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Title:
LIGHTING APPARATUS AND METHOD OF USE THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/184581
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An outdoor lighting apparatus (2) suitable for use as a street lantern including a housing (4), at least one lighting means (6) and at least one power supply means (12) connected to the same, wherein said housing (4) includes at least one Wireless Access Point (10) and the power supply means (12) provides power to both the lighting means (6) and the Wireless Access Point (10).

Inventors:
JOHNSTON DAVID (GB)
KING MICHAEL (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2014/051514
Publication Date:
November 20, 2014
Filing Date:
May 16, 2014
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
NORTH LIGHTING LTD (GB)
International Classes:
F21S8/08; H04W88/08; F21V15/01; F21V33/00; F21W131/103; F21Y105/00
Foreign References:
US20080220729A12008-09-11
US20040242290A12004-12-02
US20100134046A12010-06-03
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BAILEY WALSH & CO LLP (Leeds LS1 2DR, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. An outdoor lighting apparatus suitable for use as a street lantern, said apparatus including a housing, at least one lighting means and at least one power supply means connected to the same, wherein said housing includes at least one Wireless Access Point and the power supply means provides power to both the lighting means and the Wireless Access Point.

2. An outdoor lighting apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the Wireless Access Point allows access to the Internet via a local area network.

3. An outdoor lighting apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the apparatus includes at least one antenna located inside the housing.

4. An outdoor lighting apparatus according to claim 3 wherein at least one antenna is located in a horizontal plane.

5. An outdoor lighting apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the lighting means includes a plurality of light emitting diodes.

6. An outdoor lighting apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the housing is mounted on a lamppost and/or pole.

7. An outdoor lighting apparatus according to claim 1 wherein at least the Wireless Access Point is mounted on a frame means.

8. An outdoor lighting apparatus according to any preceding claim wherein the housing includes at least two portions.

9. An outdoor lighting apparatus according to claim 8 wherein the housing includes an upper portion and a lower portion.

10. An outdoor lighting apparatus according to claim 9 wherein the housing includes at least one hinge means connecting the upper and lower portions such that the housing can be opened and closed.

11. A method providing a Wireless Access Point within an outdoor lighting apparatus said method including the steps of locating the Wireless Access Point inside a housing including a lighting means and positioning the housing in an outdoor area.

Description:
Lighting Apparatus and Method of Use Thereof

The present invention relates to the provision of street lighting units equipped with at least one Wireless Access Point or Node.

Although the following description refers exclusively to street lighting units it will be appreciated by the person skilled in the art that the present invention can be applied to other apparatuses found in streets and roadsides such as Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) installations and the like.

The provision of wireless internet access in public spaces is known. Typically operators will provide 'hotspots' where users with wireless enabled devices, such as Smart-phones, laptops, tablets and/or the like can access the Internet when in the vicinity of a Wireles s Access Point (WAP) .

Due to the growth of the Smartphone and Tablet markets, the demand for high performing wireless connectivity has grown year on year at high rates.

Currently within some metropolitan areas Wireless Access Points are secured on the outside of lampposts to provide the aforementioned access, hence they are visible and often unsightly, as well as being vulnerable to the elements and in particular criminal damage.

It is therefore an aim of the present invention to provide an apparatus that addresses the abovementioned problems.

It is a further aim of the present invention to provide a method of situating and/or using an apparatus that addresses the abovementioned problems. It is a yet further aim of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method of using the same to provide wireless public access to a network such as the Internet and/or the like.

In a first aspect of the invention there is provided a lighting apparatus suitable for lighting at least part of a street, thoroughfare or public area, said apparatus including a housing, at least one lighting means and at least one power supply means connected to the same, wherein said housing includes at least one Wireless Access Point or Node and the power supply means provides power to both the lighting means and the Wireless Access Point or Node.

Preferably the lighting apparatus is for lighting an outdoor area.

Thus the invention provides a street lantern head unit which contains a light unit and a Wireless Internet Access Point or Node entirely within the same.

Typically the Wireless Access Point or Node allows access to the Internet via a wireless local area network (WLAN) . Further typically the apparatus allows Internet access to the public via at least one WLAN.

