Title:
REFRIGERATOR LIGHT STRUCTURE
United States Patent 3612848


Abstract:
A refrigerating apparatus such as a combined refrigerator and freezer having a pair of compartments that are side-by-side and separated by a wall having an edge in which an electric light is located at this edge and exposed to both compartments for lighting them simultaneously. This light is preferably an elongated fluorescent bulb extending substantially the full length of this edge which is positioned adjacent a normally closed access door.



Inventors:
Koch, Alan J. (Evansville, IN)
Lindenschmidt, Robert Edward (Evansville, IN)
Application Number:
05/028878
Publication Date:
10/12/1971
Filing Date:
04/15/1970
Assignee:
WHIRLPOOL CORP.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/1, 312/223.5, 362/224
International Classes:
A47B96/04; F25D27/00; (IPC1-7): A47B97/00
Field of Search:
240/2
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3028208Refrigerator lighting arrangement1962-04-03Sharpe
3009751Externally illuminated exit indicator for an enclosure1961-11-21Barbrow et al.
2840434Refrigerator inner door structure1958-06-24Moore et al.
2815649Refrigerator1957-12-10Di Angelus et al.
2225932Refrigeration apparatus1940-12-24Shaw
2153851Refrigerator light outside of cold zone1939-04-11Swedman
2135878Refrigerating apparatus1938-11-08Sekyra, Sr.



Primary Examiner:
Capozi, Louis J.
Claims:
Having described our invention, the embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows

1. Refrigerating apparatus, comprising: means forming a cabinet having a pair of compartments separated by a wall having an edge; means forming access openings to said compartments on opposite sides of said wall edge; a movable access door closing each of said openings and located adjacent said edge when in closed position; an electric light at said edge; and means exposing said light to both said compartments for simultaneously illuminating both compartments.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said light is elongated and extends substantially the full length of said edge.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said light comprises a fluorescent bulb extending substantially the full length of said wall edge.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein there is provided a cover for said light having transparent sides facing said compartments.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein there is provided a cover for said light having transparent sides facing said compartments and an opaque side adjacent said door.

6. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein there is provided a cover for said light having transparent sides facing said compartments.

7. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein there is provided a cover for said light having transparent sides facing said compartments and an opaque side adjacent said door.

8. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein there is provided a cover for said bulb having transparent sides facing said compartments.

9. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein there is provided a cover for said bulb having transparent sides facing said compartments and an opaque side adjacent said door.

Description:
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One of the features of this invention is to provide an improved refrigerating apparatus having the usual cabinet containing a pair of compartments separated by a dividing wall having an edge between access openings to the compartments and with a movable access door normally closing each of the access openings to the compartments and an electric light at this edge exposed to both compartments for simultaneously illuminating both compartments.

A further feature of the invention is to provide such an apparatus in which the light comprises an elongated fluorescent bulb extending substantially the full length of the wall edge between the compartment access openings so that the light not only illuminates both compartments simultaneously but also heats this edge sufficiently to prevent condensation of substantial amounts of moisture

THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a refrigerating apparatus embodying the invention and comprising a side-by-side refrigerator-freezer.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary enlarged horizontal sectional view taken substantially along line 2--2 of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT

In the embodiment illustrated in the drawings the refrigerating apparatus comprises a side-by-side refrigerator-freezer 10 having a freezer compartment 11 provided with an access door 12 and a refrigerator compartment 13 having an access door 14. As can be seen, the two compartments 11 and 13 are side by side and are separated by a dividing wall 15 that has a forwardly located edge 16, as shown in FIG. 2, between the access openings to the compartments 11 and 13. The doors 12 and 14 when closed are adapted to make sealing engagement with the edges 17 of the cabinet 18 of the apparatus and also to make sealing engagement with the forward edge of the dividing wall 15.

Located on this forward edge 16 of the wall 15 is an electric light structure 19 that in the illustrated embodiment comprises a fluorescent bulb 20 extending vertically along substantially the entire length of the edge 16 and enclosed in a housing 21.

The housing 21 enclosing the bulb 20 comprises means including transparent plastic sides 22 and 23 exposing the light 20 to both compartments 11 and 13 for simultaneously illumination thereof. The housing 21 therefor provides a cover for the bulb 20 while still permitting it to illuminate the pair of compartments. The housing also includes an opaque side 24 at the front or adjacent the doors 12 and 14 when they are closed. In the embodiment shown this opaque side 24 is formed by a sheet metal plate which extends between the top and bottom of cabinet 18. The transparent sides 22 and 23 are spring pressed into position with plate 24.

With the structure of this invention the single bulb 20 illuminates both of the side-by-side compartments 11 and 14 simultaneously. In addition, the opaque side member 24 blocks the rays from the bulb from the eyes of the user of the apparatus. The light of this invention also has the additional useful effect of providing sufficient heat to the forward edge of the dividing wall 15 including the light structure 19 to prevent substantial condensation of moisture thereon without requiring a separate heating element normally provided to prevent this condensation. Because of this, it is preferred that the light bulb 20 especially when fluorescent as in the preferred embodiment be permitted to operate continuously even when the doors 12 and 14 are closed. Such continuous operation has also been found to extend the life of a fluorescent bulb several times over its normal life when operated periodically.

Although the illustrated embodiment shows a side-by-side refrigerator structure so that the dividing wall 15 and light source 19 carried thereby is vertical, the invention can of course also be used on structures where the freezer is at the top and the refrigerator is at the bottom in which case the dividing wall and light would be horizontal. The invention can also be used on any type of multicompartment refrigerator structure utilizing a dividing wall or mullion for separating the compartments.