Connect public, paid and private patent data with Google Patents Public Datasets

Christmas tree lighting control

Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US3748488A
US3748488A US3748488DA US3748488A US 3748488 A US3748488 A US 3748488A US 3748488D A US3748488D A US 3748488DA US 3748488 A US3748488 A US 3748488A
Authority
US
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
contact
voltage
tree
segments
pairs
Prior art date
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.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
Inventor
G Davis
Original Assignee
G Davis
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Grant date

Links

Images

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05BELECTRIC HEATING; ELECTRIC LIGHTING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05B37/00Circuit arrangements for electric light sources in general
    • H05B37/02Controlling
    • H05B37/029Controlling a plurality of lamps following a preassigned sequence, e.g. theater lights, diapositive projector
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T307/00Electrical transmission or interconnection systems
    • Y10T307/25Plural load circuit systems
    • Y10T307/305Plural sources of supply

Abstract

A control for Christmas tree lighting wherein a plurality of voltages are applied individually and in a predetermined sequential order to all the light strings of a tree to produce a twinkling and shimmering effect heretofore unobtainable by any form or combination of conventional flasher apparatus.

Description

United States Patent 11 1 Davis, Jr.

1451 July 24, 1973 CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CONTROL [76] Inventor: George B. Davis, Jr., 7512 Marbury Rd., Bethesda, Md. 20034 [22] Filed: Apr. 10, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 242,627

52 u.s.c1 307 18, 340/335, 340/278, 315/363 511 Int.Cl. ..H02j 1/10 [58] Field ofSearch 340/335, 278, 279; 315/291, 317, 360, 363; 307/18, 149; 323/48 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,087,636 7/1937 Baumann 340/335 X Primary Examiner-Herman J. Hohauser 57 ABSTRACT 1 A control for Christmas tree lighting wherein a plurality of voltages are applied individually and in a predetermined sequential order to all the light strings of a tree to produce a twinkling and shimmering effect heretofore unobtainable by any form or combination of conventional flasher apparatus.

5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CONTROL This invention relates generally to Christmas tree lighting and more particularly to a Christmas tree light varying voltage control that, when in operation, applies a continually changing voltage to all the lights of a tree and in a predetermined manner to produce a twinkling or shimmering effect rather than the conventional method of making and breaking the circuit through the lamps to produce a flashing or by so reducing the voltage threto as to produce a similar flashing result.

With the increasing desire of the public for movement or action in Christmas tree lighting, the use of string flashers or individual flasher bulbs has become widely accepted. While such devices do relieve the lifelessness of a lighted tree, the violent action of flashing lights can become quite annoying particularly when such flashing affects the entire string. This is generally the case even when not looking directly at the tree. The on and off of any light source within a room, such as the flashing of tree lights, can become quite distracting.

This is particularly true when the flashing of two or more strings reach a condition of synchronization so as to flash simultaneously. Such a condition will invariably occur when any flasher apparatus operates individually whether in bulbs or strings.

It is an object ofjthe present invention to provide a new and improved Christmas tree lighting control which, when in operation, applies a plurality of continually changing voltages to all the lights of a tree and in a predetermined order.

' A furtherobject is to provide a voltage control for Christmas tree lighting wherein the circuits to the lights are never interrupted to cause flashing, but is applied as a continually changing voltage to produce slight changes in light intensity and in such a manner as to effect a twinkling or shimmering of the lights of the entire tree.

A still further object is to provide a Christmas tree lighting control that will apply varying voltages to a plurality of Christmas. tree lighting strings simultaneously and in a manner to produce a coordination of lighting effects between the individual strings without materially varying the overall light intensity of the system.

- A further object is to provide a voltage control for Christmas tree lights which will operate equally well withlights wired either in multiple or in series and which, if desired, may be used in combination with individually flashing bulbs.

- In order that this inventionmay be more readily understood, reference is now made to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1, is a view in elevation of the assembled device of the invention.

.. FIG. 2, is a view partly cut-away of the invention as assembled beneath the cover.

' FIG. 3, is an electrical schematic of the invention.

FIG. 4, is a plan view in elevation of the contact mounting place and contact disk as used in the device.

FIG. 5, isa fragmentary cross-sectional view, partly in. elevation of thecontact disk as in working relation with a contact assembly.

FIG. 6, shows an alternate form of power supply source or transformer as used in the device.

. Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 1 thereof, wherein is shown the assembled dedesignated and to which may be connected strings of Christmas tree lights with the lights being either of the multiple or series wired types. The assembly 5 includes a mountingbase 6 to which the perferated Cover 7 is attached and wherein is enclosed the working mechanism of the device. The connector and power supply cord 8 provides means for electrically connecting the device to a conventional 110 volt ac. power supply source.

Extending from the side of the cover in the manner shown, is a number of electrical outlets 9 and into which, when in use, strings of Christmas tree lights are plugged. The lead wires 10 to these various outlets may be of any length desired, preferably, sufficiently long as to extend well into the tree for easy access to the lighting strings while allowing the control to rest beneath the tree or possibly some distance away.

FIG. 2 shows the arrangement of the components of the device within the cover. The transformer 11, and which may hereafter be referred to as the multiple voltage power supply source, may be of any desired type such as that shown in FIGS. 3 and 6 or of the electronic silicon rectifier type. An electric motor and reduction gear assembly 12 is positioned to rotate an insulating disk 13 within a contact mounting plate 14, as shown to advantage in FIG. 4. A plurality of resistors 15 are arranged for being cooled by fan 16 secured to and driven by the motor shaft. Heat from the resistors pass from the cover by way of the vent slots 17.

FIG. 3 is an electrical schematic diagram of the invention and showing more clearly the interrelationship of the various components of the device and how they combine to produce the results desired. The slip rings l8, l9 and 20 are herein shown as being engaged by rubbing spring contact numbers 21, 22, and 23 which are respectively connected to the differing voltage outputs of the transformer 11 and preferably the l 10, 90 and volt taps. The transformer 11, for cheapness, is of the auto type and could be tapped to produce voltages beginning with the line voltage of 1 l0 and stepped down in l0, 15, 20, or 30 volt increments if so desired. The switch 24 enables these voltages to be selectively changed to the lights at the option of the user to give the lighting effect desired. Whereas, with the invention asshown, three voltages are used and has been found very satisfactory, it is apparent that more or less number of operating voltages may be incorporated into the device with very little modification of the mechanism.

From the contact segments 25 mounted upon the contact disk and connected to the slip rings 18, 19, and 20, as shown, voltages pass to the individually connected lighting strings 40 by way of contact assemblies 30 arranged about the plate 14 and operative to engage contact segments 25 successively as the contact disk 13 is rotated. It is apparent, thereby, as the disk 13 is rotated by the motor, the various voltages from the transofrm II are applied to the lights 40 by way of thecontact assemblies 30 as they are engaged successively by the different voltage segments of the contact disk to produce in the lights the twinkling and shimmering effect designed into the apparatus and totally impossible to be duplicated by any combination of individually operated flasher mechanism or twinkling apparatus.

FIG. 4 shows in detail the contact assemblies 30 as positioned about the plate 14 and their operative relation with contact segments 25 mounted upon the contact disk 13. It is evident from the staggered placement of the contact assemblies about the plate, that rotation of the disk 13 effects movement of each contact segment 25 into contact engagement with a contact assembly at a different time and thereby to apply a continually changing voltage to each light string individually and at a different time to produce the overall lighting effect desired of the apparatus.

It will be noted that contact assemblies 30 are arranged in pairs about the plate 14; the purpose therefore is shown to advantage in FIG. 5. The contacts 35 and 36 of the contact assemblies are so spaced as to positively bridge the relatively wide insulating gap between contact segments 25A and 258 with contact 35 making positive snap-action connection with segment 25A before segment 25B moves from beneath contact 36. This arrangement assures a continuously uninterrupted current passing to the lamps of the strings without any possibility of a flickering or flashing as could result by a poor connection during movement of say single contact member from one contact segment to another. And further, should a single contact member be used here, the interval a single contact bridged the two differing voltage contact segments 25A and 258, there would be a direct short across the affected turns of the transformers 11 to cause overheating of the latter in addition to destroying the contact surfaces of the contact members.

To eliminate the above condition and as illustrated in FlGS. 3 and 5, a resistor 15 is shown as connected between the contacts 35 and 36 and which operates to absorb this voltage difference between the contact segments 25A and 25B during this spanning interval of the contacts 35 and 36 with the resistor having a sufficiently low resistance value as to carry the lights of the attached Christmas tree string during this voltage shift operation. This structure is a most desirable feature and highly advantageous even when a more expensive type transformer, such as one having completely isolated secondary windings, is used.