In one embodiment the Wireless Access Point of Node is connected to a Local Area Network (LAN) . Typically the Wireless Access Point or Node is connected or wired to the LAN. Further typically the LAN provides access to the Internet.

In one embodiment the WLAN and/or LAN provides access to the Internet via one or more Internet Service Providers. In one embodiment the Wireless Access Point or Node includes at least one antenna. Typically as least part of the one or more antennae are located inside the housing. Further typically the one or more antennae are located substantially inside the housing. Preferably the antennae are located entirely within the housing. This has the advantage of eliminating the need for a gland and reduces the chance of the ingress of water. In one embodiment at least one of the antennae is located substantially in a hori2ontal plane.

In one alternative embodiment at least part of the antenna extends from the housing. Typically at least part of the antenna extends from the housing through an aperture in the same. Further typically at least one antenna extends in a substantially upward or vertical direction from an upward facing surface of the housing.

In one embodiment the lighting means is located substantially inside the housing.

In one embodiment the housing includes at least one substantially transparent or semi opaque portion. Typically the transparent or semi-opaque portion allows at least some of the light generated by the lighting means to be transmitted through and/or directed by the same.

Preferably the lighting means includes a plurality of light emitting diodes (LEDs) . Alternatively or in combination, the lighting means includes any one or any combination of lamps, fluorescent lamps, sodium lamps, halogen lamps and/or the like.

In one embodiment the housing includes a head portion. Typically the head portion includes the lighting means and the at least one substantially transparent or semi-opaque portion. Further typically the head potion includes the Wireles s Access Point or Node.

In one embodiment the head portion is the housing.

In one embodiment the head portion includes the one or more antennae and/or LAN connection.

Typically the apparatus and/or the head portion is mounted on a lamppost and/or pole in use.

Further typically the apparatus in enclosed within the lantern portion of an illumination unit, lamppost, street light and/or the like.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention the Wireless Access Point or Node is powered by the power supply means of the lighting means. Typically the Wireless Access Point or Node only uses the power supply for the lighting means and does not have an independent power supply.

Further typically the incoming electricity supply is divided to supply electricity to the lighting means and the Wireless Access Point or Node.

In one embodiment of the invention at least the Wireless Access Point of the apparatus is mounted on a frame means. Typically the frame means is a bracket and/or the like.

Preferably the frame means provides a location on which to mount the Wireless Access Point. Typically the frame means and/or the Wireless Access Point can be removed or is detachably inserted into the housing. As such, the Wireless Access Point can be retrofitted to existing lantern and street lantern unit.

Typically the frame means is movable from a first storage or transport condition to an in-use or support condition.

In one embodiment the Wireless Access Point or Node is attached to the frame using one or more fixing means. Typically the fixing means include clamping clips. Further typically the clamping clips include serrations and/or teeth.

In one embodiment at least part of the housing can be opened such that the user can obtain access to the inside of the housing.

In one embodiment the housing includes at least two portions. Typically the housing includes an upper portion and a lower portion. Further typically the housing includes at least one hinge means.

In one embodiment the hinge means is located along an edge of the housing. Typically, the upper and lower portions of the housing can be moved between a first open condition and a second closed condition. Further typically the portions of the housing are arranged in a 'clam-shell' like arrangement and can be opened and closed as such.

In a second aspect of the invention there is provided a method of providing an apparatus including a Wireless Access Point or Node and a lighting means wherein said method includes the steps of; locating the Wireless Access Point or Node inside a housing including a lighting means and positioning the housing in an outdoor area. In a further aspect of the invention there is provided a bracket means for location of at least one Wireless Access Point or Node within a lighting unit.

In a yet further aspect of the invention there is provided a lighting unit suitable for use outdoors as a street light, said lighting unit including at least one Wireless Access Point or Node.

Typically the lighting unit is a street light or lantern. Preferably the Wireless Access Point or Node is powered by the same power source that powers the lighting means.

In a yet further aspect of the invention there is provided a method of manufacturing a street lantern head unit containing a Wireless Access Point.

Preferably the Wireless Access Point is connected to a network.

