Title:
Outdoor umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An outdoor umbrella includes an umbrella frame, an attaching device detachably mounting at an elongated arm of the umbrella frame, and an electrical device supported by the attaching device for suspendedly supporting within a shadowing area of the outdoor umbrella. The attaching device is adapted to detachably mount at a supporting shaft as the elongated arm of the umbrella frame. The attaching device is also adapted to detachably mount at an awning arm as the elongated arm of the umbrella frame. An illuminator as the electrical device is selectively supported within the shadowing area via the attaching device for providing illumination within the shadowing area of the outdoor umbrella.



Inventors:
Li, Wanda Ying (Santa Ana, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/218126
Publication Date:
11/06/2008
Filing Date:
07/11/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45B25/00; A45B3/02; A45B3/04; A45B23/00; E04B7/16; F21S9/03; F21V21/34; F21V33/00; H02N6/00; A45B25/06; A45B25/10; F21V21/30; F21S
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20050016571Electric umbrella standJanuary, 2005Wu
20050126612Adjustable fixture for an umbrellaJune, 2005Chen
20080017231Garage tentJanuary, 2008Chen
20060196532SUNSHADE WITH RADIO DEVICESeptember, 2006Tung
20090288693Anti-slip Crutch Tip Apparatus and MethodNovember, 2009Lasota
20040159346GreenhouseAugust, 2004Huang
20040103612Connection device for connection of building members and buildingJune, 2004Jo et al.
20040065361Foldable bed tentApril, 2004Pratt et al.
20090056781Shelter SystemMarch, 2009Stanley et al.
20090266392Crutch cushion, crutch system and kitOctober, 2009Campbell et al.



Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David, And Raymond Patent Firm (108 N. YNEZ AVE., SUITE 128, MONTEREY PARK, CA, 91754, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for securely mounting at an elongated arm of an outdoor umbrella; comprising: an attaching device detachably mounting at said elongated arm of said outdoor umbrella; an electrical device supported by said attaching device for suspendedly supporting within a shadowing area of said outdoor umbrella.

2. The apparatus, as recited in claim 1, wherein said attaching device comprises a central hub having a sliding through slot for an supporting shaft as said elongated arm of said outdoor umbrella passing through in a detachably mounting manner; and

3. The apparatus, as recited in claim 2, wherein said central hub comprises a boundary sleeve and a boundary cover interlocked with said boundary sleeve to form said sliding through slot within inner walls of said boundary sleeve and said boundary cover for detachably mounting said central hub at said shaft of said outdoor umbrella.

4. The apparatus, as recited in claim 3, wherein said boundary sleeve has two locking grooves formed along two edge portions and said boundary cover has two locking edges, each of which has a hook shaped corresponding to said locking groove, fittedly engaged with said locking grooves so as to interlock said boundary cover with said boundary sleeve.

5. The apparatus, as recited in claim 3, wherein said central hub further comprises a locking member having a locking end rotatably penetrated through said boundary cover and arranged in such a manner that when said locking member is rotated towards said sliding through slot, said locking end of said locking member is arranged for biasing against said shaft of said outdoor umbrella to securely retain said central hub at said shaft in position.

6. The apparatus, as recited in claim 4, wherein said central hub further comprises a locking member having a locking end rotatably penetrated through said boundary cover and arranged in such a manner that when said locking member is rotated towards said sliding through slot, said locking end of said locking member is arranged for biasing against said shaft of said outdoor umbrella to securely retain said central hub at said shaft in position.

7. The apparatus, as recited in claim 5, further comprising a first securing member detachably attached to said inner wall of said boundary sleeve for biasing against said shaft of said outdoor umbrella, and a second securing member attached to said locking end of said locking member at said inner wall of said boundary cover, wherein when said locking member is rotated, said second securing member is driven by said locking member to adjust a size of said sliding through slot for fittingly biasing against said shaft of said outdoor umbrella.

8. The apparatus, as recited in claim 6, further comprising a first securing member detachably attached to said inner wall of said boundary sleeve for biasing against said shaft of said outdoor umbrella, and a second securing member attached to said locking end of said locking member at said inner wall of said boundary cover, wherein when said locking member is rotated, said second securing member is driven by said locking member to adjust a size of said sliding through slot for fittingly biasing against said shaft of said outdoor umbrella.

9. The apparatus, as recited in claim 1, wherein said electrical device comprises a plurality of illuminators suspendedly supported by said attaching device for providing illumination within said shadowing area of said outdoor umbrella.

10. The apparatus, as recited in claim 3, wherein said electrical device comprises a plurality of illuminators suspendedly supported by said attaching device for providing illumination within said shadowing area of said outdoor umbrella.

11. The apparatus, as recited in claim 8, wherein said electrical device comprises a plurality of illuminators suspendedly supported by said attaching device for providing illumination within said shadowing area of said outdoor umbrella.

12. The apparatus, as recited in claim 10, wherein said attaching device further comprises a plurality of supporting arms outwardly and radially extended from said central hub, wherein said illuminators are suspendedly supported at distal ends of said supporting arms via ball joints respectively, such that each of said illuminators is capable of self-rotating while being suspendedly supported by said supporting arm in free-swinging manner.

13. The apparatus, as recited in claim 11, wherein said attaching device further comprises a plurality of supporting arms outwardly and radially extended from said central hub, wherein said illuminators are suspendedly supported at distal ends of said supporting arms via ball joints respectively, such that each of said illuminators is capable of self-rotating while being suspendedly supported by said supporting arm in free-swinging manner.

14. The apparatus, as recited in claim 1, wherein said attaching device comprises a shank body adapted for transversely extending through an awning arm as said elongated arm of said outdoor umbrella, and an adaptor connected to said shank body to suspendedly support said electrical device within said shadowing area of said outdoor umbrella.

15. The apparatus, as recited in claim 14, wherein said attaching device further comprises a locking member detachably locking said electrical device at said adaptor to maintain said electrical device at a vertically down hanging manner regardless of said outdoor umbrella being folded between an unfolded position and a folded position.

