Fluorescent Lamp Circuits With More Than Two Principle Electrodes Patents (Class 315/DIG1)
  • Patent number: 6097155
    Abstract: A fluorescent lamp (1) having a tubular discharge vessel (2), filled with ert gas, and a fluorescent layer (6) has elongated electrodes (3; 4; 12; 14a-14d) arranged parallel to the longitudinal axis of the tubular discharge vessel (2), at least one electrode (4; 12; 14a-14d) being arranged on the inner wall of the discharge vessel (2). The tubular discharge vessel (2) is sealed in a gas-tight fashion at one or at both ends with a stopper (8) and by means of solder (9), the at least one inner wall electrode (4) being guided to the outside in a gas-tight fashion through the solder (9). Alternatively or also in addition, at least one electrode (16) is arranged inside the wall of the discharge vessel (2). Up to a maximum of the entire inside diameter can be used as striking distance, depending on the positioning of the associated counterelectrode(s). High luminous densities are achieved because of the large and, at the same time, constant striking distance along the discharge tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Assignee: Patent-Treuhand-Gesellschaft fuer elektrische Gluehlampen mbH
    Inventors: Frank Vollkommer, Lothar Hitzschke, Simon Jerebic
  • Patent number: 6094015
    Abstract: An illumination unit comprises a high-frequency supply (1) and a low-pressure discharge lamp (2). The high-frequency supply (1) is provided with a first and a second output (13a, 13b). The outputs each deliver a HF-varying voltage with respect to ground. The voltages have the same magnitude and are in phase opposition. The supply (1) is provided with a further output (13c) which is substantially free of high-frequency voltage variations with respect to ground. The low-pressure discharge lamp (2) is provided with a tubular discharge vessel (20) with an ionizable filling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2000
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Johannes H. Wessels, Johannes H. G. Op Het Veld
  • Patent number: 5907218
    Abstract: A lighting assembly 2 includes a ballast subassembly 4, fluorescent lamps 30 and connectors 50 for connecting the ends of two lamps forming an associated pair. The ballast subassembly 4 is connected to only one base of two lamps and the other ends are connected by commoning socket connectors 50 that are not attached to the ballast subassembly 4. The ballast subassembly 4 includes a power supply circuit 100 and a ballast circuit 102 that can energize two fluorescent lamps 30 with remote lamp bases 34 commoned. The ballast subassembly 4 is mounted on one end of the lighting subassembly, for example on one end of a troffer 80. No wires or other direct electrical connection are necessary with the other end of the lighting assembly 4, the lamps 30, or the troffer 80. The commoning connectors 50 can employ bus contacts 64 having integral cantilever terminals 74 extending from a central bus section 66.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1999
    Assignee: The Whitaker Corporation
    Inventors: Barry Eddington Altman, John Francis Turner, Jr., Albert David Willette
  • Patent number: 5747946
    Abstract: A fluorescent discharge lamp has two glow mode electrodes wound around it in a helical fashion. One circuit drives the main electrodes at opposite ends of the lamp at high levels of brightness. Another circuit drives the glow mode electrodes at low levels of brightness, at about 10MHz. At intermediate levels of brightness, both the main electrodes and the glow mode electrodes are driven, the two sets of electrodes being driven for alternate on and off periods with the glow mode electrodes being on when the main electrodes are off and the glow mode electrodes being off when the main electrodes are on.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: Smiths Industries Public Limited Corporation
    Inventor: Peter Michael Tyler
  • Patent number: 5714848
    Abstract: A circuit arrangement for alternatingly, at a frequency f, establishing and extinguishing a discharge in each of a plurality of discharge paths, each of which is associated with a first electrode situated at a first end of the discharge path and with a second electrode situated at a second end of the discharge path. Operating voltages are generated from a supply voltage during operation and are present across respective discharge paths and are periodic at the frequency f. The same operating voltage is present across each discharge path. During operation each discharge path is associated with an auxiliary electrode situated alongside the discharge path and the circuit arrangement further comprises respective switching devices for connecting and disconnecting each of the auxiliary electrodes at the frequency f to a terminal of the circuit arrangement to establish an ignition voltage during a part of each period between one of the electrodes and the auxiliary electrode associated with the same discharge path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 3, 1998
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Rainer Hilbig, Uwe Chittka, Pieter Postma
  • Patent number: 5420481
