Electric Switch Controlled By The Radiant Energy Responsive Device Patents (Class 315/159)
  • Patent number: 6429592
    Abstract: A compact fluorescent lamp ballast housing compatible with double-ended socket assemblies including sockets at the ends of an elongated holder such as the ones used for quartz halogen and metal halide lamp fixtures. The housing supports multiple circular compact fluorescent lamps. The sockets are connected to opposite connector assemblies in the housing. Inside the housing an electronic ballast assembly is selectively turned on and off by a receiver assembly that is remotely actuated by a compatible transmitter assembly. The bottom of the housing includes a channel that substantially conforms to the elongated holder for the sockets to provide clearance for the holder and better mechanical engagement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Inventor: Shewen Zhou
  • Patent number: 6369517
    Abstract: An electronic switch can replace a standard mechanical light switch for 110-240 volt alternating-current (A.C.) devices. A triac switches the A.C. current to an A.C. device such as a light. A rectifier bridge generates a direct-current (D.C.) voltage that is applied to a special current limiter. The special current limiter generates a large current peak at low voltages, but limits current at high voltages. The large current peak from the special current limiter charges a capacitor when voltage is low at the beginning of each A.C. half-cycle, before the triac turns on. The capacitor has enough charge to supply D.C. current to an Infrared detector and trigger control logic for the rest of the A.C. half-cycle. When the detector detects a person nearby, it signals the trigger control logic. The D.C. voltage from the rectifier bridge is filtered to generate a sync pulse to the trigger control logic when adds a phase delay to the sync pulse which triggers the triac.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Assignee: Pericom Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Qun Song, Jian Li, Fang Xie
  • Patent number: 6348768
    Abstract: The present invention proposes a remote control device of lamp tube for controlling the action of at least a lamp tube through wireless remote control way. The remote control device of lamp tube comprises a remote controller module, at least a base, and at least a remote control receiver inserted into the base. The remote controller module is used to emit a remote control signal to be received by the remote control receiver, of which the addressing code has been learned and set beforehand. After unmistakably recognized, the lamp tube will be triggered to generate the on or off action so that the effect of controlling lamp tubes through wireless remote control way can be achieved. The present invention has the characteristics of convenience and flexibility in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2002
    Assignees: Hugewin Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Linsong Weng
  • Patent number: 6340864
    Abstract: A system for controlling a light source including a wireless interface for communication with a remote sensor. The sensor is a low-power, integrated circuit device including functionality for detecting light from multiple directions or surfaces in an area, and for wireless communication. The sensor also includes functionality for detecting the presence of an occupant within the area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2002
    Assignee: Philips Electronics North America Corporation
    Inventor: Ihor T. Wacyk
  • Patent number: 6326734
    Abstract: A solar light device is provided which is activated at the onset of darkness, which self-charges with solar energy and is independent of any source of energy. The solar light device includes a luminescent layer of foil which is operated by solar cells or a solar cell laminate. At least one accumulator is providing for accumulating energy from the solar cells. Control system electronics regulates the charging and discharging process of the least one accumulator and controls operation of the luminescent foil. The luminescent foil serves to increase visibility and thus safety or visual attractiveness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Gertrud Balmer
    Inventor: Benno Gähwiler
  • Patent number: 6316880
    Abstract: A constant or variable flashlight includes a semi-conductor boost/buck controller electrically connected to an inductor. The controller is operable to cyclically charge the inductor and then cause the stored energy to be delivered to the flashlight lamp in cycles repeating at a rate between 10,000 and one million cycles per second. A photo-responsive feedback circuit connected to the controller is operable for modulating the current to the lamp in response to an imbalance between a standard potential and the feedback circuit. Arrangements are provided for selectively changing the brightness of the lamp necessary to produce a balance of potential between the standard potential and the feedback current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Inventor: John H. Broadhurst
  • Patent number: 6304035