15. The apparatus, as recited in claim 15, wherein said shank body comprises an enlarged head adapted for mounting at an outer side of said awning arm and a connecting member protruding from an inner side of said awning arm, wherein a mounting slot is transversely provided at said connecting member for detachably coupling with said locking member so as to lock up said electrical device at said connecting member.



16. The apparatus, as recited in claim 15, wherein said electrical device comprises an illuminator suspendedly supported at said connecting member of said shank body for providing illumination within said shadowing area of said outdoor umbrella.

17. The apparatus, as recited in claim 1, wherein said attaching device comprises a detachable clip detachably mounting at an awning arm as said elongated arm of said outdoor umbrella, wherein said electrical device is downwardly extended from said detachable clip, such that said electrical device is adapted for being selectively mounted to said awning arm to select a position of said electrical device within said shadowing area of said outdoor umbrella.

18. The apparatus, as recited in claim 17, wherein said electrical device comprises an illuminator suspendedly coupled with said detachable clip for providing illumination within said shadowing area of said outdoor umbrella.

19. The apparatus, as recited in claim 1, wherein said attaching device comprises a protective cover adapted for affixing at a supporting shaft as said elongated arm of said outdoor umbrella, and two connecting elements securely locking said protective cover on top of said supporting shaft, wherein said electrical device is securely sandwiched between said protective cover and said supporting shaft so as to retain said electrical device in position.

20. The apparatus, as recited in claim 19, wherein said electrical device comprises a solar energy collector which comprises a collector base adapted for affixing on top of said supporting shaft via said attaching device, and a solar energy collecting device which is provided on a platform of said collector base and is upwardly oriented for collecting solar energy and converting said solar energy into electrical energy, wherein said protective cover securely clamps said collector base at said supporting shaft to retain said solar energy collecting device at an upward orientation.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE OF RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a Continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/844,601 filed May 11, 2004, which is a Continuation-In-Part of a non-provisional application having an application Ser. No. 10/436,192 and a filing date of May 12, 20003, and U.S. application Ser. No. 11/147,781 filed Jun. 7, 2005, which is a Continuation-In-Part of a non-provisional application having an application Ser. No. 10/844,601 and a filing date of May, 11, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates to an outdoors umbrella, and more particularly to an outdoor umbrella incorporated a mounting mechanism for securely mounting an electrical apparatus at the outdoor umbrella.

2. Description of Related Arts

Outdoors umbrellas have been proved to be extremely popular among those frequently expose to outdoor environment. In the daytime, a typical outdoor umbrella may be utilized as a temporary shelter so that people or instruments under the umbrella are protected from high temperature or vigorous sunlight. Moreover, depending on the material by which the umbrella fabric is fabricated, even in cloudy or rainy weather, the outdoors umbrella may be utilized as a rain shelter or wind shelter. On the other hand, the typical outdoors umbrella is adapted to incorporate with a lighting system wherein a plurality of illuminating units are mounted on the awning ribs for providing a predetermined degree of illumination to a lighting zone defined as the area under the umbrella fabric. Therefore, people may utilize the outdoors umbrella with the lighting system in a variety of outdoors activities during nighttime, such as barbecuing, camping, outdoors gathering, or other events which involve considerable outdoors exposure at night.

The very advantage and convenience of the typical outdoors umbrella, however, do not shelter its disadvantages. It is the feature that the umbrella is capable of being utilized as a light source in an outdoors environment that renders its desirability to locate close to an external power source. Yet in an outdoors environment, the external power source, at least in the sense of the most typical power source for lighting system—electrical power source, cannot be guaranteed. One might utilize a rechargeable battery as the power source, but an additional step of charging the battery is inevitably needed. Very often, charging the battery can only be taken place when the umbrella is idle. Therefore, for example, when the user of the umbrella forgets charging the battery, the lighting system would not work on the next day. Sometimes, where the rechargeable battery cannot be conveniently detached from the outdoors umbrella, charging the battery would mean allocating extra space to store or to place the outdoor umbrella while the battery is being recharged.

The mounting arrangement of most of the outdoors umbrellas represents another problem. A considerable numbers of outdoors umbrellas have their lighting system mounted insecurely or in such a manner that the lighting system is functionally incompatible with the normal operation of the outdoor umbrellas themselves. As result, the performance of the respective lighting system is far from satisfactory. For example, during folding and unfolding operations of the outdoors umbrella, the awning ribs thereof may accidentally destroy the illuminating units of the lighting system. Since such outdoors umbrellas are designed for use in outdoors environment, as a result, secure mounting of the illuminating units are of utmost importance. If the lighting system is so insecure that, when subject to certain outdoors phenomenon, such as against a sudden strong wind, the lighting system is incapable of safely or unstably operating, it would not only cause disruption to the activities in which it uses, but also harm to the users, especially those standing or sitting within the lighting zone.

Furthermore, from the dawn to the twilight, the sunlight fell on the ground keeps changing at the time. In other to obtain the optimum shade from the outdoor umbrella, the user has to move the entire outdoor umbrella back and forth sometimes.

Last but not least, the typical lighting system of the outdoors umbrellas tend to be immovable in the sense that the illuminating units are permanently affixed on the awning ribs so that the illuminating directions are limited by the orientation and movement of the awning ribs. As a result, where the outdoors umbrella needs to be inclinedly supported on the ground in order to shield a particular direction, or partially opened for a particular purpose, the lighting system could not be satisfactorily operated.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

A main object of the present invention is to provide an outdoors umbrella which incorporates with a solar lighting arrangement for providing illumination utilizing solar energy as an external energy source. Thus, the solar lighting arrangement is environmentally friendly and economical to operate.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an outdoors umbrella with a solar lighting arrangement, wherein the electrical operation of the solar light system is substantially unaffected by the folding and unfolding operation of the outdoors umbrella so that it is capable of fully operating while the outdoors umbrella is partially or inclinedly erected.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an outdoors umbrella with a solar lighting arrangement which does not alter the original structural design of the outdoors umbrella, so as to minimize any potential risk of damage to the solar lighting arrangement while the outdoor umbrella is folding or unfolding.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an outdoors umbrella with a solar lighting arrangement which is capable of collecting solar energy while being exposed to sunlight to convert into electrical energy for recharging a power source to the illuminating units whenever necessary.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an outdoors umbrella comprising a solar lighting arrangement, wherein no complicated mechanical and electrical structure and mechanism is required to incorporate with the outdoors umbrella so as to minimize the manufacturing and related cost of the present invention.