    Abstract: An apparatus is provided for controlling the luminous output of a fluorescent lamp over a wide dimming range. The luminous output is controlled by controlling the lamp current, while the lamp is immersed in a lateral electrostatic field. The lamp and external electrostatic ionization electrodes are driven by a true analog voltage-to-current converter that has a dynamic range inherently wider than conventional PWM circuits. A modified, transformer coupled, push-pull converter with an analog-current-driven primary circuit is used in one embodiment of the apparatus. The lamp driver must be capable of providing a high compliance voltage consistent with the I-V profile of the lamp. A subordinate primary winding on the transformer may be used to reduce magnetization current and to supply sufficient energy for supporting the lateral electrostatic field that is generated by the ionization electrodes which may be printed on a PWB mounted behind the lamp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1995
    Assignee: Smiths Industries
    Inventor: Neil R. McCanney
  • Patent number: 5220249
    Abstract: A flat type fluorescent lamp device is constituted by two transparent glass plates assembled and sealed together thereby forming a glass plate assembly, a discharge channel formed in a serpentine form by a groove on at least one of the two transparent glass plates with the inner surface of the groove carrying a fluorescent film. A pair of electrodes are provided, electrode each at each end of the discharge channel, a light diffuser provided on the front surface of the glass plate assembly and a light reflector is provided at the back surface of the glass plate assembly. In one aspect of the invention, at least another electrode is provided between the two electrodes thereby dividing the discharge channel into a plurality of individual discharge channels, in which case it is possible to ensure that all of the individual channels have the same electric characteristics and can be caused to be lit in parallel by a single power source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1993
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventor: Yoshiyuki Tsukada
  • Patent number: 5150018
    Abstract: The combination of a fluorescent lamp with a grid between its electrodes and control equipment for operating the lamp in an on condition and an off condition by the application of pulses to the grid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1992
    Assignee: North American Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Gert W. Bruning, Leo F. Casey, Paul R. Veldman, Klaus Vegter
  • Patent number: 5107183
    Abstract: A charging method within a glass tube using a direct current of low voltage is provided in order to obtain a small fluorescent lamp with a light emission of high luminance. Two distinct discharges are achieved through use of one negative electrode. The filament-like negative electrode is arranged at a short spaced relation to a positive electrode at one end of the glass tube and upon application of the direct current voltage becomes the preliminary discharge. A second positive electrode is positioned at the opposite end of the glass tube and has a greater-spaced relation to the negative electrode resulting in the second discharge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1992
    Assignee: Minipilo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hitoshi Yamamoto, Sadahiro Yanai
  • Patent number: 4970441
    Abstract: A VF display control apparatus operated directly from an automotive storage battery in which the display brightness variation is minimized by controlling the relationship between the anode and grid voltages in relation to the fluctuation of the battery voltage. The anodes of the display are operated substantially at the battery voltage, and the grid voltage is reduced in relation to the amount by which the anode (supply) voltage exceeds the nominal open-circuit terminal voltage of the battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 13, 1990
    Assignee: Delco Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Raymond Lippmann, Michael J. Schnars, James E. Nelson
  • Patent number: 4939430
    Abstract: A starting and operating circuit for a discharge lamp in which the ballast reactance includes first, second and third coil segments with the third coil segment compromising part of the ignitor circuit and being electrically connected between the first and second coil segments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1987
    Date of Patent: July 3, 1990
    Assignee: Advance Transformer Company
    Inventor: Joseph S. Droho
  • Patent number: 4881014
    Abstract: The present invention comprises a switching circuit which converts direct current electric power into a pulse; an insulative transformer which includes a primary coil for loading a generated pulse, coils for direct and alternating current outputs which are provided on the secondary coil side of the insulative transformer; an impendance circuit for controlling current which is connected with the coil for alternating the output; a control circuit which controls the switching circuit so that the output voltage of the coil for the direct current output is kept constant; and a fluorescent lamp connected with the coil for alternating the current output. The circuit can obtain the alternating current without secondary switching.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1988
    Date of Patent: November 14, 1989
