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US20060245205A1 - Fiber optically illuminated display cabinet and a fiber optic cable light distribution assembly therefor - Google Patents

Fiber optically illuminated display cabinet and a fiber optic cable light distribution assembly therefor Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060245205A1
US20060245205A1 US11117533 US11753305A US2006245205A1 US 20060245205 A1 US20060245205 A1 US 20060245205A1 US 11117533 US11117533 US 11117533 US 11753305 A US11753305 A US 11753305A US 2006245205 A1 US2006245205 A1 US 2006245205A1
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Prior art keywords
fiber
light
optic
portion
defined
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11117533
Inventor
Robert Hughes
Tom Whitney
Patrick Belcher
Walter Dye
John Turpin
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Gemtron Corp
Schott Corp
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Gemtron Corp
Schott Corp
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/0001Light guides specially adapted for lighting devices or systems
    • G02B6/0005Light guides specially adapted for lighting devices or systems the light guides being of the fibre type
    • G02B6/0008Light guides specially adapted for lighting devices or systems the light guides being of the fibre type the light being emitted at the end of the fibre
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47FSPECIAL FURNITURE, FITTINGS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR SHOPS, STOREHOUSES, BARS, RESTAURANTS OR THE LIKE; PAYING COUNTERS
    • A47F3/00Show cases or show cabinets
    • A47F3/001Devices for lighting, humidifying, heating, ventilation

Abstract

A display cabinet includes a fiber optic cable having a first fiber optic cable portion introduced into a raceway of a door frame which is divided into fiber optic cable groups each exiting the raceway and being connected to light distributors located along vertical mullions/end frame members of the door frame to illuminate an interior area of the cabinet and products therein. Terminal end portions of individual fiber optic elements of each group are fastened relative to light-emitting holes of individual light distributors. Each light distributor includes a pair of wall portions at opposite sides of a bisecting plane of the light distributor with the light-emitting holes on either side being disposed with axes thereof at two acute though substantially different angles. A pair of ribs at a rear side of the light distributor effect reinforcement thereof and cooperate to fasten terminal ends of each fiber optic element thereto.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The invention is directed to product display cabinets or cases which are used in self-service markets, stores and other establishments in which products are illuminated, viewed, selected and purchased. Such display cabinets could also be operated below external ambient temperature. Typically such display cabinets include one or more glass paneled doors through which products on shelves in an interior compartment can be viewed. Irrespective of the particular lighting system utilized to achieve product visibility, it must not only provide substantially uniform light absent hot spots, glare and the like which detract from product visibility, but such lighting system should be provided at substantially low manufacturing, installation, retrofitting, replacement, electrical energy, and maintenance costs.
  • [0002]
    Heretofore the most commonly utilized lighting systems for display cabinets include florescent tubes which extend vertically from top to bottom interiorly along vertical mullions and opposite vertical end frame members of conventional door frames. Florescent tubes are highly undesirable because of (a) heat generated internally of the display cabinet, (b) inconsistent light, not only between adjacent florescent tubes but along each individual florescent tube, (c) breakage and attendant cost associated therewith, and (d) relatively short florescent tube life. Ballasts associated with florescent lighting must also be replaced from time to time, and more often than not replacement of ballasts and florescent tubes requires the display doors to be held open during servicing and replacement which increases internal cabinet temperature which in turn increases energy cost.
  • [0003]
    Solutions to the latter-noted florescent tube illumination disadvantages have most recently shifted toward the utilization of multitude LEDs, such as are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,578,979 granted on Jun. 17, 2003 to Truttmann-Battig and fiber optics, such as are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,918,579 granted on Apr. 17, 1990 to Bennett.
  • [0004]
    The Truttmann-Batting patent discloses an earlier suggestion of arranging a multitude of LEDs in a position arranged tightly next to one another in a plane on a board to improve light scattering according to German DE U-297 15 157 with particular distances between the LEDs to improve spectral diffusion. The Truttmann-Batting disclosure also proposes a series of modular lighting tubes corresponding to the length of a conventional florescent tube and carrying internally thereof three rows of LEDs at specific angles and orientations adapted to the requirements of specific display cabinets. The complexity and expense of manufacture is evident from the patent, including the necessity of a specific profile body in which individual modules are inserted, carrier webs and circuit board strips associated with each, LEDs associated with the latter and a transparent cover through which light is emitted.
  • [0005]
    The Bennett patent utilizes fiber optic light cables or transmitters instead of florescent tubes or LEDs for illuminating the interiors of display cabinets. The advantage of this fiber optic cable lighting system resides in the utilization of a light source exteriorly of the display cabinet which reduces product compartment heating and thereby increases energy savings. However, in the Bennett patent the fiber optic cables or light transmitters, no matter the number, each lay atop the top wall of the display cabinet and individually enter the interior compartment thereof through an individual top wall opening necessitating the utilization of sealing material at each entrance point to preserve the environment within the cabinet. The omission and/or deterioration of sealing material at each entrance point provides direct escape of cooling air to atmosphere thereby inherently creating a problem intended to be resolved through the use of fiber optic cables. In addition, the so-called tails of each fiber optic cable or transmitter which extend down each vertical door frame are connected to a light emission panel of either a circular or a rectangular cross section requiring like shaped openings in a cover of the door frame. Because of the latter complexities, the tails are also provided with an added connector at upper ends of the covers to facilitate assembly, all of which evidences expensive manufacture, assembly and replacement of associated components.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    The present invention is directed to a display cabinet which is internally illuminated utilizing a fiber optic system having an external light source to which is connected a fiber optic cable formed by a plurality of fiber optic elements. A first fiber optic cable portion made up of all of the plurality of fiber optic elements is connected to the external light source and passes from the exterior of the display cabinet through an opening of a raceway wall of the door frame into a raceway chamber thereof. Thereafter the total plurality of fiber optic elements are divided into a plurality of groups of fiber optic elements collectively defining a second fiber optic cable portion of the fiber optic cable. The plurality of groups of fiber optic elements run along the raceway chamber and each group exits the raceway chamber through an opening in the raceway wall and descends along an associated individual vertical side frame and/or mullion of the door frame. Terminal end portions or tails of each group of the fiber optic elements are located in vertical rows of holes in a vertical support member or light distributor of a fiber optic light distribution assembly carried by the vertical frames and/or mullions. The holes are located at selected vertical and horizontal distances from each other and at angles to the vertical so as to obtain optimum illumination. Though light is emitted from the terminal end portions of the fiber optic elements as horizontally and vertically spaced points of light, preferably disposed along four vertical wall portions of the light distributor at preferably 45 degrees and 70 degrees to the vertical, the points of light diffuse shortly beyond the points of emission into a uniform luminescence which illuminates the products in an extremely aesthetic fashion.
