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Title:
AN ARTICLE, SUCH AS A CAP OR A PROTECTIVE HELMET, EQUIPPED WITH LIGHT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2005/096856
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A cap (10), a protective helmet (42), a hearing protector (40) or other utility article provided with one or more small-sized LED illumintor(s) (30). At least one LED illuminator (30a) directed forward emits white light. The utility article may also be provided with LED illuminators emitting light of another colour, such as a rear-facing red LED illuminator (30d). An LED illuminator located in the forward edge of the visor (20) of the cap is most preferably directed forward, but it may also be pointed in another direction. When located above the visor, an LED illuminator (30c) can be directed for example at an advertisement (11) provided with the cap. When located in a tiltable portion (21, 23) of the visor, an LED illuminator (30a) can be tilted downwards to a required angle (&agr ), in which case the LED illuminator can be used as a spot light to facilitate the work being performed.

Inventors:
Karlsson, Ralf (Dobbingvägen 5 A1, Maarianhamina, FI-22100, FI)
Application Number:
PCT/FI2005/000164
Publication Date:
October 20, 2005
Filing Date:
March 24, 2005
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PION NORDIC AB (Ålandsvägen 16, Mariehamn, FI-22100, FI)
Karlsson, Ralf (Dobbingvägen 5 A1, Maarianhamina, FI-22100, FI)
International Classes:
A42B1/24; A42B3/04; A61F11/14; B63C11/12; F21V21/084; G09F21/02; H04R5/02; A45B3/04; F21L4/00; A42B; (IPC1-7): A42B1/24; A42B3/04
Foreign References:
US20030117575A12003-06-26
US5510961A1996-04-23
US5667292A1997-09-16
US6168286B12001-01-02
US5680718A1997-10-28
US5485358A1996-01-16
US6056413A2000-05-02
US20030231489A12003-12-18
US5758947A1998-06-02
US20040264173A12004-12-30
US6733150B12004-05-11
Other References:
See also references of EP 1740065A1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IPR PARTNERS OY (Bulevardi 2-4, Helsinki, FI-00120, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A utility article, such as a cap (10) or a protective helmet (42). lo which utility article at least one smallsized LED illuminator (30) emitting white light and a power supply required by the Illuminator, such as a rechargeable or a disposable battery, and a switch (32) is attached, characterised in that at least one LED illuminator (30a) emitting white light is located In a notch (25) provided in the frame portion of the visor (20) of the utility article, such as a cap (10) or a protective helmet (42), so that the LED illuminator is substantially inside the visor.
2. A utility article (10.42) as claimed in claim 1. characterised in that the frame portion of the visor (20) of the utility article, such as a cap (10) or a protective helmet (42), is most preferably covered with fabric so that the LED illuminator is in the notch (25) of the frame portion of the visor (20), inside the fabric furthermore, there is an aperture in the fabric for the beam of light from the LED illuminator (30a).
3. A utility article (10, 42) as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterised in that there is at least one LCD illuminator (30a) emitting white light in the front edge of the visor (20) of the utility article, such as a cap (10) or a protective helmet (42), which LED illuminator is most preferably directed substantially forward.
4. A utility article (10, 42) as claimed in claim 1,2 or 3, characterised in that there is at least one LED illuminator (30a) emitting white light in the front edge of the visor (20) of the utility article, such as a cap (10) or a protective helmet (42), which (LCD) illuminator can be tilted downwards to a required angle (α) so that the LED illuminator can be used as a spot light to facilitate the work being performed.
5. A utility article (10, 42) as claimed in any of the claims 14, characterised in that there is at least one LED Illuminator (30c) emitting white light in the visor (20) of the utility article, such as a cap (10) or (a) protective helmet (42), which (LED) illuminator is directed to an object attached to the cap. such as an advertisement (11).
6. A utility article (10, 42) as claimed in any of the claims 15. characterised in that there is at least one coloured, rearfacing light, such as an LED illuminator (30d) emitting red light, the said light being in the back portion of the utility article, such as a cap (10) or a protective helmet (42).
7. A utility article (10, 42) as claimed in any of the claims 16, characterised in that there are two or more LED illuminators (30a, 30b) directed forward in the visor (20) of the utility article, such as a cap (10) or a protective helmet (42).
8. A utility article (10, 42) as claimed in any of the claims 17, characterised in that the I FD illuminator (30a) in the visor (20) of the utility article, such as a cap (10) or a protective helmet (42), is provided with a reflector to increase the lighting power.
9. A utility article (10, 42) as claimed in any of the claims 18, characterised in that at least one LED illuminator (30) in the utility article, such as a cap (10) or a protective helmet (42), flashes intermittently.
Description:
An article, such as a cap or a protective helmet, equipped with light

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION The object of the present invention is a utility article with an illuminator. Such a utility article may for example be a cap or another item of headgear. Combining an item of headgear with an illuminator conveniently produces an illuminator that one can easily carry anywhere for possible use. This makes it unnecessary to have a separate illuminator. Perhaps the greatest advantage, however, of an illuminator combined with headgear is that the hands remain free for work. The device thus conveniently replaces a separate forehead lamp held in place by straps also in the respect that a forehead lamp is usually worn much less often than a cap.

