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Title:
PORTABLE LIGHT PROVIDING PLURAL BEAMS OF LASER LIGHT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/006275
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A portable light (100) may comprise: a light body (120) having an illumination, e.g., white, light source (140) and one or more laser light sources (400), each light source (140, 400) being selectively energizable for producing light; and a switch (160, 172) for selectively energizing the illumination light source (140) and/or the laser light sources (400). The one or more laser light sources (400) provide diverging narrow beams (450) of laser light, so as to appear as spaced apart dots or spots of laser light on objects illuminated by the beams (450) of laser light. Because the laser light beams (450) diverge, the distance between the dots is proportional to the distance to the object which the dots illuminate. A TIR optical element (200) may also be disposed in front of the illumination light source (140) for receiving the light produced thereby.

Inventors:
SHARRAH, Raymond, L. (306 Wheat Sheaf Way, Collegeville, PA, 19426, US)
BORIS, Thomas, D. (30 N. Grange Avenue, Collegeville, PA, 19426, US)
KEELEY, Donald, J. (623 West Berger Street, Emmaus, PA, 18049, US)
DINEEN, Michael, F. (338 East Ashland Street, Doylestown, PA, 18901, US)
Application Number:
US2018/040249
Publication Date:
January 03, 2019
Filing Date:
June 29, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
STREAMLIGHT, INC. (30 Eagleville Road, Eagleville, PA, 19403, US)
International Classes:
F21L4/02; F21W111/00; F21Y113/20
Foreign References:
US20050185403A12005-08-25
US20060233215A12006-10-19
US20140268703A12014-09-18
US20160018071A12016-01-21
US20120326635A12012-12-27
US20150276347A12015-10-01
US20050122710A12005-06-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BERARD, Clement, A. (Dann, Dorfman Harrell & Skillman, PC,1601 Market Street, Suite 240, Philadelphia PA, 19103, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A portable light comprising:

a light body for receiving a source of electrical power;

an illumination light source supported by said light body and selectively energizable for producing illumination light that emanates away from said light body in a

predetermined direction;

one or more laser light sources supported by said light body and selectively energizable for producing laser light, wherein said one or more laser light sources produce plural beams of laser light that emanate away from said light body substantially in the predetermined direction and that diverge from each other at a predetermined angle, wherein the plural beams of laser light are produced without a diffraction grating; and

a switch supported by said light body for selectively energizing said illumination light source from the source of electrical power and for selectively energizing said laser light source from the source of electrical power.

2. The portable light of claim 1 wherein said one or more laser light sources includes:

one laser light source including a laser emission element that produces a beam of laser light and an optical element that receives the beam of laser light and emits plural beams of laser light that diverge from each other at the predetermined angle; or

plural laser light sources that each include a laser emission element that produces a beam of laser light and an optical element that emits the beam of laser light, said plural laser light sources being mounted to produce beams of laser light that diverge from each other at the predetermined angle;

whereby plural diverging beams of laser light are emitted thereby without a diffraction grating.

3. The portable light of claim 1 wherein said one or more laser light sources include a registration feature on an external surface thereof disposed in predetermined registration with a plane defined by the plural beams of laser light emitted therefrom.

4. The portable light of claim 3 wherein the registration feature has an axis oriented

substantially parallel to an axis of an optical beam splitter.

5. The portable light of claim 1 wherein said illumination light source includes a shaped

optically clear element having a polished curved external side surface and a generally wider flat forward surface whereat the illumination light exits said illumination light source through the flat forward surface, and wherein said one or more laser light sources are supported by said shaped optically clear element.

6. The portable light of claim 1 wherein said switch is operable so that only one of the

illumination light source and the one or more laser light sources is energized at a given time.

7. The portable light of claim 1 wherein the plural diverging beams of laser light that emanate away from said light body substantially in the predetermined direction define a plane that is substantially parallel to the predetermined direction or define a plane that is diverging from the predetermined direction.

8. The portable light of claim 7 wherein said one or more laser light sources are moveable for rotating the plane defined by the diverging beams of laser light relative to said light body; or for repositioning the plane defined by the diverging beams of laser light relative to said light body.

9. The portable light of claim 1 wherein said one or more laser light sources are supported by a shaped optical element of said illumination light source or are supported by a receptacle of said light body.

10. The portable light of claim 9 wherein said one or more laser light sources are moveable for rotating a plane defined by the diverging beams of laser light relative to said light body or for repositioning the plane of laser light relative to said light body.

11. The portable light of claim 1 wherein said one or more laser light sources comprise a laser light source that produces plural diverging beams of laser light and that:

is supported by a reflective element of said illumination light source; or is supported by a reflective element of said illumination light source and is rotatable relative thereto; or

is supported by a receptacle of said light body; or

is supported by a receptacle of said light body and is rotatable relative thereto.

12. The portable light of claim 1 wherein said one or more laser light sources comprise plural laser light sources that:

are supported by a reflective element of said illumination light source; or are supported by a reflective element of said illumination light source and are rotatable relative thereto; or

are supported by one or more receptacles of said light body; or

are supported by one or more receptacles of said light body and are rotatable relative thereto.

13. The portable light of claim 1 wherein said one or more laser light sources further include a laser emission element and a support for a beam splitting element wherein:

the support for the beam splitting element is rotatable relative to said light body; or the laser emission element and the support for said beam splitting element are rotatable relative to said light body.

14. The portable light of claim 1 wherein said illumination light source includes:

an optical element for forming light produced by said illumination light source into a predetermined beam configuration; or

an optical element for forming light produced by said illumination light source into a predetermined beam configuration, said optical element having a recess therein for receiving a beam modification element therein.

15. The portable light of claim 1 wherein said one or more laser light sources are supported by said light body relatively nearer to a base end thereof than is said illumination light source.

16. The portable light of claim 1 wherein said one or more laser light sources include plural laser light sources each emitting a beam of laser light along an axis thereof and each supported interior to said light body behind an optical element of said illumination light source, said optical element having plural bores therethrough that are aligned with the respective axes of said plural laser light sources for passing the respective beams of laser light produced thereby.

17. A portable light comprising:

a light body for receiving a source of electrical power;

an illumination light source supported by said light body and selectively energizable for producing illumination light that emanates away from said light body in a

predetermined direction;

plural laser light sources supported by said light body and selectively energizable for producing laser light, wherein said plural laser light sources are mounted for producing plural beams of laser light that emanate away from said light body substantially in the predetermined direction and that diverge from each other at a predetermined angle, whereby the plural beams of laser light are produced without a diffraction grating; and a switch supported by said light body for selectively energizing said illumination light source from the source of electrical power and for selectively energizing said laser light source from the source of electrical power.

18. The portable light of claim 17 wherein said illumination light source includes a shaped optically clear element having a polished curved external side surface and a generally wider flat forward surface whereat the illumination light exits said illumination light source through the flat forward surface, and wherein said plural laser light sources are supported by said shaped optically clear element.

19. The portable light of claim 17 wherein the plural diverging beams of laser light that

emanate away from said light body substantially in the predetermined direction define a plane that is substantially parallel to the predetermined direction or define a plane that is diverging from the predetermined direction.

20. The portable light of claim 19 wherein said plural laser light sources are moveable for rotating the plane defined by the diverging beams of laser light relative to said light body; or for repositioning the plane defined by the diverging beams of laser light relative to said light body.

Description:
PORTABLE LIGHT PROVIDING PLURAL BEAMS OF LASER LIGHT

[ 001] This Application claims the benefit of the priority of U.S. Patent Application No.

16/022,137 entitled "PORTABLE LIGHT PROVIDING PLURAL BEAMS OF LASER LIGHT" filed June 28, 2018, which claims the benefit of the priority of US Provisional Patent Application No. 62/527,500 entitled "PORTABLE LIGHT PROVIDING PLURAL BEAMS OF LASER LIGHT" filed June 30, 2017, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

[ 002] The present invention relates to a portable light and in particular, to a portable light having an illumination light source and one or more laser sources providing plural beams of laser light.

[ 003] Strong and reliable portable lights are important to the safety of personnel who must enter hazardous and/or dangerous locations. Lights intended for use in such locations often have special circuitry to reduce the danger from high temperatures and/or sparks, and/or have special light producing configurations that improve the ability of a user to see while in hazardous locations. Often the users of such lights may be firefighters, police, security, environmental specialists, military and other first responder personnel, as well as military and rescue personnel in such environments, who may risk health and life in such areas.

[ 004] Such portable lights are used in many environments to provide illumination and to enable personnel to operate in those environments. In certain environments, visibility may be reduced by smoke, particles, fog, steam, mist, rain, snow and/or other matter suspended or floating in the air. Often these kinds of environments may be hazardous and/or dangerous to personnel, and so the reduced visibility created by such environments can increase the level of hazard and/or danger. Lights for use in these environments may include special optical elements that form and/or direct the light beam produced by the light in ways thought to improve their ability to "cut through" the particle-filled air, thereby to improve visibility.

