Electric Switch Controlled By The Radiant Energy Responsive Device Patents (Class 315/159)
  • Patent number: 5670846
    Abstract: A photoelectric control circuit that energizes a light bulb at a certain level of darkness and immediately records the total amount of light that results. A delay circuit prevents the new level of light from turning the bulb back off until a even greater amount of light is available. This method of operation provides full power control for a variety of lamps and bulbs without the degraded performance previously associated with reflected light from enclosures and nearby objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1997
    Inventor: Jerrell P. Hollaway
  • Patent number: 5668446
    Abstract: An energy saving lighting control system for operating fluorescent light fixtures is provided with means for controlling the light level according to the light required for the task being done in the area. Ambient light available from sources outside of the controlled area such as daylight can be harvested to reduce the amount of artificial lighting required. A method of providing sensor inputs to detect occupancy in the controlled area provides control signals to the lighting control system which are used to reduce the light level or turn light fixtures off at times when the area is not occupied. A method of providing a central .control of the operation of the lighting system can provide time-of-day scheduling, can provide minimum and maximum lighting levels, and can provide calibration and set-points for response times to various sensor inputs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 16, 1997
    Assignee: Negawatt Technologies Inc.
    Inventor: James Allan Baker
  • Patent number: 5666028
    Abstract: An automobile headlamp and running light control system for controlling an operating state of automobile headlamps and tail/marker lamps, and determining an operating threshold for an automatic dimming rearview mirror system. The headlamp and running light control system including an ambient light sensing arrangement having an ambient light sensor which determines a present ambient light level in a vicinity of the vehicle, a first control arrangement for selecting an operating state of the vehicle lamps in accordance with an output of the ambient light sensor, a second control arrangement for determining the operating threshold of the automatic dimming rearview mirror system in accordance with the output of the ambient light sensor, and a lamp switching arrangement which activates and deactivates the vehicle lamps in response to the first control arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 9, 1997
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Jon H. Bechtel, David J. Schmidt, Robert C. Knapp
  • Patent number: 5661370
    Abstract: A multi-positionable motion activated light switch including a male/female adaptor assembly having a male plug portion that is mechanically and electrically mateable with an existing light bulb socket, a female socket portion that is mechanically and electrically mateable with the connecting base of an existing light bulb; a motion sensor circuit including a motion sensing mechanism housed within a sensor housing having a sensing aperture through which the motion sensing mechanism is exposed to physical phenomenon; and a flexible support structure, connectable between the adaptor assembly and the sensor housing that includes electrical conductors and a resilient core member having at least two bendable stiffening members encased therein. The flexible support structure allows the sensing aperture of the sensor housing to be directed in a variety of user selected directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1997
    Inventor: Marlin J. Messick
  • Patent number: 5659227
    Abstract: A fluorescent lamp controller for an original-document exposing apparatus includes a detection circuit for detecting the quantity of light emitted by a fluorescent lamp, an actuator for applying between filaments of the fluorescent lamp a voltage having a duty that is determined in accordance with the quantity of light detected, and a preheating circuit for preheating each of the filaments of the fluorescent lamp by applying a preheating voltage. According to the present invention, the actuator applies, between the filaments of the fluorescent lamp, a voltage having a duty which is smaller than the full duty regardless of a result of the quantity of light detected in a predetermined period at a start of turning the fluorescent lamp on, and the preheating circuit applies the preheating voltage to each of the filaments of the fluorescent lamp simultaneously with the application of the turning on voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 19, 1997
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takahiro Ushiro, Kazuki Miyamoto, Naoyuki Ohki, Shinichi Takata
  • Patent number: 5652481
    Abstract: A control module and method controls the operation of a fluorescent lamp in a circuit in which the lamp is connected to a ballast and energized by alternating half-cycles of power supplied from an AC power source. The fluorescent lamp has cathodes and a medium which emits light energy when energized into a plasma. A controllable switch conducts half-cycles of AC current through the cathodes and commutates into a non-conductive condition. A sensor supplies sensing signals related to an electrical condition at the cathodes. A state transition controller controls the switch. The state transition controller establishes a power-up, warm-up, ignition and fire operational states and transitions between the states in response to the electrical condition sensed and the time duration of those conditions. The lamp lights more reliably, premature failure of the ballast and cathodes is prevented due to overheating, and the lamp is controlled effectively by input signals in the form of short power interruptions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 29, 1997
