US20070109771A1 - Recessed pool/spa lighting - Google Patents

Recessed pool/spa lighting Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070109771A1
US20070109771A1 US11273179 US27317905A US2007109771A1 US 20070109771 A1 US20070109771 A1 US 20070109771A1 US 11273179 US11273179 US 11273179 US 27317905 A US27317905 A US 27317905A US 2007109771 A1 US2007109771 A1 US 2007109771A1
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US
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Prior art keywords
light
pool
source
niche
wall
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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
Application number
US11273179
Inventor
Joseph Solana
Original Assignee
Solana Joseph I
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H4/00Swimming or splash baths or pools
    • E04H4/14Parts, details or accessories not otherwise provided for
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H4/00Swimming or splash baths or pools
    • E04H4/14Parts, details or accessories not otherwise provided for
    • E04H4/148Lighting means
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21SNON-PORTABLE LIGHTING DEVICES; SYSTEMS THEREOF; VEHICLE LIGHTING DEVICES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLE EXTERIORS
    • F21S8/00Lighting devices intended for fixed installation
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21WINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASSES F21K, F21L, F21S and F21V, RELATING TO USES OR APPLICATIONS OF LIGHTING DEVICES OR SYSTEMS
    • F21W2131/00Use or application of lighting devices or systems not provided for in codes F21W2102/00-F21W2121/00
    • F21W2131/40Lighting for industrial, commercial, recreational or military use
    • F21W2131/401Lighting for industrial, commercial, recreational or military use for swimming pools

Abstract

An underwater illumination system for use in a pool is disclosed. The system includes a light source, which is recessed within a wall of the pool. The light source has a light emitting face which is directed at a downward angle, into the pool.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of Invention
  • [0002]
    This invention relates generally to underwater illumination devices and more particularly to an improved system for illuminating a swimming pool, hot tub, spa and the like.
  • [0003]
    2. Description of Related Art
  • [0004]
    All references cited herein are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.
  • [0005]
    Most if not all swimming pools and many other aquatic pools, hot tubs, spas, fountains and the like are equipped with underwater lights for providing illumination at night. In the case of swimming pools, the lights serve the dual function of providing the illumination necessary for convenient and safe night time use of the pools and providing the pools with a highly aesthetic night time appearance.
  • [0006]
    There are a variety of lighting devices for supplying light to a pool. The term “pool” is used herein to include swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and the like. Perhaps the most common type of pool lighting fixture is an incandescent lamp sealed within a fixture or niche installed in the wall of the pool. An example of such a lighting fixture is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,051,875 to Johnson (1991).
  • [0007]
    Incandescent lamps can be very bright and are individually capable of illuminating a significant portion of a pool. Alternatively, fiber optic light sources are capable of providing a variety of lighting effects within a pool and are generally regarded as safer than incandescent pool lighting because the illuminating bulb for a fiber optic lighting system may be located remote from the pool area. An example of a fiber optic lighting apparatus for under water use is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,398,397 to Koren (2002). One use of fiber optics for pool illumination includes utilizing end-emitting fiber optic cables as point sources of light disposed in a fitting along a pool wall. Such prior art fiber optic lighting fixtures generally include a device for holding the light emitting end of a fiber optic cable proximate a protective plastic shield within an aperture in a pool wall. Fiber optic light sources are generally not as bright as incandescent lights.
  • [0008]
    In addition to incandescent and fiber optic light sources, light emitting diodes (LEDs) are also often used for underwater pool illumination. An example of a LED assembly for use in a pool is disclosed in U.S. patent application No. 2003/0048631 to Archer (Pub. Mar. 13, 2003). Although not as bright as incandescent lights, LEDs are capable of producing light in a variety of different colors. Many pool owners appreciate the colored effects that LEDs may produce in their pools.
  • [0009]
    Regardless of the light source used, one problem with current underwater illumination systems is that the light sources are positioned so that they are easily visible from within or without the pool. They are often unsightly and therefore detract from the beauty of the pool environment. Additionally, these light sources produce a glare which can cause discomfort to a person's eyes when the person is in the pool either underwater, or above the water's surface, or alternatively when looking towards the pool from outside. Moreover, the resulting glare can be both an inconvenience and a safety hazard. Furthermore, current underwater illumination systems tend to highlight imperfections on the pool floor, further detracting from the beauty of the pool environment. Particularly, they create shadows across the pool floor thereby enhancing inconsistencies in the floor.
