News Column

Patent Application Titled "Light Fixture Retrofit Kit with Integrated Light Bar" Published Online

May 28, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors HEETER, SHAWN (Cary, NC); Mandavilli, Vasavi (Cary, NC); Huang, Mitchell (Morrisville, NC); Dixon, Mark Edward (Morrisville, NC); Wilcox, Kurt W. (Libertyville, IL); Medendorp, JR., Nicholas W. (Raleigh, NC), filed on February 8, 2013, was made available online on May 15, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Cree, Inc.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The invention relates to retrofit systems and methods for lighting installations, and in particular, to retrofit systems and methods used to retrofit troffer-style lighting installations with LED light sources.

"Troffer-style fixtures are ubiquitous in commercial office and industrial spaces throughout the world. In many instances these troffers house elongated tubular fluorescent lamps or light bulbs that span the length of the troffer. Troffers may be mounted to or suspended from ceilings, such as being suspended by a 'T-grid'. Often the troffer may be recessed into the ceiling, with the back side of the troffer protruding into the plenum area above the ceiling. Typically, elements of the troffer on the back side dissipate heat generated by the light source into the plenum where air can be circulated to facilitate the cooling mechanism. U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,663 to Bell, et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 6,210,025 to Schmidt, et al. are examples of typical troffer-style fixtures.

"More recently, with the advent of the efficient solid state lighting sources, these troffers have been used with LEDs as their light source. LEDs are solid state devices that convert electric energy to light and generally comprise one or more active regions of semiconductor material interposed between oppositely doped semiconductor layers. When a bias is applied across the doped layers, holes and electrons are injected into the active region where they recombine to generate light. Light is produced in the active region and emitted from surfaces of the LED.

"LEDs have certain characteristics that make them desirable for many lighting applications that were previously the realm of incandescent or fluorescent lights. Incandescent lights are very energy-inefficient light sources with approximately ninety percent of the electricity they consume being released as heat rather than light. Fluorescent light bulbs are more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs by a factor of about 10, but are still relatively inefficient. Current fluorescent lamp technology can exhibit low efficacy, short lifetime, and can use hazardous materials such as mercury which makes the lamps hard to dispose. LEDs by contrast, can emit the same luminous flux as incandescent and fluorescent lights using a fraction of the energy.

"In addition, LEDs can have a significantly longer operational lifetime. Incandescent light bulbs have relatively short lifetimes, with some having a lifetime in the range of about 750-1000 hours. Fluorescent bulbs can also have lifetimes longer than incandescent bulbs such as in the range of approximately 10,000-20,000 hours, but provide less desirable color reproduction. In comparison, LEDs can have lifetimes between 50,000 and 70,000 hours. The increased efficiency and extended lifetime of LEDs are attractive to many lighting suppliers and have resulted in their LED lights being used in place of conventional lighting in many different applications. It is predicted that further improvements will result in their general acceptance in more and more lighting applications. An increase in the adoption of LEDs in place of incandescent or fluorescent lighting would result in increased lighting efficiency and significant energy saving.

"There has been recent interest in upgrading existing troffer style lighting systems with LED sources (or engines) to capitalize on the above advantages. Current options for upgrading include complete fixture replacement such as by the commercially available CR Series Architectural LED Troffer, provided by Cree, Inc. Some features of these troffers are described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/873,303, titled 'Troffer-style Fixture', and assigned to Cree, Inc. Performing complete fixture replacement can require penetrating the ceiling plenum by a skilled technician. This can be time consuming and expensive, and in many locations, building codes can require that a licensed electrician perform any work in the plenum space above a ceiling."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Some embodiments of the present invention comprise a mechanical mounting system for installing an LED light engine, light source or light bar within an existing lighting system housing or pan, such as a troffer pan, without penetrating the ceiling plenum. Other embodiments of the present invention comprise light bars that are arranged for some of the features to be self-mounting. That is, they have features that allow for mounting to one another without the need for mounting mechanisms such as screws, rivets or brackets, or materials such as adhesives. Other embodiments provide mechanisms for allowing the light bars to be movably mounted in a light fixture housing. The light bars can then be moved on the housing to obtain the desired emission before permanently affixing the light bars in place.