  • [0007]
    The fiber optic cable, particularly the first fiber optic cable portion thereof which is connected to the exterior light source and is formed by the total number of fiber optic elements, is encased by a resilient but relatively strong thick opaque outer tubular sleeve or cover of polymeric/copolymeric material. Each individual fiber optic element also includes an external opaque thin sheath or covering which is likewise relatively resilient. Thus, when the first fiber optic cable portion is fed through and located in the raceway wall opening, the sizing of the opening and the outer peripheral circumference of the sleeve is such as to slightly compress and essentially thereby self-seal the sleeve against an edge of the raceway wall opening. Thus, sealant is unnecessary in most circumstances to eliminate excessive cold air egress from the display cabinet interior, but, if sealant is necessary, the amount utilized is minimal and is limited to a single opening.
  • [0008]
    The invention also provides a fiber optic light distribution assembly which includes a support member or light distributor which is appropriately secured to vertical mullions and/or frame members of the door frame of the display cabinet. A plurality of elongated channels are provided along a rear side of the light distributor in generally spaced parallel relationship to each other with each channel being defined by a pair of elongated rearwardly projecting ribs. The vertical rows of holes in the light distributor open into the channels along the lengths thereof. Preferably, to each side of a longitudinal bisecting plane of the distributor, two rows of holes are located with axes thereof disposed at angles preferably substantially 45 degrees and 70 degrees, respectively, to a vertical plane. The latter angles have been found to afford optimum illumination while the elongated ribs provide rigidity to the light distributor and assure that the latter angles are maintained to achieve ultimate in-use light diffusion and enhancement of product illumination.
  • [0009]
    In further accordance with the invention, each terminal end portion of each fiber optic element includes a sleeve and a radially outwardly directed peripheral collar. The sleeve defines a frictional fit with an associated hole in the light distributor and the collar snap-secures into grooves in internal surfaces of the elongated channel ribs thereby assuring long-lasting assembly of each terminal end portion with each hole. In addition to the latter connection, a generally U-shaped clip is associated with each fiber optic element terminal end portion. A bight portion of the U-shaped clip spans each channel and includes a slot sized to accommodate the fiber optic element but is smaller in width than the diameter of the terminal end collar. Legs of the U-shaped clip resiliently engage exterior surfaces of the pair of ribs of each channel and thereby substantially clamp the channel grooves and the terminal end collars together to preclude disassembly, as might otherwise occur incident to excessive movement during shipment, assembly, repair and reassembly, etc. of the distributor and/or the entire fiber optic light distribution assembly.
  • [0010]
    With the above and other objects in view that will hereinafter appear, the nature of the invention will be more clearly understood by reference to the following detailed description, the appended claims and the several views illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEW OF DRAWINGS
  • [0011]
    FIG. 1 is a front perspective view, and illustrates a display cabinet including a plurality of glass paneled doors, a door frame, a top wall and a light-generating source atop the top wall for directing high intensity light into an end of a fiber optic cable.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken generally along line 2-2 of FIG. 1, and illustrates a raceway channel of an upper frame member of the door frame into and along which the fiber optic elements and groups thereof are introduced into the product compartment with terminal ends of the fiber optic elements being connected to a vertical light distributor along one of several vertical mullions of the door frame.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken generally along line 3-3 of FIG. 1, and illustrates the manner in which the light distributor is connected to the vertical mullion and the terminal ends of fiber optic elements of one group secured in vertical rows of openings along four rear vertically extending elongated channels of the light distributor.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken generally along line 4-4 of FIG. 1, and illustrates a vertical end frame member of the door frame carrying a light distributor identical to that of FIG. 3 within which another group of fiber optic elements is fastened.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 5 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the refrigerated display cabinet of FIG. 1, and illustrates the manner in which groups of fiber optic elements extend along in the raceway chamber with one group of fiber optic elements exiting the raceway chamber at a point above the vertical mullions/end frame portions of the door frame.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary transverse cross-sectional view of the light distributor of FIGS. 3, 4, 8 and 9, and illustrates a terminal end portion of a fiber optic element associated with each light-emitting hole, a pair of ribs defining each of several vertical channels, and the manner in which each terminal end portion of the fiber optic elements is secured with respect to a light-emitting hole of the light distributor.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 7 is a fragmentary exploded perspective view, and illustrates one of four channels defined by a pair of ribs having inner and outer grooves, a flanged sleeve of a fiber optic element terminal end portion and a slotted substantially U-shaped fastener clip.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 8 is a fragmentary front perspective view of the light distributor, and illustrates vertical rows of light-emitting holes with each row of light-emitting holes being associated with a corresponding one of the four channels.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 9 is a fragmentary rear perspective view of the light distributor, and more clearly illustrates the channels and associated ribs thereof.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0020]
    A fiber optically illuminated display cabinet, case, walk-in or the like is illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawings, and is generally designated by the reference numeral 10.
  • [0021]
    The display cabinet 10 may be, for example, a self-contained refrigerated unit which, after manufacture, is shipped to a self-service market, store or like establishment in which perishable food items are stored on shelves (not shown) or the display cabinet 10 can be a so-called built-in by which the cabinet 10 can be framed-out at the use site. In either case the display cabinet 10 includes a top wall 11 (FIGS. 1 and 2), opposite substantially parallel side walls 12, 13 (FIGS. 1 and 2, respectively), a bottom wall 14 (FIG. 2) and a rear wall (not shown) collectively defining an interior product compartment 15 (FIG. 2) which is below outside ambient temperature by a conventional cooling system (not shown). A front of the display cabinet 10 includes a door frame and door assembly 20. The door frame and door assembly 20 includes a door frame 30 and a plurality of conventional IG glass paneled doors 21 through 25 (FIG. 1), each of which includes upper and lower vertical pivots 26, 27 (FIG. 2) for pivoting each door 21 through 25 to respective upper and lower horizontal extruded metal frame members 31, 32 (FIG. 2) of the frame 30 which also includes vertical extruded metal end frame members 33 of which one is illustrated in FIG. 4 and four substantially identical vertical extruded metal mullions or frame members 34, one of which is illustrated in detail in FIG. 3 of the drawings. Inboardmost walls (unnumbered) of the frame members/mullions 31-34 set-off five access openings O, one opening O associated with each door 21-25, through which products in the compartment 15 can be viewed and accessed.
  • [0022]
    The upper frame member 31 of the door frame 30 defines a raceway or raceway chamber 40 (FIGS. 2 and 5) which extends along the entire length of the display cabinet 10 between the side walls 12, 13 and is defined by an upper wall 41, a lower wall 42 and an upper portion 44 of a rear wall 43 (FIG. 2). The walls 41, 42 define a front access (unnumbered) opening into the raceway 40 extending the length of the frame member 31 between the side walls 12, 13 which can be accessed from the front of the display cabinet 20 by pivoting a door 45 between the positions shown in phantom outline in FIG. 2 about an upper pivot 46 upon the removal of one or more locking screws 47 which are each received in a downwardly opening channel 48 of the cover 45.
  • [0023]
    The opposite vertical end frame members 33 (FIG. 4) of the frame 30 are each of an identical construction and are defined by a vertical outboard side wall 51 having an exterior outwardly directed flange 52, an inboard vertical side wall 53 and a web 54 spanning inboardmost substantially vertically wall portions 55, 56 having respective vertical grooves 57, 58 which function in a manner and for a purpose to be described more fully hereinafter.
  • [0024]
    Similarly, the vertical mullions 34 (FIG. 3) are each of a generally H-shaped transverse cross-sectional configuration, and include opposite vertical substantially parallel walls 61, 62 spanned by a web 63 with innermost vertical wall portions 64, 65 of the respective walls 61, 62 having respective vertically extending inwardly directed noses or hooks 66, 67 having respective tapered entry guiding surfaces 68, 69, the function which will be apparent hereinafter.
  • [0025]
    In order to uniformly illuminate the interior compartment 15 of the display cabinet 10 and the products therein, the invention provides a novel fiber optic lighting system 70 (FIGS. 1, 2 and 5) which is defined by a conventional high intensity light generator 75, a fiber optic cable system 80, and a fiber optic light-distribution assembly 100 which includes a light distributor or support member 110.
  • [0026]
    The high intensity light generator 75 is of a conventional construction and preferably utilizes a ceramic metal halide short arc lamp L of FIG. 2, such as Phillips CDM-SA/T 150W/942. Power, preferably 120 volts, is delivered from a conventional source (not shown) by a conventional power cord 76 to a high intensity lamp L of the light generator 75.
  • [0027]
    The fiber optic cable system 80 includes the fiber optic cable 81 having a first fiber optic cable portion 82 and a second fiber optic cable portion 83.
  • [0028]
    The first fiber optic cable portion 82 of the fiber optic cable 81 includes all of numerous individual fiber optic elements 85 (FIGS. 2 through 4) which are encased in an opaque, resilient, tough sleeve 86 (FIG. 2). Each individual fiber optic element 85 is formed of a multiplicity or cluster of fiber optic strands (unnumbered) and terminal ends (not shown) of the strands of the first fiber optic cable portion 82 are exposed to the light emitted from the high intensity lamp L which impinges upon exposed ends of the multiplicity of fiber optic strands and is transmitted therethrough to be subsequently emitted from terminal ends or terminal end portions 94 (FIGS. 2, 6 and 7) thereof.
  • [0029]
    The second fiber optic cable portion 83 is defined by individual groups 83 a, 83 b, 83 c, 83 d, 83 e . . . 83 n (FIG. 5) of fiber optic elements 85 which correspond in number to the number to the number of light distributors 110 which are utilized to illuminate a particular size/volume of the compartment 15 and the products therein. Preferably there is one such light distributor 110 associated with each vertical mullion 34 and each of the opposite vertical end frame members 33 thereby totaling six light distributors 110 and six groups 83 a-83 f of the second fiber optic cable end portion 83.