  • [0010]
    It will be appreciated from the foregoing that there has been a need for improvement in the field of underwater pool lighting systems. In particular, there has been a need for an underwater pool lighting system that will cause no glare, that will not highlight imperfections on the pool floor and will improve upon both the aesthetic appearance of the pool as well as the safety features for which pool lights are used. Furthermore, it would be optimal if such an underwater lighting system would be adaptable to a variety of lighting sources, including fiber-optics, light emitting diode (LED), fluorescent, incandescent, iridescent, quartz and metal halide.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0011]
    The present invention solves the problems of the prior art discussed above. In particular, the underwater illumination system of the present invention is recessed within a pool wall's foundation. Additionally, the present invention directs a light source at a downward angle. The positioning of the light source would optimally directly illuminate the pool floor. This would significantly minimize the shadowing effect caused by current pool lighting systems, which direct light across the pool rather than towards the floor. It would additionally minimize glare both inside and outside of the pool. Furthermore, the light source itself would be hidden from a vantage point above the surface of the water in the pool and would therefore be more subtle and present a more attractive appearance than current pool lighting systems.
  • [0012]
    An additional benefit of the present invention is its practical ability to make better use of the pool industry's most current lighting options. As explained above, the industry is currently offering LED and fiber optic lighting options, among others. These options have not generated significant consumer demand due to their limited illumination inasmuch as their brightness is less than desirable. They do not match the brightness capabilities of the older and more common, but less attractive incandescent or iridescent light sources. According to the current practice, adding more LED or fiber optic lights in a pool to increase brightness would only add to the aforementioned unsightly appearance and resulting glare of the blatant external light sources on the pool wall. However, the present invention may be used in conjunction with many LED or fiber optic light sources to provide the desired brightness in a pool, without detracting from the beauty of the pool environment or effectiveness of the lighting effects.
  • [0013]
    In accordance with the present invention, an underwater illumination system for use in a pool is disclosed. The system comprises a light source having a light emitting face, the light source being recessed within a vertical wall of the pool. The light emitting face is directed at a downward angle, into the pool.
  • [0014]
    Alternatively, the system comprises a niche installed into a vertical wall of the pool. A light source having a light emitting face is housed and secured within the niche. The light emitting face is directed downward and at an angle into the pool.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    The invention will be described in conjunction with the following drawings in which like reference numerals designate like elements and wherein:
  • [0016]
    FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view of a concrete pool into which an embodiment of the present invention is installed;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 3 is a front view of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 2.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 4 is a rear view of the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 2.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of a vinyl pool into which an alternative embodiment of the present invention is installed.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of the alternative embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 5.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0022]
    Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a cross-sectional view of an in-ground concrete swimming pool 101 having a vertical wall 105 and a floor 107. The vertical wall 105 and floor 107 are water-tight so as to prevent any water in the pool 101 from seeping into the ground 102. As depicted, the pool 101 is filled with water 104, the upper-most surface 106 of the water 104 reaching to a point just below the edge 110 of the pool 101. The surface 106 of the water 104, being in its calm state, defines a flat plane.
  • [0023]
    A prefabricated niche 100 of the present invention is installed in a recess within a wall 105 of the pool 101. The term “wall” as used herein broadly refers to any surface within the pool 101 that is not parallel with the plane defined by the surface 106 of the water 104, including such wall 105 as depicted in FIG. 1, the rise portion of a stair step or any other structure fitting within the above definition.
  • [0024]
    The niche 100 includes a rounded housing 112 for an incandescent light source 120. The housing 112 may have alternative geometries (not shown) to a rounded shape, such as square, rectangular, triangular, oval, elliptical, pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal, or irregular, for example. Although the light source 120 shown in FIG. 1 is an incandescent light source, alternative types of light sources may be used (not shown) such as fiber-optics, light emitting diodes (LED), fluorescent lights, iridescent lights, quartz lights, or metal halides, for example. Additionally, the niche 100 may be made, for example, predominantly out of either a plastic, a resin or a metal. The housing 112 preferably completely surrounds all sides of the light source 120 except for the light emitting face 128 of the light source 120. A tubular electrical conduit 108 made out of a material that is preferably water-tight, e.g., PVC pipe, is coupled to the niche 100 through its housing 112 at one end, and runs through a portion of the wall 105 and through a section of the ground 102, to an area (not shown) preferably located outside of the pool 101, preferably above the surface of the ground 102. Through the conduit 108 runs an electrical wire (not shown) that is electrically coupled to the light source 120, thereby providing power to the light source 120 from a power source (not shown) located in an area (not shown) preferably outside of the pool 101, preferably above the surface of the ground 102. Alternatively, through the conduit 108 runs a fiber optic cable (not shown) which has a light emitting face that is housed within the housing 112. FIG. 1 clearly demonstrates how the niche 100 is designed and installed such that the light source 120 is recessed entirely within the wall 105 and is directed at a downward angle X, e.g., 10°-80° relative to the plane defined by the surface 106 of the water 104, towards the floor 107. In an alternative embodiment (not shown), the niche 100 is partially, rather than entirely, recessed within the wall 105.