    Assignee: Beacon Light Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Samuel A. Johnson, Dan E. Rothenbuhler, Gerald G. Miller
  • Patent number: 5640070
    Abstract: In an electronic flash apparatus having a flash tube (2) which is disposed inside a reflector (3), having a storage capacitor (5) which can be discharged via the flash tube having a d.c. voltage converter (7) which is fed by a d.c. voltage source, preferably a battery (6), and by means of which the storage capacitor (5) can be recharged to its operating voltage following each discharge, and having a control circuit (8) which switches the d.c. voltage converter (7) on or off as a function of the voltage at the storage capacitor (5), overheating of the reflector (3) and/or its front elements (4) is prevented by a protective circuit (12) which influences the flash light emission in such a way that the temperature of the reflector (3) and/or its front elements (4) does not exceed a predetermined maximum value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 17, 1997
    Assignee: Metz-Werke GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Michael Wolf
  • Patent number: 5637863
    Abstract: An operatory light fixture having a touchless switch operatively connected to a lamp disclosed. The touchless switch is constructed to detect a user's hand when positioned in a command location relative to the touchless switch and to respond thereto by operating the lamp. In a preferred embodiment, the touchless switch is an active infrared-type switch, comprising means for emitting infrared light toward a command location, means for detecting infrared light reflected from an object such as a hand which is positioned at or near the command location, and relay means responsively connected to the detection means and operatively connected to the lamp. In another preferred embodiment, the touchless switch includes means for discriminating a true signal produced by placement of an object such as a user's hand at the command location, from randomly occurring fluctuations in light intensity in the operatory environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 10, 1997
    Assignee: MDT Corporation
    Inventors: Bruce A. Sanborn, Shawn E. O'Hara
  • Patent number: 5633565
    Abstract: An electrical flasher circuit has improved operating characteristics, in particular by providing continuous illumination for a long period of time from a fully charged solar battery. The circuit employs a solar battery recharging circuit component that achieves full charge in a short period of time. The flasher circuit may be used in roadside warning device having a sign member with a warning image. Placed around the warning image are a plurality of light emitters for providing a visual warning during evening and night hours. The light emitters are powered by a solar energy source connected to a flasher circuit including an oscillator for causing the light emitters to be energized in a particular sequence. When the device is exposed to sunlight, the battery is disconnected to avoid unnecessary draining of the battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 27, 1997
    Assignee: Interplex Solar, Inc.
    Inventors: Roni Friedman, Chaim Chacham, William F. Richardson, Jr., Brian N. Raymond
  • Patent number: 5619104
    Abstract: An automatic illumination intensity control apparatus for a discharge lamp includes a chopper circuit for stepping up D.C. voltage obtained by rectifying commercial A.C. voltage, an invertor circuit for converting D.C. voltage output from the chopper circuit into an A.C. voltage with a higher frequency to drive the discharge lamp, a brightness level sensing portion for sensing the brightness level of the area to be illuminated, a brightness level setting portion for setting brightness level of the area to be illuminated, and a power cut-off portion for stopping the operation of the invertor circuit when the sensed brightness level is greater than the set brightness level. The control apparatus may further include an illumination intensity adjusting portion for varying voltage output from the chopper circuit in proportion to the difference between the set brightness and sensed brightness when the sensed brightness is less than the set brightness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 8, 1997
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Lee Eunghwa
  • Patent number: 5598066
    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: February 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 28, 1997
    Assignee: Heath Company
    Inventors: David L. Wiesemann, Daniel E. Schaaf, Wai-Shing P. Ko
  • Patent number: 5592033
    Abstract: The present invention generally relates to a cost-effective photocell switching circuit which can be manufactured as a single, factory sealed unit suitable for use in Class I, Division 2 environments. In accordance with the present invention, the switching circuit can be wholly formed with electrical components (i.e., without movable parts such as electro-mechanical relays). Further, features of switching circuits designed in accordance with the present invention render the electrical components immune to noise such that the components can be combined in a single unit, explosion-proof housing, thus reducing overall switching circuit complexity and production costs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1997