[ 005] Typically, a bright light is necessary to penetrate such environments, however, such environments tend to reflect light back towards the portable light and thereby can tend to "blind" the personnel using the portable light. Peripheral light is particularly offensive when reflected back. One way to reduce this reflection-induced blinding is to employ a highly collimated beam of light thereby to reduce any peripherally projected light.

[ 006] Conventionally, lights employ a highly collimating parabolic reflector and an opaque cover, e.g., as by a black opaque area on an incandescent light source, to block peripheral light. Thus the light intensity at the center of the light beam is increased relative to the intensity at the periphery thereof.

[ 007] An example of such light includes the SURVIVOR® light available from

Streamlight, Inc. of Eagleville, Pennsylvania, which produces a high-intensity light formed into a relatively tight spot beam for reducing side reflected light. A recent version of the SURVIVOR® light includes a removable selectable beam modification element, which may be either opaque or colored, that fits into a recess in a solid optical element in a way to improve visibility in certain reduced and/or limited visibility environments, and which is described in US Patent No. 9,488,331 entitled "PORTABLE LIGHT WITH SELECTABLE OPTICAL BEAM FORMING

ARRANGEMENT" which was issued November 8, 2016, and is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

[ 008] However, when a light having a highly collimated spot beam is employed in other environments, the absence of peripheral light may be a disadvantage.

[ 009] With the advent of modern high light output solid state light sources, e.g., light emitting diode (LED) light sources, a parabolic reflector is less efficient because the LED does not emit light relatively evenly over a complete spherical volume as does an incandescent source. Typically, modern LEDs include an integral curved plastic lens so as to produce light relatively evenly over a hemispherical volume. Typically, many modern LED lights employ an optical arrangement in which internal reflection of light within an optical element is utilized to shape a forward projecting collimated light beam. Also typically, a level of peripheral light is provided by light that is directly emitted from the LED and/or by light diffusing elements to redirect light toward the periphery of the light beam. A permanent opaque plate has been employed to block the direct forward projected light from the LED. [ 010] However, even with lessening of the negative effect of peripheral light, Applicant believes there is a need for a portable light that allows individuals to better discern the physical features of environments, e.g., structures and objects therein, in a limited visibility environment, e.g., one in which smoke, mist, particles, fog, steam and/or other matter may be suspended or floating in the air. Among the solutions proposed are lights providing a laser light in addition to the illumination light source, however, certain of such lights seem to less than a desirable level of improvement of discerning objects in certain environments, e.g., heavy smoke.

[ 011] Applicant believes there may be a need for a light that may provide improved discernment in a limited visibility environment. Further it is believed desirable that the light assist a user to gauge distance to an object. Still further, it is believed desirable to avoid using a diffraction grating to produce a pattern of light.

[ 012] Accordingly, a portable light may comprise: a light body having an illumination light source and one or more laser light sources, each source being selectively energizable for producing light; and a switch for selectively energizing the illumination light source and/or the laser light source. The one or more laser light sources may be configured to provide plural beams of laser light that diverge from each other, so as to create dots or spots of laser light on objects illuminated by the laser light source. In this regard, the one or more laser light sources may include a laser light source including a beam splitter or may include plural laser light sources. A TIR optical element may also be disposed in front of the illumination light source for receiving the light produced thereby, and form the white light into a collimated beam of light. The TIR optical element may have a recess in a forward face thereof into which a selectable beam modification element may be placeable and removable. The beam modification element does not include a diffraction grating.

[ 013] Also, a portable light may comprise: an illumination light source and a laser light source supported by a light body and each selectively energizable by a switch for producing illumination light; and the laser light source may include an optical beam splitter for transmitting plural beams of laser light. The optical beam splitter does not include a diffraction grating.

[ 014] In summarizing the arrangements described and/or claimed herein, a selection of concepts and/or elements and/or steps that are described in the detailed description herein may be made or simplified. Any summary is not intended to identify key features, elements and/or steps, or essential features, elements and/or steps, relating to the claimed subject matter, and so are not intended to be limiting and should not be construed to be limiting of or defining of the scope and breadth of the claimed subject matter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[ 015] The detailed description of the preferred embodiment(s) will be more easily and better understood when read in conjunction with the FIGURES of the Drawing which include:

[ 016] FIGS. 1 A and IB are front and rear perspective views of an example embodiment of a portable light including a laser light source, FIGS. 1C and ID are front and rear views thereof, and FIGS. IE and IF are top and bottom views thereof, respectively;

[ 017] FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the example portable light of FIG. 1, FIG.

2A is an enlarged view of an example heat sink thereof including an illumination light source and plural laser light sources that produce diverging beams of laser light, and FIG. 2B is a schematic diagram illustrating the diverging beams of laser light produced thereby;

[ 018] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 1C;

[ 019] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an example optical beam forming element useful with an illumination light source and the with the laser light source of FIG. 2B, FIGS. 4A, 4B and 4C are front and rear views and a cross-sectional view, respectively, of the example optical beam forming element of FIG. 4;

[ 020] FIG. 5 is a front view of an alternative example embodiment of a portable light including a laser light source wherein the example optical element supports a laser light source that produces two diverging beams of laser light, FIGS. 5A and 5B are first and second end views of the example optical beam forming element usable with the example illumination and laser light sources of FIG. 5, and FIGS. 5C and 5D are side cross-sectional views of an example optical element thereof;

[ 021] FIGS. 6 A and 6B are side cross-sectional and end views, respectively, of an example laser light source that produces two diverging beams of laser light, and FIG. 6C is a combined cross-section and plan view illustrating the two diverging beams of laser light produced thereby;

[ 022] FIG. 7 A is a front view of the example light illustrating an alternative position for the laser light source, FIG. 7B is a front view of the example light with the example optical element removed to render a portion of the interior thereof visible, and FIGS. 7C and 7D illustrate alternative mounting of the example laser light source in the example optical element including for rotatability of the example laser light source;

[ 023] FIG. 8 is a front view of an example alternative embodiment of the example optical beam forming arrangement wherein the example optical element supports plural laser light sources that produce two diverging beams of laser light;

[ 024] FIGS. 9A and 9B are perspective views of alternative embodiments of the portable light including mounting the example laser light source that produces diverging beams of laser light on the light body at locations that are spaced away from the illumination light source; and

[ 025] FIGS. 10A and 10B are perspective views of alternative embodiments of the portable light including mounting the example plural laser light sources that produce diverging beams of laser light on the light body at locations that are spaced away from the illumination light source.

[ 026] In the Drawing, where an element or feature is shown in more than one drawing figure, the same alphanumeric designation may be used to designate such element or feature in each figure, and where a closely related or modified element is shown in a figure, the same alphanumerical designation primed or designated "a" or "b" or the like may be used to designate the modified element or feature. Similar elements or features may be designated by like alphanumeric designations in different figures of the Drawing and with similar nomenclature in the specification. According to common practice, the various features of the drawing are not to scale, and the dimensions of the various features may be arbitrarily expanded or reduced for clarity, and any value stated in any Figure is given by way of example only.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S) [ 027] FIGS. 1 A and IB are front and rear perspective views of an example embodiment of a portable light 100 including a laser light source 400, FIGS. 1C and ID are front and rear views thereof, and FIGS. IE and IF are top and bottom views thereof, respectively; FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the example portable light 100 of FIG. 1, FIG. 2 A is an enlarged view of an example heat sink assembly 170 thereof including an illumination light source 140 and plural laser light sources 400 that produce diverging beams 450 of laser light, and FIG. 2B is a schematic diagram illustrating the diverging beams 450 of laser light produced thereby; and FIG. 3 is a cross- sectional view of FIG. 1C.

[ 028] Example portable light 100 includes a body or housing 120 that is configured to have a base 130 upon which light 100 can rest, e.g., on a horizontal surface, and to have a light source 140 that when energized projects light in a direction substantially perpendicularly to the long axis (e.g., vertical axis) of body 120.

[ 029] Light 100 preferably, but optionally, includes a clip 150 on light body 120 by which it can be attached (e.g., clipped) to an article of clothing or to equipment or to another object, e.g., a belt or strap or rope or bar, as well as a hanger or loop 155 by which it can be attached (e.g., hung) from an article of clothing or equipment or another object. Hanger 155 is attached to light body or housing 120 by a bracket, e.g., the bracket 152 that supports clip 150, and more

specifically, hanger 155 is pivotable on the pivot or hinge pin 154 on which clip 150 pivots on that bracket 152 relative to housing 120.

[ 030] A switch actuator 160 is provided for selectively energizing and de-energizing illumination light source 140, e.g., white light source 140, and laser light source 400, where the light sources 140, 400 may be energized separately, so that only one source 140, 400 is on at a given time, or may be actuated together so that both illumination light source 140 and laser light source 400 are on at the same time, as may be preferred. Alternatively, switch actuator 160 and the internal electrical switch it actuates, may be configured to sequentially energize illumination light source 140, laser light source 400, and both illumination and laser light sources 140, 400, in any desired sequence.

[ 031] Preferably switch actuator 160 is at the upper end on body 120 where it can easily be actuated by a finger when light 100 is held in hand or can be pressed when light 100 is resting on a horizontal surface or is attached by clip 150 or hung by loop 155. In this example embodiment, light sources 140, 400 are proximate the upper end of light body 120.