These and other objectives, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, the accompanying drawings, and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an outdoors umbrella incorporated with a solar lighting arrangement according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the solar lighting arrangement of the outdoors umbrellas according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention, illustrating the solar energy collector of the solar lighting arrangement.

FIG. 3 is a partially sectional view of the lighting system of the outdoors umbrella according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention, illustrating the illuminating unit of the solar lighting arrangement.

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of the outdoors umbrella showing the chain lighting arrangement and attachable lighting arrangement of the solar lighting arrangement according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of an elongated awning arm incorporated the chain lighting arrangement according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of the connection of the chain lighting units according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a first alternative mode of the chain lighting arrangement according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a second alternative mode of the chain lighting arrangement according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view of the attachable illuminating arrangement according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention illustrating how the illuminating unit maintains its substantially vertical orientation while the awning arm is extended in an inclined position.

FIG. 10 is an exploded sectional view of the light support of the solar lighting arrangement according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a partially sectional view of the light support of the solar lighting arrangement according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention, illustrating the light support being mounted on the supporting shaft.

FIG. 12 is schematic view of the outdoors umbrella according to the second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of an outdoor umbrella according to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 14 is a partially perspective view of the outdoor umbrella according to the above third preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of the lighting system of the outdoor umbrella according to the above third preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of the central illuminator of the outdoor umbrella according to the above third preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of an outdoor umbrella according to a fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 18 is a partially perspective view of the outdoor umbrella according to the above fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 19 illustrates an alternative mode of the central illuminator of the outdoor umbrella according to the above fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings, an outdoor umbrella 1 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated, wherein the outdoor umbrella 1, such as a conventional outdoor umbrella, comprises an awning frame 10 defining a shadowing area 101 thereunder and a supporting frame 20 comprising a supporting shaft 21 having an upper portion connected to the awning frame 10.

The outdoor umbrella 1 further comprises a solar lighting system 30 comprising a solar energy collector 31 mounted on top of the awning frame 10 for collecting solar energy, a light support 32, and a plurality of illuminating units 33

The light support 32, which is adjustably mounted along the supporting shaft 21 at a position within the shadowing area 101 of the awning frame 10, comprises a plurality of supporting arms 321 radially extended from the supporting shaft 21.

Each of illuminating units 33 comprises an illuminator 331 electrically connected to the solar energy collector 31 through the awning frame 10 and a coupling joint 332 connecting the illuminator 331 to the respective supporting arm 321 in a movably suspended manner such that by selectively adjusting a position of the light support 32 along the supporting shaft 21, the illuminators 331 are suspendedly self-repositioned for maximizing a light coverage area within the shadowing area 101.

According to the preferred embodiment, the awning frame 10 comprises an upper housing 11 affixed on top of the supporting shaft 21, a lower housing 12 slidably connected to the supporting shaft 21 at a position below the upper housing 11, a plurality of awning arms 13 radially and pivotally extended from the upper housing 11 to support an awning shelter 15 thereon, and a plurality of awning ribs 14 pivotally connecting the lower housing 12 with the awing arms 13 respectively in such a manner that when the lower housing 12 is slid along the supporting shaft 21 towards the upper housing 11, the awning arms 13 are pivotally driven by the awning ribs 14 to radially extended from the upper housing 11 so as to provide the shadowing area 101 under the awning shelter 15.

The supporting frame 20 further comprises a ground stand 22 wherein the supporting shaft 21 is upwardly extended from the ground stand 22 to support the awning frame 10.

Referring to FIG. 2, the solar energy collector 31 comprises a collector base 311, having a circular shaped, coaxially mounted on a top end portion of the supporting shaft 21 at a position above the upper housing 11, and a solar energy collecting device 312 which is provided on a platform of the collector base 311 and is upwardly oriented for collecting the solar energy so as to convert the solar energy into electrical energy to the illuminators 331.

In order to further secure the attachment between the solar energy collector 31 and the supporting shaft 21, the solar energy collector 31 further comprises a protective cover 313 substantially affixed to the upper housing 11 on top of the supporting shaft 21 so as to securely sandwich the collector base 311 between the upper housing 11 and the protective cover 313. As shown in FIG. 2, in order to facilitate the secure attachment, two connecting elements 314, which are preferably two rivets, can be utilized to mount the protective cover 313 to the upper housing 11 through the upper housing 11 to securely clamp the collector base 311 between the upper housing 11 and the protective cover 313, so as to retain the solar energy collecting device 312 in position.

As shown in FIG. 3, the light support 32 further comprises a central hub 322 having a central sliding through slot 323 for the supporting shaft 21 sliding therethrough, wherein the supporting arms 31 are spacedly and radially extended from the central hub 322.

Each of the illuminators 331 is embodied as a light bulb wherein the illuminators 331 are electrically connected to the solar energy collecting device 312 of the solar energy collector 31 along one of the awning arms 13 and the respective awning rib 14 via an electric cable, as shown in FIG. 1, in such a manner that the electrical connection between the illuminators 331 and the solar energy collector 31 will not be interfered by the awning frame 10, especially the folding and unfolding operation of the awning frame 10 of the outdoor umbrella 1. Accordingly, the awning arms 13 and the awning ribs 14 are constructed to have a hollow shape such that the electric cable is adapted to pass through the respective awning arm 13 and the awning rib 14 to electrically connect the solar energy collector 31 to the respective illuminator 331.

