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Title:
ALTERNATE JUNCTION BOX AND ARRANGEMENT FOR LIGHTING APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/046310
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Embodiments are directed to a lighting system including a junction box for accommodating a light source assembly, and which is configured to allows for additional components such as separate drivers or emergency ballasts to also be included in the lighting system together with the light source assembly. In embodiments, the junction box is mounted on a pan style frame. In some embodiments, the lighting system includes a test switch mounted on a trim piece that is accessible from below a ceiling in which the lighting system is installed, and which allows for an emergency power supply to be verified.

Inventors:
LOTFI, Amir (1912 Ruhland Avenue, Unit BRedondo Beach, CA, 90278, US)
DANESH, Michael, D. (1118 East 223rd Street, Carson, CA, 90745, US)
Application Number:
US2018/048357
Publication Date:
March 07, 2019
Filing Date:
August 28, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DMF, INC. (1118 East 223rd Street, Carson, CA, 90745, US)
International Classes:
F21S8/02; F21V19/02; F21V21/30; H02J9/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TEJA, Joseph., Jr. et al. (Smith Baluch LLP, 376 Boylston St. Suite 40, Boston MA, 02116, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A lighting apparatus, comprising:

a junction box for accommodating a light source;

a frame for accommodating the junction box, the frame being configured to further accommodate one or more of a driver for the light source and a ballast for the light source; and bars connected to the frame by which the lighting apparatus can be mounted behind one of a ceiling and a wall.

2. The lighting apparatus of claim 1, wherein one or both of the junction box and the frame are fire rated.

3. The lighting apparatus of claim 1, wherein the frame comprises a tray.

4. The lighting apparatus of claim 1, wherein the frame includes a release mechanism for allowing the ballast to be releasably removed from the frame.

5. The lighting apparatus of claim 1, further comprising wing nuts by which the junction box is mounted to the frame.

6. The lighting apparatus of claim 5, further comprising brackets with slots that allow the junction box to be slidably positioned on the brackets when the wing nuts are loosened.

7. The lighting apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a driver for the light source housed within the junction box.

8. The lighting apparatus of claim 7, wherein the junction box includes electrical connectors that allow the driver to be manually connected to a power source.

9. The lighting apparatus of claim 8, wherein the power source comprises one or both of a building power supply network and a battery in the ballast.

10. The lighting apparatus of claim 1, wherein the light source comprises one or more LEDs.

11. A lighting apparatus, comprising:

a junction box for accommodating a light source;

a frame for accommodating the junction box, the frame being configured to further accommodate one or both of a driver for the light source and a battery for the light source; bars connected to the frame by which the lighting apparatus can be mounted behind a ceiling; and

a test switch for causing power to be temporarily provided from the battery to the light source.

12. The lighting apparatus of claim 11, wherein the test switch is positioned to be accessible from below a ceiling line when the lighting apparatus is mounted behind the ceiling.

13. The lighting apparatus of claim 11, wherein one or both of the junction box and the frame are fire rated.

14. The lighting apparatus of claim 11, wherein the frame comprises a tray.

15. The lighting apparatus of claim 11, wherein the frame includes a release mechanism for allowing the ballast to be releasably removed from the frame.

16. The lighting apparatus of claim 1 1, further comprising wing nuts by which the junction box is mounted to the frame.

17. The lighting apparatus of claim 16, further comprising brackets with slots that allow the junction box to be slidably positioned on the brackets when the wing nuts are loosened.

18. The lighting apparatus of claim 11, further comprising a driver for the light source housed within the junction box.

19. The lighting apparatus of claim 18, wherein the junction box includes electrical connectors that allow the driver to be manually connected to a power source.

20. The lighting apparatus of claim 11, wherein the light source comprises one or more LEDs.

Description:
ALTERNATE JUNCTION BOX AND ARRANGEMENT FOR LIGHTING

APPARATUS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATION(S)

[0001] The present application claims a priority benefit to U.S. non-provisional application serial no. 15/688,266 filed on August 28, 2017, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present embodiments relate generally to lighting, and more particularly to an apparatus for a downlight or ceiling lamp incorporating an LED lighting source.