[ 032] Light body or housing 120 is preferably a hollow tube 120, e.g., a molded plastic tube, having a receptacle 122 for receiving elements, e.g., elements 142-148, 176, 200, 300 of illumination light source 140, typically a white light source 140, extending substantially

perpendicularly from the upper end of body 120, and having an opening 126 at the upper end thereof for receiving elements, e.g., elements 162-166, of switch actuator 160. A switch boot 162 of switch actuator 160 is attached over an opening 126 in the upper end of housing 120 by a switch ring 164 which is attached to housing 120, e.g., by adhesive or by welding or by another suitable method to sealingly attach boot 162 thereto. A switch spacer 166 is disposed behind switch boot 162 for transmitting a pressing of boot 162 to actuate an electrical switch 172 which is adjacent thereto when LED module assembly 170 is inserted into housing tube 120 through the opening at the base 130 thereof and is fully seated against the upper end thereof.

[ 033] LED module assembly 170 includes, e.g., a heat sink structure 178 to an upper end of which is mounted electrical switch 172 and to a lower end of which are mounted a pair of spring contacts 174 for making electrical connections to a battery assembly 180. Heat sink structure 178 is substantially rectangular with two substantially parallel opposing sides thereof having extensions projecting upwardly and downwardly along each side thereof, e.g., to increase the heat sinking area and mass thereof. A preferably integral wall fills the rectangular center of heat sink 178 and thermally connects to all sides thereof and presents a substantially flat mounting surface

substantially in the plane of heat sink 178.

[ 034] Mounted to that substantially flat mounting surface of heat sink structure 178 is a light emitting diode (LED) 176, which is also an element of illumination light source 140. LED 176 is mounted in a position thereon to direct light substantially outwardly and away from that surface of heat sink 178 and thus substantially perpendicularly to the long axis of housing 120, e.g., into the base of optical element 200, as described below.

[ 035] Because white light alone is sometimes not desirable, one or more laser light sources 400 are provided that may be configured to provide plural narrow beams 450 of laser light to illuminate objects in a reduced visibility environment, such as a smoke-filled room. Heat sink 178 also supports a pair of laser light sources 400 that produce a pair of beams 450 of laser light that diverge from each other and are directed in substantially the same direction as is the light produced by LED light source 176. Elements forward of laser light sources, e.g., optical element 200, are configured to have suitable optical interfaces such that the laser light passes through them with minimal distortion and/or dispersion so as to preserve the narrowness of the beams 450 of laser light. In one embodiment optical element 200 has a pair of bores or passages 280 therethrough that are angled with respect to each other to diverge at the same angle as are the divergent beams 450 produced by laser light sources 400 with which they are aligned.

[ 036] While the plural laser light sources 400 as illustrated emit beams 450 of laser light that pass through optical element 200 in approximately the one and eleven o'clock positions thereof, they may be mounted in any other suitable positions, e.g., to pass light through element 200 in approximately the 3 and 9 o'clock positions thereof or in approximately the 5 and 7 o'clock positions thereof, and the like. Lens 144 is flat and relatively thin, and so the beams 450 of laser light pass therethrough without significant distortion,

[ 037] Battery assembly 180 includes an inner carrier structure 182 which carries, e.g., a plurality of battery cells (not shown) and provides interconnections therebetween and an outer carrier cover 186. Carrier 182 includes a pair of contacts 184 at its upper end, e.g., accessible through openings in the upper end of carrier cover 186, for making electrical connection to the spring contacts 174 extending from LED module 170. Battery assembly 180 may contain either single use battery cells or rechargeable battery cells. Where battery assembly 180 contains rechargeable battery cells, carrier cover 186 may be permanently attached to inner carrier 182. In that embodiment, battery assembly 180 preferably also provides a pair of contacts at its lower end for making electrical connection to optional electrical connections 134 through battery door 132.

[ 038] Battery door 132 is hinged by pin 125 engaging a clevis 124 at the base of housing

120 and preferably includes a pair of contacts 134 there through for electrically connecting battery carrier 180 internal to light 100 to an external source of charging power, e.g., a charger base, when light 100 is placed therein for charging rechargeable batteries that may be utilized in light 100. Battery door 132 includes a pivotable clasp 138 for securing battery cover 132 in a closed position in housing 120, and may also include an O-ring, gasket or other seal for sealing the battery door end of housing 120.

[ 039] White illumination light source 140 may be provided by an LED 176 of LED module assembly 170 in conjunction with elements 142-148, 200, 300. Optical element 200 is a shaped optically clear plastic element 210 that has a polished generally parabolic external side surface 240, a generally wider fiat polished forward surface 220, and a shaped narrower rearward surface 230 that is disposed adjacent to LED 176 of LED module assembly 170. LED 176 may be surrounded by a raised ring sized and shaped to receive the rearward end 230 of optical element 200. Polished side surface 240 may be a generally parabolic surface or other suitably shaped surface to collimate the light produced by LED 176 into a desired beam, e.g., a collimated forward projecting white light beam, as is useful for illumination of an object or scene.

[ 040] Optical element 200 is covered by a lens 144 and both are retained in the threaded receptacle 122 of housing 120 by a lens ring 142. Preferably Lens ring 142 has threads, e.g., internal threads, that engage complementary threads, e.g., external threads, of receptacle 122 for securing lens ring 142, lens 144 and optical element 200 in housing 120. Preferably, but optionally, an O-ring 146 grommet 146 or other seal 146, may be provided between lens ring 142 and lens 144 to provide a seal thereat and housing 120 may have a second O-ring 148 around outer periphery of receptacle 122 for sealing between lens ring 144 and housing 120.

[ 041] Preferably, but optionally, a pivotable clip assembly 150 includes a pivotable clip

150c and is attached at a bracket 152 thereof to housing 120 by one or more fasteners 159, e.g., two screws 159. Clip assembly 150 includes the clip 150c which is pivotably mounted to bracket or base 152 by a pivot pin 154, and has hanger or loop 155 that is pivotable by the ends thereof pivotably engaging hinge pin or pivot pin 154 on which clip 155 pivots. Housing 120 may be provided with a pressure relief valve 128, typically a resilient valve 128, e.g., of a silicone or rubbery material, that is disposed in an opening in housing 120.

[ 042] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an example optical beam forming element 200 useful with an illumination light source 140 and the with the laser light source 400 of FIG. 2 A, FIGS. 4 A, 4B and 4C are front and rear views and a cross-sectional view, respectively, of the example optical beam forming element 200 of FIG. 4. Optical element 200 is a shaped optically clear plastic element whose optically clear body 210 has a curved polished side surface 240, a generally wider flat polished forward surface 220, and a narrower rearward shaped surface that is disposed adjacent to LED 176 of LED module assembly 170 as described. Light, typically white light, produced by LED 176 enters optical element 200 through the rearward end 230 thereof, is essentially totally internally reflected therein to form a highly collimated beam of light, and exits optical element 200 at the flat forward exit surface 220 thereof. Thus the totally internally reflective (TIR) optical element 200 serves to redirect the rays of light emitted by LED 176, which are emitted therefrom substantially radially into a substantially hemispherical volume, into substantially parallel rays of light defining a highly collimated beam of light that exits forward surface 220 of optical element substantially parallel to the central axis, e.g., the axis of optical symmetry, thereof.

[ 043] More specifically, light emitted by LED 176 impinges on and is refracted by the side wall of the rearward cylindrical recess 260 and into the body 210 of optical element 200 wherein it is totally internally reflected (TIR) by external curved surface 240 to exit via the flat forward face 220 thereof as a highly collimated beam. While most of the light entering via the side wall 262 of cylindrical recess 260 is believed to come directly from LED 176, LED 176 is not a true point source and so some rays may be reflected by surface 270 towards side wall 262.

Because optical element 200 is highly efficient in collecting and in internally reflecting and collimating the light emitted by LED 176, very little light is emitted toward the periphery of optical element 200.

[ 044] A substantially cylindrical recess 260 at the rearward end of optical element 200 has a curved convex bottom 270 for refracting light from LED 176 into optical body 210 in a direction towards the bottom 252 of cylindrical recess 250 in the flat forward surface 220 thereof, from which it exits optical element 200. Preferably, the light exiting optical element 200 is diffused through the textured bottom surface 252 of recess 250 to provide peripheral light. The cylindrical recess 250 provided in the fiat forward face 220 of optical element 200 in an available embodiment thereof has a flat textured bottom surface 252 so as to diffuse light from LED 176 that impinges upon surface 252 thereby to provide the peripheral light. [ 045] Because peripheral light is sometimes desirable and sometimes is not desirable,

Applicant provides a selectable beam modification element 300 that enables a user to easily reconfigure portable light 100 to provide the desired level of peripheral light. A removable beam modification element 300, e.g., a removable plug element 300, may be disposed in the cylindrical recess 250 in the forward surface of optical element 200, whereat is can block or otherwise modify one or more characteristics of the light exiting through surface 252, e.g., which can provide peripheral light. Preferably removable beam modification element 300, e.g., removable plug element 300, has an opaque body or base 310 so as to maximize the peripheral light that it blocks.

