1. An electrically illuminated wax object comprising a low-wattage low-heat light source, a resistor in series with the source, an electrical connector linked to the source and extending from the object and a translucent wax body cast about the light source in direct contact therewith.
2. An illuminated object in accordance with claim 1 wherein the light source comprises a light-transmitting capsule, a low-wattage, low-heat lamp in the capsule, and a light-transmitting potting substance intervening between the capsule wall and the lamp.
3. An illuminated object in accordance with claim 1 wherein the light source comprises a light-transmitting capsule, a low-wattage neon lamp in the capsule, the resistor being in the capsule, and a light-transmitting potting substance intervening between the capsule and the lamp and resistor.
4. An illuminated object in accordance with claim 1 wherein the connector comprises an electric cord.
5. An illuminated object in accordance with claim 1 wherein the electrical connector comprises a plug half.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to internally illuminated wax forms and more particularly to such forms that are intimately molded about the light source.
The pleasing luminous qualities of high grade wax have led to many previous efforts to produce internally lighted low-level illuminators to take advantage of the diffusion qualities of various candle waxes and of translucent plastic and glass wax substitutes used as shades or diffusers about the light source. However, most such efforts have needed complicated means for placing light sources within the plastic form to be lighted or have been unsafe because the light source melted the wax.
The substitute forms have taken varied shapes, such as candle tapers, crucifixes and human figures, and many have been successfully marketed. Most marketed products have encountered two drawbacks. One drawback is the expense, both initially and in manufacture, of the glass or plastic used about the light source. Glass and plastic, rather than wax, have been dictated by the need to resist the heat generated by the conventional light sources employed, despite the enhanced appeal of wax-diffused light. The substances used, therefore, have only approximated the effect given by light transmitted through waxy substances like beeswax or petroleum paraffin.
A second problem is the need for often complicated structure to hold the light source within the form, as exemplified by the low-level illuminators of the type described by the following U.S. Letters Patent:
U.s. pat. No. 2,061,824 issued to K.R. Beymer Nov. 24, 1936;
U.s. pat. No. 2,483,991 issued to W.J. Morrison Jan. 10, 1950;
U.s. pat. No. 2,704,322 issued to G.W. Strayline Mar. 15, 1955;
U.s. pat. No. 3,205,350 issued to G. Roszkowski et al Sept. 7, 1965.
The present invention provides an illuminated wax form and the method of fabricating such a form which can be molded simply and combined with the light source at the time of molding, obviating expensive fabrication and eliminating safety hazards. The invention thus enables the use of waxes of various types normally used in candlemaking such as the petroleum paraffins, beeswax and fatty derivatives, to name some.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention contemplates an illuminated wax object comprising a light source which may be a small-wattage lamp and a resistor in series with the lamp, with a connector extending from the object for coupling to a source of power, and a wax body intimately cast about the light source. A base may be attached to the body for stability and appearance. Such a low-level illuminator is ideally fabricated by the process of the invention which contemplates the steps of suspending a light source in a mold having the desired shape of the object, surrounding the light source with a wax liquid so that a light source connector is emergent from the mold, and hardening the liquid to a solid form and removing the resulting object with the encased light source from the mold. Preferably the molded object is then attached to a base of a like or dissimilar material for stability or artistic appearance.
The light source may be a low-wattage neon lamp or plurality of lamps with attendant resistor or resistors to enable use of A.C. power. The light source may be lamps and resistors encapsulated in a transparent or translucent tube filled with a clear resin, an end of the tube terminating in a conventional electrical connector such as a cord or a plug connector half.
The assembly of resistor and low-wattage lamp may be done prior to placement of the light source in the mold for envelopment by the molten wax. Fractional wattage, low-heat, neon lamps are commercially available preassembled with a resistor for use with the normal 115-volt household current.
The apparatus and method of the invention accomplish the objectives of utilizing the pleasing radiance of candle wax in a light which is inexpensive to make, safe for use under normal conditions and versatile as to exterior configuration. These and other advantages of the invention are apparent in the following detailed description and drawing of illustrative embodiments.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
FIG. 1 is a sectional elevation of an electrically illuminated object in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view, partly in section, of an alternate embodiment of the invention with a single lamp;
FIG. 3 is an elevational view, partly in section, of a further alternate embodiment with an internal resistor;
FIG. 4 is a sectional elevation of a further alternate embodiment having an encapsulated light source; and
FIG. 5 is a schematic sectional elevation illustrating the process of the invention.
In the various Figures like parts are designated by like reference numerals .
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 1 illustrates in section an embodiment of the invention wherein a molded wax body 10 contains a plurality of fractional wattage neon lamps 11 which are connected in parallel by a multilead electrical cord 12 extending from a resistive element 13 which may be a resistor group with each resistor linked to a particular lamp through cord 12. An electrical connector 14 extends to a conventional wall plug 15. The body 10 is frusto-conical and terminates in a downward boss 17 of reduced diameter which fits into a recess 18 of a shaped base 19. The base has a cylindrical bottom cavity 21 into which boss 17 extends and from which cord connector 14 emerges through an aperture 22. The cord may be knotted or otherwise increased in size at the aperture to meet the Underwriter Laboratories' requirements for A.C. connectors.
The lamps 11 and the resistor 13 are surrounded intimately by the wax-molded body 10. Preferably the lamps are of a fractional wattage neon type, such as the C2A neon bulbs manufactured by General Electric Company. C2A neon lamps are 0.25 watts and give a pleasing luminescence to the wax body 10 when illuminated by connecting plug 15 to an A.C. outlet. The body 10 of the embodiment of FIG. 1 has a mean diameter of about 2 1/2 inches and, when cast of petroleum paraffin, is adequately illumined by the three C2A lamps. One-third watt or one-half watt neon bulbs are also commercially available, being designated A9A and D2A by General Electric. The heat output of the three specified neon lamps is well below the level harmful to most candle waxes and can therefore be safely employed in molded wax figures in accordance with the level of illumination desired.