  • [0025]
    Referring now to FIG. 2, the cross sectional view of the niche 100 shown in FIG. 1 is enlarged and depicted in greater detail. A portion of the electrical conduit 108 is shown as it connects to the housing 112, thereby providing ingress for an electrical wire (not shown) to feed into the housing 112 and electrically couple to the light source 120. The niche 100 further comprises a diagonal niche extension 114 extending downward from the rear of the housing 112, the niche extension 114 having a rear portion 116 and a front portion 118. A thin, plastic anchor fin 122 is either fixedly secured to or integral with the rear portion 116 of the niche extension 114. The anchor fin 122 may alternatively be fabricated out of resin, fiberglass, or metal, for example.
  • [0026]
    Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the anchor fin 122 secures the niche 100 within the concrete wall 105. When the concrete pool 101 is being constructed, the niche 100 would be recessed within a portion of the concrete wall 105 before it hardens. Thus, soft concrete would surround the light housing 112 and rear portion 116 of the niche extension 114 of the niche 100. Additionally, the soft concrete would surround the anchor fin 122 and fill in thru-holes 124 in the anchor fin 122. In this manner, once the concrete hardens, the niche 100 would be permanently embedded within the concrete, thereby preventing the niche 100 from slipping out of the wall 105.
  • [0027]
    Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, front and rear perspectives of the niche 100 are shown, respectively. Both FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate how the sides of the niche extension 114 converge to form a rounded tip 126 at the bottom of the niche extension 114. As shown in FIG. 3, the front surface 118 of the niche extension 114 is concave about its longitudinal axis (not shown). FIG. 4 shows the rear of the thin anchor fin 122.
  • [0028]
    Referring now to FIG. 5, a cross-sectional view of an alternative embodiment of a prefabricated niche 200 of the present invention is depicted, as installed within an in-ground vinyl pool 201. The niche 200 may alternatively be installed into an above ground pool (not shown). The pool 201 has a vertical vinyl wall 205, a diagonal vermiculite wall 209 and a vermiculite floor 207. The vertical wall 205, diagonal wall 209 and floor 207 are water-tight so as to prevent any water in the pool 201 from seeping into the ground 202. A standard concrete collar 246 retains the vertical wall 205 in its proper position, in a manner known in the pool construction art. As depicted, the pool 201 is filled with water 204, the uppermost surface 206 of the water 204 reaching to a point just below the edge 210 of the pool 201. The surface 206 of the water 204, being in its calm state, defines a flat plane.
  • [0029]
    As also shown in FIG. 5, but depicted in greater detail in FIG. 6, the niche 200 includes a rounded housing 212 for an incandescent light source 220. Although the light source 220 shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 is an incandescent light source, alternative types of light sources may be used (not shown) such as fiber-optics, light emitting diodes (LED), fluorescent lights, iridescent lights, quartz lights, or metal halides, for example. The housing 212 may have alternative geometries (not shown) to a rounded shape, such as square, rectangular, triangular, oval, elliptical, pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal, or irregular, for example. The housing 212 preferably completely surrounds all sides of the light source 220 except for the light emitting face 228 of the light source 220. A tubular electrical conduit 208 made out of a solid material, e.g., PVC pipe, is coupled to the niche 200 at one end, and runs through a section of the ground 202, to an area (not shown) located outside of the pool 201, above the surface of the ground 202. Through the conduit 208 runs an electrical wire (not shown) that is electrically coupled to the light source 220, thereby providing power to the light source 220 from a power source (not shown) located in an area (not shown) outside of the pool 201, above the surface of the ground 202. Alternatively, through the conduit 208 runs a fiber optic cable (not shown) which has a light emitting face that is housed within the housing 212. FIG. 5 clearly demonstrates how the niche 200 is designed and installed such that the light source 220 is recessed entirely within the vertical wall 205 and is directed at a downward angle Y, e.g., 10°-80° relative to the plane defined by the surface 206 of the water 204, e.g., towards the diagonal wall 209 and/or floor 207.
  • [0030]
    Referring now to FIG. 6, the cross sectional view of the niche 200 shown in FIG. 5 is enlarged and depicted in greater detail. Additionally shown in FIG. 6 is “View A,” which depicts in detail the means through which the niche 200 is retained within the vertical wall 205. In “View A,” there is shown a screw 240 which fastens a face plate 244 through a portion of the vertical wall 205 into a gasket 242, which is a flanged extension of a section of the front portion of the housing 212. The screw 240 thereby acts as an anchor to secure the niche 200 within the vertical wall 205 so that the niche 200 will not disassociate itself from the vertical wall 205. Additionally, the face plate 244-gasket 242-screw 240 combination maintains water-tightness between the niche 200 and the vertical wall 205. A portion of the electrical conduit 208 is shown as it connects to the housing 212, thereby providing ingress for an electrical wire (not shown) to feed into the housing 212 and electrically couple to the light source 220. The niche 200 further comprises a diagonal niche extension 214 extending downward from the housing 212, the niche extension 214 having a rear portion 216 and a front portion 218.
  • [0031]
    The present invention may be adapted to pools other than those constructed out of concrete or vinyl, for example fiberglass, or any other material used in pool construction.
  • [0032]
    While the invention has been described in detail and with reference to specific examples thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. An underwater illumination system for use in a pool, comprising a light source having a light emitting face, wherein said light source is recessed within a wall of said pool and said light emitting face is directed at a downward angle, into said pool.
  2. 2. The underwater illumination system of claim 1, wherein said pool contains an aqueous liquid having an upper-most surface defining a plane.
  3. 3. The underwater illumination system of claim 2 wherein said downward angle is between 10° and 80° relative to said plane.
  4. 4. The underwater illumination system of claim 2 wherein said downward angle is between 25° and 65° relative to said plane.
  5. 5. The underwater illumination system of claim 2 wherein said downward angle is between 35° and 55° relative to said plane.
  6. 6. The underwater illumination system of claim 1, wherein said wall is a surface within said pool not parallel to said plane.
  7. 7. The underwater illumination system of claim 1, wherein said light source is situated within a prefabricated niche installed in a recess in said wall.
  8. 8. The underwater illumination system of claim 7, wherein said niche comprises:
    (a) a light housing having a front and a rear portion, said housing surrounding all of said light source except for said light emitting face;
    (b) an opening in said light housing to provide ingress for an electrical wire to electrically couple with said light source; and
    (c) a niche extension extending downward from said rear portion of said housing.
  9. 9. The underwater illumination system of claim 8, further comprising an anchor to secure said niche within said wall.
  10. 10. The underwater illumination system of claim 7, wherein said niche comprises:
    (a) a light housing having a front and a rear portion, said housing surrounding all of said light source except for said light emitting face;
    (b) an opening in said light housing to provide ingress for a fiberoptic cable; and
    (c) a niche extension extending downward from said rear portion of said housing.
  11. 11. The underwater illumination system of claim 10 further comprising an anchor to secure said niche within said wall.
  12. 12. The underwater illumination system of claim 11, wherein said niche predominantly comprises a material selected from the group consisting of a plastic, a resin and a metal.
  13. 13. The underwater illumination system of claim 2, wherein said light source is entirely recessed within said wall.
  14. 14. The underwater illumination system of claim 1, wherein said light source is partially recessed within said wall.
  15. 15. The underwater illumination system of claim 2, wherein said light source is recessed within said wall such that said light source is not visible from a vantage point above said surface of said liquid in said pool.
  16. 16. The underwater illumination system of claim 1, wherein said light source is a member selected from the group consisting of fiber-optics, light emitting diodes (LED), a fluorescent light source, an incandescent light source, an iridescent light source, a quartz light source and a metal halide light source.
  17. 17. The underwater illumination system of claim 1, wherein said pool is a member of the group consisting of swimming pools, spas and hot tubs.
  18. 18. The underwater illumination system of claim 1, wherein said light source is configured so as to minimize shadows cast by imperfections on the bottom of said pool.
  19. 19. The underwater illumination system of claim 1, wherein said light source is configured so as to minimize glare within and without said pool.