Preferably the Wireless Access Point shares the street lantern power input. Typically the power source is divided into at least two channels in the lantern head. Further typically one channel provides power for the light and the other for the Wireless Access Point.

Specific embodiments of the invention are now described with reference to the following drawings wherein:

Figure 1 illustrates the inside of a lighting unit housing in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 shows the housing in a closed or in use condition in accordance with one embodiment of the invention; Figure 3 shows an open street lighting unit in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention;

Figure 4a shows a WiFi node and LED power supply unit removed from the lantern casing; and

Figure 4b shows the lantern casing with the WiFi node and LED power supply unit removed.

The present invention relates to a support bracket which enables the fitting of Wireless Access Points and 4G Antenna inside Street Lanterns.

This 'Smart Lantern' enables the Wireless Access Point to be safely and securely fitted and powered inside the street lantern head unit. Thus reducing the risk of accidental and criminal damage as well as being more pleasing on the eye.

The Smart Lantern Bracket, is usually pre-fitted at the build stage with each lighting manufacturer, requiring space of at least substantially 35mm in height and 66mm in length and breadth. The bracket can be made to house multiple antennae, to enable WiFi, 4G and back haul of data and can allow the existing power supply to power the access point / node.

Referring now to figure 1 where there is shown a street lantern 2 which includes a head unit housing 4 in an open condition and an illumination means 6 that produces light which shines through a partially transparent wall 8 in the housing 4. Also within the housing is a Wireless Access Point 10 which is powered by the same power unit 12 that powers the illumination means 6. The housing 4 also includes a support frame that securely holds the Wireless Access Point / Node. The support frame is foldable from an erected condition to a folded condition for ease of transportation and storage. Typically the frame includes a pair of spring loaded clamping clips to hold the node securely into the correct arrangement and orientation.

In an in-use condition as shown in figure 2, the top portion 14 and bottom portion 16 of the housing 4 are brought together and the housing is closed. The head unit is then usually attached to a building, post or lamppost in use. The housing is substantially weather proof when closed in the in-use position. A resilient seal 18 around the edge of the lower portion of the housing prevents the ingress of moisture and ensures that the lantern complies with IP65, the international standard for weather proofing and ingress protection.

The lighting or illumination means 6 in this example comprises a plurality of LEDs. The person skilled in the art will appreciate that other illumination means can be used such as halogen lamps and the like. LEDs are preferred because of their relatively low power consumption. In use the illumination means and the Node are powered from the same electricity supply and preferably the same electrical cable feeding the street lantern.

Figure 2 shows the head unit 4 in a closed condition. An aperture 20 in the top portion 14 of the housing allows the antenna 22 to protrude through the same. A bulk head fitting in combination with a nut and gasket/O-ring arrangement around the antenna prevents the ingress of moisture through the aperture 20. The protrusion of the antenna 22 in this manner allows wireless signals to be sent and received over a wide area. Turning to figure 3 wherein there is shown a preferred example of the invention that comprises a street lantern head unit 4 in an open condition. Inside the head unit is an array of LEDs 6 powered and controlled by an LED power control/distribution unit 30. The power for the head unit 4 is introduced via a single electricity supply cable 32. This supply is divided with a first conduit 34 supplying the power to the LED distribution unit 30 and a second conduit or cable 36 supplying power to the Wireless Access Point power pack or transformer 38. The power from the pack 38 is fed to the Wireless Access Point 10 via a further cable 40.

In this preferred embodiment the WiFi antenna 22 is located entirely within the housing and in this example is placed parallel to a side wall of the same. This arrangement is particularly useful in preventing the ingress of moisture.

Figure 4a shows this preferred embodiment with the lighting and WiFi unit removed from the housing 4. This arrangement is particularly useful as at least the Wireless Access Point 10 can be retrofitted to existing lamp head units. The Wireless Access Point can be wired to an existing network and/or wirelessly connected to the same to provide the user access to the network and/or Internet. Figure 4b shows the housing 4 with the lighting and WiFi unit. Within the same is shown a centrally located mounting bracket 42 and the power supply 32 which is divided to provide a supply 34 to the lighting unit and a supply 36 to the Wireless Access Point.