    Abstract: Device for automatically operating the lights of a motor vehicle, comprising a central information-processing unit (1) for controlling on/off switching of the lights (7) of the vehicle, connected at input to a sensor (3) which senses the brightness in the vehicle's surroundings, a sensor (4) for sensing the speed of travel of the vehicle and a time base (5). This information-processing unit (1) is designed to compare various items of information about the brightness wits various thresholds so as to trigger the switching on/off of the lights of the vehicle according to the brightness conditions that this vehicle encounters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignees: Automobiles Peugeot, Automobiles Citroen
    Inventor: Siri Yuth Loth
  • Patent number: 6300728
    Abstract: The present invention is a power supply for a fluorescent light, particularly a sub-miniature fluorescent light (SFL) which provides compensation for temperature and age effects of the fluorescent light. One or more SFLs are powered by a variable output anode controller and a variable output cathode controller, wherein the illumination output of the SFLs is selectively adjustable based upon the voltage output of one or both of the anode and cathode controllers. In a first example of implementation of the invention, an illumination feedback circuit is provided to the anode/cathode controller, wherein the voltage output is adjusted to compensate for diminished illumination, caused for example by cold operating conditions or age of the sensed SFLs. In a second form of the present invention, a temperature feedback circuit is provided to the anode/cathode controller to provide the aforesaid voltage adjustment to compensate for diminished illumination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: BGM Engineering, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian K. Blackburn, Joseph F. Mazur, Scott B. Gentry
  • Patent number: 6300721
    Abstract: A photocontrol arrangement for operating an outdoor lighting system includes a stepper relay whose contacts are mechanically held together or apart, and which is electrically energized briefly only during the generation of a pulse, for minimizing electrical energy usage and reducing overheating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: Area Lighting Research, Inc.
    Inventors: George Duve, John Edward Mills
  • Patent number: 6294874
    Abstract: A ceiling fan assembly includes a fan and a light-sensitive circuit for controlling an illumination level of a light as a function of an ambient illumination level surrounding the ceiling fan assembly by selectively controlling or fixing a conduction phase angle of an AC power signal provided to the light. The light-sensitive circuit includes a photocell, a phase control circuit and a cutoff Circuit which prevents flicker at low illumination levels. The photocell is responsive to the ambient illumination level and has a conduction state. The conduction state changes in response to the ambient illumination level. The phase control circuit selectively varies or fixes a conduction phase angle associated with the AC power signal, which correspondingly determines a variation in the illumination level of the light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2001
    Assignee: The Holmes Group, Inc.
    Inventors: John Rudolph, David Lo, Charles Thomas Thrasher, Jr., Robert J. Livergood
  • Publication number: 20010020829
    Abstract: In an electronic ballast comprising a fusistor for switching off the ballast if the mains supply current becomes too high, an NTC is arranged between the mains supply lines. A very reliable functioning of the fusistor is obtained thereby.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2001
    Publication date: September 13, 2001
    Inventor: Bennie Izaak Pieter Simpelaar
  • Patent number: 6288492
    Abstract: A system for controlling the turning on of vehicle headlamps 703 of a vehicle having a dome light 50 which provides a variable dome light intensity includes a sensor 40, a memory 820, a comparator 810, and a circuit 18. The sensor 40 senses the intensity of ambient light and provides a first signal &agr; indicative of the intensity of the ambient light. The memory 820 stores a light value &sgr; corresponding to the intensity of the dome light 50. The comparator 810 receives the first signal &agr; a and compares the intensity of the ambient light with the stored light value &sgr;. The comparator 810 provides an output second signal &bgr; when the first signal is at or below the stored light value &sgr;. The circuit 18 turns on the vehicle headlamps 703 when the circuit 18 receives the output second signal &bgr;.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2001
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: George B. Wolfe
  • Patent number: 6285134
    Abstract: In a light irradiation method, a main irradiation section forming a target and a sub irradiation section for providing sub illumination light to or from at least one of a background and a neighborhood of the target are provided, and a perceived brightness of the target is varied by performing time-wise control of an intensity of the sub illumination light emitted by the sub irradiation section. When applied to an illumination system wherein the main irradiation section is an illumination source, or to an indication system wherein the main irradiation section is an indication lamp, a perceived brightness of the illumination source or the indication lamp is decreased by increasing the intensity of the sub illumination light, while increased by decreasing the intensity of the sub illumination light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2001