[ 046] It has been found that if the peripheral light is amber in color, it can be less objectionable and less fatiguing to a user than is white peripheral light, at least in some

environments. Accordingly, a removable beam modification element 300, e.g., removable plug element 300, that has a body 310 of transparent or translucent amber colored material, e.g., plastic, may be provided, either in place of and/or in addition to an opaque plug 300, to modify the color or the intensity or both of the peripheral light, e.g., to be amber in color.

[ 047] One example embodiment of removable beam modification element 300, e.g., removable plug element 300, preferably comprises an opaque cylindrical body 310 having a diameter that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the cylindrical recess 250 in the forward face of optical element 200 and being of lesser thickness than the depth thereof.

[ 048] Intuitively, one might expect that placing an opaque beam modification element 300 directly in front of LED light source 176 would substantially diminish the light intensity at the center of the light beam emitted by light 100 and would have little effect upon the intensity of peripheral light, which beam modification element 300 does not appear to be in position to affect. Surprisingly, however, Applicant has found that the light intensity of the light near the center of the emitted light beam is not substantially diminished by beam modification element 300 while the intensity of the peripheral light is substantially diminished or otherwise modified.

[ 049] Optical element 200 may include on optical body 210 thereof one or more orientation defining features 212, e.g., one or more projections 212, that may engage one or more corresponding orientation features, e.g., one or more recesses, in the housing 120, 122 into which optical element 200 is placed. Where the orientation of optical element 200 in housing 120, 122 is desired to be a particular orientation, then orientation features 212 may be arranged in a nonsymmetrical pattern.

[ 050] Selectable beam modification element 300 is preferably of a size and shape corresponding to that of the recess 250, preferably a cylindrical recess, e.g., recess 250, in the forward face of optical element 200 so that it can easily be placed into that recess and can easily be removed from that recess, thereby to reconfigure portable light 100 to produce a lesser and a greater level of peripheral light. Typically, and preferably, the base of selectable beam

modification element 300 may be a cylindrical disk having a diameter that is slightly less than that of the cylindrical recess of optical element 200, and having a thickness (or length) that may be the same as, less than or greater than the depth of the cylindrical recess.

[ 051] Preferably, but optionally, removable beam modification element 300 may have a raised gripping member 320, e.g., a raised ridge 320 or a sphere 320 on a short post, so that removable beam modification element 300 may easily be gripped and removed from the cylindrical recess 250 in optical element 200.

[ 052] Selectable beam modification element 300 may be removably retained in the recess

250 of optical element 200 in any one or more of a variety of different arrangements. For example, selectable beam modification element 300 may be removably retained in the recess of optical element 200 by friction, or may have a resilient periphery that contacts the inner surface of the recess 250 in optical element 200, or may be of a resilient material and of a diameter to contact the inner surface of the recess 250 in optical element 200, or may have an O-ring in a peripheral groove that contacts the inner surface of the recess 250 in beam modification element 300, or may be retained by pressure where the difference between the diameters of selectable beam

modification element 300 and the recess 250 are small. In the illustrated embodiment, selectable beam modification element 300 is retained by a cover provided by lens 144 and lens ring 142, however, a cover of a different form, e.g., a press in or snap in cover, may also be employed.

[ 053] Further, selectable beam modification element 300 may be opaque or may be transparent or translucent and of any desired color, or plural different beam modification elements 300 may be provided with light 100. For example, selectable beam modification element 300 may be of a transparent amber colored material so that the peripheral light is amber in color which is believed to be less fatiguing when reflected by smoke or other particulates in an environment. The intensity of the peripheral light is directly related to the light transmissibility of the material from which selectable beam modification element 300 is made, and so the material employed may be selected to provide a desired level of peripheral light intensity. Further, selectable beam

modification element 300 may be of materials of other colors, e.g., red, blue, green, yellow and the like, as may be desired for coloring the peripheral light for a given environment and/or preference, or for merely distinguishing by its color one light 100 from another light 100.

[ 054] As a result of selectable beam modification element 300 being removably retained in optical element 200, portable light 100 is easily configurable and reconfigurable by a user to produce a beam of light having a lesser peripheral light intensity or a greater peripheral light intensity, as well as to configurations producing peripheral light of different colors and/or intensities. Examples of optical element 200 and of beam modification element 300 are described in U.S. Patent 9,488,331 which issued November 8, 2016 and is entitled "PORTABLE LIGHT WITH SELECTABLE OPTICAL BEAM FORMING ARRANGEMENT," which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

[ 055] The example optical element 200 illustrated in FIGS. 1A, 1C, 2, 2B, 3 and 4-4C has a pair of openings or passages 280 therethrough that are divergent and that are aligned with the pair of laser light sources 400 so that the beams of laser light produced thereby pass through passages 280 of optical element 200 without significant distortion or dispersion. The beams 450 of laser light diverge at an angle B that is typically within the range of about 10° to about 45°. In one example embodiment, the angle B is within the range of about 15° to about 30° and preferably the angle B is typically about 22.5°. In another example embodiment, the angle B is within the range of about 10° to about 20° and more preferably the angle B is typically about 13.5°.

[ 056] Because the two beams 450 of laser light diverge, when they impinge upon an object, the separation or distance W between the two dots 450 of laser light thereon will be directly proportional to the distance D between the light 100 (which includes the plural laser light sources 400) and the object. For example, with a divergence angle B of about 30° the distance D to the object is approximately two times the distance W between the dots 450 of laser light. For example, if the dots 450 are about 2 feet apart (example W = Wl), then the object is about 4 feet (example D = Reference Dl) from the light 100, and if the dots 450 are about 4 feet apart (example W = W2), then the object is about 8 feet (example D = Reference D2) from the light 100. The relationship is the same in the Metric system: if the dots 450 are about 2 meters apart, then the object is about 4 meters from the light 100. For example, with a divergence angle B of about 13.5° the distance D to the object is approximately 4.5 times the distance W between the dots 450 of laser light. Not only has the use of two diverging beams 450 of laser light that produce dots 450 of laser light on the objects upon which they impinge apparently provide improved awareness of distance to the objects, but they also appear to provide improved discernability of objects in certain reduced visibility environments.

[ 057] FIG. 5 is a front view of an alternative example embodiment of a portable light 100 including a laser light source 400 wherein the example optical element 200 supports a laser light source 400 that produces two diverging beams 450 of laser light, FIGS. 5A and 5B are first and second end views of the example optical beam forming element 200 usable with the example illumination and laser light sources 140, 400 of FIG. 5, and FIGS. 5C and 5D are side cross- sectional views of an example optical element 200 thereof.

[ 058] In this example embodiment, laser light source 400 is supported in an example TIR optical element 200 that includes a bore or passage 280 in which laser light source 400 is disposed. Bore 280 and laser light source 400 may be in the about six o'clock position on optical element 200, although they may be in any other desired location through optical element 200. Two electrical wires exit the rear of laser light source 400 to be connected to a source of electrical power, e.g., via heat sink assembly 170. Alternatively, one or more contacts, e.g., spring contacts, may be provided at the rear of laser light source 400 to make electrical connection to corresponding electrical contacts provided on heat sink assembly 170. Otherwise, optical element 200 is substantially as previously described.

[ 059] In FIG. 5C laser light source 400 is supported by optical element 200 behind the lens 144, similarly to that previously described. Therein, laser light source 400, e.g., forward portion 430 thereof, has an orientation indicating feature, e.g., a flat side, that fixes its orientation in TIR optical element 200, thereby to fix the orientation of beams 450 of laser light relative to light 100. Preferably the beams 450 diverge in a plane that is substantially horizontal or that tilts slightly downward when the base 130 of light 100 is standing on a horizontal surface.

[ 060] In FIG. 5D laser light source 400 is supported by optical element 200 such that the forward portion 430 of laser light source 400, e.g., the supporting element 430, extends through an opening in lens 144 so as to be graspable by a user's fingers. In this arrangement, both the exterior cylindrical surface of supporting element 430 and the internal cylindrical wall of recess 280 are not flattened or otherwise keyed to fix their relative orientation, but are, e.g., cylindrical. A key, stop or detent may, however, be provided for limiting the rotation of laser light source 400 in recess 280, e.g., to less than ±45° or less than ±30° or less than another desired limit. Preferably, with laser light source 400 at the center position the beams 450 of laser light are emitted in a horizontal or downward tilted plane as just described.

[ 061] The protruding forward end 430 may be for rotating either laser light source 400 or for rotating only the forward portion 430 thereof which supports optical splitter 440, whereby a user may conveniently change the orientation of the beams 450 of laser light relative to light housing 120 because the beam splitter 440, e.g., the principal axis thereof, rotates with the forward portion 430. As a result the plane defined by the beams 450 of laser light may be rotated relative to housing 120 of portable light 100, and thus when the orientation of light 100 is not changed, the plane of laser light beams 450 may be rotated relative to a location wherein portable light 100 is utilized, whether portable light 100 is held by the user, attached to the user by a clip 150, or placed, e.g., with its base 130, on a surface.