"One embodiment of a system for mounting a light source in a fixture comprises a solid state light source bar and mounting clips slidably mounted to said light source bar. The light source bar is arranged so that it can be movably mounted to a light fixture housing. A power supply is included for providing a drive signal compatible with solid state light sources.

"One embodiment of a light bar according to the present invention comprises an elongated base and an elongated solid state light source on the elongated base. An elongated lens is included with the base and the lens comprising features to allow for self-mounting of the lens to the base. The elongated light source can be held in place by the lens and base.

"One embodiment of a system for mounting an LED light source in a light fixture comprises a power supply capable of receiving a line voltage and generating a signal to drive LEDs. A LED light bar is included having a plurality of LEDs to accept an electrical signal from said power supply to illuminate the LEDs, wherein the light bar has a magnet for non-permanent and movable mounting of said light bar to a light fixture housing.

"These and other further features and advantages of the invention would be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary lighting fixture to be retrofitted according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a lighting fixture with the raceway cover removed according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 3 is a top view of one embodiment of retrofit components according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 4a is a perspective view of the fixture of FIG. 2 with one embodiment of mounting brackets in place according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 4b is a closer view of a portion of FIG. 4a with the one embodiment of power supplies removed for ease of viewability according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 4c is a closer view of a portion of FIG. 4a according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a light fixture during the retrofit process with one embodiment light source bars engaged according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 6 is a closer view of a portion of FIG. 5 according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 7 is a perspective partial view of a retrofitted fixture after the raceway cover has been replaced in one embodiment according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 8 is a perspective full view of the fixture of FIG. 7 according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 9 is a side cross section perspective view of one embodiment of a light source bar according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 10a is a side cross section view of another embodiment of a light source bar according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 10b is a side cross section view of another embodiment of a light source bar according to the present disclosure;

"FIG. 11 is a perspective view of one embodiment of lighting retrofit system according to the present invention;

"FIG. 12 is a perspective exploded view of one embodiment of a light source bar according to the present invention;

"FIG. 13 is a sectional view of one embodiment of a light source bar according to the present invention;

"FIG. 14 is an end view the light source bar shown in FIG. 13;

"FIG. 15 is a perspective exploded view of one embodiment of a power supply according to the present invention;

"FIG. 16 is an end view of the power supply shown in FIG. 15;

"FIG. 17 is a section view of a troffer light fixture with one embodiment of a power supply according to the present invention;

"FIG. 18 is a section view of another troffer light fixture with one embodiment of a power supply according to the present invention;

"FIG. 19 is a section view of still another troffer light fixture with one embodiment of a power supply according to the present invention;

"FIG. 20 is a schematic of one embodiment of a power supply driver board according to the present invention;

"FIG. 21 is top view of one embodiment of light sources according to the present invention;

"FIG. 22 is a schematic showing one embodiment of the interconnections of the LED is the light sources of FIG. 21;

"FIG. 23 is a sectional view of another embodiment of a light source bar according to the present invention;

"FIG. 24 is a sectional view of another embodiment of a light source bar according to the present invention; and

"FIG. 25 is a sectional view of still another embodiment of a light source bar according to the present invention."

For more information, see this patent application: HEETER, SHAWN; Mandavilli, Vasavi; Huang, Mitchell; Dixon, Mark Edward; Wilcox, Kurt W.; Medendorp, JR., Nicholas W. Light Fixture Retrofit Kit with Integrated Light Bar. Filed February 8, 2013 and posted May 15, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4024&p=81&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140508.PD.&OS=PD/20140508&RS=PD/20140508

Keywords for this news article include: Cree Inc., Light Bulb, Electronics, Semiconductor.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly