising in combination, a plurality of individual ceiling modules, each module having a housing comprising a bottom surface and upstanding side walls, said modules being secured to a ceiling surface and arranged in relation t-o each other to form a grid or combination of modules of any desired length or pattern, each module having an individual socket, electrical conductors in said module and connected to said socket, a pole member extending between a iioor and one of said ceiling modules, said module having a diameter substantially greater than the diameter of said pole, said pole member having electrical terminals located at the upper end of said pole member, said terminals having means engaging said socket of said module to position said pole centrally with respect to said module, said pole member having a lighting fixture mounted thereon and having electrical conducting means supported within said pole and in electrical contact with the terminals, means on said pole to cause the pole member to lirmly engage both the oor and the ceiling module to anchor said pole member in a vertical position whereby to establish electrical contact `between the terminals and the ceiling module, and mechanical locking of the pole member between the ceiling module and the floor.

7. A structure defined in claim 6 in which each module includes a generally rectangular shaped housing provided with a bottom surface, said bottom surface having a plurality of sloping porti-ons sloping inwardly and upwardly Ifrom the sides toward the center and defining a center opening, and in which the socket is positioned centrally of said housing and alined with the center opening.

`8. A structure defined in claim 6 in which the individual module includes a generally rectangular shaped housing, and in Which the socket is positioned centrally of 4said housing.

9. A structure defined in claim 6 in which the modules are contiguous.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 776,855 12/04 Le Har 339--42 1,660,017 2/28 Schoenfeld a 339-66 2,850,622 9/58 Johnson 240-81 2,965,751 12/60 Stiffel 24U-81 X NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US776855 *30 Jul 19046 Dec 1904Hart Mfg CoElectric switch.
US1660017 *13 Apr 192521 Feb 1928Joseph SchoenfeldSwitch plug
US2850622 *5 May 19542 Sep 1958American Hospital Supply CorpAdjustable lamp
US2965751 *28 Aug 195720 Dec 1960Stiffel Theophile ALighting fixtures
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3303455 *3 Nov 19647 Feb 1967Tofani Jr Arthur MMeans for suspending a lighting fixture or the like
US4164618 *15 Jun 197714 Aug 1979The Wiremold CompanyPlug-in service pole assembly
US85224895 May 20093 Sep 2013Sdk, LlcComponent for buildings
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/147, 439/235, 439/234
International ClassificationF21V21/13, F21S8/00, F21S2/00, F21V23/06, F21S8/08
Cooperative ClassificationF21S8/086, F21S8/035, F21V21/13, F21S2/00, F21S8/081, F21V23/06
European ClassificationF21S8/03G1, F21S8/08H2, F21S8/08B, F21S2/00, F21V23/06, F21V21/13