  • [0030]
    The first fiber optic cable portion 82, including the sleeve 86, extends through an opening 89 in the wall portion 44 of the wall 41 of the raceway 40 at a central location of the top wall 11 (FIG. 1) at which the top wall 11 is preferably relieved to access the upper wall 41 of the upper frame member 31. The opening 89 can be made at site or at the point of manufacture, but it is important that the size thereof snugly receives the sleeve 86 to avoid the necessity of using sealant therebetween yet preclude the egress of cool air from the compartment 15, though sealant can be utilized if found necessary or desirable. After the first fiber optic cable portion 82 enters the raceway 40, individual groups 83 a . . . 83 n of fiber optic elements 85 are disposed along the raceway 40 in the manner evident from FIG. 5 with each group 83 a-83 f exiting the raceway through an opening 90 (FIG. 2) formed in the upper vertical wall portion 44 of the wall 43 of the raceway and a corresponding opening 91 in a decorative cover 92 which extends along the length of the upper frame member 31. As is best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 5 of the drawings, the lengths of the fiber optic element groups 83 a-83 f of fiber optic elements 85 vary in length as do the lengths of the fiber optic elements 85 in the individual groups 83 a . . . 83 n because of the different distances in length between the opening 89 and the openings 90, 91 associated with each of the vertical end members 33 and vertical mullions 34. As an example, on average the length of the fiber optic elements 85 of the fiber optic group 83 a (FIG. 5) is less than the average length of the fiber optic elements 85 of the fiber optic group 83 b which is in turn of lesser average length then the fiber optic elements 85 of the fiber optic group 83 c due to the differing distances of each group 83 a-83 c beyond the entrance opening 89 (in either direction therefrom) and each groups passage through one set of the aligned openings 90, 91.
  • [0031]
    A terminal end portion 94 (FIG. 7) of each fiber optic element 85 carries securing or fastening means 95 in the form of a metallic sleeve or collar 96 crimped or otherwise secured to the terminal end portion 94 of each fiber optic element 85 and having a radially outwardly directed circumferentially extending flange or collar 97 which is utilized to connect each terminal end portion 94 to the light distributor or support member 110 in a manner to be described more fully hereinafter.
  • [0032]
    Each light distributor 110 (FIGS. 6, 8 and 9) is made of opaque polymeric/copolymeric plastic material and is of a length sufficient to span the distance between the upper frame member 31 and the lower frame member 32 and the vertical distance of each opening O (FIG. 2). The light distributor and/or support member 110 functions to both direct light into the compartment 15 of the display cabinet 10 along the vertical frame members/mullions 33, 34 and to secure the same thereto. Toward the latter ends, each light distributor 110 is substantially of a generally U-shaped cross section, as viewed normal to the length thereof, and is defined by opposite elongated outwardly diverging wall portions 112, 113 (FIGS. 8 and 9) carrying respective elongated oppositely directed securing means in the form of ribs or noses 114, 115, respectively (FIGS. 3, 4, 8 and 9). The opposite elongated wall portions 112, 113 merge remote from the respective ribs 112, 113 with oppositely directed wall portions 116, 117, respectively. The wall portions 116, 117 in turn blend with opposite angled elongated wall portions 118, 119 which respectively merge with opposite elongated angled wall portions 120, 121 which in turn each merge with a central elongated wall portion 122. A plurality of light-emitting holes 123 are formed in the elongated wall portions 118, 119 and 120, 121. As is best illustrated in FIG. 6 of the drawings, each of the holes 123 has an optic axes Ao. The axes Ao of the holes 123 in the elongated wall portions 118, 119 are each preferably located at a 45 degree angle to a vertical plane VP in the installed position or an imaginary position identical thereto, or stated otherwise, define a 45 degree angle to a bisecting plane BP (FIGS. 8 and 9) taken longitudinally through the light distributor 110 substantially normal to the elongated wall portion 122. Though the 45 degree acute angle is preferable, the same may range between 35 to 50 degrees to the vertical plane VP. The axis Ao of the light-emitting holes 123 formed in the elongated wall portions 120, 121 define preferably a 70 degree acute angle with the vertical plane VP (FIG. 6), the equivalent to 30 degrees to the bisecting plane BP, but may also range substantially between 65 degrees to 75 degrees with respect to the vertical plane VP. With substantially identical numbers of light-emitting holes 123 in each of the elongated wall portions 118-121 or with variations therebetween, although preferably in the staggered relationship evident from FIG. 8 of the drawings, light emitted from the holes 123 of each of the six light distributors 110 exit as individual points of light, but the light diffuses shortly beyond the points of emission at the light-emitting holes 123 into a uniform luminescence which substantially uniformly illuminates the products within the compartment 15 in an extremely aesthetic fashion.
  • [0033]
    Each wall portion 118 through 121 includes along a rear surface (unnumbered) thereof an identical vertical channel 130 with each vertical channel 130 extending the entire length of each distributor 110 and being defined by a pair of inwardly directed spaced substantially parallel channel walls 131, 132 (FIG. 7) each having a plurality (three) of grooves 133, 134, respectively. Opposite outer surfaces (unnumbered) of the channel walls 131, 132 include securing or fastening means in the form of oppositely directed outwardly opening grooves 135, 136 extending the entire length of the light-distributor 110.
  • [0034]
    As is readily apparent by comparing FIGS. 6 and 7, each terminal end portion 94 of each fiber optic element 85 is fastened into an associated light-emitting hole 123 of each light distributor 110 by inserting each sleeve 96 into an associated channel 130 and in an associated light-emitting hole 123 (FIG. 6), either partially or completely therein, during which insertion the collar 97 of each terminal end portion 94 snap-secures into the opposing grooves 133, 134 (FIG. 6). The latter connection of each terminal end portion 94 to its associated light-emitting hole 123 will generally not disassemble under normal use or care, but to further assure against disassembly of the fiber optic terminal end portions 94 from the light distributors 110, securing means 140 (FIG. 7) in the form of a resilient metallic or plastic generally U-shaped clip or fastener is provided for cooperative fastening to the channel walls 131, 132 and specifically the outwardly opening grooves 135, 136, respectively, thereof. The U-shaped clip 140 includes a bight wall 141 having an elongated slot 142 formed therein which is wider than the diameter of each fiber optic terminal end portion 94 but less than the diameter of the associated flange 97. The bight wall 141 merges with a pair of opposite generally parallel legs 143, 144 which in turn end in opposing edges 145, 146, respectively. The U-shaped fasteners or clips 140 can be secured to the ribs 131, 132 by either sliding the same vertically downwardly from the position shown in FIG. 7 (or upwardly) after the sleeve or collar 97 of the fiber optic element 85 which is to be fastened is seated in its light-emitting hole 123. Alternatively, the clip 140 is sufficiently flexible such that the legs 143, 144 and the fastening edges 145, 146 thereof can be temporarily spread apart beyond the external surfaces of the ribs 131, 132 which allows each U-shaped clip 140 to be assembled anywhere along the length of any one of the channels 130 at any time after the collar or sleeve 96 of the associated fiber optic element 85 is inserted into its associated opening 123 or after any plurality or all of the sleeves 96 have been inserted in the light-emitting openings 123. The natural resilience of the clip 140 causes the legs 143, 144 to rebound to the normal position thereof after being temporarily spread such that the edges 145, 146 seat in the respective grooves 135, 136 (FIG. 6). The latter assembly is highly desirable should repair in the field prove necessary because any particular fastening clip 140 can be removed absent interfering/removing others thereof. If desired, neither the U-shaped clip 140 nor the grooves 135, 136, nor the fastening means 95 need be utilized to connect the terminal end portions 94 of each of the fiber optic elements 85 in the holes 123 of the light distributor 110. Instead, suitable bonding material/adhesive can be utilized to adhere exterior surfaces (unnumbered) of the terminal end portions 94 of each of the fiber optic elements 85 to the holes 123.
  • [0035]
    After all of the terminal end portions 94 of the fiber optic elements 85 of a particular group 83 a . . . 83 n of fiber optic elements 85 have been assembled to an associated light distributor or support 110, the light distributor is snap-secured to the vertical mullions 34 (FIG. 3) and the end frames 33 (FIG. 4) in the manner clearly apparent from the figures. Considering first the vertical mullions 34, the opposite elongated wall portions 112, 113 of the light distributor 110 normally open or diverge outwardly away from each other, as is evident from FIGS. 8 and 9 of the drawings, and the distance therebetween is substantially less than the distance between the vertically extending latching noses or hooks 66, 67 of each mullion 34. Therefore, in order to assemble the light distributor/ support member 110 to any one of the mullions 34, the opposite elongated wall portions 112, 113 are merely temporarily squeezed toward one another and thereafter are progressively inserted between the innermost vertical wall portions 64, 65 (FIG. 3) during which the fastenin g ribs 115, 114 are first progressively guided further toward each other by the tapered entry guiding surfaces 68, 69 of the respective noses 66, 67. Once the ribs 115, 114 clear the noses 66, 67, the natural resilience of the material of the light distributor 110 resiliently urges the opposite elongated wall portions 112, 113 away from each other and the ribs 115, 114 engage behind the respective noses 66, 67, as shown in FIG. 3. The assembly just described applies to the two opposite end frame members 33 and the associated respective fastening channels 57, 58 (FIG. 4) into which the respective fastening ribs 115, 114 enter upon rebound of the opposite elongated wall portions 113, 114. Though unnecessary, under normal conditions of use, one or more bolts and screws S (FIGS. 3 and 4) may be utilized to further connect each light distribution/support member 110 to its associated vertical mullion and/or frame member 33, 34, though the latter requires the same to be done prior to or upon removal of a conventional door contact plate CP (FIGS. 3 and 4) utilized with doors held closed utilizing magnets M (FIGS. 3 and 4) housed in conventional gaskets G associated with IG glass doors 21 through 25.
  • [0036]
    While the invention has been described with respect to the display cabinet 10 in which the compartment 15 is accessed from the front, the invention is also applicable to a display cabinet in which products can be accessed from above, such as so-called coffin display cases accessed from above and having one or more covers pivoted for opening and closing along a horizontal axis. This is readily apparent by visualizing the display cabinet 10 of FIG. 1 rotated such that its rear wall rests upon a supporting surface (not shown) and the doors 21 through 25 are uppermost. The raceway 40 could be located just as described with respect to the display cabinet 10, or alternately the raceway can be in the frame member 32 depending upon, for example, along which of the frame members (or side members) the door or doors are located.
  • [0037]
    In further accordance with the present invention, the utilization of the fiber optic cable system 80, including the fiber optic light-distribution assembly 100 and the light distributor or support member 110, is highly desirable in environments in which safety is a concern, particularly environments in which products of a dangerous or explosive nature might be stored. In such storage areas heat generated by florescent lamps, incandescent lamps or even LED's could cause explosions, particularly if volatile explosive vapors are inadvertently emitted in a substantially closed compartment/storage area. Thus, by utilizing the fiber optic cable system 80 of the present invention, all heat is generated externally and, therefore, the danger of explosion is essentially avoided.
  • [0038]
    Although a preferred embodiment of the invention has been specifically illustrated and described herein, it is to be understood that minor variations may be made in the apparatus without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.

Claims (79)

  1. 1. A door subassembly for illuminating a product display area comprising a frame defining an access opening, said frame including at least upper, lower and opposite side frame portions, at least one of said frame portions defining a raceway chamber, a fiber optic cable having a light-receiving end portion and a light-emitting end portion, and said fiber optic cable light-receiving end portion being at least partially disposed in said raceway chamber and said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion being disposed along another of said frame portions.
  2. 2. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said another frame portion is disposed vertically.
  3. 3. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said another frame portion is a mullion disposed between said opposite side frame portions.
  4. 4. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one frame portion includes means for defining an opening through which said fiber optic cable light-receiving end portion passes for connection to a light source exteriorly of the frame.
  5. 5. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-receiving and light-emitting end portions are defined by at least respective first and second groups of individual fiber optic elements, and at least some of the fiber optic elements of the second group are common to the fiber optic elements of the first group.
  6. 6. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-receiving and light-emitting end portions are defined by at least respective first and second groups of individual fiber optic elements, at least some of the fiber optic elements of the second group are common to the fiber optic elements of the first group, and at least some of the fiber optic elements of the second group are longer than some of the fiber optic elements of the first group.
  7. 7. The door sub assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-receiving and light-emitting end portions are defined by at least respective first and second groups of individual fiber optic elements, at least some of the fiber optic elements of the second group are common to the fiber optic elements of the first group, at least some of the fiber optic elements of the second group are longer than some of the fiber optic elements of the first group, and said second group of fiber optic elements each have a terminal end in relatively spaced relationship to each other whereby light is emitted therefrom as a plurality of spaced points of light.
  8. 8. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion emits light as a plurality of spaced light-emitting points.
  9. 9. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion emits light as a plurality of vertically spaced light-emitting points.
  10. 10. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion emits light as a plurality of horizontally spaced light-emitting points.
  11. 11. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion emits light as a plurality of vertically and horizontally spaced light-emitting points.
  12. 12. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion emits light as a plurality of spaced light-emitting points emitting light along a line defining an acute angle relative to a vertical plane.
  13. 13. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion emits light as a plurality of spaced light-emitting points emitting light along a line defining an acute angle preferably substantially within the range of 60° to 75° relative to a vertical plane.
  14. 14. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion emits light as a plurality of spaced light-emitting points emitting light along a line defining an acute angle preferably substantially within the range of 40° to 50° relative to a vertical plane.
  15. 15. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion emits light as a plurality of spaced light-emitting points emitting light along a plurality of lines at least two of which define a different angle relative to a vertical plane.
  16. 16. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion emits light as a plurality of spaced light-emitting points emitting light along a plurality of lines at least two of which define a substantially different acute angle relative to a vertical plane.
  17. 17. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion emits light as a plurality of spaced light-emitting points emitting light along a plurality of lines at least two of which define a different angle relative to a vertical plane, and the angle of at least one of the different lines is substantially within the range of 60° to 75°.
  18. 18. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion emits light as a plurality of spaced light-emitting points emitting light along a plurality of lines at least two of which define a different angle relative to a vertical plane, and the angle of at least one of the different lines is substantially within the range of 40° to 50°.
  19. 19. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one frame portion includes means for defining an opening through which said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion passes for distributing light to a product display area.
  20. 20. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a first opening through which said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion passes for distributing light to a product display area, and said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a second opening through which said fiber optic cable light-receiving end portion passes for connection to a light source exteriorly of the frame.
  21. 21. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a first opening through which said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion passes for distributing light to a product display area, said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a second opening through which said fiber optic cable light-receiving end portion passes for connection to a light source exteriorly of the frame, said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion includes a plurality of groups of fiber optic elements, said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass through said second opening, at least one of said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass through said first opening, and at least another of said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass beyond said first-mentioned opening.
  22. 22. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 1 wherein said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a first opening through which said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion passes for distributing light to a product display area, said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a second opening through which said fiber optic cable light-receiving end portion passes for connection to a light source exteriorly of the frame, said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion includes a plurality of groups of fiber optic elements, said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass through said second opening, at least one of said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass through said first opening, said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a third opening, and at least another of said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass beyond said first-mentioned opening and through said third opening for distributing light to a product display area.
  23. 23. The door subassembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 22 wherein the average length of said fiber optic elements of said at least one group are shorter than the average length of said fiber optic elements of said another group.
  24. 24. A display case for illuminating a product display area comprising a housing defining a product display area, said housing including a frame defining an access opening of said housing, said frame including at least upper, lower and opposite side frame portions, at least one of said frame portions defining a raceway chamber, a fiber optic cable having a light-receiving end portion and a light-emitting end portion, and said fiber optic cable light-receiving end portion being at least partially disposed in said raceway chamber and said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion being disposed along at least one of said frame portions.
  25. 25. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 24 wherein said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a first opening through which said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion passes for distributing light to a product display area, and said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a second opening through which said fiber optic cable light-receiving end portion passes for connection to a light source exteriorly of the frame.
  26. 26. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 24 wherein said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a first opening through which said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion passes for distributing light to a product display area, said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a second opening through which said fiber optic cable light-receiving end portion passes for connection to a light source exteriorly of the frame, said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion includes a plurality of groups of fiber optic elements, said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass through said second opening, at least one of said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass through said first opening, and at least another of said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass beyond said first-mentioned opening.
  27. 27. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 24 wherein said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a first opening through which said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion passes for distributing light to a product display area, said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a second opening through which said fiber optic cable light-receiving end portion passes for connection to a light source exteriorly of the frame, said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion includes a plurality of groups of fiber optic elements, said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass through said second opening, at least one of said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass through said first opening, said at least one frame portion includes means for defining a third opening, and at least another of said plurality of groups of fiber optic elements pass beyond said first-mentioned opening and through said third opening for distributing light to a product display area.
  28. 28. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 24 wherein the average length of said fiber optic elements of said at least one group are shorter than the average length of said fiber optic elements of said another group.
  29. 29. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 24 wherein said another frame portion is disposed substantially vertically, a support member carried by said another frame portion and defining therewith a substantially vertical chamber, said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion being introduced into said substantially vertical chamber, a plurality of holes in said support member disposed in spaced relationship to each other, said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion including a plurality of fiber optic elements each having a terminal end portion located in an associated one of said plurality of holes, and means for securing each fiber optic element terminal end portion relative to its associated hole.