It is worth to mention that each illuminator 331 is preferably embodied as a Light Emitting Diode (LED) received in a light housing since the LED of the illuminator 331 provides a predetermined set of illumination parameters, such as brightness, color etc. so as to provide optimal illumination for a range of designated applications while being energy effective.

Furthermore, the solar lighting system 30 further comprises a chain lighting arrangement 34 and an attachable lighting arrangement 35, respectively mounted on the body and the lower end of awning arms 13 for primarily providing illumination effect to the shadowing area 101 defined by the awning frame 10 so as to enrich the illuminating effects.

Referring to FIG. 4-6 of the drawings, the chain lighting arrangement 34 according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. First of all, the chain lighting arrangement 34 further comprises a plurality of illumination holders 36 provided along the awning arm 13 respectively. Accordingly, each of the illumination holders 36 is embodied as an elongated receiving groove 361 formed along a bottom side of the respective awning arm 13. According to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention, two retaining walls 362 downwardly and integrally extended along the bottom side of each of the awning arms 13 wherein the receiving groove 361 is defined between the respective two retaining walls 362 and the bottom side along the respective awning arm 13. Accordingly, an inner side of each of the retaining walls 362 is concavely curved so that it is capable of intensively reflecting any illumination generated within the receiving groove 361 to an outside thereof.

Second, the chain lighting arrangement 34 comprises a plurality of chain lighting units 341 alignedly received in the receiving grooves 361 respectively wherein the illumination generated by the chain lighting units 341 are substantially reflected out of the receiving grooves 361 by the retaining walls 362 so as to illuminate the shadowing area 101 of the outdoors umbrella 1. Moreover, since the chain lighting units 341 are substantially received in the receiving grooves 361 respectively, they are substantially protected from any potential damage resulting from any mechanical operation of the outdoors umbrella 1 of the present invention, such as folding or unfolding. In other words, the chain lighting arrangement 34 of the present invention substantially overcome the conventional disadvantage of frangibility of illuminating elements caused by the umbrella's own mechanical operations, such as folding and unfolding movement.

According to the preferred embodiment, each of the awning arms 13 is a hollow body wherein the electrical wires could be inserted. As a result, it is convenient for communicating the interior of awning arm 13 and the receiving groove 361, for example, through a plurality of slots or a continuous slit, etc.

In order to further protect the chain lighting arrangement 34 from potential physical damage by external objects, the chain lighting arrangement 34 further comprises a plurality of light holders 343 slidably inserted into the awning arm 13 respectively. The chain lighting units 341 are spacedly mounted at the respective light holder 343 such that light holder 343 is capable of holding the chain lighting units 341 in position along the awning arms 13 thus protecting the chain lighting units 341 within the receiving grooves 361 respectively.

Referring to FIG. 6 of the drawings, the chain lighting units 341 disposed in each of the awning arm 13 are electrically connected in series through the respective awning arms 13 wherein an electric cord is received in the respective awning arm 13 for electrical connection. Further, the electric cord has two terminals, namely positive and negative, which are extended to the upper housing 11 and then electrically connected to a power source for the provision of energy so as to light up the chain lighting units 341. According to the preferred embodiment, the chain lighting units 341 could be embodied as regular LEDs which are capable of illuminating light of different colors and brightness.

The chain lighting arrangement 30 further comprises an IC board 37 mounted in the upper housing 11 wherein the terminals for electric cord mounted on each of the awning arms 13 are electrically connected to the IC board 37 which is further electrically connected to a power source via electrical wires.

From the forgoing description, it is shown that the outdoors umbrella 1 of the present invention comprises the chain lighting units 341 which are embedded in the awning arms 13 respectively to form an integral awning body. As a result, users of the present invention can enjoy illumination without fear of any storage or operational damages to the outdoors umbrella 1.

Referring to FIG. 7 of the drawings, a first alternative mode of the chain lighting arrangement 34 according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. According to the first alternative mode, there are two lighting slots 344 indently formed on two sidewalls of each of the awning arms 13 respectively wherein the chain lighting units 341 of the chain illuminating system 34 are alignedly received in the lighting slots 37 respectively. Here, the chain lighting units 341 in each of awning arms 13 are also electrically connected in series through the respective awning arms 13 by the electric cord which is received in the respective lighting slot 344, wherein the electrical cord has two terminals, namely positive and negative, which are extended to the upper housing 11 and then electrically connected to a power source for the provision of energy to light up the chain lighting units 341.

Referring to FIG. 8 of the drawings, a second alternative mode of the chain lighting arrangement 34 is illustrated. Here, the retaining wall 362 and the receiving groove 361 in the preferred embodiment cease to exist. Furthermore, the L-shaped electric boundaries 363 are provided at a bottom side of each of the awning arms 13 to define a receiving groove 364, while the light holders 343 is embodied as an elongated protective strip being sildably mounted into the receiving groove 364. The electric cord connecting the illuminating units 341 is arranged to be embedded or totally buried into the elongated protective strip to prevent any possible direct contact with external objects, thus reducing the possibility of being damaged thereby. Likewise, the electric cord is then extended to a power source for acquiring transmitting electricity to the chain lighting units 341.

Referring to the FIG. 9 of the drawing, the attachable lighting arrangement 35 is illustrated. Here, the attachable lighting arrangement 35 comprises at least an attachable illuminating unit 351 for generating light, and means for attaching the illuminating unit 351 to the lower end of the respective awning arm 13 in a vertically down hanging manner so as to maintain the light generated by the illuminating unit 351 directing downwards no matter the awning frame 10 is in the unfolded position or in folded position. Preferably, the illuminating unit 351 is a typical light bulb. It is noted that the illuminating unit 351 can be other illuminating article such as LED, halogen lamp, fluorescent lamp, and so on

As shown in the FIG. 9, the attaching means comprises an illuminating unit adaptor 352 connected to the illuminating unit 351 and an illuminating unit supporter 353 provided at the respective lower end of the awning arm 13, wherein the illuminating unit adaptor 352 is detachably mounted to the illuminating unit supporter 353 in a suspending manner. Moreover, the attachable lighting arrangement 35 further comprises a locking means 354 for locking the illuminating unit 351 at any position with respect to the awning frame 10.