    Assignee: Cooper Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: John H. Gold
  • Patent number: 5589741
    Abstract: A naturalistic illumination system for a user at a location having a light source for providing illumination of variable intensity above a non-zero value to the user location. A computer produces a variable signal to control a cycle of variable intensity illumination level output of the light source to correspond to the progressive variation in light level intensity above a non-zero value over a selected time of day period at a geographical location as selected from a computer input device. The variable signal is produced on a daily basis to produce the variable intensity illumination cycle for the same period of time in a manner to progressively shift the time of the start of the production of the variable intensity illumination cycle for the period of time each day over a period of successive days relative to the normal time of start of the production of the variable intensity illumination cycle during the period of successive days at the selected geographical location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1996
    Assignees: Research Foundation For Mental Hygiene, Inc., Medic-Light Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Terman, Stephen Fairhurst, Phlip Hughes, Joel Levitt
  • Patent number: 5588735
    Abstract: A stick includes a power source battery; an illuminating light source for illuminating an area close to the feet of a user; a warning light source for giving attention to a third person; a wide angle lens serving as a cover disposed on the front surface of each of the light sources; and a control circuit for supplying a drive signal to each light source by switching thereby opening/closing a feed line from the power source battery. The stick may further include an alarm activated on the basis of the above drive signal. With this stick, it becomes possible to make easy the walking in day or night, to avoid a danger and accident, and to rapidly and positively generate an alarm in the worst case where there happens a danger or accident.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1996
    Inventor: Noboru Harada
  • Patent number: 5586048
    Abstract: An intelligent wall switch incorporates a passive infrared sensor and a pressure pulse-wave sensor. A microcontroller monitors the sensor signals generated by the infrared sensor and the pressure pulse-wave sensor and calculates a weighted sum of the signals generated by the sensors. If the weighted sum calculated by the microcontroller exceeds a preset threshold the intelligent wall switch generates a signal indicative of human presence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 17, 1996
    Assignee: Vigilight Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Coveley
  • Patent number: 5585697
    Abstract: A reflector lamp assembly having an integral photo-sensor and sensing circuit arrangement associated therewith provides for sensing the ambient light conditions at a point adjacent the top surface of the lamp envelope. The photo-sensor element is disposed within a sensor housing member mounted along an edge portion of the top surface of the lamp. A channel pathway is integrally formed with the sensor housing member and extends along the side lamp envelope to protect the sensor lead wires extending from the photo-sensor device to the sensing circuitry contained in the threaded screw base. The sensing circuitry is disposed vertically within a cavity formed in the bottom of the screw base so as to achieve optimum thermal dissipation properties for the sensing circuit. A collimator tube can be inserted into an opening formed at the top of the sensor housing member so as to control the field of view for sensing the ambient light conditions occurring near the top surface of the lamp assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 17, 1996
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Paul T. Cote, Lance G. Kaczorowski, Joseph W. Magalotti, Joseph F. Schiciano, Douglas M. Rutan
  • Patent number: 5583397
    Abstract: A strobe apparatus having a light emitter which emits strobe light and a color temperature converter for varying a color temperature of the strobe light emitted from the light emitter. The apparatus includes a first color temperature detector for detecting a color temperature of the strobe light after being reflected from an object, a second color temperature detector for detecting a color temperature of ambient light reflected from the object, and a color temperature controller. The color temperature controller controls the color temperature of the strobe light detected by the first color temperature detector, so that the color temperature of the strobe light incident upon the object to be photographed is substantially identical to the color temperature of the ambient light detected by the second color temperature detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1996
    Assignee: Asahi Kogaku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kimiaki Ogawa
  • Patent number: 5557173
    Abstract: An electronic circuit for controlling a lamp includes a pyroelectric sensing circuit for detecting the approach of a human, a triggering circuit for receiving a signal from the pyroelectric circuit, a driving circuit for receiving a triggering signal from the triggering circuit and activating a load, and a direct current power circuit with a high-impedance circuit for providing a steady voltage to the electric circuits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1996
    Assignee: IR-TEC International Ltd.