[ 062] Preferably, the opening in lens 144 in which laser light source 400 resides is sealed, e.g., by an O-ring, grommet, or other sealing element 145, thereby to resist the entry of moisture, dirt and debris into light 100. In addition, it is preferred that a covering lens be provided over the opening 436 in forward portion 430 of laser light source 400 when it is not covered by lens 144, thereby to resist the entry moisture, dirt and debris towards beam splitting element 440 therein.

[ 063] FIGS. 6A and 6B are side cross-sectional and end views, respectively, of an example laser light source 400 that produces two diverging beams 450 of laser light, and FIG. 6C is a combined cross-section and plan view illustrating the two diverging beams of laser light produced thereby. Laser light source 400 includes a laser emission element 410, a laser lens assembly 420 and a lens supporting element 430 in which is disposed an optical beam splitter 440 that separates the beam of laser light emitted by elements 410, 420 into two beams 450 of laser light that diverge from each other at a desired angle B.

[ 064] The laser light source 400 may include a optical beam splitter 440 for receiving light from a laser emission element 402, such as a red laser diode, and for transmitting the received light as the two beams 450 of laser light. Laser light source 400 may include a registration feature 434 on an external surface thereof disposed in registration with an axis of the optical beam splitter 440. In particular, the registration feature 434 may have an axis oriented parallel to a plane defined by the two diverging beams 450 of laser light emanating from optical beam splitter 440 whereby the plane defined by the two beams 450 of laser light is substantially parallel to the flat surface of registration feature 434.

[ 065] The laser light source 400 may be mounted to the fiat forward exit surface 220 interior to the optical element 200, e.g., in a recess 280 therein. One might also expect that providing holes through optical element 200 through which the two beams 450 of laser light may pass or placing the laser light source 400 in the path of LED light source 176 could substantially diminish the light intensity of the white light beam emitted by light 100. Surprisingly, however, Applicant has found that the light intensity of the light of the emitted white light beam is not substantially diminished by the presence of bores 280 or of laser light source 400 in the recess 280 of TIR optical element 200, 210. Perhaps the light from LED 176 traveling in TIR optical element is reflected at the interface of recess 280 to remain within optical element 280 until it exits at fiat front surface 220.

[ 066] In an example laser light source 400, the laser assembly 410 may include a sleeve or housing 416 that supports a laser emitting element 412 on an electronic circuit board 414 to emit laser light toward laser lens assembly 420. Laser lens assembly 420 includes lenses and baffles, such as first focus lens 422 and second focus lens 424 with a baffle 426 therebetween, so as to form the laser beam from emission element 412 into a tightly focused spot beam. Typically, one or more electrical wires exit at the rear of housing 416 for providing electrical connections for energizing laser emitting element 412. [ 067] A optical beam splitter supporting element 430 is disposed at the forward end of laser assembly 410 for supporting an optical beam splitter 440 in a seat 432 therein and has an aperture 436 through which the two beams 450 of laser light exit laser light source 400. Seat 432 seats optical beam splitter 440 in a predetermined orientation relative to the flat registration feature 434 on the exterior surface of support 430 and laser light source 400 so that the orientation of the plane of beams 450 of laser light emanating from optical beam splitter 440 and laser light source 400 is in a predetermined orientation relative to registration feature 434. Support 430 may have a lens cup at the rearward end thereof into which laser lens assembly 420 is disposed, thereby to predetermine the relative positions thereof so that the exit of lenses 420, 422, 424 is closely adjacent to optical beam splitter 440 and to reduce the overall length of laser light source 400.

[ 068] In the example illustrated, optical beam splitter 440 is seated in seat 432 of support

430 so that its emitted beams 450 are substantially in a plane that is substantially parallel to the registration feature 434 so that the plane defined by the beams 450 of laser light exiting optical beam splitter 440 is substantially parallel to the flat surface of registration feature 434. Beam splitter 440 may be, e.g., a rectangular solid in shape and include adhesively attached prismatic parts providing an internal angled partially mirrored surface and an internal second angled mirrored surface. Beam splitter 440 receives laser light at its rear surface adjacent to lens 424 and the internal angled partially mirrored surface thereof splits (e.g., sometimes referred to as a "half- silvered" mirror or a pellicle mirror) that incoming beam of laser light into a forwardly directed beam and a transversely directed beam, wherein each of the two beams are of substantially equal intensity, (e.g., about 50% intensity each). The second internal angled mirrored surface is configured to direct substantially all of the transverse beam into the general direction of the forwardly directed beam, but diverging therefrom at the desired divergence angle B, and so both beams 450 of laser light exit laser light source 400 through aperture 436, e.g., a generally rectangular opening.

[ 069] Consequently, because the orientation of the plane defined by laser light beams 450 emitted from laser light source 400 is in a predetermined orientation relative to registration feature 434 thereof, the mounting of laser light source 400 in light 100 can be in a predetermined orientation relative to light 100. In the example illustrated, with light 100 resting on a horizontal surface on its base 130 so that its longitudinal axis is vertical, the flat registration feature of recess 280 of TIR optical element 200 is substantially horizontal, whereby the flat registration feature 434 of laser light source 400 is substantially horizontal as is the plane defined by beams 450 of the laser light emitted therefrom. With the plane defined by beams 450 of laser light being substantially horizontal, it is likely to illuminate substantially vertical features, e.g., walls, doorways, posts and openings in the floor. A user of light 100 could move light 100, e.g., by rotating its longitudinal axis away from vertical, so as to change the orientation of the plane defined by laser light beams 450 to a different, e.g., non-horizontal, orientation where it may better define physical features, objects and structure in a reduced visibility environment.

[ 070] While laser light source 400 is illustrated as projecting two beams 450 of laser light outwardly in a direction that is generally transverse to the longitudinal axis of housing 120, laser light source 400 may be angled such that the plane defined by beams 450 of laser light is substantially parallel to the axis at which light is emitted by illumination light source 140 or may be angled, e.g., downwardly, to diverge from the illumination light. The latter is thought to make it easier for a user to discern objects in certain reduced vision environments, as is the embodiments wherein laser light source 400, and the plane 450 of laser light therefrom, may be rotated by a user.

[ 071] The beams 450 of laser light may also be referred to as dots or spots of laser light, e.g., because they appear as dots or spots on objects upon which they impinge and/or because the laser module 400 may be described as providing beams of laser light and/or may be employed to provide a line of laser light. The laser light from laser module 400 appears as two beams 450 of laser light, e.g., as viewed in FIG. 6B, and appear as diverging lines or beams 450, e.g., as viewed in FIG. 6C. While there is some small divergence or spreading (e.g., about 1.5°) of the diameter of each of laser beams 450 with increasing distance from laser light source 400 or sources 400, as the case may be, the term diverging beams of laser light and the like herein are intended to indicate that the two beams 450 or the plural beams 450 are angled (e.g., at an angle B) with respect to each other and so diverge from each other with increasing distance from laser light source 400.

[ 072] FIG. 7A is a front view of the example light 100 illustrating an alternative position for the laser light source 400, FIG. 7B is a front view of the example light 100 with the example optical element 200 removed to render a portion of the interior thereof visible, and FIGS. 7C and 7D illustrate alternative mounting of the example laser light source 400 in the example optical element 200 including for rotatability of the example laser light source 400. Therein, laser light source 400 is supported by optical element 200 in a position that is between recess 250 for beam modification element 300 and actuator 160, e.g., such that the laser light source 400 is above recess 250 for beam modification element 300 when light 100 is resting with its base 130 on a surface, or when it is hanging by hanger or loop 150. Otherwise portable light 100 is substantially as previously described.

[ 073] Laser light source 400 therein includes an optical splitter that divides the beam of laser light produced thereby into two diverging beams 450 of laser light that are directed in the same general direction as is the light produced by illumination light source 140. Laser light beams 450 may lie in a plane that is substantially parallel to the central axis of the beam of light produced by light source 140 or may be at a diverging angle therefrom, e.g., a downwardly diverging angle.

[ 074] With the optical element 200 and laser light source 400 removed as illustrated in

FIG. 7B, a portion of the interior of light 100 is visible. LED light source 176 is supported by LED module assembly 170 and above LED 176 is seen an electrical circuit board 460 that is, e.g., also supported by module assembly 170, has connections 464 to the source of electrical power for laser light source 400, and has an arrangement of contacts 462 configured for making contact with electrical contacts 472 at or near the rear of laser light source 400. Laser light source 400 may include a small circuit board 470 to which the electrical wires from laser light source connect and which has one or more, e.g., two, electrical contacts 472 extending rearwardly so as to make physical and electrical contact with contacts 462 of circuit board 460 when optical element 200 with laser light source 400 therein is disposed in the receptacle 122 therefor in light housing 120. Preferably, contacts 472 each comprise an electrically conductive spring 472, e.g., a cylindrical or helical or conical spring 472.