Furthermore, the attachable lighting arrangement 35 is embodied to be detachably mounted at the lower end of the respective awning arm 13. According to the preferred embodiment, the illuminating unit supporter 353 is embodied as (but not limited to) a shank body 355 transversely extended therethrough, which has an enlarged head 3551 mounted on an outer side of lower end of the respective awning arm 13 and a connecting member 356 protruded from an inner side of the lower end of the awning arm 13, wherein a mounting slot 357 is transversely penetrating through the connecting member 356.

Here, as shown in the FIG. 3, each of the coupling joints 332 has a ball slot is 3321 formed at a distal end of the respective supporting arm 321 and comprises a spherical head 3322 which is formed on top of the respective illuminator 331 and is arranged to engage with the respective ball slot 3321 in a rotatably movable manner, so as to provide a ball joint to connect the each of the illuminators 331 with the respective supporting arm 321. In other words, the illuminators 331 are capable of self-rotating while being suspendedly supported by the supporting arms 321 so as to enhance the flexibility of the provision of illumination to the outdoors umbrella 1.

It is worth to mention that a size of the spherical head 3322 is slightly smaller than the size of the respective ball slot 3321 wherein an outer wall of the ball slot 3321 is fabricated by elastic materials, such as plastic, so that by slightly pressing the spherical head 3322 to the respective ball slot 3321, the spherical head 3322 is capable of moving within the respective ball slot 3321 in free-swinging manner.

According to the preferred embodiment, there are three supporting arms 321 radially and suspendedly extended from the central hub 322 wherein there are three illuminators 331 are suspendedly supported by the supporting arms 321 via the coupling joints 332 respectively.

Referring to FIGS. 10 to 11 of the drawings, the central hub 322 comprises a boundary sleeve 3221 having an arc-shaped and a boundary cover 3222 interlocked with the boundary sleeve 3221 to form the central sliding through slot 323 within inner walls of the boundary sleeve 3221 and the boundary cover 3222, and a locking member 3223 having a locking end rotatably penetrated through the boundary cover 3222 to bias against the supporting shaft 21 so as to lock up the central hub 322 at the supporting shaft 21 in position.

As shown in FIG. 11 of the drawings, the boundary sleeve 3221 has two locking grooves 3221A formed along two edge portions and the boundary cover 3222 has two locking edges 3222A, each having a hook shaped corresponding to the locking groove 3221A, fittedly engaged with the locking grooves 3221A so as to interlock the boundary cover 3222 with the boundary sleeve 3221. Therefore, when the boundary cover 3222 is interlocked with the boundary sleeve 3221 to retain the supporting shaft 21 within the central sliding through slot 323, the locking member 3223 is rotated through the boundary cover 3222 until the locking end of the locking member 3223 is driven to bias against the supporting shaft 21 to lock up the light support 32 on the supporting shaft 21.

The light support 32 further comprises a first securing member 324 detachably attached to the inner wall of the boundary sleeve 3221 to bias against the supporting shaft 21 and a second securing member 325 attached to the locking end of the locking member 3223 at the inner wall of the boundary cover 3222 wherein the second securing member 325 is driven by the locking member 3223 to adjust a size of the central sliding through slot 323 for fittingly biasing against the supporting shaft 21 such that the supporting shaft 21 is securely clamped between the first and second securing members 324, 325. In other words, the light support 32 is capable of fittingly mounting on different sizes of the supporting shafts having various diameters by selectively adjusting a distance between the first and second securing members 324, 325.

As shown in FIG. 1, the solar lighting system 30 further comprises a power source unit 34 which comprises a power source 341 supported by the supporting frame 20 to receive in a power source compartment 221 provided at the ground stand 22 and to electrically connect with the illuminating units 33 and an recharging device 342 electrically connecting the solar energy collector 31 with the power source 341 for converting the solar energy into the electrical energy so as to recharge the power source 341. Accordingly, during the daytime, the solar energy collector 31 collects the solar energy and charges up the power source 341 via the recharging device 342 such that the power source 341 is capable of providing electrical energy to the illumination units 33 during the nighttime. It is worth to mention that the recharging device 342 functions as an auto switch to automatically recharging the power source 341. Therefore, the recharging device 342 is capable of determining an electric capacity of the power source 341 wherein when the electric capacity of the power source 341 is full of charge, the recharging device 342 stops recharging the power source 341. However, when the electric capacity of the power source 341 is below a predetermined level, the recharging device 342 will start recharging the power source 341 from the solar energy collector 31 until the electric capacity of the power source 341 is full of charge.

It is also worth mentioning that from the forgoing elaboration, one can easily see that the solar lighting system 30 is capable of securing mounting onto the supporting shaft 21 of the supporting frame 20 without affecting the operation of the outdoors umbrella 1 as a whole. Moreover, the illuminating units 33 of the solar lighting system 30 are capable of freely orientating so that when the outdoors umbrella 1 occasionally requires inclined erection or open partially, the solar lighting system 30 will always provide optimal illumination, irrespective of such occasions.

Referring to FIG. 12 of the drawings, an outdoor umbrella 1′ according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated, wherein the outdoor umbrella 1′, such as a conventional outdoor umbrella, comprises an awning frame 10′ defining a shadowing area 101′ thereunder and a supporting frame 20′ comprising a supporting shaft 21′ having an upper portion connected to the awning frame 10′.

The outdoor umbrella 1′ further comprises a connecting arm 22′ sidewardly extended from a top portion of the main supporting shaft 21′ in a pivotally moveable manner, and an supporting arm 23′ slidably mounted on the connecting arm 22′ for supporting an awning frame 10′.