  30. 30. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 24 wherein said another frame portion is a mullion disposed substantially vertically in spaced relationship to said opposite side frame portions, a support member carried by said vertical mullion and defining therewith a substantially vertical chamber, said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion being introduced into said substantially vertical chamber, a plurality of holes in said support member disposed in spaced relationship to each other, said fiber optic cable light-emitting end portion including a plurality of fiber optic elements each having a terminal end portion associated with one of said plurality of holes, and means for securing each fiber optic element terminal end portion relative to its associated hole.
  31. 31. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 29 wherein said terminal end portions emit light at an acute angle to a vertical plane substantially within the range of 40° to 75°.
  32. 32. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 29 wherein said holes are disposed in at least two groups, the holes of each of said two groups of holes are defined by an axis, the axis of each group sets off an acute angle to a common plane, and the two acute angles differ substantially from each other.
  33. 33. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 29 wherein said holes are disposed in at least two groups, the holes of each of said two groups of holes are defined by an axis, the axis of each group sets off an acute angle to a common plane, one acute angle is substantially within the range of 40° to 50°, and the other acute angle is substantially within the range of 65° to 75°.
  34. 34. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 29 wherein said securing means is each a clip of a substantially U-shaped transverse cross section defined by a bight wall and a pair of legs.
  35. 35. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 29 wherein said securing means is each a clip of a substantially U-shaped transverse cross section defined by a bight wall and a pair of legs with each pair of legs being in embracing relationship to an associated one of said fiber optic element terminal end portions.
  36. 36. The display case for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 29 wherein said securing means is each a clip of a substantially U-shaped transverse cross section defined by a bight wall and a pair of legs with each pair of legs being in embracing relationship to an associated one of said fiber optic element terminal end portions and being clipped to said support member.
  37. 37. A fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area comprising a support member, a plurality of holes in said support member disposed in spaced relationship to each other, a plurality of fiber optic elements each having a terminal end portion associated with one of said plurality of holes, and means for securing each fiber optic element terminal end portion relative to its associated hole.
  38. 38. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said holes are disposed in at least two groups, the holes of each of said two groups of holes are defined by an axis, the axis of each group sets off an acute angle to a common plane, and the two acute angles differ substantially from each other.
  39. 39. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said holes are disposed in at least two groups, the holes of each of said two groups of holes are defined by an axis, the axis of each group sets off an acute angle to a common plane, one acute angle is substantially within the range of 40° to 50°, and the other acute angle is substantially within the range of 65° to 75°.
  40. 40. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said holes are disposed in at least two groups, the holes of each of said two groups of holes are defined by an axis, the axes of said two groups set off an acute angle therebetween, and the acute angle is substantially within the range of 20° to 30°.
  41. 41. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said holes are disposed in at least two groups, the holes of each of said two groups of holes are defined by an axis, the axes of said two groups set off an acute angle therebetween, and the acute angle is substantially 25°.
  42. 42. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said securing means is each a fastener.
  43. 43. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said securing means is each a clip.
  44. 44. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said securing means is each a clip of a substantially U-shaped transverse cross section defined by a bight wall and a pair of legs.
  45. 45. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said securing means is each a clip of a substantially U-shaped transverse cross section defined by a bight wall and a pair of legs with each pair of legs being in embracing relationship to an associated one of said fiber optic element terminal end portions.
  46. 46. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said securing means is each a clip of a substantially U-shaped transverse cross section defined by a bight wall and a pair of legs with each pair of legs being in embracing relationship to an associated one of said fiber optic element terminal end portions and being clipped to said support member.
  47. 47. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said securing means is each a clip of a substantially U-shaped transverse cross section defined by a bight wall having an opening therein and a pair of legs with a fiber optic element passing through an opening and each pair of legs being in embracing relationship to an associated one of said fiber optic element terminal end portions and being clipped to said support member.
  48. 48. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said support member includes at least one rear channel defined by a plurality of elongated transversely spaced walls between which are located said plurality of holes, and said securing means secure each terminal end portion to said walls.
  49. 49. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said support member includes at least one rear channel defined by a plurality of elongated transversely spaced walls between which are located said plurality of holes, and said securing means secure each terminal end portion interiorly of and to said walls.
  50. 50. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said support member includes at least one rear channel defined by a plurality of elongated transversely spaced walls between which are located said plurality of holes, said securing means secure each terminal end portion to said walls, and said securing means includes an outwardly directed collar of each terminal end portion received in opposing grooves of said elongated walls.
  51. 51. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said support member includes at least one rear channel defined by a plurality of elongated transversely spaced walls between which are located said plurality of holes, said securing means secure each terminal end portion to said walls, and said securing means includes a clip in substantially spanning relationship to said elongated walls.
  52. 52. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said support member includes at least one rear channel defined by a plurality of elongated transversely spaced walls between which are located said plurality of holes, said securing means secure each terminal end portion to said walls, said securing means includes an outwardly directed collar of each terminal end portion received in opposing grooves of said elongated walls, and said securing means further includes a clip in substantially spanning relationship to said elongated walls.
  53. 53. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said support member includes at least one rear channel defined by a plurality of elongated transversely spaced walls between which are located said plurality of holes, said securing means secure each terminal end portion to said walls, and each said securing means is a clip of a substantially U-shaped transverse cross section defined by a bight wall spanning said rear channel and a pair of legs gripping said elongated walls.