[ 075] Where laser light source 400 is mounted in a fixed orientation in optical element

200, circuit board 460 is a circuit board 460a which has two side-by-side electrical contacts 462a, e.g., one for making contact with a respective one of side -by-side spring contacts 472, e.g., approximately at "3 -o'clock" and "9-ο' clock" positions on circuit board 470. To allow for tolerance, contacts 462a may be made, and preferably are made, larger than is needed to receive the ends of contact springs 472. In one example embodiment, electrical contacts 462a are wider than the ends of contact springs 472 and have opposing complementary arcuate shapes so as to accommodate any rotational tolerance in the mounting of laser light source 400 and/or circuit board 470 thereon, as well as any alignment tolerances of spring contacts 472.

[ 076] Where laser light source 400, or at least the end cap 430 thereof that supports optical beam splitter 440, is rotatable in optical element 200, circuit board 460 is a circuit board 460b which has two electrical contacts 462b. One contact 462b is centrally located on circuit board 460B for making contact with one of spring contacts 472 that is centrally located on circuit board 470 and one contact 462b being a ring-shaped contact 462b surrounding the centrally located contact 462b for making contact with a second one of spring contacts 472 that is spaced apart from the central contact 472 by a distance substantially equal to the radius of the ring contact 462b. To allow for tolerance, contacts 462b may be made, and preferably are made, larger than is needed to receive the ends of contact springs 472. In one example embodiment, both electrical contacts 462B are wider than are the ends of contact springs 472 so as to accommodate any rotational and/or diametrical tolerance in the mounting of laser light source 400 and/or circuit board 470 thereon, as well as any alignment tolerances of spring contacts 472.

[ 077] In FIG. 7C laser light source 400 is supported by optical element 200 behind the lens 144, similarly to that previously described. In FIG. 7D laser light source 400 is supported by optical element 200 such that the forward portion 430 of laser light source 400, e.g., the optical beam splitter supporting element 430, extends through an opening in lens 144 so as to be graspable by a user's fingers. In this arrangement, both the exterior cylindrical surface of supporting element 430 and the internal cylindrical wall of recess 280 are not flattened or otherwise keyed to fix their relative orientation, but are cylindrical. A key, stop or detent may, however, be provided for limiting the rotation of laser light source 400 in recess 280, e.g., to less than ±60° or less than ±45° or another desired limit.

[ 078] The protruding forward end 430 may be for rotating either laser light source 400 or for rotating only the forward portion 430 thereof which supports optical beam splitter 440, whereby a user may conveniently change the orientation of the plane of laser light 450 relative to light housing 120 because the optical beam splitter 440 rotates with the forward portion 430. As a result the beams 450 of laser light may be rotated relative to housing 120 of portable light 100, and thus when the orientation of light 100 is not changed, the plane of beams 450 of laser light may be rotated relative to a location wherein portable light 100 is utilized, whether portable light 100 is held by the user, attached to the user by a clip 150, or placed, e.g., with its base 130, on a surface.

[ 079] Preferably, the opening in lens 144 in which laser light source 400 resides is sealed, e.g., by an O-ring, grommet, or other sealing element 145, thereby to resist the entry of moisture, dirt and debris into light 100. In addition, it is preferred that a covering lens be provided over the opening 436 in forward portion 430 of laser light source 400 when it is not covered by lens 144, thereby to resist the entry moisture, dirt and debris towards optical beam splitter 440 therein.

[ 080] FIG. 8 is a front view of an example alternative embodiment of the example optical beam forming arrangement 200 wherein the example optical element 200 supports plural laser light sources 400 that produce two diverging beams 450 of laser light. In this example arrangement, the plural laser light sources 400 are at the about 3 o'clock and about 9 o'clock positions in optical element 200 with each being disposed in a respective bore 280 therein. The two bores 280 are preferably each symmetrically angled off parallel, e.g., each by about 6.3° so that the beams 450 of laser light that they produce will diverge at an angle B of about 13.5° and are either substantially parallel to the plane of base 130 or are tilted slightly downward relative thereto.

[ 081] The arrangement of laser light sources 400 in TIR optical element 200 is

substantially as illustrated and discussed relative to FIG. 5C above, except for the different locations of the laser light sources 400 around the forward face or surface 220 of optical element 200. Laser light sources 400 could be mounted as in FIG. 5D although with two separate laser light sources 400 there is less advantage to their being rotatable.

[ 082] FIGS. 9A and 9B are perspective views of alternative embodiments of the portable light 100 including mounting the example laser light source 400 that produces diverging beams 450 of laser light on the light body 120 at locations that are spaced away from the illumination light source 140. Since illumination light source 140 is proximate the upper end of light housing or body 120, laser light source 400 can be at any location on housing 120 that is under illumination light source 140, e.g., closer to base 130 thereof. In general, in this embodiment, it is preferred that laser light source 400 be located away from illumination light source 140, e.g., to be close to base 130, e.g., as closely as is practicable.

[ 083] In the illustrated embodiment of example portable light 100, the flared lower portion of housing 120 and base 130 at the bottom end thereof are configured to interface with, e.g., slide into, a standard charging device, e.g., an existing charging device that is compatible with several previous embodiments of the illustrated light (without the laser light source 400) and with several other lights that have been and/or are presently available. Accordingly, it is desirable to not interfere with the arrangement of that charger interface and so laser light source is preferably disposed in a receptacle 110, 110' that extends from light body 120 above the flared lower part thereof. Were that not the case, laser light source could be located closer to the bottom of light 100, e.g., at base 130, if desired.

[ 084] Accordingly, laser light source 400 is preferred to be provided in a location slightly above the flared part of housing 120 as illustrated, but could be located at any desired location on light body 120 from which the diverging beams 450 of laser light would be projected in the same general direction as is the light from illumination light source 140. Diverging beams 450 could be substantially parallel to the illumination light beam from light source 140 or could be arranged to diverge therefrom, e.g., typically in a slightly downward direction.

[ 085] Tubular receptacle 110 may extend forwardly from the same face of light body 120 as does illumination light source 140 thereby to provide illumination light and diverging beams 450 of laser light in the same general direction. Laser light source 400 may be in a fixed orientation in receptacle 110 so that the orientation of the diverging beams 450 of laser light are fixed in a predetermined direction, e.g., generally substantially parallel to the axis of light produced by illumination light source 140 or diverging therefrom, e.g., slightly downwardly towards base 130. Laser light source 400 may have its forward end extending from tubular receptacle 110, 110' so that it may be grasped and rotated by a user, in similar manner to that described herein, to rotate the plane defined by the diverging beams 450 of laser light relative to light body 120. [ 086] Alternatively, a tubular receptacle 110' may extend forwardly from a side face of light body 120 thereby to provide illumination light and diverging beams 450 of laser light in the same general direction. Laser light source 400 may be in a fixed orientation in receptacle 110' so that the orientation of plane defined by the diverging beams 450 of laser light is fixed in a predetermined direction, e.g., generally parallel to the axis of light from illumination light source 140 or diverging therefrom downward towards base 130. Laser light source 400 may have its forward end extending from tubular receptacle 110' so that it may be grasped and rotated by a user, in similar manner to that described herein, to rotate the plane defined by the beams 450 of laser light relative to light body 120.

[ 087] Because light body 120 contains a source of electrical power, e.g., a battery, tubular receptacle 110 or 110' would typically project forwardly from body 120 so as to not interfere with the internal battery and/or connections thereto. Typically, the battery includes a number, e.g., four, of battery cells, that are preferably in a battery carrier in which the battery cells may be

permanently contained or may be replaceable. The battery may be single use or may be rechargeable. Typically, for housing the same laser light source 400, receptacle 110 would project further forward from light body 120 than would tubular receptacle 110' to avoid extending into the space provided for the battery.

[ 088] Typically, receptacle 110 or 110' would be integrally molded with light body 120, and the electrical wires of laser light source 400 would extend upward within light body 120, e.g., along a wall of the battery compartment therein, to connect to LED module assembly 170.

[ 089] FIGS. 10A and 10B are perspective views of alternative embodiments of the portable light 100 including mounting the example plural laser light sources 400 that produce diverging beams 450 of laser light on the light body 120 at locations that are spaced away from the illumination light source 140. The configuration of light 100 and of the light body 120 thereof is substantially the same as that previously described, e.g., in relation to FIGS. 9A and/or 9B, except for the plural laser light sources 400 that are in a common receptacle 110 in FIG. 10A or are in separate receptacles 110' in FIG. 10B. The plural laser light sources 400 may be disposed in fixed positions in receptacle 110, 110' or may be configured so as to be rotatable for rotating the plane defined by the beams 450 of laser light produced thereby as described above.

[ 090] In one example embodiment, laser light source 400 may include one or more 650 nanometer (red) 5 milliwatt laser modules that are available from Sean & Stephen Corporation located in Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. or from Laser Max located in Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. The lens support 430 may be about 12 mm in diameter, about 8 mm in length, and registration feature 434 may be a flat surface about 5.25 mm radially removed from the central axis of support 430. Such laser light source 400 typically provides a narrow beam 450 of laser light typically having out of axis dispersion at an angle A of about 1.5 degrees.