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tadashi Yano, Yukio Akashi
  • Patent number: 6225748
    Abstract: A circuit arrangement according to the invention is intended to be used in a PIR motion-activated lighting fixture of the type that includes a triac for energizing the light from the AC power mains and a triac firing circuit for firing the triac in response to motion. To provide the accent lighting level and to control the magnitude of that level, the circuitry includes a window comparator, in which the thresholds are set to defining a dimming window, and a filter circuit responsive to the AC power line and providing an input signal to the window comparator. The filter circuit includes a circuit arrangement for shifting the phase of the input signal with respect to the AC power line signal and for contemporaneously scaling the amplitude of the input signal with respect to the AC power line signal such that the peak amplitude of the input signal diminishes as the phase shift of the input signal increases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2001
    Assignee: Cordelia Lighting, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott T. Evans, Wade Lee
  • Patent number: 6201351
    Abstract: A ceiling fan assembly includes a fan and a light-sensitive circuit for controlling an illumination level of a light as a function of an ambient illumination level surrounding the ceiling fan assembly by selectively controlling or fixing a conduction phase angle of an AC power signal provided to the light. The light-sensitive circuit includes a photocell, a phase control circuit and a cutoff circuit which prevents flicker at low illumination levels. The photocell is responsive to the ambient illumination level and has a conduction state. The conduction state changes in response to the ambient illumination level. The phase control circuit selectively varies or fixes a conduction phase angle associated with the AC power signal, which correspondingly determines a variation in the illumination level of the light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: The Holmes Group, Inc.
    Inventors: John Rudolph, David Lo, Charles Thomas Thrasher, Jr., Robert J. Livergood
  • Patent number: 6188182
    Abstract: A power control apparatus, particularly for lighting systems such as fluorescent lights. A power variation circuit (16) is provided coup led between a mains electrical input power source and at least one power output to a load (6) such as a lighting system. The power variation device is controllable to vary the power level supplied to the load according to control signals from a digital processing circuit(10). Monitoring circuitry (12, 14) is coupled to the digital processing circuit (10) to provide monitoring signals relating to electrical parameters of the input power source (4) and/or the at least one power output (9). The digital processing circuit (10) is responsive to a condition of the monitoring signals to control the power variation circuit (16) to supply the power output (9) at a first predetermined level for a predetermined time period and thereafter to reduce power output to a second predetermined level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2001
    Assignee: NCON Corporation Pty Limited
    Inventors: Alan Hector Fergus Nickols, Robert Anthony Frederick Moss
  • Patent number: 6160352
    Abstract: An automatic switching device for flourescent light has a light sensing element that reacts to ambient light and a switching unit designed to react to an output signal from the light sensing element and to activate or deactivate the flourescent light. The switching unit has a reference threshold generator. The flourescent light is activated or deactivated depending on whether the output signal from the light sensing element exceeds or falls below a threshold generated by the reference threshold generator and the threshold level depends on the luminosity sensed by the light sensing element. The switching unit further includes a delay designed for preventing signal processing by the switching unit for a present period of time upon switching on of the flourescent light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Inventor: Heinrich Wolfgang Steinel
  • Patent number: 6160353
    Abstract: A photocell device for use with an exterior landscape lighting assembly. The lighting assembly includes a transformer having an input line connected to an electrical power source. The transformer converts a primary electrical load to a secondary electrical load which is in turn outputted through an output line connecting to a plurality of individual lighting units. The photocell device is capable of being mounted at an appropriate exterior location, such as to the side of a building structure. An enclosure unit includes a power supply circuit, a photo sensor and control circuitry communicating with the photo sensor. At least one light permissive window is formed within a selected front facing and/or top facing surface of the enclosure unit. The power supply circuit converts the secondary transformer output to an unregulated and filtered direct current suitable for powering the control circuitry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Inventor: Michael L. Mancuso