PRIOR ART It is not unknown to connect an illuminator to an item of headgear, but such illuminators are large in size and cumbersome. The headgear may not be worn as items of headgear are usually worn because the illuminator is in the way when not in use.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION The purpose ot this invention is to create a device, which overcomes the above-mentioned drawbacks.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INVENTION An illuminator according to the invention is characterised in that at least one illuminator, the said illuminator being a small LED illuminator, iε connected to the utility article. The LED illuminator is so small that It Is nearly unrecognisable when not switched on,

EMBODIMENTS OF THE DEVICE ACCORDING TO THE INVENTION Preferred embodiments of the invention include for example a so called baseball style cap, the said cap having at least one LED Illuminator directed forward and Inserted in the front edge of the viεor of the cap, the said illuminator being an LED only or an LED provided with a reflector.

the electrical power required by the LED Illuminator Is most preferably obtained from thin and round button batteries, which are so light in weight and take up such a small amount of space that they can be accommodated under the cover fabric of the cap or inside lhe cap, for example between the cover fabric and the sweatband. Because the LED illuminator requires a supply voltage of no less than 3 V it is preferable to connect two 1.5 V button batteries In series. Rechargeable batteries can be used.

The LED illuminator used In the cap may emit white or coloured light. LED illuminators of various colours may also bo used simultaneously. The forward directed illuminators of the cap may emit white light and a LED Illuminator visible towards the rear may be red, for example. The illuminators may also be illuminated continuously or they may flash intermittently. A cap provided with LED illuminators also functions as an efficient means of safety as it can be easily seen in darkness. It is particularly useful as a means of safety in traffic for example for bikers and small children.

Electric wires connected between the LED illuminators and the batteries can be located under the cover fabric of the cap so as to render them invisible. The electric wires are most preferably equipped for example with a push button switch which, when pressed consecutively, first switches on the power and then switches it off.

According to one preferred embodiment of the invention, an LED illuminator attached to the visor of a cap can be tilted so that it can be directed to the required angle downwards from the horizontal level. The tilting mechanism is comprised of either a separate, tiltable plate on the lower surface of the visor or a separate piece separated from the body of the visor, to which piece the LED illuminator is attached. Between the visor and the separate plate piece, there may be a hinge or the separate plate piece itself may be made of elastic material An elastic electrical cable connected to the LED illuminator may be used as a hinge. If the tiltable piece is a separate part separated from the body of the visor it is preferred to provide the visor with a limiter, which prevents the tiltable piece from being tilted upwards from the horizontal level.

The cap with a visor may also be provided with a pattern or a text, such as a company logo or an advertisement of a product In such a case, an LED Illuminator may be inserted In the visor, which illuminator iε directed to the said pattern or text. In advertising it is important that the pattern or text to be promoted can be clearly seen. LED illuminators may also be attached to other garments, such as a blouse or the hood of a jacket.

Other embodiments of the invention include attaching LED illuminators to hearing protectors, welding masKs. helmets ror Industrial workers, bikers or firefighters, divinq masks or sweatbands, for example LED illuminators may also be used for illuminating fixed objects such as pictures on the wall. In such a case, grid power may be used as the source of electric energy, but the preferred solution is to use rechargeable batteries, the said batteries being recharged by solar power during the daytime. The power consumption of an LED illuminator is so small that a recharge of one day can supply the LED Illuminator through the night.

EMBODIMENTS In the following, the invention is described using examples with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which

LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 represents a cap with two illuminators attached to the front edge of the visor as seen diagonally from above Figure 2 corresponds to Fig. 1 and represents a cap with an additional Illuminator illuminating an advertisement Figure 3 represents a vertical sectional view of the cap in Fig. 2 Figure 4 represents a portion of another embodiment of the cap as seen from above Figure 5 represents a vertical sectional view of a portion of the cap in Fig. 4 Figure 6 represents a sectional view of the visor of the cap in Fig. 4 Figure 7 represents a vertical sectional view of the visor of a cap according to a third embodiment Figure 8 corresponds to Fig. 7 and represents the illuminator attached to the visor in another position Figure 9 represents a hearing protector with illuminators Figure IU represents a welding mask with illuminators Figure 11 represents a vertical sectional view of a bike helmet with illuminators directed both forward and backwards Figure 12 represents a diving mask with illuminators Figure 13 represents a sweat band with illuminators Figure 14 represents a cap with two illuminators end one solar cell Figure 15 represents a frame of billboard with a solar cell and two illuminators Figure 16 represents an illuminator to be attached to the wrist with two light sources directed to the location to be worked on Figure 17 represents α walking pole with illuminators as seen from the aide Figure 18 represents a sectional view of a detail of the walking pole in Fig. 1 / as seen from the εide Figure 19 represents an arrangement with a car heater cord with an illuminator as seen from the side DESCRIPTION OFTHE FIGURES Figure 1 shows a cap 10 having two notches In the front edge of Its visor 20, with forward directed LED illuminators 30a and 30b being located in the notches. Electric wires 31 of the I FD illuminators 30a and 30b are connected to the side of the cap 10. to a switch 32. which connects an electric battery 33 to the LED illuminators 30a and 30b. The switch 32 anri hartery 33 are located inside the cap 10. between the cover fabric and the sweatband. The push button of the switch 32 is visible and comes through the cover fabric of the cap 10. The switch 32 is most preferably a push button switch of such variety that one push of the button switches on the power to the LED illuminators 30a and 30b and another push switches off the power. The LED Illuminators 30a and 30b are most preferably In the notches of the plastic part of the visor 20. The fabric covering the visor covers the electric wires 31 and the LED Illuminators 30a and 30b except for apertures directed forward for the lights.

Figure 2 represents two LED Illuminators 30a and 30b directed forward in the visor 20 of a cap 10 and one LED illuminalυr 30c directed to the advertisement 11 on the front portion of the cap 10. The electric wires 31, switch 32 and batteries 33 correspond in other respects Io lhose shυwπ in Fig. 1. An object in Front of lhe viewyi can be seen illuminated wilh the help of the LED illuminators 30a and 30b of the cap 10 shown in Fig. 2. Furthermore, others can see the advertisement 11 , such as a company name or a product, which is illuminated by the LED illuminator 30c. on the front portion of the cap 10 Instead of an advertisement there may be another text or piece of information, which the user wishes to highlight. Such an important message could for examples be the words "Security guard", "Supervisor", "Police" or a similar message,

Figure 3 clearly illustrates the structure of the cap 10, where an LED illuminator 30a directed forward is located in the front edge of its visor 20, and an LED illuminator 30c directed to the advertisement 11 is inserted in the middle of the visor 20. Furthermore, there is an LED illuminator 30d directed to the back in the back portion of the cap 10. This LED illuminator 30d could for example emit red light and the other LED illuminators white light Electric wires 31. a switch 32 and batteries 33 are located in the edge of the cap. inside of it, most preferably between the sweatband and the cover fabric of the cap 10. The plastic frame portion of the visor 70 is usually covered with tabnc that should have apertures for the beams of light from the LED illuminators 30a and 30c. Figure 4 illustrates a cap 10 with a separate piece 21 in the visor 20. In the solution shown in Fig. 4, the separate piece 21 is cut out from the plastic frame portion of the visor 20 so that the separate piece can be moved relative to the visor 20. The LED Illuminators 30a and 30b are located in the separate piece 21. The purpose of the separate piece 21 iε illustrated In greater detail In the next figure, FIg. S.

Figure 5 shows a sectional view of the visor 20 of a cap 10. the visor having a separate piece 21 shown in Fig. A. An LED illuminator 30a is located in the front edge of the separate piece 21. Electric wires 31 are connected From the LED illuminator 30a to inside of the cap 10 so that the separate piece 21 can tilt, supported by the electric wires 31. The electric wires 31 thus function as a hinge of the separate piece 21 relative to the visor 20. With this solution, the LED illuminator 30a can be directed downwards to an object in front of the user of the cap, close to him or her. Such an object can be for example a book that the cap user is reading or the keyboard of a computer. Because the beam of light of the LED illuminator 30a is relatively narrow the beam is preferably focused only on the keyboard of a computer, for example, but not on the computer screen.

Figure 6 illustrates a cross section of the visor structure in Fig. 5, the said visor structure having the separate piece 21 of the visor 20 in its place in a gap of the visor 20. In this position, the LED illuminators 30a and 30b are directed straightforward, parallel to the visor. The separate piece 21 can, however, be tilted and the LED illuminators 30a can 30b be directed also downwards, at a required angle α relative to the horizontal level Fig 6 shows that rims 22 are arranged in the visor 20, which rims prevent the separate piece 21 from being tilted upwards from the level ot the visor 20.

Figure 7 illustrates a solution where a plate 23 is attached with a screw 74, or alternatively with adhesive, to the lower surface of the visor 20 of a cap 10. An LED illuminator 30a is attached to the top ot the front edge ot the plate 23. A notch 25 is arranged on the front edge of the visor 20 so that, when the plate 23 is pressed against the visor 20, the LED illuminator 30a goes into the notch 25. There is a hinge portion 26 in the plate 23 or alternatively the plate 23 is mode of on elastic material so that the plate 23 can be tilted downwards from the level of the visor 20, as presented in the next figure. Fig. 8.

Figure 8 illustrates the plate 23 attached on the lower surface of the visor 20 of the cap 10, the said plate being tilted downwards about the hinge 26. In this position, the beam of light from the LED illuminator 30 is directed downwards at a required angle α relative to the horizontal level. Figure 9 illustrates a hearing protector 40 having LED illuminators 30a and 30b directed forward on both its muffs. A switch 32 and batteries 33 can be located in one or me muffs of the protector 40. The hearing protector 40 of this kind can also be used to illuminate an object

Figure 10 illustrates a welding mask 41 having corresponding I FD illuminators 30a and 30b. A switch 32 and batteries 33 are located inside the upper portion of the mask 41. The push button of the switch 32 Is. however, visible from the outside of the visor so that the switch 32 is easy to use.

Figure 11 illustrates a bike helmet 42 also having corresponding LED illuminators 30a and 30d. in This case the LED illuminator 30a directed forward emits white light and the LED illuminator 30d directed backwards emitε red light Λ switch 32 and batteries 33 are located in the back portion of the bike helmet 42. between the helmet and its inside fittings. The press button of the switch 32 can also be pressed from the outside of the bike helmet 42.

Figure 12 illustrates a diving mask 42 having one LED illuminator 30 directed forward and a corresponding switch 32 and batteries 33. The sweatband in Fig. 13 also has LED illuminators 30a and 30b arid a switch 32 and batteries 33.

Figure 14 illustrates a cap 10 corresoonding to the one in Fig. 1, which cap 10 is comprised of LED illuminators 30a and 30b, electric wires 31, a switch 32 and an electric battery 33. The electric battery 33 is a rechargeable battery in this embodiment, however, the said battery being recharged with a solar cell on top of the cap 10.

Figure 15 illustrates a billboard with LED illuminators 30a and 30b directed on the surface of the board. The LED illuminators 30a and 30b receive the necessary electric power from recharges hie batteries 33, which are recharged by a solar cell 34

Figure 16 illustrates a wrist illuminator 46 having two I FD illuminators 30a and 30b directed Io an object to be worked on and electric wires 31 , a switch 32 and a electric battery 33.

Figure 17 illustrates a walking pole 47 having LED illuminators 30 attached to it. The illuminators 30 can be of a bright or a coloured type and they may be illuminated continuously or they may flash intermittently. T he illuminators significantly improve the safety of a walker in darkness.

The sectional view in Figure 18 illustrates details of the walking pole 47 of Fig. 17. Fig. 18 shows that an electric hattery 49 is installed inside the handle 48 of the walking pole 47, and a light switch 50 on the upper end of the handle 48. The user of the pole 47 may, as required, switch the LED illuminators 30a and 30b on and off by using the switch 50, for example by pushing with the thumb.

figure 19 illustrates an arrangement where the electrical cord 02 of the car heater of a car 51 is provided with an LED illuminator 30. The LED illuminator 30 is located for example in a small case, which case houses a battery and has a light switch on the side of it. The case is attached to the electrical cord 52 for example by a Velcro fastener not shown in the figure. The presented arrangement makes it substantially easier for the user of the car 51 to connect the heater of the car 51 to the electric grid in darkness. With the help of the LED illuminator on the electric cord 52, the plugs at the ends of the electric cord 52 are easy to connect both to the receptacles 54 at the end of the pole 53 and the recaptacle 55 in the car 51. LIST OF REFERENCE NUMBERS

10 Cap 11 Advertisement 20 Visor 21 Separate piece 22 Rim 23 Plate 24 Screw 25 Notch 30 LED illuminator 31 Wire 32 Switch 33 Electric battery 34 Solar cell 40 Hearing protector 41 Welding masK 42 Bike helmet 43 Diving mask 44 Sweatband 45 Billboard 46 Wrist illuminator 47 Walkiny μυlu 48 Handle 49 Electric battery 50 Light switch 51 Car 52 Cord of a heater 53 Pole 54 Receptacle 55 Receptacle of a car