[ 091] Where a single laser light source 400 is configured to produce diverging beams 450 of laser light, an optical beam splitter 440 thereof separates the beam of laser light into two diverging beams of laser light. Optical beam splitter 440 may include a cube beam splitter, a prism cube, a plate beam splitter, a pellicle mirror, a dichromic optical coating, or a diffractive optic, or a combination thereof. Optical beam splitter 440 may be of glass and/or of plastic, e.g., an acrylic PMMA or optical polycarbonate plastic, or a combination thereof. Laser light source 400 with an optical beam splitter 440 typically provides two narrow beams 450 of laser light each typically having out of axis dispersion at an angle A of about 1.5 degrees and that diverge from each other at an angle B of beam divergence.

[ 092] In a typical embodiment, TIR optical element 200 and lens 144 may be of an optically clear material, e.g., a glass, polycarbonate, polystyrene, PMMA (acrylic), acrylic, styrene acryl nitride (SAN), or another suitable clear plastic, glass or other suitable optical material. One example embodiment of optical element 200 is about 1.97 inches (about 50 mm) in diameter at its wide fiat end, about 0.68 inch (about 17.3 mm) in diameter at its narrower end, and about 1.0 inch (about 25.4 mm) in depth front to rear. Forward cylindrical recess 250 thereof is about 0.70 inch (about 17.8 mm) in diameter and about 0.24 inch (about 6.1 mm) in depth, and rear recess 260 is about 0.67 inch (about 17 mm) in diameter and about 0.46 inch (about 11.7 mm) in depth. An example selectable beam modification element 300 therefor may be of acrylic, styrene or another suitable plastic, and is slightly less than about 0.67 inch (about 17 mm) in diameter and about 0.11 inch (about 2.8 mm) thick.

[ 093] Another example embodiment of beam modification element 200 is about 1.97 inches (about 50 mm) in diameter at its wide flat end, about 0.65 inch (about 16.5 mm) in diameter at its narrower end, and about 1.0 inch (about 25.4 mm) in depth front to rear. Forward cylindrical recess 250 thereof is about 0.45 inch (about 11.4 mm) in diameter and about 0.3 inch (about 7.6 mm) in depth, and rear recess 260 is about 0.59 inch (about 15 mm) in diameter and about 0.50 inch (about 12.7 mm) in depth. An example selectable beam modification element 300 therefor may be of acrylic, styrene or another suitable plastic, and is slightly less than about 0.45 inch (about 11.4 mm) in diameter and about 0.11 inch (about 2.8 mm) thick.

[ 094] In the aforementioned examples of optical element 200, side surface 240 has a shape that is a series of arches and curved bottom 270 has a domed or peaked shape as illustrated, examples of which may be rounded and convex, almost parabolic, and not quite spherical, and the other example being a curved sided peaked conical dome with concave side curvature.

[ 095] One example of an LED module and heat sink of the sort suitable for use in light

100 and similar to that described herein is described in US Patent No. 7,883,243 issued February 8, 2011 and entitled "LED FLASHLIGHT AND HEAT SINK ARRANGEMENT" which is assigned to Streamlight, Inc. of Eagleville, Pennsylvania, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

[ 096] It is noted that the term the "plane defined by the diverging beams of laser light" as used herein is an approximation because the plural beams of laser light are emitted from locations on the light body that are close together relative to the volume into which the diverging beams 450 of laser light are emitted into in typical usage, e.g., into a room or other space that is much larger than is light 100, even though the laser light sources 400 may be spaced apart from each other on the light body 120. Where a single laser light source 400 emits plural beams of laser light, e.g., as in the arrangements of FIGS. 1-2, and 2A-2B, or FIGS. 5A-5D, or FIGS. 7A-7D, or FIGS. 9A-9B, the axes of the respective beams 450 of laser light do intersect due to the configuration of the internal optical elements of the laser light source 400, although they need not intersect for

Applicant's invention to be operable. Where plural laser light sources 400 emit plural beams 450 of laser light, e.g., where two laser light sources emit two beams 450 of laser light, and are located relatively near to one another, e.g., as in the arrangements of FIG. or FIGS. 10A-10B, the axes of the respective beams 450 of laser light may but need not intersect, although they will in the usual configuration be quite close to intersecting as a result of their mechanical mounting, but they need not intersect for Applicant's invention to be operable.

[ 097] Further, the terms diverging beams of laser light and plural diverging beams of laser light refer to there being an angle of divergence B between the plural beams of laser light, whereby they become farther apart with increasing distance from their source(s), and not to refer to the fact that the diameter of each beam of laser light expands slightly with increasing distance from the source of laser light, e.g., by the beam width angle A. The plural diverging beams result in the spots or dots of laser light becoming farther apart at greater distances from light 100 whilst the second results in the spots or dots of laser light being larger at greater distances from light 100, thereby to provide a spatial indication that is related to the distance from the light to the object upon which the dots of laser light appear.

[ 098] A portable light 100 may comprise: a light body 120 for receiving a source of electrical power; an illumination light source 140 supported by the light body 120 and selectively energizable for producing illumination light; one or more laser light sources 400 supported by the light body 120 and selectively energizable for producing plural beams 450 of laser light, whereby the laser light source 400 is emits plural beams 450 of laser light 450 that diverge from each other; and a switch 160 supported by the light body 120 for selectively energizing the illumination light source 140 from the source of electrical power and for selectively energizing the laser light source 400 from the source of electrical power. The one or more laser light sources do not include a diffraction grating. The one or more laser light sources 400 may include a laser light source 400 including an optical beam splitter 440 for receiving light from a laser emission element and for transmitting the received light as plural beams 450 of laser light 450, or may include plural laser light sources 400 emitting plural beams 450 of laser light. The laser emission element may comprise a laser diode. The laser light source 400 may include a registration feature on an external surface thereof disposed in registration with an axis of the optical beam splitter 440. The registration feature may be oriented substantially parallel to an axis of the optical beam splitter 440. The illumination light source 140 may include a shaped optically clear element 200 having a polished curved external side surface and a generally wider fiat forward surface whereat the illumination light exits the illumination light source 140 through the flat forward surface, and wherein the one or more laser light sources 400 are supported by the shaped optically clear element 200. The switch 160 may be operable so that only one of the illumination light source 140 and laser light source 400 is energized at a given time. The illumination light source 140 and the laser light source 400 may emit light in substantially the same direction. The laser light source 400 may be moveable: for rotating the plane defined by the beams 450 of laser light relative to the light body 120; or for repositioning the plane defined by the beams 450 of laser light relative to the light body 120. The one or more laser light sources 400 may be supported by a shaped optical element 200 of the illumination light source 140 or may be supported by a receptacle of the light body 120. The laser light source 400 may be moveable: for rotating the plane of laser light 450 relative to the light body 120; or for repositioning the plane defined by the beams 450 of laser light relative to the light body 120. The laser light source 400: may be supported by a reflective element of the illumination light source 140 and may be rotatable relative thereto; or may be supported by a receptacle of the light body 120 and may be rotatable relative thereto. The laser light source 400 may further include a support for the optical beam splitter 440, wherein: the support for the optical beam splitter 440 is rotatable relative to the light body 120, whereby the optical beam splitter 440 is rotatable relative to the light body 120, whereby the optical beam splitter 440 is repositionable relative to the light body 120. The one or more laser light sources 400 may further include a laser emission element and a support 430 for a beam splitting element 440 wherein: the support 430 for the beam splitting element 440 is rotatable relative to the light body 120; or the laser emission element and the support 430 for the beam splitting element 440 are rotatable relative to the light body 120. The illumination light source may include: an optical element 200 for forming light produced by the illumination light source 140 into a predetermined beam configuration; or an optical element 200 for forming light produced by the illumination light source 140 into a predetermined beam configuration, the optical element 200 having a recess 250 therein for receiving a beam modification element 300 therein. The one or more laser light sources 400 may be supported by the light body 120 relatively nearer to a base end 130 thereof than is the illumination light source 140. The one or more laser light sources 400 may include plural laser light sources 400 each emitting a beam 450 of laser light along an axis thereof and each supported interior to said light body 120 behind an optical element 200 of the illumination light source 140, the optical element 200 having plural bores 280 therethrough that are aligned with the respective axes of the plural laser light sources 400 for passing the respective beams 450 of laser light produced thereby.

[ 099] As used herein, the term "about" means that dimensions, sizes, formulations, parameters, shapes and other quantities and characteristics are not and need not be exact, but may be approximate and/or larger or smaller, as desired, reflecting tolerances, conversion factors, rounding off, measurement error and the like, and other factors known to those of skill in the art. In general, a dimension, size, formulation, parameter, shape or other quantity or characteristic is "about" or "approximate"whether or not expressly stated to be such. It is noted that embodiments of very different sizes, shapes and dimensions may employ the described arrangements.

[ 100] Although terms such as "up," "down," "left," "right," "up," "down," "front," "rear,"

"side," "end," "top," "bottom," "forward," "backward," "under" and/or "over," "vertical,"

"horizontal," and the like may be used herein as a convenience in describing one or more embodiments and/or uses of the present arrangement, the articles described may be positioned in any desired orientation and/or may be utilized in any desired position and/or orientation. Such terms of position and/or orientation should be understood as being for convenience only, and not as limiting of the invention as claimed.