  • Patent number: 6157136
    Abstract: A frequency sensing control device controls current flow through an electrical load and includes a current control circuit to be connected to the electrical load, a logic signal generator having an input port and an output port connected to a control input of the current control circuit, an oscillator connected to the logic signal generator, and a sensing unit connected to the oscillator for sensing human presence. The current control circuit is operable in a normal mode, where the control input receives a first logic signal generated by the logic signal generator when the input port receives a high-frequency signal so as to enable the current control circuit to maintain an initial current flow through the electrical load, and a dimming mode, where the control input receives a second logic signal generated by the logic signal generator when the input port receives a low-frequency signal so as to enable the current control circuit to vary the current flow through the electrical load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Assignee: Ceramate Technical Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jack Wang, Robert Wang
  • Patent number: 6144161
    Abstract: A photocell unit in combination with a programmed microprocessor which samples the output of the photocell and detects day or night by sampling over a predetermined period of time, e.g. 80 minutes to establish a right reference value and a predetermined number of samples of increasing light values to establish a "sunrise detect value" to turn lights off. A further predetermined increase in light values is used to establish a "sunset detect" light value. This value is retained throughout the day until sensed light values again diminish to the "sunset. The sampling techniques makes the system immune from errors due to transient lights and also avoid unwanted daylight operation of lights or undetected light outages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: Inform 2000
    Inventors: David Kimmich, Arthur Y. Arellanes
  • Patent number: 6133695
    Abstract: A lamp incorporating one or more safety features for reducing the risk of fire or heat damage associated with improper operation of the lamp. One safety feature can be an automatic safety switch for terminating power to the lamp when the lamp is not in a proper operational orientation. The switch is mounted on the underside of the base of the lamp and only provides electricity to the lamp when the weight of the lamp rests properly on its base. A thermal switch which reduces or eliminates power to the lamp when the lamp is operating above a predetermined temperature can be provided, alone or in combination with a light level senor to adjust lamp power in response to room lighting conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Inventors: Dennis Caya, Chan K. Fai
  • Patent number: 6131321
    Abstract: A solar lighting system and method which is especially useful for street and address signs. An upper unit contains a solar energy collector, a storage battery and a light sensor to turn the light on and off as needed. A system to bypass the light sensor control includes a radio frequency(RF) radio receiver which responds to a transmitter. The lighting unit may be economically manufactured and installed on new or existing lighting fixtures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Inventor: Walter T. Daigle, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6127784
    Abstract: Circuitry for driving an LED array and a lamp including such circuitry. A fixed current source outputs a fixed current to an LED array. A variable load is provided in parallel to the LED array to also receive an output from the fixed current power supply. The variable load senses a condition affecting a luminous output of the LED array and varies an impedance based on this sensed condition. This variable load may typically include a thermistor or a photodetector. As the impedance of the variable load changes, current diverted from the LED to the variable load changes. Thereby, current supplied to the LED array, and thereby the intensity LED, can be controlled based on the impedance changing element in the variable load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Assignee: Dialight Corporation
    Inventors: Hyman Grossman, John Adinolfi
  • Patent number: 6114813
    Abstract: A light sensitive dimmer switch circuit for controlling the illumination level of a light as a function of the ambient illumination level surrounding the dimmer switch circuit by selectively controlling an AC power signal provided to the light includes a photocell and a phase control circuit. The photocell is responsive to the ambient illumination level and has a conduction state associated therewith. The conduction state changes, in response to the ambient illumination level, such that the photocell effectively exhibits either a substantially open circuit or a substantially short circuit. The phase control circuit selectively varies a conduction phase angle associated with the AC power signal which correspondingly causes a variation in the illumination level of the light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Assignee: Holmes Products Corp.
