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Title:
VEHICLE INTERIOR LIGHTING DEVICE WITH A LED MODULE AND A LIGHT GUIDE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/180830
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A vehicle interior lighting device with a LED module housing a LED and a PCB and comprising a tubular coupling portion for a light guide end, and a light guide, wherein the tubular coupling portion comprises a housing wall with no leakage of light and preferably manufactured by plastic injection from an uncomplex tooling, the demolding axis following a transversal direction to such of the tubular coupling portion longitudinal axis.

Inventors:
GÖRTLER ERWIN (DE)
GÜLLMEISTER HENNING (DE)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2021/056146
Publication Date:
September 16, 2021
Filing Date:
March 11, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ANTOLIN GRUPO ING SA (ES)
International Classes:
B60Q3/64; F21K9/61; F21S43/235; F21S43/237; F21S43/247; F21V8/00; F21S43/27; F21W106/00; G02B6/42
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CAPITÁN GARCÍA, Nuria (ES)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1.- Vehicle interior lighting device comprising a LED module (1) and a light guide (2), the light guide (2) comprising:

- a light guide main body (2.1),

- a light guide coupling end (2.11) having a longitudinal axis, comprising:

- light guide counter-retention means (2.12) and, light guide counter-angular position fixing means (2.13); the LED module (1) comprising:

- a PCB (3) with a LED (4), the LED (4) mounted on one face of such PCB (3) and the LED (4) having a light beam axis;

- a LED module housing (1.1) comprising: a body (1.2), housing the PCB (3), comprising PCB attaching means (1.21) in the interior of the LED module (1) for attaching the PCB (3);

- a tubular coupling portion (1.3) for optically coupling the light guide coupling end (2.11) and the LED (4), and for attaching the light guide coupling end (2.11) to the tubular coupling portion (1.3), wherein said tubular coupling portion (1.3) protrudes from the body (1.2), and having a longitudinal axis, comprising a light guide housing wall (1.32) surrounding a portion of the light guide (2), comprising:

- light guide retention means (1.33),

- light guide angular position fixing means (1.34); wherein the PCB attaching means (1.21) and the light guide housing wall (1.32) are arranged for providing a 90° degrees coupling between the PCB (3) and the longitudinal axis of the light guide coupling end (2.11) and an alignment between the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) and the light beam axis of the LED (4); wherein the LED module (1) and the light guide (2) are configured to be mounted in an assembly direction (E), which is coincident with the longitudinal axis of the light guide coupling end (2.11) and the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion (1.3); the light guide counter-retention means (2.12) collaborate with the light guide retention means (1.33) for providing an outwards retention in the assembly direction (E); characterized in that the light guide housing wall (1.32) is radially fully closed, includes a wall portion (1.35) surrounding the light guide retention means (1.33) and such wall portion (1.35) is thinner than the light guide housing wall (1.32) providing the light guide retention means (1.33) are radially floating, in such a way the light guide retention means (1.33) can move outward and inward following a radial direction of the light guide housing wall (1.32).

2.- Vehicle interior lighting according to claim 1, wherein the radially floating light guide retention means (1.33) are fully floating retention means.

3.- Vehicle interior lighting according to claim 1, wherein the radially floating light guide retention means (1.33) includes a reinforcing connecting rib (1.36) between such retention means (1.33) and the housing wall (1.32) of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) and on a side of the thinner wall portion (1.35) near a light guide opening (1.31). 4.- Vehicle interior lighting according to claim 1, wherein the radially floating light guide retention means (1.33) includes a reinforcing connecting rib (1.36), between such retention means (1.33) and the housing wall (1.32) of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) and on a side of the thinner wall portion (1.35) opposite a light guide opening (1.31).

5.- Vehicle interior lighting according to claim 1, wherein the light guide counter-retention means (2.12) of the light guide (2) are a first projection and the light guide retention means (1.33) are a second projection; when the light guide (2) is coupled to the tubular coupling portion (1.3) the first projection snaps against the second projection. 6.- Vehicle interior lighting according to claim 1, wherein the light guide counter-retention means (2.12) of the light guide (2) are a first groove and the light guide retention means (1.33) are a first projection; when the light guide (2) is coupled to the tubular coupling portion (1.3) the first projection snaps into such first groove.