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Sadao Okochi
  • Patent number: 4739227
    Abstract: A fluorescent lamp has an envelope tube forming a gas-tight enclosure about a pair of externally-energizable filaments which generate a plasma discharge for conversion to visible light; a keep-alive electrode is located adjacent to at least one filament. A dimming control circuit individually externally energizes each keep-alive electrode to generate an auxiliary discharge, between that keep-alive electrode and the adjacent filament, at a magnitude sufficient to maintain the adjacent filament in the spot mode of operation even if the main plasma discharge current is varied over a range sufficient to change the visible light output of the lamp over at least a 10:1 range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1986
    Date of Patent: April 19, 1988
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: John M. Anderson
  • Patent number: 4700113
    Abstract: A variable high-frequency ballast circuit for igniting and operating energy saver discharge lamps includes a high frequency inverter that energizes the lamps with a given high frequency voltage at which reliable lamp ignition is assured. The lamp current is monitored so as to automatically increase the lamp operating frequency to an optimum value as soon as the lamps ignite.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1981
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1987
    Assignee: North American Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Edward H. Stupp, Mark W. Fellows
  • Patent number: 4654562
    Abstract: A flashing lamp unit comprising a fluorescent lamp, an ionization electrode in close proximity to the lamp, and an electrical means for exciting the lamp and ionization electrode to cause the lamp to flash. In one embodiment, the lamp is torroidal in shape, the ionization electrode is arc-shaped and abuts the lamp, and an optical scanning device peers through the center space of the lamp so that the lamp provides a substantially uniform illuminated field for viewing by the scanning device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1984
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1987
    Assignee: The Gerber Scientific Instrument Co.
    Inventor: Henry F. Berdat
  • Patent number: 4625152
    Abstract: A tricolor fluorescent lamp operating on a DC power source is disclosed herein. The lamp comprises an outer envelop defining therein a sealed space in which an ionizable medium is filled at low pressure. Disposed within said outer envelop are three tubular envelops of a generally inverted U-shaped configuration which define correspondingly three separate discharge paths and which are coated with respective fluorescent substances emitting different colors. Three sequentially energized anodes are located within the sealed ends of the respective envelops and a common cathode is disposed in adjacently facing relation with the open ends of the envelops, such that the three envelops can be sequentially energized to emit the specific colors which are additively mixed in various proportions to produce a desired color as emitting from the whole lamp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1984
    Date of Patent: November 25, 1986
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd.
    Inventor: Katsumasa Nakai
  • Patent number: 4575656
    Abstract: A discharge lamp of non-linear configuration employs a solid wire, internal starting aid and a mount which includes a third lead-in wire whereby the starting aid can be electrically connected into a circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1980
    Date of Patent: March 11, 1986
    Assignee: GTE Products Corporation
    Inventors: John W. Anderson, Jr., William J. Roche
  • Patent number: 4504891
    Abstract: A fluorescent lamp system including a pair of fluorescent lamp socket bars, a pair of ballast transformers, and a wiring harness. Each lamp socket bar consists of a sandwich of a molded plastic plate which holds the lamp socket contacts and the wiring connector pins, and a printed circuit wiring plate which makes electrical contact with the socket contacts and connector pins through mechanical pressure contact, and which wiring plate contains the circuit wiring excepting for the interconnections with the ballast transformers, such interconnections being effected either by means of a wiring harness having plug connectors which pluggingly connect to pins on the lamp socket bar and to the ballast transformers or by quick-wire connections from the ballast transformers themselves. If a cable harness is used, the ballasts are also pluggably engageable with the fluorescent lamp socket bars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1984
    Date of Patent: March 12, 1985
    Assignee: Keystone Lighting Corporation
    Inventor: Bernard Mazis
  • Patent number: 4494046
    Abstract: The lamp shown herein is a beam mode fluorescent lamp for general lighting applications. The lamp comprises a light transmitting envelope, having a phosphor coating on its inner surface, enclosing a single electrode including a thermionic cathode for emitting electrons and an integral anode for accelerating the electrons and forming an electron beam, and a fill material, such as mercury, which emits ultraviolet radiation upon excitation. The electrode configuration provides for use of a single power source and minimal number of power leads. In addition, a separate cathode heater filament is not required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 1984