    Inventors: David Lo, Tan Yuen Hung
  • Patent number: 6111364
    Abstract: A device and method that inhibits the ability of photographic equipment from obtaining a recognizable picture upon its recording media, of areas of a vehicle equipped with this invention. The leading edge or beginning of the photographic equipment's photoflash is detected by the photoflash detector cicuit group (50). A xenon reply flash (30) is immediately output towards the photographic equipment's general location, for the remainder of the photographs exposure time, rendering sections of the photograph unrecognizable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Inventors: Jerry L. Davis, Steven S. Davis
  • Patent number: 6091200
    Abstract: An energy saving fluorescent light fixture for small confined areas predominant in residential settings, having a motion detector with a quick plug connector capable of attaching and detaching the detector from the light fixture base. Additional trouble-shooting capabilities are provided by dedicated electronic circuitry and LED display indicators. The LED display indicators signal a nontechnical consumer when maintenance is required, and isolate the failures to the sub-system level, i.e., the detector or fixture base circuitry. The detector is attached through the quick plug connector and concurrently supported by either an elbow joint with rigid wire supporting segments, a flexible arm, or a ball-swivel joint with rigid wire supporting segment. The supporting means enables the user to control the sensor viewing area. A simplified trouble-shooting method enabling the user to use the LED display indicators and quick plug connector facilitates sub-system replacement by nontechnical operators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Inventor: Mark Lenz
  • Patent number: 6069561
    Abstract: An automatic lamp control device in which a Doppler radar module, a switching unit for switching a lamp circuit on and off, a circuit configuration for evaluating Doppler radar module signals and for producing signals for controlling the switching unit, and a power supply unit for supplying current to the Doppler radar module and to the circuit configuration are provided on a printed circuit board configuration. The lamp control device reacts to movements within the transmitting and receiving range of the Doppler radar module. The range is independent of the ambient temperature. The lamp control device can be configured to save space, in such a way that it can be integrated completely in a standard flush-mounted box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2000
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Klaus-Jurgen Schopf, Gerhard Lohninger
  • Patent number: 6060838
    Abstract: An illumination device employs electroluminescent lamps which may be used alone or may cooperate with mask layers to define one or more rows of illuminated indicia which may be easily replaced to provide other types and colors of indicia. A circuit including a photocell automatically energizes the device so as to operate above or below a threshold level of visual illumination depending on the intensity of surrounding light shining on the device. The circuit can be either hardwired to a structure, connected to a standard power cord or have an integral plug for connection to a conventional outlet. One or more interconnectable housings may be provided. The locations of the interconnectable housings may be varied relative to each other to create a unique visual impact when illuminating indicia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Creative Concepts and Consulting Corporation
    Inventors: James Louis Cantoni, Wayne E. Maw, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6013985
    Abstract: A solar-powered light assembly is sealed and has a battery integral therewith, thus does not require servicing and is not prone to vandalism. The light assembly comprises at least one light-emitting diode (LED) powered by a rechargeable battery integral with the assembly. A solar panel on the assembly recharges the battery, and power management circuitry activates the LED at low ambient light intensities to prevent excessive changing of the battery and to prevent excessive discharge of the battery when it is low.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: Carmanah Technologies Ltd.
    Inventors: David R. Green, Edward L. Kendrick
  • Patent number: 5998929
    Abstract: A control system is provided for controlling the energization of the headlamps on a first automotive vehicle, the headlamps being electrically energizable and each having a high beam state and a low beam state. The system includes means for collecting light emanating from a second vehicle and means for collecting ambient light. Sensing means is provided which is effective to selectively sense the intensity of the collected light emanating from the second vehicle and the collected ambient light. In addition, the system includes means controlling the state of the beams of the headlamps as a function of the sensed intensity of the beam of light emanating from said second vehicle, and means controlling the electrical energization of the headlamps as a function of the sensed ambient light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Jon H. Bechtel, Wayne J. Rumsey
  • Patent number: 5962982
    Abstract: A photocell device for use with an exterior landscape lighting assembly. The lighting assembly includes a transformer having an input line connected to an electrical power source. The transformer converts a primary electrical voltage to a secondary electrical voltage which is in turn outputted through an output line connecting to a plurality of individual lighting units. The photocell device includes a turf stake capable of engaging into a ground location. An enclosure is mounted atop the turf stake and includes a power supply circuit, a photo sensor and control circuitry communicating with the photo sensor. The power supply circuit converts the secondary transformer output to an unregulated and filtered direct current suitable for powering the control circuitry. The control circuitry interfaces with the photo sensor and, in response thereto, selectively activates and deactivates the plurality of lighting elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Inventor: Michael L. Mancuso