7.- Vehicle interior lighting according to claim 1, wherein the light guide counter-retention means (2.12) of the light guide (2) are a second projection and the light guide retention means (1.33) are a second groove; when the light guide (2) is coupled to the tubular coupling portion (1.3) the second projection snaps into such second groove.

8.- Vehicle interior lighting according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the light guide retention means (1.33) are twin radially faced retention means.

9.- Vehicle interior lighting according to claim 1, wherein the light guide counter-angular position fixing means (2.13) collaborate with the light guide angular position fixing means (1.34) for providing an angular retention.

10.- Vehicle interior lighting according to claim 9, wherein the light guide angular position fixing means

(1.34) are a third groove.

11.- Vehicle interior lighting according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the LED module housing (1.1) is formed by two half parts divided by a dividing plane which contains the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) in such a way that closed shapes in the LED module (1) are avoided, said two half parts mountable in a mounting direction (D) perpendicular to the assembly direction (E).

Description:
VEHICLE INTERIOR LIGHTING DEVICE WITH A LED MODULE AND A

LIGHT GUIDE

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a vehicle interior lighting device with a LED module and a light guide having a particular coupling between them. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Light guides are widely used in vehicle interior lighting applications, as transmitting and distributing devices of light from a light source, which inject light to one edge of a light guide and extract light from extracting means arranged over a light extracting surface. Light guides are transparent optical components comprising a body usually made of plastic material.

WO 2017168061 A1 discloses a vehicle interior lighting device with LED module comprising a housing which holds a PCB with a LED, and a tubular coupling portion for a light guide end, and a light guide coupled to said tubular coupling portion; regarding the LED, such housing keeps a distance and angular position (about 90 degrees) between the LED and an edge of the light guide, for an optical coupling and attaching between them.

The disclosure in WO 2017168061 A1 shows a light leakage in the LED module and particularly around the attaching means to the light guide being in the tubular coupling portion.

US 2015146433 A1 discloses a vehicle interior lighting device with a LED module comprising a housing which holds a PCB with a LED, and a tubular coupling portion for a light guide end, and a light guide coupled to said tubular coupling portion. The device is manufactured by plastic injection from an uncomplex tooling with a simple slider configuration. Such an uncomplex tooling comes from the fact that the demolding direction of the device follows the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion. In a typical perpendicular demolding direction to such axis, the device would be very complicated.

In view of the disadvantages mentioned above, the object of the invention is a vehicle interior lighting device with a LED module housing a LED and a PCB and comprising a tubular coupling portion for a light guide end, and a light guide, wherein the tubular coupling portion comprises a housing wall with no leakage of light and preferably manufactured by plastic injection from an uncomplex tooling, the demolding axis following a transversal direction to such of the tubular coupling portion longitudinal axis. DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is established and characterised by the independent claim, while the dependent claims describe additional features thereof. LED is used hereon for Light Emitting Diode and PCB for Printed Circuit Board.

The tubular coupling portion for the light guide usually presents a circular transversal section, as being a cylindrical configuration, especially when also usually light guides are cylindrical elements. However, such cylindrical shape is not an exclusive one and other tubular configurations are possible. On the one hand, the light guide retention means allow ensuring the relative position between the LED and the light guide end in such a way that both parts are aligned according to the light beam axis of the LED.

On the other hand, said light guide retention means allow ensuring the retention of the light guide in the assembly direction, in such a way that they avoid, in use, the extraction of the light guide from the tubular coupling portion.

The mentioned light guide retention means collaborate with the light guide counter-retention means. The mutual cooperation between them creates the retention of the light guide.

The light guide housing wall fully closed provides the avoidance of leakage of direct light through the tubular coupling portion. Besides, further elements such as caps, are also no necessary to provide such avoidance of leakage, keeping the device without the inclusion of other elements, in its simplest configuration.

On the one hand, the thinner wall is thick enough to firstly avoid the leakage of direct light, and secondly to allow ensuring the retention forces of the light guide retention means when both parts are assembled.

On the other hand, the thinner wall is thin enough to obtain a low insertion force during the assembly process of the light guide end inside the LED module due to the thickness of said thinner wall allows the radially movement of the light guide retention means in such a way that a correct assembly between both parts is ensured.

Thus, the definition of the light guide retention means being radially floating provides an easy mounting by insertion of the light guide, and a robust final attaching, and at the same time avoids leakages due to direct light. This radially floating means can move outward and inward following a radial direction of the tubular coupling portion, and fully floating or with a connecting rib, as explained here below, include a degree of movement in the radial direction that appears to be floating in the light guide housing wall.