Whereas with two or three strings of lights in use, a voltage differential between contact segments of to 30 volts has been found satisfactory, with four or more strings in operation a lesser voltage differential has been found effective to give less action and more shimmering to the lights. As previously described, in order to select the lighting condition desired, switch 41 may be thrown to selectively change the voltage differential between segments to say 15 volts or less, to produce a softer lighting effect.

The motor 42 is shown as so connected as to be in operation at all times current is passing to the transformer of the device.

With the device 6 as shown herein, three voltages are used and has been found most satisfactory, it is understood that two or four or more would also suffice. Further, while this is but one consept of the invention, it is apparent that rearrangement and substitution of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the device as shown.

What I therefore claim and desire to cover by Letters Patent is:

l. A variable voltage control for Christmas tree lighting including in combination a multiple voltage power supply source having a multiplicity of differing fixed voltage outputs, a plurality of electrical outlets continually in circuit with said voltage outputs for electrically connecting thereto one or more strings of Christmas tree lights, driving means, a circuit control interposed between said voltage outputs and said electrical outlets and operative when driven by said driving means to intermittently route in a predetermined order the differing voltages from said outputs to differing said electrical outlets.

2. A variable voltage control for Christmas tree lighting including in combination a multiple voltage power supply source having differing fixed voltage outputs, a plurality of electrical outlets electrically connected to and continually in circuit with said outputs and for connecting thereto strings of Christmas tree lights, driving means, a circuit control interposed between said multiple voltage outputs and said electrical outlets and driven by said driving means to intermittently route in a predetermined order the differing voltages from said outputs to differing said electrical outlets and resistor means intermittently connected between said differing voltage outputs of said power supply source during routing of said differing voltages.

3. A control as claimed in claim 1 including a plurality of contact segments, means electrically connecting said contact segments to the multiple voltage outputs of said multiple voltage power supply source, pairs of contact members respectively connected as pairs to said electrical outlets and electrically engaging said contact segments said contact pairs operative upon relative movement between said contact pairs and said contact segments to pass voltages from said contact segments to said electrical outlets and resistor means electrically connected across the contacts of said contact pairs.

4. A control as claimed in claim 1 including a plurality of contact segments electrically connected to said multiple voltage outputs of said multiple voltage source, pairs of contact members electrically engaging said contact segments and connected as pairs respectively to said electrical outlets for passing voltages from said contact segments to said outlets when relative movement between said contact segments and said contact pairs is effected by said driving means and resistor means respectively connected between said contact pairs for partially absorbing voltage differences appearing between said contact pairs during relative movement between said contact pairs and said contact segments.

5. A device as claimed in claim 4 wherein an insulating enclinely elevated surface electrically separating said contact segments operates, upon said relative movement between said contact segments and said contact pairs, to cause snap-action connection of one contact of said contact pair with the approaching contact segment before movement of the other contact of said contact pairs move from its connection with the following contact segment.

Claims (5)

1. A variable voltage control for Christmas tree lighting including in combination a multiple voltage power supply source having a multiplicity of differing fixed voltage outputs, a plurality of electrical outlets continually in circuit with said voltage outputs for electrically connecting thereto one or more strings of Christmas tree lights, driving means, a circuit control interposed between said voltage outputs and said electrical outlets and operative when driven by said driving means to intermittently route in a predetermined order the differing voltages from said outputs to differing said electrical outlets.
2. A variable voltage control for Christmas tree lighting including in combination a multiple voltage power supply source having differing fixed voltage outputs, a plurality of electrical outlets electrically connected to and continually in circuit with said outputs and for connecting thereto strings of Christmas tree lights, driving means, a circuit control interposed between said multiple voltage outputs and said electrical outlets and driven by said driving means to intermittently route in a predetermined order the differing voltages from said outputs to differing said electrical outlets and resistor meanS intermittently connected between said differing voltage outputs of said power supply source during routing of said differing voltages.
3. A control as claimed in claim 1 including a plurality of contact segments, means electrically connecting said contact segments to the multiple voltage outputs of said multiple voltage power supply source, pairs of contact members respectively connected as pairs to said electrical outlets and electrically engaging said contact segments said contact pairs operative upon relative movement between said contact pairs and said contact segments to pass voltages from said contact segments to said electrical outlets and resistor means electrically connected across the contacts of said contact pairs.
4. A control as claimed in claim 1 including a plurality of contact segments electrically connected to said multiple voltage outputs of said multiple voltage source, pairs of contact members electrically engaging said contact segments and connected as pairs respectively to said electrical outlets for passing voltages from said contact segments to said outlets when relative movement between said contact segments and said contact pairs is effected by said driving means and resistor means respectively connected between said contact pairs for partially absorbing voltage differences appearing between said contact pairs during relative movement between said contact pairs and said contact segments.
5. A device as claimed in claim 4 wherein an insulating enclinely elevated surface electrically separating said contact segments operates, upon said relative movement between said contact segments and said contact pairs, to cause snap-action connection of one contact of said contact pair with the approaching contact segment before movement of the other contact of said contact pairs move from its connection with the following contact segment.
US3748488A 1972-04-10 1972-04-10 Christmas tree lighting control Expired - Lifetime US3748488A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US24262772 true 1972-04-10 1972-04-10