  • Patent number: 5946209
    Abstract: A system for selectively providing power from a power source to a load to operate in an area for at least one occupant comprising a processing device for controlling the opening and closing of a relay connected between the load and the power source for energizing the load, and a sensor for detecting the presence of an occupant in the area. The processing device is programmable to close the relay in response to an output signal from the sensor for a period of time that can be of fixed duration, or a duration that is dynamically and automatically determined using sensor data relating to measure time between successive, detected occupant movements. In addition to a daylight inhibit function, the system is provided with color indicators and a tone generator to indicate various operating conditions and to guide a user entering selected system parameters, among other features.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Assignee: Hubbell Incorporated
    Inventors: David Philip Eckel, Thomas James Batko, Mark Richard Walter, William James Rose, Brian Patrick Donlon, David Abraham Zeichner
  • Patent number: 5895986
    Abstract: A photoelectric load control system for applying power to a light or load as a function of ambient light level and as a function of the length of daylight or darkness. The system includes a switching circuit for selectively applying power to the light or load for turning the light or load on and off; an ambient light level sensor for providing a signal which varies between a first state and a second state in response to the ambient light level; and a uniquely programmed processor responsive to this signal for activating the switching circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Inventors: Jeff D. Walters, Lucinda Seigel
  • Patent number: 5894175
    Abstract: A photo-control apparatus comprising a photo-control circuit that includes two or more photo-cells connected in parallel that respond to ambient light. The circuit includes a switch that connects a power source to a load. When the photo-cells are exposed to ambient light, current flows through the parallel photo-cells operating the switch which disengages the load from the source. The plural parallel photo-cells in the photo-control circuit provide for improved reliability and have the potential to cost less to manufacture than a single photo-cell as used in a conventional photo-control circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1999
    Assignee: Intermatic Incorporated
    Inventors: Donald Berlin, Rudolph Janda, Steve Baker
  • Patent number: 5892331
    Abstract: A lamp control apparatus that responds to sudden increases in ambient light by energizing a light bulb for a short period of time. A first voltage comparator is connected to a photocell circuit such that its output normally presents a high impedance to a timing capacitor connected to the input of a second voltage comparator which, in turn, provides a gate signal for a triac power switch. The first comparator will switch to a low impedance output if a sufficient amount of light suddenly appears at the photocell. This low impedance will rapidly discharge the timing capacitor and allow the second comparator to energize the lamp. The timing capacitor will then slowly charge back to a voltage that will cause the second comparator to remove the gate signal for the triac, thereby de-energizing the lamp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Inventor: Jerrell P. Hollaway
  • Patent number: 5831391
    Abstract: An outdoor ground lighting system that includes one or more low voltage lamp units, provided from a step down transformer connectable to a high voltage AC power supply and an on/off timer operative to turn the lamps on for a selected time period during hours of darkness. Added to this known system is a secondary switching system that includes a solenoid operated switch connected to bypass the timer and a detector to detect the presence of a person or the like in the field of view of the detector. The detector provides an output signal in response to detecting the presence of someone and the solenoid switch is actuated by such signal to switch on the lamps when the timer is in the off cycle. The secondary switching system enhances the garden lighting system by providing a security lighting system when the timer is in an off mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Inventor: Iain N. B. MacKay
  • Patent number: 5828179
    Abstract: An anti-burn device which can prevent a floor lamp from burning material covering thereon is disclosed. The anti-burn device includes a photoresistor and a detecting control circuit. The photoresistor has a photo-sensitive surface receiving light reflected back to the floor lamp. When the photoresistor receives the reflected light, the detecting control circuit will cut off the power supply to the halogen bulb. Therefore, burning of the material draped on or against the floor lamp can be avoided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 27, 1998
    Assignee: Mei-jen Chang
    Inventor: Fu-kuo Lee
  • Patent number: 5814945
    Abstract: A lighting fixture control device has a base casing, an upper cover covering the base casing, an arc-shaped lens disposed on the base casing, an electric circuit board disposed on a bottom of the upper cover, and a control integrated circuit chip disposed on a bottom of the electric circuit board. The arc-shaped lens collects and focuses light. The electric circuit board has a photo-field-effect transistor to detect an approaching article. The arc-shaped lens reflects light to the photo-field-effect transistor to actuate the electric circuit board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Inventor: Keen Hsu
  • Patent number: 5808294