According to the optional feature of fully floating configuration of the radially floating light guide retention means provides the advantage of a moveable light guide retention means as being only linked to the light guide housing wall by the thinner wall. A more restrictive configuration, but also more robust, is achieved when a reinforcing connecting rib is placed between such retention means and the housing wall of the tubular coupling portion in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion and on a side of the thinner wall portion near a light guide opening or opposite the light guide opening.

An optional feature is that the light guide counter retention means of the light guide comprise a first projection and the light guide retention means comprises a second projection, contacting one against the other; alternatively, the light guide comprises a first groove and the light guide retention means comprises a first projection, the first projection snaps into such first groove, and reversely the light guide comprises a second projection and the light guide retention means comprises a second groove, the second projection snaps into such second groove. These coupling options are suitable depending on the application to be used. Another optional feature is that the light guide retention means are twin radially faced retention means, which allows a balanced and robust fixing providing a diametrically opposed anchoring of the light guide.

Another optional feature is that the light guide counter- angular position fixing means collaborate with the light guide angular position fixing means for providing an angular retention, ensuring a position of the light guide that provides a light extraction according to the area pretended in the specific application. Specifically, the light guide angular position fixing means are a third groove, which allows an easy coupling by direct sliding of the light guide into the tubular coupling portion.

Another optional feature is that the LED module housing is formed by two half parts divided by a dividing plane which contains the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion in such a way that closed shapes in the LED module are avoided, mainly the shapes resulting in the light guide retention means. This means according to a case in which the LED module is obtainable by plastic injection molding, that the demolding direction can be defined perpendicular to the dividing plane in such a way that, such light guide retention means are demolded directly avoiding the use of sliders, which makes the LED module housing tooling simple and less expensive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The present specification is completed by a set of figures that illustrate a preferred embodiment and in no way limit the invention.

Figure 1 shows a perspective and exploded view of a vehicle interior lighting device, with light guide retention means with a superior connecting rib. Figures 2 to 5 show different options of the light guide retention means: fully floating, with an inferior connecting rib, with a horizontal connecting rib, and with several radial connecting ribs, respectively.

Figure 6 is a partial sectional view showing the light guide counter-retention means and the light guide retention means as first and second projections respectively .

Figure 7 discloses the embodiment of figure 6 showing the movement of the light guide retention means and deformation of the thinner wall portion when inserting the light guide into the tubular coupling portion of the LED module.

Figure 8 is a partial sectional view with the light guide counter-retention means and the light guide retention means of figure 6, and the fully floating retention means of figure 2.

Figure 9 is a partial sectional view showing the light guide counter-retention means as a first groove and the light guide retention means as a first projection.

Figure 10 is a partial sectional view showing the light guide counter-retention means as a second projection and the light guide retention means as a second groove.

Figure 11 is a partial sectional view showing the light guide angular position fixing means as a third groove.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Figure 1 discloses an exploded view of a vehicle interior lighting device with a LED module (1) and a light guide (2). Figure 1 discloses the light guide (2) comprising: a light guide main body (2.1), shown rectilinear although curved is also possible;

- a light guide coupling end (2.11) having a longitudinal axis, comprising:

- light guide counter-retention means (2.12) and, light guide counter-angular position fixing means (2.13); the LED module (1) comprising:

- a PCB (3) with a LED (4), the LED (4) mounted on one face of such PCB (3) and the LED (4) having a light beam axis;

- a LED module housing (1.1) comprising:

- a body (1.2), as a hollow casing, housing the PCB (3), comprising PCB attaching means (1.21) in the interior of the LED module (1) for attaching the PCB (3), such PCB attaching means (1.21) take part of a tap (1.4) as explained here below in this document,

- a tubular coupling portion (1.3) for optically coupling the light guide coupling end (2.11), and the LED (4), and for attaching the light guide coupling end (2.11) to the tubular coupling portion (1.3), wherein said tubular coupling portion (1.3) protrudes from the body (1.2), and having a longitudinal axis, comprising a light guide housing wall (1.32) surrounding a portion of the light guide (2), comprising:

- light guide retention means (1.33), in figure 1 in the optional form of a reinforcing connecting rib (1.36) between such retention means (1.33) and the housing wall (1.32) of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) and on a side of the thinner wall portion (1.35) near a light guide opening (1.31), which could be described easier as a superior connecting rib; - light guide angular position fixing means (1.34); wherein the PCB attaching means (1.21) and the light guide housing wall (1.32) are arranged for providing a 90° degrees coupling between the PCB (3) and the longitudinal axis of the light guide coupling end (2.11) and an alignment between the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) and the light beam axis of the LED (4).