BACKGROUND

[0003] The inventions of the present applicant such as those described in U.S. Patent No.

9,581,302 and U.S. Patent Publ. Nos. 2017/0045213, 2016/0312987, 2016/0348861,

2016/0348860 and 2015/0276185, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety, have dramatically advanced the state of the art of lighting technology. However, opportunities for further improvements remain.

SUMMARY

[0004] Embodiments are directed to a lighting system including a junction box for accommodating a light source assembly, and which is configured to allow for additional components such as separate drivers or emergency ballasts to also be included in the lighting system together with the light source assembly. In embodiments, the junction box is mounted on a pan style frame. In some embodiments, the lighting system includes a test switch mounted on a trim piece that is accessible from below a ceiling in which the lighting system is installed, and which allows for an emergency power supply for the lighting system to be verified. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] The patent or application file contains at least one drawing executed in color.

Copies of this patent or patent application publication with color drawing(s) will be provided by the Office upon request and payment of necessary fee.

[0006] These and other aspects and features of the present embodiments will become apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art upon review of the following description of specific embodiments in conjunction with the accompanying figures, wherein:

[0007] FIGs. 1 A to 1C are various views of an example lighting system according to the embodiments;

[0008] FIG. 2 illustrates another example lighting system according to the embodiments;

[0009] FIG. 3 illustrates another example lighting system according to the embodiments; and

[0010] FIGs. 4A and 4B illustrates example emergency aspects of a lighting system such as that illustrated in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0011] The present embodiments will now be described in detail with reference to the drawings, which are provided as illustrative examples of the embodiments so as to enable those skilled in the art to practice the embodiments and alternatives apparent to those skilled in the art. Notably, the figures and examples below are not meant to limit the scope of the present embodiments to a single embodiment, but other embodiments are possible by way of interchange of some or all of the described or illustrated elements. Moreover, where certain elements of the present embodiments can be partially or fully implemented using known components, only those portions of such known components that are necessary for an understanding of the present embodiments will be described, and detailed descriptions of other portions of such known components will be omitted so as not to obscure the present embodiments. In the present specification, an embodiment showing a singular component should not be considered limiting; rather, the present disclosure is intended to encompass other embodiments including a plurality of the same component, and vice-versa, unless explicitly stated otherwise herein. Moreover, applicants do not intend for any term in the specification or claims to be ascribed an uncommon or special meaning unless explicitly set forth as such. Further, the present embodiments encompass present and future known equivalents to the known components referred to herein by way of illustration.

[0012] As set forth above, the present applicant has developed several innovations that have dramatically advanced the state of the art of lighting technology. For example, the innovation of U.S. Patent Publ. No. 2016/0312987 is directed to an outer casing and mounting hardware for a recessed lighting fixture that can allow a unified light source and driver module to be adjustably installed behind a ceiling (i.e. the outer casing housing the light source module can be adjustably mounted in different directions with respect to an opening in the ceiling).

According to certain aspects, the present applicant has recognized that this and other innovations can be leveraged in certain ways, for example to allow for additional components such as separate drivers or emergency ballasts, to also be included in the light fixture along with the light source module.

[0013] In fulfillment of these and other aspects, FIG. 1 A illustrates an example lighting system 100 according to the present embodiments.