Here, the awning frame 10′ comprises a longitudinal awning shaft 16′, an upper housing 11′ affixed on top of the awning shaft 16′, a lower housing 12′ slidably connected to the awning shaft 16′ at a position below the upper housing 11′, a plurality of awning arms 13 radially and pivotally extended from the upper housing 11′ to support an awning shelter 15′ thereon, and a plurality of awning ribs 14′ pivotally connecting the lower housing 12′ with the awing arms 13′ respectively in such a manner that when the lower housing 12′ is slid along the awning shaft 16′ towards the upper housing 11, the awning arms 13 are pivotally driven by the awning ribs 14′ to radially extended from the upper housing 11′ so as to provide the shadowing area 101′ under the awning shelter 15′.

In other words, the awning frame 10′ are capable of being moved in such a manner that they are adapted to move between a folded position and a unfolded position, wherein the folded position, the awning arms 13′ are pivotally and inwardly folded to overlappedly lay in position, wherein in the unfolded position, the awning arms 13′ are pivotally and outwardly extended to support the awning frame 10′ thereon and to define a shadowing area 101′ under the awning shelter 15′.

The outdoor umbrella 1′ further comprises a solar lighting system 30′ comprising a solar energy collector 31′ mounted on top of the awning frame 10′ and top of the supporting shaft 21′ for collecting solar energy, a light support 32′, and a plurality of illuminating units 33′.

The light support 32′, which is adjustably mounted on the lower housing 12′ for strengthening the illumination effects. Preferably, the awning frame 10′ comprises a plurality of supporting arms 321′ radially extended from the lower housing 12′.

Each of illuminating units 33′ comprises an illuminator 331 electrically connected to the solar energy collector 31′ through the awning frame 10′ and a coupling joint 332′ connecting the illuminator 331′ to the respective supporting arm 321′ in a movably suspended manner such that by selectively adjusting a position of the light support 32′ along the awning shaft 16′, the illuminators 331′ are suspendedly self-repositioned for maximizing a light coverage area within the shadowing area 101′.

It is worth to mention that illuminating 33′ could be embodied as a regular bulb mounted on the lower housing 12′.

The supporting frame 20′ further comprises a ground stand 22′ wherein the supporting shaft 21′ is upwardly extended from the ground stand 22′ to support the awning frame 10′.

Compared with the first preferred embodiment of the present invention, the awning frame 10 is further extended away from the supporting shaft 21′. As a result, the user is able to adjust the outdoor umbrella according to the sun's position from the dawn to twilight.

Furthermore, the solar lighting system 30 further comprises a chain lighting arrangement 34′ and an attachable lighting arrangement 35′, respectively mounted on the body and the lower end of awning arms 13′ for primarily providing illumination effect to the shadowing area 101′ defined by the awning frame 10′ so as to enrich the illuminating effects.

It is noted that the above chain lighting arrangement 34′ and attachable lighting arrangement 35, are with identical structure and design with chain lighting arrangement 34 and attachable lighting arrangement 35 of the first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

According to the alternative mode of the second preferred embodiment of the present invention, the solar lighting system 30′ comprises at least a central lighting element 301′ and a plurality of chain illuminating units 341′ mounted on the awning frame 10′ for primarily providing illumination to the shielding zone defined by the plurality of awning arms 13′. Here, in this mode, the central lighting elements 301′ is a regular lights bulb mounted on the lower housing 12′ for providing strong illumination at a central portion of the shielding zone. The plurality of illuminating units 341′ are Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) mounted on the plurality of awning arms 13′ respectively for providing mild illumination for the shielding zone.

Likewise, there is a solar energy collector 33′ comprises a collector base 311′, having a circular shaped, coaxially mounted on a top end portion of the awning shaft 16′ at a position above the upper housing 11′, and a solar energy collecting device 312′ which is provided on a platform of the collector base 311′ and is upwardly oriented for collecting the solar energy so as to convert the solar energy into electrical energy to the illuminators 331′.

In addition, in the second preferred embodiment, there is a solar energy collecting device 40′ nested on a top portion of the supporting shaft 21′, wherein the solar collecting device 40′ has a collecting surface 401′ arranged to face upward so that it can be exposed to sunlight for extensively collecting solar energy. Moreover, the solar collecting device 40′ is adapted to collect solar energy from sunlight impinged on the collecting surface 401′, and converts the collected solar energy into electrical energy, wherein the solar lighting system 30′ is electrically connected with the solar collecting device 401′ so that the converted electrical energy is supplied to the light system 30′.

Conclusively, the solar collecting device 40′ is mounted on top of the supporting shaft 21′ while the solar energy collector 33′ is mounted on the upper housing 11′, so that the user of the outdoors umbrella can be able to adjust its orientation for maximizing the absorption of solar energy and enjoy the maximum solar energy.

At the meanwhile, it is worth to mention that in the second preferred embodiment of the present invention, the illuminators 331′ are with same structure and design as the illuminator 331 in the first preferred embodiment.

Each of the illuminators 331′ is embodied as a light bulb wherein the illuminators 331′ are electrically connected to the solar energy collecting device 312′ of the solar energy collector 31′ via the awning shaft 16′.

Here, as shown in the FIG. 13, each of the coupling joints 332′ has a ball slot 3321′ formed at a distal end of the respective supporting arm 321′ and comprises a spherical head 3322′ which is formed on top of the respective illuminator 331′ and is arranged to engage with the respective ball slot 3321′ in a rotatably movable manner, so as to provide a ball joint to connect the each of the illuminators 331 with the respective supporting arm 321′. In other words, the illuminators 331′ are capable of self-rotating while being suspendedly supported by the supporting arms 321′ so as to enhance the flexibility of the provision of illumination to the outdoors umbrella 1.

It is worth to mention that a size of the spherical head 3322′ is slightly smaller than the size of the respective ball slot 3321′ wherein an outer wall of the ball slot 3321′ is fabricated by elastic materials, such as plastic, so that by slightly pressing the spherical head 3322′ to the respective ball slot 3321′, the spherical head 3322′ is capable of moving within the respective ball slot 3321′ in free-swinging manner.