In figures, the axis E is noted. The LED module (1) and the light guide (2) are configured to be mounted in an assembly direction (E), which is coincident with the longitudinal axis of the light guide coupling end (2.11) and the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion (1.3); the light guide counter-retention means (2.12) collaborate with the light guide retention means (1.33) for providing an outwards retention in the assembly direction (E).

The light guide housing wall (1.32) is radially fully closed, includes a wall portion (1.35) surrounding the light guide retention means (1.33) and such wall portion (1.35) is thinner than the light guide housing wall (1.32) providing the light guide retention means (1.33) are radially floating, as shown in figures 1 to 10, in such a way the light guide retention means (1.33) can move outward and inward following a radial direction of the light guide housing wall (1.32), better shown in figure 7 where the wall portion (1.35) is deformed, moved outward, indicated by two lateral arrows in figure 7 for the movement of the light guide retention means (1.33), when introducing the light guide (2), vertical arrow in figure, into the tubular coupling portion (1.3) of the LED module (1).

Optionally, shown in figure 2, the radially floating light guide retention means (1.33) are fully floating retention means.

Alternatively, the radially floating light guide retention means (1.33) includes a reinforcing connecting rib (1.36), between such retention means (1.33) and the housing wall (1.32) of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) and on a side of the thinner wall portion (1.35) opposite the light guide opening (1.31), shown in figure 3, which could be described easier as an inferior connecting rib.

Any other configuration of the light guide retention means (1.33) that provides the floating effect is possible, as the options disclosed in figures 4 and 5 for a horizontal connecting rib (1.36), and several radial connecting ribs (1.36), respectively.

An optional detail shown in figures 1 and 6 is that the light guide counter-retention means (2.12) of the light guide (2) are a first projection and the light guide retention means (1.33) are a second projection; when the light guide (2) is coupled to the tubular coupling portion (1.3) the first projection snaps against, contacts to retain, the second projection.

An optional detail shown in figure 9 is that the light guide counter-retention means (2.12) of the light guide (2) are a first groove and the light guide retention means (1.33) are a first projection; when the light guide (2) is coupled to the tubular coupling portion (1.3) the first projection snaps into such first groove.

Inversely, as shown in figure 10, the light guide counter-retention means (2.12) of the light guide (2) are a second projection and the light guide retention means (1.33) are a second groove; when the light guide (2) is coupled to the tubular coupling portion (1.3) the second projection snaps into such second groove.

Advantageously, the option shown in figures is that the light guide retention means (1.33) are twin radially faced retention means.

Also, as shown in figure 11, the light guide counter- angular position fixing means (2.13) collaborate with the light guide angular position fixing means (1.34) for providing an angular retention, specifically the light guide angular position fixing means are a third groove.

As mentioned above, the PCB attaching means (1.21) take part of a tap (1.4) in the embodiments disclosed. In detail, such PCB attaching means (1.21) are composed of both a superior wall retention of the body (1.2) and an inferior pin retention of the tap (1.4). Such a configuration is a mere example and any other are possible, as a retaining rail in the body (1.2), etc.

Preferably, the LED module (1) is formed by two half parts divided by a dividing plane which contains the longitudinal axis of the tubular coupling portion (1.3) in such a way that closed shapes in the LED module (1) are avoided, said two half parts mountable in a mounting direction (D) perpendicular to the assembly direction (E), as shown in figure 1.

For instance, when the LED module (1) is obtained by plastic injection molding, divided into the two half parts, which joining line is referred as JL in figure 1, the light guide retention means (1.33) are oriented parallel, for example, to assembly direction (E) and with the ability to move along the mounting direction (D), which is also the demolding direction, perpendicular to the dividing plane. Such mounting, demolding, direction (D) makes the injection tooling uncomplex, simple and less expensive, avoiding the use of sliders, especially when including other configurations very useful for additional coupling, as a U configuration (1.22), figure 1.