The embodiment of FIG. 1 may be further ornamented by a protruding wick 25 which is preferably of a nonignitable optical material, such as lucite. If a lamp like the upper lamp 11 is cast near the bottom of the wick, light is transmitted through the immediately adjacent wax to the lucite wick and radiated from the wick.
The embodiment of FIG. 2 comprises a cast wax body 26 which has a generally conical outer configuration decorated by simulated wax drippings 27 spaced about its periphery. An optical wick 25 extends from the top of the body. A light source 31 is cast within body 26 and an electrical connecting cord 14 extends from the light to a plug 32 adapted to fit a household wall socket.
Plug 32 contains a resistor 34. The resistor value is determined by light source 31 which, in the embodiment of FIG. 2, is an incandescent lamp. While the resistor is not required to "fire" the incandescent lamp, it is required to match the conventional voltage of a household to the voltage rating of the incandescent lamp. Low voltage power sources such as A.C. or D.C. current or batteries wherein the source output is matched to the incandescent lamp eliminate the need for the resistor 34.
The wax body 26 of FIG. 2 sits within a recess 35 of a base 36 whose wall is apertured at 37 to accommodate connecting cord 14.
The embodiment of FIG. 3 comprises a semispherical wax body 41 which is fragmentarily shown and partly in section. An optical wick 25 emerges from an ornamental boss 42 at the top of the wax body and longitudinal ornamental grooves 43 extend about the body exterior.
The wax body of FIG. 3 may be beeswax or waxes derived from fatty materials or petroleum paraffin. Any of these waxes becomes liquid at fairly low heat and pours easily and molds with facility. In FIG. 3 the wax body encases a schematically represented light source 44 of fractional wattage. Electrical leads 45, 46 extend from the light source assembly which may be a General Electric C2ARZYK neon lamp and resistor element. The wax body of FIG. 3 may be suitably mounted on a base (not shown) and connected to a suitable power source by conventional means.
In certain situations where a multiplicity of bulbs or neon lamps is desirable, it may be more economical to assemble the lamps and resistors as a unit within a capsule in order to facilitate placing the light source thus defined within the mold which gives the wax its final form. FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of the invention utilizing such a light source. A clear glass tube 51 is cast within a wax form 52 which is given the appearance of a conventional candle by its cylindrical configuration and upper conical boss 53 and optical wick 54. The wick may penetrate the wax body in the manner described with respect to FIG. 1.
Tube 51 terminates in a male electrical plug 55 which is electrically connected by leads 56, 57 to a plurality of small wattage, low-heat neon lamps 58. The lamps may be of the C2A type. Each lamp is connected in series with a 22K resistor 59. The lamps and resistors are held positioned within the tube by a casting resin 61 which may be of a clear acrylic type.
Male plug 55 is joined to a female plug 63 from which a connector cord 14 extends to a conventional wall plug 15. the wax body 52 seats within a recess 35 of a base 65 which has an aperture 37 through which the cord extends.
It can thus be seen that the light source can be assembled prior to combination with the wax body such that the lamps may be checked as to position prior to placement in the casting mold into which the wax is poured. With male plug 55 being smaller than an aperture 66 of recess 35, the candle form may be joined with the base as desired. Base prongs 67 on a base spider 68 may be utilized to hold the female plug in position, aligned with aperture 66. The base can thereby accommodate internally illuminated wax forms of varying configurations, provided each such wax form has a bottom portion fitting in recess 35.
The illustrative embodiments of the apparatus of the invention have been shown to utilize neon and incandescent lamps in combination with internal and external resistors. Whether or not the resistors are internal and in any type of lamp utilization the wax body may be cast about the varied light sources by the method of the invention, illustrated schematically in FIG. 5. A split mold of which one half 71 is shown, is used to form a wax body having an outer configuration defined by the concave wall 72 of the mold. The bottom wall 74 of the mold has a wick aperture 75 which tapers conically both inwardly and outwardly. The juncture of the tapers defines a wall ridge which tightly fits each of the optical wicks 25 which may thereby be positioned within the cavity defined by concave wall 72 of the mold. Since it is desired to locate the light source or sources specifically within the wax body, a cord clamp 76 is provided which clamps the cord connector 14 to suspend lamps 78, 79 in the mold cavity in the desired position. Liquid wax 81 is poured from a container 82 or other source of hot wax into the cavity around the lamps 78, 79.
The material of the mold can be heat absorbent such that the wax is quickly cooled. The mold may thereafter be parted when a clamp bolt 83 or other clamping device is removed to free the internally illuminateable wax body from the mold. At removal cord clamp 76 is released from cord 14 by loosening a clamp bolt 85 so as not to loosen the cord in the wax body by curtailing cord freedom.
The apparatus of FIG. 5 thus implements the process of the invention wherein the light source is positioned within the mold and the wax is poured into the mold about the light source and the wax then hardened, followed by removal of the molded object and its light source from the mold.
The illustrative embodiments described above are capable of providing low-level illumination which is pleasing in its quality and which may emanate from objects of many artistic outer configurations. The illustrative embodiments, as well as others within the scope of the invention, use the known qualities of candle waxes in combination with low heat generating lamps to provide safe night lamps and ornaments of both artistry and utility. Alternate combinations other than those shown by the illustrative embodiments will occur to those skilled in this art. It is, therefore, desired that the invention be measured by the appended claims rather than by the illustrative disclosure herein.