  54. 54. The fiber optic light distribution assembly for illuminating a product display area as defined in claim 37 wherein said support member includes at least one rear channel defined by a plurality of elongated transversely spaced walls between which are located said plurality of holes, said securing means secure each terminal end portion to said walls, each said securing means is a clip of a substantially U-shaped transverse cross section defined by a bight wall spanning said rear channel and a pair of legs gripping said elongated walls, and each clip bight wall includes a slot embracing an associated terminal portion.
  55. 55. A fiber optic cable light distributor comprising an elongated support member, said elongated support member including at least two elongated wall portions one to each side of a longitudinally bisecting plane of said elongated support member, a plurality of first and second holes along said elongated wall portions, the plurality of first and second holes each include an axis, the axes of said plurality of first and second holes each set off an acute angle to said bisecting plane, and the acute angles differ from each other.
  56. 56. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 55 wherein said two acute angles differ substantially from each other.
  57. 57. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 55 wherein one acute angle is substantially within the range of 40° to 50°, and the other acute angle is substantially within the range of 65° to 75°.
  58. 58. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 55 wherein one acute angle is preferably substantially 45°, and the other acute angle is preferably substantially 30°.
  59. 59. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 55 wherein said elongated support member includes front and rear sides, first and second channels disposed in substantially parallel relationship to each other along said rear side, and said first and second plurality of holes being located in said respective first and second channels.
  60. 60. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 55 wherein said elongated support member includes front and rear sides, first and second channels disposed in substantially parallel relationship to each other along said rear side, said first and second plurality of holes being located in said respective first and second channels, said first and second channels being defined at least in part by transversely spaced elongated channel walls, and means along said channel walls for securing fiber optic cable terminal end portions thereto.
  61. 61. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 55 wherein said elongated support member includes front and rear sides, first and second channels disposed in substantially parallel relationship to each other along said rear side, said first and second plurality of holes being located in said respective first and second channels, said first and second channels being defined at least in part by transversely spaced elongated channel walls, and means along said channel walls for snap-securing fiber optic cable terminal end portions thereto.
  62. 62. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 55 wherein said elongated support member includes front and rear sides, first and second channels disposed in substantially parallel relationship to each other along said rear side, said first and second plurality of holes being located in said respective first and second channels, said first and second channels being defined at least in part by transversely spaced elongated channel walls, and means along said channel walls for securing a fiber optic cable terminal end portion attaching clip thereto.
  63. 63. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 55 wherein said elongated support member includes front and rear sides, first and second channels disposed in substantially parallel relationship to each other along said rear side, said first and second plurality of holes being located in said respective first and second channels, said first and second channels being defined at least in part by transversely spaced elongated channel walls, and means along interiors of said channel walls for securing fiber optic cable terminal end portions thereto.
  64. 64. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 55 wherein said elongated support member includes front and rear sides, first and second channels disposed in substantially parallel relationship to each other along said rear side, said first and second plurality of holes being located in said respective first and second channels, said first and second channels being defined at least in part by transversely spaced elongated channel walls, and means along exteriors of said channel walls for securing a fiber optic cable terminal end portion attaching clip thereto.
  65. 65. A fiber optic cable light distributor comprising an elongated support member including front and rear sides, means along said rear side for reinforcing said elongated support member along the length thereof, and a plurality of light-emitting holes along the length of said elongated support member.
  66. 66. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 65 wherein said light-emitting holes open through said reinforcing means.
  67. 67. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 66 wherein said reinforcing means is defined by a pair of ribs.
  68. 68. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 66 wherein said reinforcing means is defined by a pair of ribs, and said light-emitting holes open into a channel defined between said pair of ribs.
  69. 69. A fiber optic cable light distributor comprising an elongated support member including front and rear sides, at least one pair of rear walls projecting rearward from said rear side and defining a channel, light-emitting holes in said elongated support member opening into said channel, said rear walls each include innermost adjacent and outermost remote surfaces, and means associated with at least one of said innermost and outermost rear wall surfaces for fastening a fiber optic cable terminal end portion thereto relative to each light-emitting hole.
  70. 70. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 69 wherein said fastening means include at least a pair of cooperative grooves.
  71. 71. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 69 wherein said fastening means include at least a pair of cooperative grooves in opposing relationship to each other.
  72. 72. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 69 wherein said fastening means include at least a pair of cooperative grooves opening in opposite directions relative to and away from each other.
  73. 73. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 70 including a fiber optic cable terminal end portion having a collar engaged by said at least pair of cooperative grooves.
  74. 74. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 70 including a fiber optic cable terminal end portion fastened in said channel by a clip spanning said channel and having portions received in said at least pair of cooperative grooves.
  75. 75. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 70 including a fiber optic cable terminal end portion having a collar engaged by said at least pair of cooperative grooves, and said fiber optic cable terminal end portion being further fastened in said channel by a clip spanning said channel and having portions received in another pair of cooperative grooves.
  76. 76. A fiber optic cable light distributor comprising a substantially elongated member of a substantially transverse U-shaped cross-section, a plurality of light-emitting holes in said elongated member adapted to each receive a fiber optic cable terminal end portion from which light is emitted, said U-shaped elongated member having a pair of terminal leg portions, and said pair of terminal leg portions each having means for snap-securing said terminal leg portions to opposing cooperative vertically disposed supports.
  77. 77. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 76 wherein said elongated member includes a bight portion, and said terminal leg portions are in outwardly diverging relationship to each other in a direction away from said bight portion.
  78. 78. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 76 wherein said snap-securing means is one of a rib and groove.
  79. 79. The fiber optic cable light distributor as defined in claim 77 wherein said snap-securing means is one of a rib and groove.
US11117533 2005-04-29 2005-04-29 Fiber optically illuminated display cabinet and a fiber optic cable light distribution assembly therefor Abandoned US20060245205A1 (en)

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WO2006119014A2 (en) 2006-11-09 application

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Owner name: GEMTRON CORPORATION, TENNESSEE

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