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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Universal Light Emitting Diode Illumination Device and Method", for Approval

February 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Catalano, Anthony (Boulder, CO); Harrison, Daniel J. (Noderland, CO), filed on August 7, 2013, was made available online on February 13, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Currently, lightbulbs for low power lighting applications such as flashlights are dominated by incandescent lights that use hot filaments to provide radiant energy. The radiation that is emitted by hot filaments is spread over a wide spectral range and much of the energy is wasted owing to emission outside the visible range. Moreover, such filaments must be designed for the specific voltage of operation, e.g., a bulb designed for 2.7 volt (V) operation cannot be used for operation at a higher, 3.6 V level without causing immediate premature failure. Similarly, operating at a lower voltage, such as 2.2 V lowers the light output to unacceptable levels. In addition, wide varieties of low power lightbulb bases have been established over the last hundred years. Even without considering additional application factors, the combination of these two factors alone means that hundreds of distinct lightbulbs must be manufactured in order to meet specific application demands.

"Light emitting diodes (LEDs) have operating advantages with respect to incandescent lights. LEDs can emit light in a narrow range of wavelengths so that a high proportion of the input energy is converted into light emitted within a specific wavelength envelope, resulting in application specificity and high efficiency. Such lights have very long life compared to incandescent lights (50,000 hours vs. 3-30 hrs for incandescent flashlight bulbs). Like incandescent bulbs, LEDs require a specific, narrow operating voltage range, ordinarily from 3.2 V to 4 V. Higher voltage results in premature failure and lower voltage results in little or no light output. Conventional LED illumination devices share high application specificity, resulting in a similarly large number of distinct products as with ordinary incandescent bulbs. This discourages conventional LED use, as retailers must now carry twice the already excessive inventory of the same product. In addition, LED lightbulbs for various voltages are commonly fabricated by incorporating a ballast resistor serving as a current limiter. This technique wastes energy and does not markedly increase the voltage operating range. LED circuits with current and voltage regulation have been utilized in applications such as traffic lights where large numbers of LEDs are packaged together to provide a bright, long lasting and highly efficient lighting. However, in a traffic light application, space is not a limitation, and so fairly complex and bulky electronic circuits have been used to meet these specialized needs."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention overcomes the disadvantages and limitations of the prior art by providing a light emitting diode and driving circuitry integrated into a component module that will retrofit common incandescent lightbulb applications. The disclosed embodiments will perform with high efficiency at a wide operating voltage range with a very small size allowing for the incorporation within the envelope and form of existing lightbulb bases. Therefore, a single universal LED light bulb module can be used to replace the dozens of conventional LED and incandescent lights currently being used. The electronic circuitries used to drive the LEDs are extremely compact and consequently can be incorporated in nearly any standard bulb base. Because the operating voltage of these circuits is so wide, they are able to effectively draw out the last bit of energy present in a battery pack, providing excellent efficiency and capacity. For example, a 6 V battery pack will still operate the LED at full brightness when it only delivers slightly in excess of 1.5 V; in other words, the batteries are effectively 'dead' with respect to conventional light bulbs, but this embodiment still operate as though the batteries were fully charged. In fact, there is little or no change in the light output from 6 V down to approximately 1.5 V, allowing for the use of nearly all the energy available from the battery. In addition, a 3 V battery pack and a 6 V battery pack for example, would use the exact same light bulb as described in this invention, being completely interchangeable.

"The universal LED light bulb module can be driven by a circuit that is either a constant voltage output or a constant current output. The constant current design is preferred since light output is directly proportional to current, and slight differences in the LED manufacture require different operating voltages for a given light output. This constant current circuit is a high frequency, low power dc/dc converter. The high frequency of operation allows components of small size to be used. The essential feature of this circuit is a voltage comparator that regulates the voltage to a specified value to achieve the desired output. An inductor is charged to achieve the desired voltage output in the circuit. In the constant current implementation, a current sensing resistor is used to provide the voltage feedback. Although often designed for DC-to-DC operation in the range discussed, the disclosed constant current circuit can be easily modified to work at higher voltages by using for instance, a zener diode resistor combination, or to operate as an AC/DC converter by adding a rectifier circuit. Other features such as light sensors, pulse circuits etc., can be added to provide additional features such as flashing operation or dimming. Various logic signals can be easily adapted to introduce added functionality to the embodiments. For example, a single activation of a power switch could provide a low output light, a second activation producing a medium output light, a third activation producing a high output light, and a fourth activation shutting off the light. Multiple colored LEDs can also be used to vary the desired colored output.