    Inventor: Ping-jung Kuo
  • Patent number: 5537003
    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: April 8, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 16, 1996
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Jon H. Bechtel, Wayne J. Rumsey
  • Patent number: 5519286
    Abstract: An electronic ballast is provided with a built-in timed electric power saver and with photoelectric switching for high-pressure mercury vapor, metallic vapor and sodium vapor lamps. The electronic ballast with the built-in timed saver and photoelectric switching for high-pressure mercury vapor, metallic vapor and sodium lamps includes an electronic circuit having as a principle the obtaining of an increase in the frequency of the electric power distribution network. This increase is accomplished by means of a switching that results in a current limiting electronic device, which also is able to incorporate a timed electric power saver, the utilization of a single equipment for various lamp lower ratings, a photo-sensitive element for control of the lamp switching in accordance with the lighting level of the installation site and an ignitor for lamps requiring a voltage higher than the rated one.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1996
    Inventors: Horacio S. Rodrigues, Renato Rodrigues, Antonio N. Rodrigues
  • Patent number: 5517020
    Abstract: An improved lamp for use with travel trailers, motorhomes, recreational vehicles, temporary shelters, and the like, has an automatic photosensor-actuated on/off control circuit and shielding to protect the photosensor from the effects of stray light sources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1996
    Inventor: Gerald E. Lamo
  • Patent number: 5498931
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for automatic switching and control of lighting to a localized area, the switching of the lighting being dependent on the presence or absence of a person in that localized area and the control of the lighting intensity being dependent on the sensed background level of lighting in that localized area. The invention also relates to a lamp fitting and to an automatic control device for controlling the light output of a light source in a "self managed" and "self controlled" energy saving luminaire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 12, 1996
    Assignee: TLG plc
    Inventor: Lou Bedocs
  • Patent number: 5489891
    Abstract: Disclosed is a touch-programmable lighting and security device in the form of a stand lamp which can be programmed to provide illumination by means of an AC bulb or DC bulb in conjunction with parameters including the ambient light level, presence of people, and AC mains power failure. In one embodiment, this novel lighting and security device includes a transmitter which transmits an Alarm signal to a remote receiver upon detection of an intruder. This user friendly device conveniently plugs into any wall power outlet by means of a suitable length of cable and it can be easily programmed by touching different nonmetallic areas of the device. In one embodiment, four indicator lights in the form of LEDs are provided to identify its prevailing mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 6, 1996
    Assignee: Noval Controls SDN BHD
    Inventors: Chong Khai Diong, Kian Thaw Choong
  • Patent number: 5489827
    Abstract: A system for controlling the intensity of a lamp including a remote sensing device for detecting the presence of an occupant within an area. The device also transmits a signal based on the currently sensed presence of the occupant. After each transmission of an occupancy signal, the device is inhibited from further transmission for a first predetermined period of time to limit power consumption requirements by the battery powered device. The system also includes a light controller responsive to the transmitted occupancy signal for controlling the level of illumination by the lamp. In the absence of a transmitted occupancy signal within a second predetermined period of time, the light controller will instruct the ballast to reduce the level of illumination by the lamp. In the absence of an occupancy signal being transmitted within a third predetermined time period, the light controller will instruct the ballast to turn off the lamp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 6, 1996
    Assignee: Philips Electronics North America Corporation
    Inventor: Yongping Xia
  • Patent number: 5461551