    Date of Patent: January 15, 1985
    Assignee: GTE Laboratories Incorporated
    Inventors: A. Bowman Budinger, Wojciech W. Byszewski, Joseph M. Proud
  • Patent number: 4415840
    Abstract: Discharge apparatus comprises a xenon-filled glass envelope with a common cathode that divides the envelope into two separate gas-containing chambers. Respective anodes are provided in each chamber to cooperate with the common cathode. By placement of the cathode a closer distance to one of the anodes, the impedance of the discharge path between the more closely spaced electrodes is made lower than the impedance of the discharge path in the other chamber. To make the impedance even lower, the pressure of the gas between the closely spaced electrodes is made lower than the gas pressure between the other pair of electrodes. The discharge apparatus is particularly useful in quenchable electronic flash apparatus employing both a flash tube and a low-impedance quench tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1982
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1983
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Hans P. A. Baumeister
  • Patent number: 4358701
    Abstract: A fluorescent lamp assembly is comprised of a lamp and a ballast therefor. The lamp includes an internal, solid wire starting aid connected to third lead-in wire sealed in an end of the lamp. A resistive ballast serially couples the lamp electrodes to a lamp starting means such as a glow-bottle. The starting aid is capacitively coupled to a lead-in wire of its adjacent electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1982
    Assignee: GTE Products Corporation
    Inventors: William J. Roche, John W. Anderson, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4350929
    Abstract: A fluorescent lighting device which includes a preheating type fluorescent discharge tube and as the ballast thereof an incandescent bulb. The fluorescent lighting device is ignited by the use of a pulse transformer and a neon tube. A semiconductor element may be used in place of the neon tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1979
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1982
    Assignee: Moriyama Sangyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Masayuki Katoogi
  • Patent number: 4329622
    Abstract: A low pressure gas discharge lamp is provided with a pair of high power incandescent electrodes to increase output illumination at the lamp ends. In an alternate construction, the electrodes are of high power, low emissivity and are electrically connected to a second pair of high emissivity electrodes which provide the means for enabling the mercury discharge. With this second construction, the low emissivity electrodes can act as ballast for the circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1980
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1982
    Assignee: Xerox Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen C. Corona, Karl A. Northrup
  • Patent number: 4097777
    Abstract: A jacketed high pressure metal vapor discharge lamp comprising an arc tube having main electrodes at opposite ends and a starter electrode, has a resistor and a diode in series bridged across the main electrodes which are connected across a peaked lead ballast in operation. A second resistor connects the starting electrode to the remote main electrode. The circuit lowers the minimum open circuit voltage required from the ballast for reliable starting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1976
    Date of Patent: June 27, 1978
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Walter Bacharowski
  • Patent number: 4074172
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for operating a low-pressure sodium vapor discharge lamp without a stabilizing ballast.The lamp is provided with a discharge tube having first and second main electrodes opposing a third main electrode. An automatically operating change-over switch occasionally switches the lamp current to either the first or second electrodes. A reservoir of liquid sodium near the first electrode affects sodium vapor pressure in the discharge tube by the switching action.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1976
    Date of Patent: February 14, 1978
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Gustaaf A. Wesselink, Hendrik Roelofs, Gijsbert J. Ponsen
  • Patent number: 4051407
    Abstract: A device for operating a low-pressure sodium vapor discharge lamp without a ballast. The electrode voltage drop near a main electrode of the sodium lamp is influenced by a change in the pre-heating current of that electrode and/or a change in the effective area of the electrode. The changed electrode voltage drop thus obtained provides a mechanism whereby any changes in the lamp current are opposed so as to produce ballast-free lamp operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1976
    Date of Patent: September 27, 1977
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Jan Evert van der Werf, Jean Johan Heuvelmans, Hendricus Franciscus Johannes Jacobus VAN Tongeren