"An embodiment of the present invention may therefore comprise a universal LED lamp that is capable of replacing incandescent bulbs and that operates at various voltages comprising: a standard bulb base that is adapted to fit into standard bulb sockets; a printed circuit board that is electrically connected to a voltage input contact of the standard bulb base that is capable of fitting in the envelope of the standard bulb base; a driving circuit mounted on the printed circuit board that includes a solid state voltage comparator that regulates the input voltage to maintain an output voltage at a predetermined constant value within a predetermined range of input voltages that are both above and below the predetermined output voltage; an LED that is electrically connected to the output of the driving circuit and physically connected to the printed circuit board.

"An additional embodiment of the present invention may also comprise a method of producing a universal LED lamp that is capable of replacing incandescent bulbs that operate at various voltages comprising: providing a standard bulb base that is adapted to fit into standard bulb sockets; electrically connecting a printed circuit board to a voltage input contact of the standard bulb base; mounting a driving circuit on the printed circuit board that includes a solid state voltage comparator; regulating the input voltage with the driving circuit to maintain an output voltage at a predetermined constant value within a predetermined range of input voltages that are both above and below the predetermined output voltage; fitting the printed circuit board within the standard bulb base; electrically connecting an LED to the output of the driving circuit; and, physically connecting the LED to the printed circuit board.

"The disclosed embodiments offer the advantage of providing a universal LED light bulb module with long life and high efficiency at a wide operating voltage range with a very small size allowing for the incorporation within the envelope and form of existing lightbulb bases. The LED illumination module has the further advantage over conventional incandescent type bulbs by providing a precise wavelength output envelope, resulting in high efficiency and application specificity. Additionally, the high frequency of operation in the drive circuitry allows components of small size to be used and allows the device to effectively draw out the last bit of energy present in a battery pack. Additional ancillary features that are not currently available in incandescent bulbs such as light sensors, pulse circuits etc., can be added to the drive circuitry to provide additional features to conventional products.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the invention, including a reflector.

"FIG. 2 is a perspective view, without showing a reflector.

"FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary circuit implementing the driving circuit of this invention.

"FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 1, except that it employs multiple LEDs and a converging lens.

"FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of a flashlight related method.

"FIG. 6 is another flow diagram of a flashlight related method.

"FIG. 7 is a drawing showing a typical embodiment of a universal LED illumination device to retrofit an incandescent lightbulb application.

"FIG. 8 is a drawing showing a typical embodiment of a universal LED illumination device in relation to an incandescent lightbulb.

"FIG. 9 is a schematic representation of a DC circuit used for a typical embodiment of a universal LED illumination device.

"FIG. 10 is a drawing showing a typical embodiment of a universal LED illumination device in relation to an incandescent flashlight bulb application.

"FIG. 11 is a drawing showing a typical embodiment of a universal LED array illumination device in relation to an incandescent flashlight bulb application.

"FIG. 12 is a drawing showing a typical embodiment of a universal LED illumination device to retrofit an incandescent lightbulb application.

"FIG. 13 is a drawing showing a typical embodiment of a universal LED illumination device to retrofit an incandescent lightbulb application.

"FIG. 14 is a drawing showing a typical embodiment of a universal LED illumination device to retrofit a halogen lightbulb application.

"FIG. 15 is a drawing showing a typical embodiment of a universal LED illumination device to retrofit a focused beam incandescent flashlight application.

"FIG. 16 is a schematic representation of a DC circuit used for a typical embodiment of a universal LED illumination device.

"FIG. 17 is a schematic representation of an AC circuit used for a typical embodiment of a universal LED illumination device.

"The numeric identifiers in the figures correspond to the elements as follows: 2 a transparent lens adapted to emit a majority of the light peripherally 3 at least one light-emitting semiconductor chip 4 a small (round) printed circuit board 6 hard protective material encasing the electronic components 15 and 17 9 a socket for the LED module comprising 2 and 3 12 the pin to be electrically connected to the positive side of the battery pack 14 the pin to be electrically connected to the negative side of the battery pack 15 an exemplary integrated circuit (IC) component 17 another integrated circuit (IC) component 21 replacement reflector (shorter than original), if necessary 22 lens replacing normal protective transparent window 23 exemplary focused light ray 302, . . . , 333 components of the driving circuit"

For additional information on this patent application, see: Catalano, Anthony; Harrison, Daniel J. Universal Light Emitting Diode Illumination Device and Method. Filed August 7, 2013 and posted February 13, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4603&p=93&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140206.PD.&OS=PD/20140206&RS=PD/20140206

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Light Bulb, Electronics, Circuit Board, Light-emitting Diode.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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