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US3748488A true US3748488A (en) 1973-07-24

Family

ID=22915558

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US3748488A Expired - Lifetime US3748488A (en) 1972-04-10 1972-04-10 Christmas tree lighting control

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US3748488A (en)

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3808450A (en) * 1972-04-10 1974-04-30 G Davis Christmas tree lighting control
US4888494A (en) * 1987-11-02 1989-12-19 Mcnair Rhett Electromechanical lamp switching
US9648919B2 (en) 2012-05-08 2017-05-16 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Modular tree with rotation-lock electrical connectors
US9671074B2 (en) 2013-03-13 2017-06-06 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Modular tree with trunk connectors
US9677748B1 (en) 2013-12-03 2017-06-13 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Dual-voltage lighted artificial tree
US9861147B1 (en) 2010-09-23 2018-01-09 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Modular lighted tree
US9883566B1 (en) 2015-05-01 2018-01-30 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Control of modular lighted artificial trees

Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2087636A (en) * 1932-11-25 1937-07-20 William C Baumann Electrical apparatus

Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2087636A (en) * 1932-11-25 1937-07-20 William C Baumann Electrical apparatus

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3808450A (en) * 1972-04-10 1974-04-30 G Davis Christmas tree lighting control
US4888494A (en) * 1987-11-02 1989-12-19 Mcnair Rhett Electromechanical lamp switching
US9861147B1 (en) 2010-09-23 2018-01-09 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Modular lighted tree
US9648919B2 (en) 2012-05-08 2017-05-16 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Modular tree with rotation-lock electrical connectors
US9671074B2 (en) 2013-03-13 2017-06-06 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Modular tree with trunk connectors
US9677748B1 (en) 2013-12-03 2017-06-13 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Dual-voltage lighted artificial tree
US9883566B1 (en) 2015-05-01 2018-01-30 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Control of modular lighted artificial trees
US9887501B2 (en) 2015-06-15 2018-02-06 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Modular artificial lighted tree with decorative light string
US9883706B2 (en) 2015-06-16 2018-02-06 Willis Electric Co., Ltd. Multi-positional, locking artificial tree trunk

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US3256466A (en) Socket insert for varying the intensity of a light bulb
US4253045A (en) Flickering flame effect electric light controller
US5519263A (en) Three-way toggle dimmer switch
US6641294B2 (en) Vehicle lighting assembly with stepped dimming
US3321861A (en) Beer tap handle
US4153860A (en) Lighting control apparatus
US3979601A (en) Combination dimmer and timer switch mechanism
US2863038A (en) Auxiliary outlet with emergency light
US2896125A (en) Electric lamp switching mechanism
US3789211A (en) Decorative lighting system
US3991343A (en) Control circuit for progressively varying illumination intensity of lamps
US3781853A (en) Navigational light system
US3300711A (en) Lamp dimmer
US3564332A (en) Photoelectrically controlled continuously variable color illuminator
US4011482A (en) Electric circuit control system using exclusive "or" gate
US4114071A (en) Light modulator system
US2558412A (en) Multiple contact switch construction
US4390814A (en) Lighting apparatus
US3062986A (en) Voltage output control means
US3772529A (en) Programmable unijunction fence charger
US4528456A (en) Dual load control circuit
US3083317A (en) Emergency sign and auxiliary power system
US2717557A (en) Electrically operated track for model vehicles
US4678926A (en) Christmas tree lighting control
US2462594A (en) Multiposition switch