  20. 20. An underwater illumination system for use in a pool comprising a niche installed into a wall of said pool and a light source having a light emitting face housed and secured within said niche, said light emitting face directed downward and at an angle into said pool.
US11273179 2005-11-14 2005-11-14 Recessed pool/spa lighting Abandoned US20070109771A1 (en)

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20140301727A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-10-09 Eric V. Resh Underwater light with camera apparatus and related methods

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US1909404A (en) * 1930-11-29 1933-05-16 Russell & Stoll Company Illuminating unit for swimming pools
US3023832A (en) * 1960-07-12 1962-03-06 Herman Silverman Swimming pool ladder
US3192379A (en) * 1962-06-12 1965-06-29 Casella Lighting Co Swimming pool lighting fixture
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US3610564A (en) * 1969-01-17 1971-10-05 Mattingly Inc Construction means for the construction of a swimming pool
US3829675A (en) * 1973-04-30 1974-08-13 R Mariani Lighting means for underwater illumination
US4259710A (en) * 1978-05-26 1981-03-31 Schlack Karl Friedrich Waterproof lamp
US4433366A (en) * 1982-09-30 1984-02-21 Wade Charles E Pool light mounting structure
US4564889A (en) * 1982-11-10 1986-01-14 Bolson Frank J Hydro-light
US4661893A (en) * 1985-11-25 1987-04-28 Wet Enterprises, Inc. Underwater lighting system
US5051875A (en) * 1990-06-01 1991-09-24 Kdi American Products, Inc. Underwater pool light
US5167445A (en) * 1992-03-02 1992-12-01 Linnenkamp Steven R Side positioned aquarium illuminating device
US5217292A (en) * 1991-09-03 1993-06-08 Hydrabaths, Inc. Whirlpool bath suction assembly having replaceable tub light therein
US5299103A (en) * 1991-07-29 1994-03-29 Kielland Peter J Portable underwater swimming pool light
US5432688A (en) * 1993-03-12 1995-07-11 H-Tech, Inc. Plastic niche and grounding assembly therefor
US6152571A (en) * 1997-11-12 2000-11-28 Sacopa, S.A. Adjustable lamp
US6203173B1 (en) * 1998-10-14 2001-03-20 Wet Enterprises, Inc. Lighting assembly having above water and underwater operational capabilities
US6491407B1 (en) * 2000-09-07 2002-12-10 Joshua Beadle In-ground lighting fixture with gimbaled lamp assembly
US6616291B1 (en) * 1999-12-23 2003-09-09 Rosstech Signals, Inc. Underwater lighting assembly
US20050180127A1 (en) * 2004-02-17 2005-08-18 Normand St-Hilaire Swimming pool steps with light

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US1860435A (en) * 1928-03-12 1932-05-31 Charles W Sirch Radiating marine apparatus
US1788509A (en) * 1929-01-31 1931-01-13 Everson Filter Company Submarine lighting fixture
US1909404A (en) * 1930-11-29 1933-05-16 Russell & Stoll Company Illuminating unit for swimming pools
US3023832A (en) * 1960-07-12 1962-03-06 Herman Silverman Swimming pool ladder
US3192379A (en) * 1962-06-12 1965-06-29 Casella Lighting Co Swimming pool lighting fixture
US3493654A (en) * 1967-01-19 1970-02-03 Dow Chemical Co Stabilized aqueous bromine compositions
US3610564A (en) * 1969-01-17 1971-10-05 Mattingly Inc Construction means for the construction of a swimming pool
US3829675A (en) * 1973-04-30 1974-08-13 R Mariani Lighting means for underwater illumination
US4259710A (en) * 1978-05-26 1981-03-31 Schlack Karl Friedrich Waterproof lamp
US4433366A (en) * 1982-09-30 1984-02-21 Wade Charles E Pool light mounting structure
US4564889A (en) * 1982-11-10 1986-01-14 Bolson Frank J Hydro-light
US4661893A (en) * 1985-11-25 1987-04-28 Wet Enterprises, Inc. Underwater lighting system
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US6616291B1 (en) * 1999-12-23 2003-09-09 Rosstech Signals, Inc. Underwater lighting assembly
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US20050180127A1 (en) * 2004-02-17 2005-08-18 Normand St-Hilaire Swimming pool steps with light

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20140301727A1 (en) * 2013-03-15 2014-10-09 Eric V. Resh Underwater light with camera apparatus and related methods

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