[ 101] As used herein, the term "and/or" encompasses both the conjunctive and the disjunctive cases, so that a phrase in the form "A and/or B" encompasses "A" or "B" or "A and B." In addition, the term "at least one of one or more elements is intended to include one of any one of the elements, more than one of any of the elements, and two or more of the elements up to and including all of the elements, and so, e.g., the phrase in the form "at least one of A, B and C" includes "A," "B," "C," "A and B," "A and C," "B and C," and "A and B and C." [ 102] The term battery is used herein to refer to an electro-chemical device comprising one or more electro-chemical cells and/or fuel cells, and so a battery may include a single cell or plural cells, whether as individual units or as a packaged unit. A battery is one example of a type of an electrical power source suitable for a portable device. Other devices could include fuel cells, super capacitors, solar cells, and the like. Any of the foregoing may be intended for a single use or for being rechargeable or for both

[ 103] Various embodiments of a battery may have one or more battery cells, e.g., one, two, three, four, or five or more battery cells, as may be deemed suitable for any particular device. A battery may employ various types and kinds of battery chemistry types, e.g., a carbon-zinc, alkaline, lead acid, nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd), nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) or lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery type, of a suitable number of cells and cell capacity for providing a desired operating time and/or lifetime for a particular device, and may be intended for a single use or for being

rechargeable or for both. Examples may include a four cell lead acid battery typically producing about 6 volts, volts, a four cell Ni-Cd battery typically producing about 6 volts, a four cell NiMH battery typically producing about 4.8 volts, a four cell NiMH battery producing about 6 volts, or a Li-Ion battery typically producing about the same voltage, it being noted that the voltages produced thereby will be higher when approaching full charge and will be lower in discharge, particularly when providing higher current and when reaching a low level of charge, e.g., becoming discharged.

[ 104] The term DC converter is used herein to refer to any electronic circuit that receives at an input electrical power at one voltage and current level and provides at an output DC electrical power at a different voltage and/or current level. Examples may include a DC-DC converter, an AC-DC converter, a boost converter, a buck converter, a buck-boost converter, a single-ended primary-inductor converter (SEPIC), a series regulating element, a current level regulator, and the like. The input and output thereof may be DC coupled and/or AC coupled, e.g., as by a

transformer and/or capacitor. A DC converter may or may not include circuitry for regulating a voltage and/or a current level, e.g., at an output thereof, and may have one or more outputs providing electrical power at different voltage and/or current levels and/or in different forms, e.g., AC or DC. [ 105] A fastener as used herein may include any fastener or other fastening device that may be suitable for the described use, including threaded fasteners, e.g., bolts, screws and driven fasteners, as well as pins, rivets, nails, spikes, barbed fasteners, clips, clamps, nuts, speed nuts, cap nuts, acorn nuts, and the like. Where it is apparent that a fastener would be removable in the usual use of the example embodiment described herein, then removable fasteners would be preferred in such instances. A fastener may also include, where appropriate, other forms of fastening such as a formed head, e.g., a peened or heat formed head, a weld, e.g., a heat weld or ultrasonic weld, a braze, and adhesive, and the like.

[ 106] As used herein, the terms "connected" and "coupled" as well as variations thereof are not intended to be exact synonyms, but to encompass some similar things and some different things. The term "connected" may be used generally to refer to elements that have a direct electrical and/or physical contact to each other, whereas the term "coupled" may be used generally to refer to elements that have an indirect electrical and/or physical contact with each other, e.g., via one or more intermediate elements, so as to cooperate and/or interact with each other, and may include elements in direct contact as well.

[ 107] While the present invention has been described in terms of the foregoing example embodiments, variations within the scope and spirit of the present invention as defined by the claims following will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, the laser light source 400 may be configured so that the plane defined by the plural beams 450 of laser light are is substantially parallel to the central axis of the optical element 200 or may be configured so that the plane defined by the plural beams 450 of laser light diverges from the central axis of the optical element 200 (and from the beam of illumination light, e.g., white light, provided thereby). Such divergence is preferably in a downward direction when the light 100 is held in a normal usage position, but may be in other directions or may have selectable directions, if so desired.

[ 108] The laser light source 400 and/or the optical beam splitter 440 thereof may be configured to be in a predetermined fixed relationship relative to light 100 and optical element 200 thereof, or may be configured to be rotatable with respect to light 100, whereby the orientation of the plane defined by the beams 450 of laser light may be rotatable. Rotating the plane of laser light beams 450 relative to light 100 may be provided by optical element 200 being rotatable in light 100, by laser light source 400 being rotatable in optical element 200, or by the optical beam splitter 440 being rotatable relative to light 100, or by a combination thereof. In any of the foregoing arrangements, rotation of the one or more elements my be provided by an actuator accessible from outside light 100, e.g., by a rotatable ring, by a lever, by a slidable actuator and the like, of all or a part of laser light source 400.

[ 109] Further, and alternatively, laser light source 400 may be supported in the central region of optical element 200, e.g., within recess 250 thereof. In such alternative arrangement, beam modification element 300 could have one or more central holes therein so as to be inserted into recess 250 to surround laser light source 400, or could be a permanently installed part of optical element 200, e.g., as a opaque or translucent annular washer in recess 250 thereof. In this alternative arrangement, when laser light source 400 is configured such that the plane 450 of laser light is rotatable, the opening in lens 144 through which laser light source 400 extends would be centrally located which would ease the mounting and removal of lens ring 142 and lens 144, e.g., when installing or removing beam modification element 300.

[ 110] While a red emitting laser light source 400 is described in an example embodiment, the light produced by the laser light source 400 may be at another wavelength, e.g., at a wavelength of red, or blue, or green, or amber, light. Further, the color of the laser light may be changeable from one color to another, either by replacing a laser light source 400 with a laser light source of another color light, or by providing one or more laser light sources 400 that can be electronically controlled to produce laser light of different colors, e.g., at different wavelengths.

[ 111] Actuator 160 may be configured to actuate illumination light source 140 and laser light source 400 together, e.g., toggling between both on and both off, or independently, e.g., in a sequential order such as white light, laser light, and white and laser light together, or by being responsive to how actuator 160 is actuated, e.g., by a single actuation, by plural actuations close in time, by an actuation continuing for an extended time, and the like. Alternatively, actuator 160 may include physically separate actuators, e.g., one for illumination light source 140 and another for laser light source 400. [ 112] Alternatively, a separate actuator and switch may be provided for laser light source

400, e.g., proximate to or on receptacle 110, 110' therefor.

[ 113] While plural laser light sources 400 having two or three laser light sources 400 are illustrated by way of example, additional laser light sources 400 may be provided. In such embodiment having two or more laser light sources 400, the laser light sources 400 may be either clustered relatively close together, e.g., in optical element 200 or in a receptacle 110, or may be separated apart, e.g., in optical element 200 and/or in one or more receptacles 110, and/or elsewhere on light body 120, e.g., in combination of optical element 200 and/or a receptacle 110.

[ 114] Receptacles 110, 110' may be located at any desired location on light body 120.

Where plural laser light sources 400 are employed, they may be located in any convenient location in optical element 200, whether symmetrical or not, or in a receptacle 110, 110' at any desired location on the light body 120.

[ 115] The planes defined by beams 450 of laser light provided by the one or more laser light sources 400 that produce plural beams 450 of laser light may define triangular or other geometric shape of any suitable angle or configuration, e.g., of an equilateral or an isosceles or another triangle, and the angle between planes defined by beams 450 of laser light may be at an acute angle, an obtuse angle, or a right angle, except for when an equilateral triangle pattern is desired. The plural laser light sources 400 may be oriented such that the edges of the planes defined by beams 450 of laser light overlap, approximately touch, or are separated from each other ("underlap"). In the case of a triangular pattern, the apex thereof may be at the top, at the bottom or in another desired position.

[ 116] In optical element 200, side surface 240 may have a parabolic, hyperbolic or spherical shape and curved bottom 270 may have the same or a different parabolic, hyperbolic or spherical shape, or surfaces 240, 270 may have another suitable shape.

[ 117] Hanger or loop 155 may alternatively be rendered pivotable by the ends thereof being disposed in holes in clip 150 or in housing 120, or by the ends or a portion thereof being directly and pivotably attached to housing 120, e.g., by bracket 152.

[ 118] While certain features may be described as a raised feature, e.g., a ridge, boss, flange, projection or other raised feature, such feature may be positively formed or may be what remains after a recessed feature, e.g., a groove, slot, hole, indentation, recess or other recessed feature, is made. Similarly, while certain features may be described as a recessed feature, e.g., a groove, slot, hole, indentation, recess or other recessed feature, such feature may be positively formed or may be what remains after a raised feature, e.g., a ridge, boss, flange, projection or other raised feature, is made.

[ 119] Each of the U.S. Provisional Applications, U.S. Patent Applications, and/or U.S.

Patents, identified herein is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, for any purpose and for all purposes irrespective of how it may be referred to or described herein.

[ 120] Finally, numerical values stated are typical or example values, are not limiting values, and do not preclude substantially larger and/or substantially smaller values. Values in any given embodiment may be substantially larger and/or may be substantially smaller than the example or typical values stated.