[0014] As shown, lighting system 100 is comprised of a junction box 102 mounted on a frame 104. In embodiments, junction box 102 may be made of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, titanium, copper or nickel. Junction box 102 may be fire-resistant in that it has a fire rating of up to two hours without any need for modification, where the fire rating is described in the National Electrical Code (NEC) and by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) such as specified in UL 263 Standard for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials. In other

embodiments, lighting system 100 may include a standard 4x4 electrical junction box, which may or may not be fire rated. Moreover, although junction box 102 shown in the example of FIG. 1 A as having an octagonal outer shape, this is not necessary. In other embodiments, junction box 102 may have any suitable shape, such as square, rectangle, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, nonagon, or decagon, or having a rounded shape such as cylindrical, ellipsoid, frusto- conical, or otherwise curved shape. Example aspects of junction box 102 in some embodiments can be found in U.S. Patent Publ. No. 2016/0312987, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. [0015] Frame 104 is in the form of a pan or tray and may be comprised of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, titanium, copper or nickel. As further shown, frame 104 is attached to hangar bars 106 to allow the lighting system to be installed in a typical drop ceiling as will be described in more detail below. Moreover, as further shown, frame 104 is dimensioned to accommodate additional lighting system components other than junction box 102 according to additional aspects of other embodiments to be described in more detail below.

[0016] FIG. IB is an exploded view of example lighting system 100 according to the embodiments.

[0017] As can be seen in more detail in this view, junction box 102 is attached to frame

104 by a pair of brackets 112 and nuts 114 (e.g. wing nuts). Nuts 114 engage with screws (not shown) that extend both through holes 116 of brackets 112 and slots 118 in housing 102. With such slots 118 and corresponding fastening mechanisms 114 etc., junction box 102 may be slidably repositioned to extend through opening 120 of frame 104 as will be described in more detail below. Another aspect of the example illustrated fasteners between frame 104 and junction box 102 is that they allow for junction box 102 to be selectively removed from frame 104, for example for servicing or replacement of components.

[0018] As shown, lighting system 100 further includes light source assembly 108 and trim 110 that can be mounted together to housing 102. As will be described in more detail below, when assembled together, the lighting system 100 is designed to be positioned behind a ceiling or a wall such that the trim 110 extends outside a hole in the ceiling or wall (not shown) and rests flush against the exposed surface of the ceiling or wall.

[0019] In this example embodiments, light source assembly 108 is comprised of a housing that includes integrally formed flange portion 122 and fins 124. The housing may be composed of any thermally conductive material so as to help cool the light source assembly 108 during operation. For example, the housing of light source assembly 108 including integrally formed flange portion 122 and fins 124 may be comprised of injection molded thermally conductive plastic. In other embodiments, the housing may be made of aluminum alloys, copper, copper-tungsten pseudoalloy, AlSiC (silicon carbide in aluminum matrix), Dymalloy (diamond in copper-silver alloy matrix), E-Material (beryllium oxide in beryllium matrix), and/or other thermally conductive plastics or ceramics. [0020] Although not shown in detail in FIG. IB, light source assembly 108 in example embodiments can include an integrated driver such as an electronic circuit or device that supplies and/or regulates electrical energy to a light source and thus power the light source to emit light. This can include any type of power supply circuit, including one that includes power converters, rectifiers, power transistors and the like for delivering an appropriate alternating current (AC) or a direct current (DC) voltage to the light source. Upon receiving electricity, the power supply circuit may regulate current or voltage to supply a stable voltage or current within the operating parameters of the light source. In embodiments, the power supply circuit receives an input current from an electrical power wiring network of the building or structure in which the lighting system 100 is installed, and may drop the voltage of the input current to an acceptable level for the light source (e.g., from 120V-277V to 36V-48V). In these and other embodiments, junction box 102 may include appropriate wiring and other components to allow for such electrical connections. These electrical connections preferably include keyed or interlocking connectors (not shown) within junction box 102 that allow light source assembly 108 to receive power from the electrical power wiring network. Such keyed or interlocking connectors are further preferably configured to allow for manual connection or disconnection without the use of tools.

[0021] The light source in light source assembly 108 may be any electro-optical device or combination of devices for emitting light. For example, the light source may have one or more light emitting diodes (LEDs, such as an XLamp LED from Cree), organic light-emitting diode (OLEDs), or polymer light-emitting diode (PLEDs). An example embodiment of light source assembly 108 having an integrated driver that can be used in lighting system 100 of FIG. IB is described in more detail in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2015/0009676, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. It should be noted that an integrated driver is not necessary in all embodiments, as will become more apparent below.