    Abstract: A portable drakroom safelight which incorporates several features which enhance its usefulness in a darkroom. The portable safelight includes a lamp, a safelight filter, rechargeable batteries, a light sensor, and control means. The safelight filter filters all light produced by the lamp, thus making the safelight safe for use in a darkroom and with photosensitive materials. A surface mounting bracket or stand supports the portable safelight and includes a transformer for converting household electric current into low voltage direct current suitable for use by the portable safelight. When the portable safelight is removed from the mounting bracket it automatically switches to operate from the rechargeable batteries and its illumination level is automatically reduced. The lamp is automatically turned off or on when the light sensor detects the presence or absence of ambient white light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 24, 1995
    Inventor: Magill W. Clayton
  • Patent number: 5459373
    Abstract: A circuit to reduce the amount of time for automatic turn-on of a fluorescent lamp as compared with a thermocouple by using a diode bridge, silicon controlled rectifier, a transistor, and a CdS photoelectric device. By using this relatively inexpensive circuit, a fluorescent lamp is automatically turned on within 2-3 seconds after ambient light falls below a predetermined level. In an alternate embodiment, there is no transistor and a Schmitt trigger is used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1995
    Inventor: Byung I. Ham
  • Patent number: 5455488
    Abstract: Miniature light-activated lamp control apparatus and the like, including a thin disk-shaped switching unit positionable within a light bulb socket and a thin light conductor having one end attached thereto, the light conductor being extendable through the gap between the electrically conductive inner wall of the socket and the electrically conductive outer surface of the bulb base disposed in the socket, and terminating at the opposite end in a lens for gathering ambient or other light. The switching unit has a first contact on one side for engagement with the socket center terminal, and a second contact on an opposing side for engagement with the center terminal of a light bulb. The unit includes a thin circuit board having control circuitry mounted thereon, such circuitry being positioned to occupy available space between the conical bulb base and the circuit board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 3, 1995
    Assignee: CMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: David P. Rhoades, Christopher S. Paul, Edward M. Buckley, David M. Barton, Claude A. S. Hamrick
  • Patent number: 5455487
    Abstract: A device for controlling power to an electrical load. The device has two components: a portable desktop detector unit and a wall-mounted receiver unit. The desktop detector detects the presence of a human in a room and the ambient light level and sends signals to the receiver unit to supply power to or withhold power from an electrical load such as a fluorescent light and to adjust the brightness of the light. Since the detector is portable, it can be positioned and repositioned at different locations in a room to maximize its ability to detect the presence of a human and to sense the level of ambient light in various room locations. Each detector and receiver pair have matching addresses so that a receiver will operate an electrical load only in response to its mated detector, thus allowing multiple devices to be used to control multiple lights without interfering with each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 3, 1995
    Assignee: The Watt Stopper
    Inventors: Jerome M. Mix, Charles C. Hu, James C. Sprout
  • Patent number: 5453663
    Abstract: A lighting apparatus has a secondary battery, at least two light emitters connected in parallel with each other, first switches, and second switches. When the first switches are each ON, i.e., closed and the second switches are each OFF, i.e., open, the light emitters are connected in parallel with each other and in series with the secondary battery. When the first switches are each OFF and the second switches are each ON, the light emitters and secondary battery are connected in series.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 26, 1995
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Tsuneo Nakayama
  • Patent number: 5446343
    Abstract: A capacitive element is introduced in series with the gate of a switching element in an automatic turn on/off circuit which automatically provides artificial light depending on the ambient light incident on a photo sensitive element of the circuit wherein the capacitive element holds an offset voltage which aids in turning on the switching element and provides a hysteresis in the system which counteracts a flickering effect common to automatic turn on/off circuits controlling an artificial light which employ a photo sensitive device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1995
    Assignee: American Tack & Hardware Co., Inc.
    Inventor: Burt Shulman
  • Patent number: 5442177
    Abstract: A dusk delay system for outdoor motion detection provides the benefits of dusk to dawn, timed, and motion detection control. A dusk to dawn type sensor detects the onset of darkness and turns on the lights for a predetermined duration of time. Once the duration of time expires, the lights will be shut off. Subsequently, motion within the monitored area will be detected by a motion detector and cause the light to be turned on for a selectably predetermined amount of time. The timer can randomize the actual time in which the lighting controller shuts off the light and goes into the motion detection mode. A latch mechanism disables the operation of the system upon momentary interruption of the power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Assignee: Pace Control Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles A. Boulos, Michael D. Sund, Syed M. A. Hussain
  • Patent number: 5434475
    Abstract: An outdoor lighting control includes a photosensor responsive to ambient outdoor light and an alternating current relay with a pair of contacts movable between make and break positions. The relay includes a contact actuating arrangement that responds to the photosensor and alternating current bias the contacts into a make position and move the contacts electromagnetically into a break position. The contact actuating arrangement includes a coiled extension spring for moving the contacts into the make position and a resilient armature which biases the armature toward the break position. The spring and armature have respective resiliences sufficiently stiff and responsive to the alternating current to limit chatter in the contacts during passage from the make position to the break position to 15 milliseconds when the photosensitive means senses a transition between dark and daylight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Assignee: Pacific Scientific Company
    Inventors: Jeff D. Walters, Paul M. Buonpane
  • Patent number: 5430354
    Abstract: A ballast for lighting an auxiliary source of illumination whenever a primary source of illumination fails to ignite. The auxiliary source of illumination is effectively turned OFF by placing a short circuit thereacross whenever the primary source of illumination is lit. The short circuit is removed whenever the primary source of illumination fails to reach a predetermined level of illumination thereby permitting current to flow through and light the auxiliary source of light. The ballast also includes a power factor correction device for increasing the ballast power factor when the primary source of light reaches a predetermined level of illumination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Assignee: North American Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Glenn D. Garbowicz, Edmond Daniel, Joseph S. Droho
  • Patent number: 5416384
    Abstract: This is an emergency lighting system that provides an emergency driving voltage to drive at least one lamp when the AC power input to the lamp is detected as absent. A rechargeable battery pack and recharging circuit are contained in a first modular housing, and driving circuitry is contained in a second modular housing. An easily accessible, manually-operable service switch disables the provision of battery power to the driving circuitry (when the switch is in the open state), thereby allowing substantial reduction in installation time and cost. A test switch is included to emulate power failures. A transmitter and receiver mechanism allow a user to remotely disable the provision of battery power to the driving circuitry, thereby offering battery power conservation, if the emeregency lamplight is not needed. Likewise, a photo-sensing mechanism disables the provision of battery power to the driving circuitry, if there is sufficient ambient light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 16, 1995
    Inventor: Joseph Bavaro
  • Patent number: 5412284
    Abstract: A cordless lighting system for a Christmas tree comprising a control transmitter for generating light signals of first and second frequencies, and a plurality of light elements adapted to be supported on the Christmas tree. Each of the light elements comprises a light source for generating visible light, a battery for supplying power to activate the light source, a bistable switch having an input, and an output connected to the light source, and first and second photocells responsive to light signals of the first and second frequencies, respectively, for generating first and second control signals to the input of the bistable switch. The first control signal controls the bistable switch to activate the light element and the second control signal controls the bistable switch to deactivate the light element. Preferably, the light elements activate each other in a cascade fashion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 2, 1995
    Inventors: Martha H. Moore, Robbie C. Koenig
  • Patent number: 5406173
    Abstract: A device for controlling the level of light in an area or room. The device includes a sensor that detects whether the room is occupied, a light meter that detects the level of ambient light entering the room, and circuitry that controls the lights in the room in response to the sensor and light meter. The controlling circuitry increases the light level in the room when the room is occupied and the light meter senses that the ambient light level is not above a particular level. When the room is unoccupied for a brief period of time, the device increases or decreases the light level of the room by controlling lights accordingly, in response to the level of light sensed by the light meter. And finally, when the room is unoccupied for an extended period of time, the device turns power off to all the lights in the room.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1995
    Assignee: The Watt Stopper
    Inventors: Jerome M. Mix, Charles C. Hu, James C. Sprout, Kenneth A. McCuen
  • Patent number: 5399941
    Abstract: Disclosed is a high-voltage, high-current, multichannel, optically-trigge switch with the potential for improved lifetime of operation. Triggering of the switch is accomplished by ultraviolet illumination of multiple cathode apertures via fiber-optic cables. The trigger optics for each channel, being composed of a fiber-optic cable terminated by some collimating optics, are protected from damaging metalization by enclosing them in an angled metal or dielectric tubes in the cathode backspace. The use of collimating optics at the output of the fiber allows the fiber to be recessed inside the shield tube, providing further protection from discharge by-products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 21, 1995
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Michael G. Grothaus, Jack S. Bernardes, David C. Stoudt
  • Patent number: 5394063
    Abstract: A reed switch is provided between a video camera and a battery pack circuit section. A current flowing when the video camera operates is detected by the reed switch. A video light is turned on or off on the basis of the detected current value. When the power source does not reach a specified voltage, the video light is turned off. The outer light amount when photographing is converted into an electric current by a phototransistor. When the current is less than a threshold level, the video light is lit or turned on. The threshold level is varied by a variable resistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 28, 1995
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Ryoji Nakazawa
  • Patent number: 5371489
    Abstract: An alerting apparatus includes a pair of separate first and second lights capable of providing respective illuminations that are different from one another, an electrical power supply cord connected to the first and second lights for providing a supply of electrical power to activate the lights, and a motion detector connected to the electrical power supply cord and the first and second lights for activating the first and second lights for predetermined times in response to sensing motion in a predetermined area. The first light can provide a constant white illumination, while the second light can provide a flashing red illumination. Also, an alarm can be connected to the motion detector and the electrical power supply.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1994
    Inventors: Lee J. Carroll, Diana D. Harahan
  • Patent number: 5357171
    Abstract: A gas discharge lamp has a fill mixture with first radiation-emitting substances which emit predominantly in an ultraviolet spectral range, and a further radiation-emitting substance which has an emission line in a lower-frequency spectral range. The intensity at the lower-frequency emission line is monitored and used to control lamp operation. This prevents continued use of lamps whose normal service life has been exceeded, as evidenced by intensity dropoff or frequency drift. This in turn prevents damage to health, in lamps used for medical or cosmetic purposes, or malfunctions in technical manufacturing processes, in lamps used in such processes. Thus, irradiation with unsuitable discharge tubes is prevented. Depending upon the intended lamp application, preferred fill additives may include lithium, cesium, thallium, or sodium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 18, 1994
    Assignee: Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
    Inventor: Lothar Waldhauer
  • Patent number: 5357170
    Abstract: An energy-saving lighting control system is selectively operable in either a normal mode, in which certain lighting parameters (e.g., maximum and minimum light levels, fade rates, etc.) are preset and lighting level is determined by which of a plurality of inputs requires the least electrical power, or in an off-normal mode (e.g., a calibration or light-adjustment mode) in which certain parameters are adjustable by manually adjusting the position of a movable member, such as a wiper blade in a potentiometer. A microprocessor-based logic and control unit is adapted to automatically switch from the normal operating mode to the off-normal mode in response to movement of the movable member. After a predetermined time period following the most recent movement of the movable member, the logic and control unit stores the new level of the adjusted parameter, and returns to the normal operating mode. Preferably, the system has multiple outputs by which different types of fluorescent lamp ballasts can be controlled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 18, 1994
    Assignee: Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.
    Inventors: David G. Luchaco, James M. Yorgey
  • Patent number: 5349330
    Abstract: Disclosed is a touch-programmable lighting and security device in the form of a stand lamp which can be programmed to provide illumination by means of an AC bulb or DC bulb in conjunction with parameters including the ambient light level, presence of people, and AC mains power failure. In one embodiment, this novel lighting and security device includes a transmitter which transmits an Alarm signal to a remote receiver upon detection of an intruder. This user friendly device conveniently plugs into any wall power outlet by means of a suitable length of cable and it can be easily programmed by touching different nonmetallic areas of the device. In one embodiment, four indicator lights in the form of LEDs are provided to identify its prevailing mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1994
    Inventors: Chong K. Diong, Kian T. Choong
  • Patent number: 5336977
    Abstract: An emergency lighting device includes a hollow casing, a magnetic field detecting unit, a lamp unit and a driving unit. The casing is positioned adjacent to an electric outlet. The magnetic field detecting unit is disposed inside the casing and detects the absence of a magnetic field from the electric outlet. The lamp unit is mounted operatively on the casing. The driving unit is disposed inside the casing and is connected electrically to the lamp unit and to the detecting unit. The driving unit includes a light-sensitive switch unit and is responsive to the detecting unit so as to activate the lamp unit only when the magnetic field from the electric outlet is absent and there is weak surrounding light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 9, 1994
    Inventor: Ming-Chun Li
  • Patent number: 5329206
    Abstract: An automatic headlamp dimmer system for switching a vehicle's headlamps from high beam to low beam when lights from another vehicle are detected in front of the vehicle. To prevent spurious responses to reflected light from signs and other sources, the dimmer system includes a light detector which is responsive only to infrared light. Also, unwanted responses to flashing lights are avoided by detecting the presence of a periodically varying light signal, and inhibiting switching between high and low beams in response thereto. The system is also capable of sensing the activation of windshield wipers and preventing headlamp switching caused by interruption of light to the system's light sensor by action of the wiper blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1994
    Assignees: Lectron Products, Inc., Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Kenneth G. Slotkowski, Paul A. Michaels, Harold R. Macks, Henry J. Ewald
  • Patent number: 5325023
    Abstract: An outdoor lighting control circuit for operation with a variable input voltage and with an electrical lamp, the circuit including a first resistive impedance element for protecting the circuit from excessive current, and a photosensitive element for presenting a first impedance when actuated by light and a different second impedance in the absence of light. The photosensitive element is electrically in series with the first resistive impedance element, to form a first series combination. An electrical relay in the circuit has contacts for selectively connecting the load to the input voltage and has a relay coil. A second resistive impedance element of the circuit controls the current in the relay coil. The second resistive impedance element is electrically in parallel with the relay coil, to form a first parallel combination. The first parallel combination is electrically in series with the first series combination, all elements being between the input terminals that receive the operating voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1994
    Assignee: Pacific Scientific Company
    Inventor: Mark E. Martich
  • Patent number: 5311101
    Abstract: A lighting failure detector for a luminaire which ascertains that a lamp is lit at night and indicates the result of detection includes a phase difference detector circuit for ascertaining the lighting of the lamp through voltage and current applied to the lamp, a timer operating in response to an output signal from the phase difference detector circuit, and an indicator operated in response to a time-up signal from the timer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 10, 1994
    Assignee: Kagatsu Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Toshitaka Noriki, Kaoru Tanaka, Hiroki Shinzaki
  • Patent number: 5293097
    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: November 27, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 8, 1994
    Assignee: Novitas, Inc.
    Inventor: Brian E. Elwell
  • Patent number: 5280220
    Abstract: An electrical device such as a lamp is energized and deenergized remotely by a system in which pulses of different duration are transmitted to a receiver unit capable of discriminating between the length of the pulses in order to switch between an "on" mode and an "off" mode. A battery energizing the receiver unit is recharged by a photovoltaic cell. Advantageously associated with the battery charging circuit is an ambient lights sensing device capable of interrupting current from the battery to a load whenever the battery is being charged by the photovoltaic cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 18, 1994
    Inventor: Gary Carter
  • Patent number: 5272418
    Abstract: A switching control circuit for energizing a lamp in response to a decrease in ambient light below a predetermined level includes a photosensor and a timer circuit that responds to the photosensor indicating that the ambient light level is below a predetermined level by gating a solid state switching device into conductance to energize the lamp. The photosensor is powered by the signal that gates the switching device in a manner that renders the photosensor operative only when the lamp is not energized. Therefore, the lamp is energized upon the onset of dusk for a predetermined period of time during which the photosensor is disabled. After the period of time has expired, the lamp is deenergized and the photosensor is again enabled for a brief period of time to determine whether ambient light is still below the predetermined level. If it is, the light is again energized for another period of time. If not, the light remains deenergized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1993
    Assignee: Universal Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: David J. Howe, W. James Budzyna
  • Patent number: 5256946
    Abstract: A lighting system having a primary light source and an emergency lamp. The emergency lamp is turned on and remains on upon failure or removal from the system of the primary light source. The system also includes a control device for sensing when the voltage across the primary light source rises above a predetermined level in determining when to turn on the emergency lamp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1993
    Assignee: North American Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Glenn D. Garbowicz, Edmond Daniel