According to the preferred embodiment, there are three supporting arms 321′ radially and suspendedly extended from the lower housing 12′ wherein there are three illuminators 331′ are suspendedly supported by the supporting arms 321′ via the coupling joints 332′ respectively.

As shown in FIG. 13, an outdoor umbrella of a third embodiment illustrates an alternative mode of the first embodiment of the present invention, wherein the outdoor umbrella comprises an awning frame 10A, a supporting frame 20A and a lighting system 30A.

The awning frame 10A comprises a plurality of elongated awning arms 11A radially extended in a pivotally movable manner and a fabric awning 12A substantially supported by the awning arms 11A to define a shadowing area 100A thereunder.

The supporting frame 20A comprises a supporting shaft 21A having an upper portion 211A connected to the awning frame 10A.

The lighting system 30A comprises a power unit 31A and a plurality of illuminating units 32A mounted to the awning frame 10A and electrically connected to the power unit 31A along the awning frame 10A for illuminating the shadowing area 100A under the awning 12A.

As shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, each of the awning arms 11A has an inner end and an outer end, wherein the inner ends of the awning arms 11A are pivotally connected with each other via an upper hub 111A such that the outer ends of the awning arms 11A are radially and outwardly extended from the upper hub 111A.

The awning frame 10A further comprises a central hub 13A and a plurality of folding ribs 14A pivotally and radially extended from the central hub 13A to pivotally connect with the awning arms 11A respectively such that when the central hub 13A is driven downwardly, the awning arms 11A are pivotally folded to fold up the awning 12A, and when the central hub 13A is driven upwardly, the awning arms 11A are pivotally folded to tensionally stretch out the awning 12A for providing the shadowing area 100A thereunder. Accordingly, the central hub 13A is coaxially positioned below the upper hub 111A such that when the central hub 13A is driven upwardly towards the upper hub 111A, the awning arms 11A are folded pivotally and outwardly to stretch the awning 12A in a tension manner. When the central hub 13A is driven downwardly away from the upper hub 111A, the awning arms 11A are folded pivotally and inwardly to fold up the awning 12A.

The supporting frame 20A further comprises a ground stand 22A to support the awning frame 10A in stable manner, wherein a lower portion 212A of the supporting shaft 21A is upwardly extended from the ground stand 22A to connect with the awning frame 10A. Accordingly, the upper portion 211A of the supporting shaft 21A is slidably penetrated through the central hub 13A to connect the upper hub 111A such that the central hub 13A is adapted to slide along the supporting shaft 21A to fold and unfold the awning 12A. Furthermore, the supporting frame 20A further comprises a pivot joint 23A pivotally connecting the upper portion 211A of the supporting shaft 21A with the lower portion 212A thereof for selectively adjusting a shadowing angle of the awning frame 10A. In other words, the upper portion 211A of the supporting shaft 21A is adapted to pivotally bend with respect to the lower portion 212A thereof via the pivot joint 23A to change the shadowing area 100A of the awning 12A.

The awning frame 10A further comprises a folding unit 15A for folding the awning 12A, wherein the folding unit 15A comprises an elongated element 151A having a control portion extended from the central hub 13A to the upper hub 111A and a hidden portion extended within an interior of the supporting shaft 21A, and a hand crank 152A mounted at the supporting shaft 21A to connect the hidden portion of the elongated element 151A and arrange to control a length of the control portion of the elongated element 151A to drive the central hub 13A sliding along the supporting shaft 21A.

As shown in FIG. 14, the elongated element 151A is a durable cable extended from the central hub 13A to the hand crank 152A through the upper hub 111A such that when the hand crank 152A rolls up the elongated element 151A to shorten the length of the control portion of the elongated element 151A, the central hub 13A is slid upwardly along the supporting shaft 21A to stretch out the awning 12A. Likewise, when the hand crank 152A is released to prolong the length of the control portion of the elongated element 151A, the central hub 13A is dropped downwardly along the supporting shaft 21A to fold up the awning 12A.

The power unit 31A according to the third embodiment comprises a power outlet 311A provided on the supporting shaft 21A to electrically extend from the illuminating units 32A, an extension cable 312A electrically extended from the power outlet 311A for electrically plugging into an external power source, and a power switch 313A provided on the supporting shaft 21A to control the illuminating units 32A in an on and off manner. It is worth to mention that the power unit 31A comprises a transformer to convert an AC power from the external power source into a desired DC power for the illuminating units 32A.

As shown in FIG. 15, the illuminating units 32A are mounted to the awning arms 11A respectively, wherein each of the illuminating units 32A comprises a plurality of illuminators 321A spacedly mounted along the respective awning arm 11A and an extension wire 322A extended along the respective awning arm 11A to electrically connect the illuminators 321A with the power unit 31A.

As shown in FIG. 15, each of the illuminators 321A is embodied as a LED electrically connected to the power unit 31A via the extension wire 322A to provide a predetermined set of illumination parameters, such as brightness, color etc. so as to provide optimal illumination for a range of designated applications while being energy effective.

Each of the illuminating units 32A further comprises a tubular light housing 323A receiving the illuminators 321A and the extension wire 322A therein such that the illuminators 321A generate light to penetrate through the light housing 323A for illuminating the shadowing area 100A of the awning 12A. Accordingly, the light housing 323A is made of transparent and insulating material, such as plastic, to protect the illuminators 321A and the extension wire 322A therein. In other words, the illuminating units 32A are preferably embodied as a plurality of rope lights extending along the awning arms 11A respectively.

Each of the awning arms 11A having a U-shaped cross structure has a bottom opening slot 110A that the respective illuminating unit 32A is received along the bottom opening slot 110A to securely retain the illuminating unit 32A in position, as shown in FIG. 15. In other words, the illuminating unit 32A is embedded into the respective awning arm 11A while the extension wire 322A is hidden within the awning frame 10A to electrically extend to the power unit 31A.