[0022] In the illustrated example, trim 110 is attached to the flange portion 122 of light source assembly 108 by mutually engaging twist and lock mechanisms 126 built onto trim 110 and inner surface of flange portion 122. When trim 110 and light source assembly 108 are thus joined together, the attached components can then be installed into junction box 102 in a friction fit manner by clips 128 extending from trim 110. [0023] FIG. 1C illustrates aspects of how embodiments of lighting system 100 can be used to provide a downlight in a ceiling.

[0024] As shown, frame 104 of lighting system 100 is secured above an opening in ceiling 154 (e.g. to joists or other structures in a drop ceiling) by hanger bars 106. Junction box 102 is mounted to frame 104 above the opening of ceiling 154 by brackets 112, screws (not shown) and nuts 114. As described above, light source assembly 108 and trim 110 are coupled together via a twist and lock mechanism and these two components are jointly connected to junction box 102 using clips 128 on trim 1 10. When light source assembly 108 and trim 110 are thus secured to junction box 102, trim 110 is flush against the surface of ceiling 154, and trim 110 is the only portion of the lighting system 100 that extends outward from the surface of ceiling 154. As further described above, by virtue of slots 118 in junction box 102, junction box 102 can be slidably repositioned to allow trim 110 to be as flush as desirable against the surface of ceiling 154, or otherwise desirably positioned within the opening of ceiling 154, depending on the style and form of trim 110.

[0025] In addition to these aesthetically desirable aspects, additional functionally desirable aspects are made possible by lighting system 100 as well. For example, after installation of junction box 102 behind ceiling 154, light source assembly 108 and trim 110 can be freely installed or otherwise accessed from below the ceiling line, without needing to access the space above the ceiling line. For example, after installation into junction box 102, by manipulation of clips 128, light source assembly 108 and trim 110 can be removed. As described above, light source assembly 108 can further be manually disconnected from a power source when junction box 102 includes suitable electrical wiring connectors. After light source assembly 108 and trim 110 are removed, either or both of them can be serviced and replaced, all without the need for accessing junction box 102 or the space behind ceiling 154.

[0026] FIG. 2 illustrates another example of a lighting system 200 according to alternative embodiments.

[0027] As shown in this example, lighting system 200 includes many of the same components as lighting system 100, and so repeated descriptions thereof are not included here. Meanwhile, lighting system 200 further includes driver 260. This embodiment can be useful when light source assembly 118 (not shown) does not include a unified driver as described above in connection with lighting system 100. This can provide some benefits in some environments, such as lowering thermal extremes in connection with light source assembly 118, and providing for a distribution of heat among components 102, 260.

[0028] Similarly as described above, driver 260 can include any type of power supply circuit, including one that includes power converters, rectifiers, power transistors and the like for delivering an appropriate alternating current (AC) or a direct current (DC) voltage to the light source. Upon receiving electricity, the power supply circuit may regulate current or voltage to supply a stable voltage or current within the operating parameters of the light source in lighting assembly 118. In lighting system 200, driver 260 receives an input current from an electrical power wiring network of the building or structure in which the lighting system 200 is installed via junction box 102 and one or more wires in conduit 262. Driver 260 may drop the voltage of the input current to an acceptable level for the light source (e.g., from 120V-277V to 36V-48V) and provide the regulated voltage back to the light source in junction box 102 via one or more additional wires in conduit 262.

[0029] In embodiments, driver 260 may include an external housing made of galvanized steel, injection molded plastic, titanium, aluminum, stainless steel, copper or nickel. As such, similarly to junction box 102, driver 260 may be fire-resistant in that it has a fire rating of up to two hours without any need for modification, where the fire rating is described in the National Electrical Code (NEC) and by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) such as specified in UL 263 Standard for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials. In these and other embodiments, conduit 262 may be flexible metal conduit having a UL rating.