    Abstract: A device controller synchronizes a counter to the detection of sunrise or sunset by photoelectrically sensing daylight, thereby establishing an approximate time reference for scheduling the timing of device activations to occur at any time of day or night. An uncalibrated method of measuring sunlight yields more reliable scheduling, relative to sunrise and sunset events. The integral approximate time reference is kept synchronized, even if occasional faults in detection of sunrise or sunset occur. The rules employed to establish and maintain synchronization, and the dynamically variable rules for evaluating changes in light intensity, contribute to the reliable performance of the controller apparatus. Inherently self-adapting and automatic, a potentiometer for setting a time parameter input and a push-button for setting a time parameter input are combined in the apparatus in such a way to yield further utility without complicating the programmability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Kenco Automatic Feeders
    Inventor: Rodney H. Neumann
  • Patent number: 5789869
    Abstract: A light sensitive dimmer switch circuit for controlling the illumination level of a light as a function of the ambient illumination level surrounding the dimmer switch circuit by selectively controlling an AC power signal provided to the light includes a photocell and a phase control circuit. The photocell is responsive to the ambient illumination level and has a conduction state associated therewith. The conduction state changes, in response to the ambient illumination level, such that the photocell effectively exhibits either a substantially open circuit or a substantially short circuit. The phase control circuit selectively varies a conduction phase angle associated with the AC power signal which correspondingly causes a variation in the illumination level of the light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: Holmes Products Corporation
    Inventors: David Lo, Tan Yuen Hung
  • Patent number: 5789868
    Abstract: A timed photocell switching circuit is disclosed which senses a light-to-dark transition and applies power to a lamp load for a preset period of time. After the preset period has expired the timed photocell circuit turns the lamp load off for the remainder of the night until a dark-to-light transition resets the circuit after which it can be triggered for another timing cycle. Once the light-to-dark transition triggers the timing cycle the ambient light level cannot disrupt the circuit. In addition, the circuit can be reset regardless of its timing position by momentarily cycling power to the circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: The Lamson & Sessions Co.
    Inventor: Lawrence Sears
  • Patent number: 5783909
    Abstract: A circuit for maintaining the luminous intensity of a light emitting diode (LED) (12) comprising at least one light emitting diode (LED) (12) for producing an luminous intensity; a sensor (22,24) for sensing a condition proportional to the luminous intensity of the LED (12) and for producing a luminous intensity signal; a power supply (16) electrically connected to the LED (12) for supplying pulses of electrical energy to the LED (12); and wherein the power supply (16) includes a switching device responsive to the luminous intensity signal for adjusting the electrical energy supplied by the pulses per unit of time to adjust the average of the current passing through the LED (12) to maintain the luminous intensity of the LED (12) at a predetermined level. In one instance, the sensor (22) includes means for sensing changes in the operating temperature of the LED (12). In a second instance, the sensor (24) includes means (28) for sensing changes in luminous output of the LED (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1998
    Assignee: Relume Corporation
    Inventor: Peter A. Hochstein
  • Patent number: 5753983
    Abstract: A multi-function control switch for electrically operating devices, such as a lighting system, is disclosed. The multi-function control switch includes a rocker-type actuating arm for actuating a plurality of momentary switches. When actuated, the momentary switches send signals to an electronic operating module which houses a control logic circuit. The control logic circuit receives input keying sequences from the user, and interprets the input to determines whether the input keying sequence is associated with any of the command logic elements stored in its memory, and whether the system may validly switch from the current operating function to the new operating function. If the transition is valid, the control logic circuit signals the electronic operating module to execute the command logic element associated with the new operating function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1998
    Assignee: 1012384 Ontario, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert G. Dickie, Thomas K. Tierney, Michael E. Coveley
  • Patent number: 5747792
    Abstract: A method for preventing laser jamming of night vision goggles having a gated image intensifier device and a display for displaying an intensified image of a scene. The method includes the steps of detecting laser pulses from a jamming laser source and producing respective electrical pulses in response thereto, and gating off the gated image intensifier device in synchronism with the electrical pulses in order to thereby prevent the laser pulses from affecting the intensified image of the scene displayed by the display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin G. Kintz, Mark D. Rogers
  • Patent number: 5747937
    Abstract: A security light has a quartz-halogen lamp, a photocell, a passive infrared sensor for detecting motion external to the security light, and a circuit which causes the quartz-halogen lamp to operate at about 50% of full brightness in the absence of detection of motion at night, to operate at 95% of full brightness for a predetermined time interval in response to detection of motion at night, and to be off while the photocell is detecting daylight. A switch allows the user to select a different mode of operation which is similar except that the lamp is kept off in the absence of detection of motion at night. A user-initiated override mode is also provided, which causes the lamp to continuously operate at 95% of full brightness until the photocell detects daylight or until the user disables the override mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: Heath Company, Inc.