[0030] FIG. 3 illustrates another example of a lighting system 300 according to alternative embodiments.

[0031] As shown in this example, lighting system 300 includes many of the same components as lighting systems 100 and 200, and so repeated descriptions thereof are not included here. Meanwhile, lighting system 300 further includes an emergency ballast 360.

[0032] In embodiments, emergency ballast 360 includes batteries that allow for the continued operation of the light source in light source assembly 108 when electrical power in the building in which lighting system 300 is installed is interrupted or otherwise absent. In these and other embodiments, driver 260 and/or emergency ballast 360 may include relays, switches and similar circuitry for automatically switching the supply of electrical power to light source assembly 108 to be provided from the batteries instead of the building electrical power network during such interruptions via conduits 362. Additionally or alternatively, driver 260 and/or emergency ballast 360 may include converters, regulators, and similar circuitry for automatically charging the batteries via conduits 362 using power received from the building electrical power network when it is not interrupted. The circuitry described herein can be implemented using many ways known to those skilled in the art, and so details thereof will be omitted here for sake of clarity of the invention.

[0033] Similar to driver 260, in embodiments, emergency ballast 360 may include an external housing made of galvanized steel, injection molded plastic, or ceramic. As such, similarly to junction box 102 and driver 260, emergency ballast 360 may be fire-resistant in that it has a fire rating of up to two hours without any need for modification, where the fire rating is described in the National Electrical Code (NEC) and by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) such as specified in UL 263 Standard for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials. In these and other embodiments, conduits 362 may be flexible metal conduit having a UL rating.

[0034] Although not shown in detail in FIG. 3, frame 104 of lighting system 300 can include a release mechanism(s) for allowing emergency ballast 360 and/or driver 260 to be easily detached from frame 104 for servicing and/or replacement for example.

[0035] FIG. 4A shows an example emergency switch that can be used in together with a lighting system 300 such as that shown in FIG. 3 and described above.

[0036] As shown in this example, trim 410 of lighting system 300 includes test button

402. Test button 402 can be connected to an electrical wire (not shown) and electrical signal source and can include any electrical and mechanical components so that, when test button 402 is depressed, an electrical signal is provided on the attached electrical wire and provided to driver 260 and/or emergency ballast 360, and used to test the battery power in emergency ballast 360 as will be described in more detail below.

[0037] FIG. 4B illustrates example emergency aspects of lighting system 300 having a test button 402. In this example, lighting system 300 is mounted behind a ceiling 104 as described above in connection with FIG. 1C. As such, when lighting system 300 having trim 410 is so installed, button 402, by virtue of being attached to trim 410, is accessible from below ceiling 104. As further illustrated, when button 402 is pressed, an electrical signal is sent to power switch 406 (e.g. in driver 260 or emergency ballast 360), which causes power to the light source assembly 108 (e.g. via wire(s)/connector(s) 430 routed from the test switch 402 to power switch 406) to be switched from regular power source 412 (e.g. a building electrical wiring network) to an emergency power source 414 (e.g. batteries in emergency ballast 360). If the power in the batteries is sufficient, light from light source assembly 108 will be produced, thereby allowing personnel to verify emergency power source 414 without having to remove lighting system 300 from behind the ceiling or otherwise gain direct access to emergency power source 414.

[0038] It should be noted that embodiments are not limited to systems 100, 200 and 300 described herein, and that systems 100, 200 and 300 are not necessarily mutually exclusive. For example, according to certain aspects, the same frame 104 installed in a single building location can accommodate certain components at one time (i.e. some combination or all of junction box 102, driver 260 and ballast 360), and other combinations of components at another time.

Additionally or alternatively, any or all of such components can be freely serviced and/or replaced with similar components at any given point in time.

[0039] Although the present embodiments have been particularly described with reference to preferred ones thereof, it should be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that changes and modifications in the form and details may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure. It is intended that the appended claims encompass such changes and modifications.