    Inventors: David L. Wiesemann, Daniel E. Schaaf, Wai-Shing P. Ko
  • Patent number: 5705893
    Abstract: An ignition activated automotive headlight system having a high beam circuit and a low beam circuit, the low beam circuit having a resistor in series connection therewith for daylight driving, the low beam circuit further having a photoelectrically operated by-pass circuit around the resistor, thereby permitting normal operation of the low beam circuit for nighttime driving.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1998
    Inventor: Donald F. Oberg
  • Patent number: 5703442
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to providing building automation systems which can effectively control light output of a building in a manner which can significantly reduce power consumption, yet which goes virtually unnoticed by building occupants. Exemplary embodiments are directed to using existing building automation systems to control the dimming, rather than the turning off, of selected artificial lighting. Further, exemplary embodiments are directed to using the conventional relay network of existing building automation systems to control the dimming of the artificial lighting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1997
    Assignee: Electronic Lighting Incorporated
    Inventors: Hubertus Notohamiprodjo, Kata Kukiatsakulchai
  • Patent number: 5699243
    Abstract: A system for selectively providing power from a power source to a load to operate in an area for at least one occupant comprising a processing device for controlling the opening and closing of a relay connected between the load and the power source for energizing the load, and a sensor for detecting the presence of an occupant in the area. The processing device is programmable to close the relay in response to an output signal from the sensor for a period of time that can be of fixed duration, or a duration that is dynamically and automatically determined using sensor data relating to measured time between successive, detected occupant movements. In addition to a daylight inhibit function, the system is provided with color indicators and a tone generator to indicate various operating conditions and to guide a user entering selected system parameters, among other features.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 16, 1997
    Assignee: Hubbell Incorporated
    Inventors: David Philip Eckel, Thomas James Batko, Mark Richard Walter, William James Rose, Brian Patrick Donlon, David Abraham Zeichner
  • Patent number: 5675193
    Abstract: A manual override circuit for use in commercial and household electronic devices. The override circuit may employ as little as a single integrated-circuit operational amplifier, two capacitors, which are charged and discharged in appropriate sequence in response to toggling of the power supply, and several resistors. In one embodiment the manual override circuitry includes an integrated-circuit operational amplifier, which provides a high signal at its output for triggering switching circuitry to energize a load. An RC network couples low-voltage a power supply to the inverting input of the op amp. The inverting and noninverting inputs of the op amp are coupled together through a resistive network, which may be provided by single resistor. A second resistive network, which may also be provided by single resistor couples the inverting input to ground.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 7, 1997
    Assignee: Larry C. Y. Lee
    Inventor: Wade Lee
  • Patent number: RE37135
    Abstract: A fully automatic and energy efficient lighting control or light switch comprises different settings, preset by a user, and activates all or a portion of at least one bank of lights upon detecting occupants within a room. In one embodiment, the light switch detects doppler-shifted, reflected ultrasonic waves caused by occupant motion within the room. In an automatic mode, the light switch is configured to automatically switch from an initial sensitivity level for detecting motion within a short range therefrom, to a higher sensitivity level for detecting motion anywhere within the room. After the room is empty or no motion is sensed, the light switch is configured to turn the lights off following a variable time delay. The light switch returns to its initial low sensitivity level following a predetermined grace period which begins once the lights are turned off.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: Novitas, Inc.
    Inventor: Brian E. Elwell