In order to allow the illuminating unit 32A to extend along the respective awning arm 11A at a pivot connection between the awning arm 11A and the folding rib 14A, the awning arm 11A is pivotally connected to the folding rib 14A via a pivot joint 16A having a H-shaped cross section and defining two upper wings 161A pivotally connecting to the awning arm 11A and two lower wings 162A pivotally connecting to the folding rib 14A such that the illuminating unit 32A is received in the bottom opening slot 110A to extend between the two upper wings 161A of the pivot joint 16A, as shown in FIG. 15, so as to ensure the pivot movement of each of the awning arms 11A without interfering with the illuminating unit 32A.

It is worth to mention that the bottom opening slot 110A is formed along each of the folding ribs 14A to receive the respective illuminating unit 32A wherein the illuminating unit 32A is received in the bottom opening slot 110A of the folding rib 14A to extend between the two lower wings 162A of the pivot joint 16A. In other words, each of the folding ribs 14A having a U-shaped cross structure forms the bottom opening slot 110A to receive the respective illuminating unit 32A. Therefore, the illuminating units 32 can be either mounted along the awning arms 11A or the folding ribs 14A by forming the bottom opening slot 110A.

It is obvious that the illuminating units 32A can be mounted along both the awning arms 11A and the folding ribs 14A, as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, wherein the bottom opening slots 110A are formed on the awning arms 11A and the folding ribs 14A to receive the illuminating units 32A respectively.

As shown in FIG. 16, the lighting system 30A further comprises a central illuminator 33A suspendedly supported by the central hub 13A to electrically connect with the power unit 31A for providing extra illumination of the shadowing area 100A. Accordingly, the central illuminator 33A comprises a mounting hub 331A, having a plurality of radial extending arms 332A, securely mounted to the central hub 13A and a plurality of illuminating elements 333A pivotally mounted to the radial extending arms 332A respectively such that each of the illuminating elements 333A is adapted to pivotally fold to selectively adjust an illumination orientation for illuminating the shadowing area 100A.

The mounting hub 331A, having a ring shape, is coaxially attached to the central hub 13A to slide along the supporting shaft 21A corresponding to the sliding movement of the central hub 13A, wherein the radial extending arms 332A are outwardly and radially extended from the mounting hub 331A to pivotally connect the illuminating elements 333A respectively.

Each of the illuminating elements 333A is preferably embodied as a high-intensity light bulb for generating high-intensity light to provide extra illumination of the shadowing area 100A. Accordingly, in order to enhance the adjustment of the illumination orientation of each of the illuminating elements 333A, each of the illuminating elements 333A is connected to the respective radial extending arm 332A via a ball joint that maximize the adjustment of the illumination orientation of the illuminating element 333A. It is worth to mention that the illuminating element 333A can be a regular light bulb or a set of LEDs for providing extra illumination of the shadowing area 100A.

As shown in FIG. 14, the lighting system 30A further comprises a detachable illuminator 34A detachably mounting to the awning frame 10A, wherein the detachable illuminator 34A comprises a detachable clip 341A detachably mounting to one of the awning arms 11A and the folding ribs 14A and a supplement illuminator 342A downwardly extended from the detachable clip 341A to electrically connect to the power unit 31A such that the detachable illuminator 34A is adapted to be selectively mounted to the awning frame 10A to provide an illumination for the shadowing area 100A.

As shown in FIG. 17, an outdoor umbrella of a fourth embodiment illustrates an alternative mode of the third embodiment of the present invention, wherein the outdoor umbrella comprises an awning frame 10B, a supporting frame 20B and a lighting system 30B. Accordingly, the outdoor umbrella of the fourth embodiment illustrates another type of outdoor umbrella of the third embodiment wherein the outdoor umbrella of the fourth embodiment illustrates the supporting frame 20B is not positioned within the awning frame 10B.

Having the same structural design of the outdoor umbrella of the third embodiment, the awning frame 10B comprises a plurality of elongated awning arms 11B radially extended in a pivotally movable manner and a fabric awning 12B substantially supported by the awning arms 11B to define a shadowing area 100B thereunder. The supporting frame 20B comprises a supporting shaft 21B having an upper portion 211B connected to the awning frame 10B. The lighting system 30B comprises a power unit 31B and a plurality of illuminating units 32B mounted to the awning frame 10B and electrically connected to the power unit 31B along the awning frame 10B for illuminating the shadowing area 100B under the awning 12B.

As shown in FIG. 18, each of the awning arms 11B has an inner end and an outer end, wherein the inner ends of the awning arms 11B are pivotally connected with each other via an upper hub 111B such that the outer ends of the awning arms 11B are radially and outwardly extended from the upper hub 11B.

The awning frame 10B further comprises a central hub 13B and a plurality of folding ribs 14B pivotally and radially extended from the central hub 13B to pivotally connect with the awning arms 11B respectively such that when the central hub 13B is driven downwardly, the awning arms 11B are pivotally folded to fold up the awning 12B, and when the central hub 13B is driven upwardly, the awning arms 11B are pivotally folded to tensionally stretch out the awning 12B for providing the shadowing area 100B thereunder. Accordingly, the central hub 13B is coaxially positioned below the upper hub 111B such that when the central hub 13B is driven upwardly towards the upper hub 111B, the awning arms 11B are folded pivotally and outwardly to stretch the awning 12B in a tension manner. When the central hub 13B is driven downwardly away from the upper hub 111B, the awning arms 11B are folded pivotally and inwardly to fold up the awning 12B. Accordingly, a guiding shaft 131B is downwardly extended from the upper hub 11B to slidably couple with the central hub 13B such that the central hub 13B is slid along the guiding shaft 131B to fold and unfold the awning 12B.

The supporting frame 20B further comprises a ground stand 22B to support the awning frame 10B in stable manner, wherein a lower portion 212B of the supporting shaft 21B is upwardly extended from the ground stand 22B to connect with the awning frame 10B.

Accordingly, the upper portion 211B of the supporting shaft 21B is connected to the upper hub 11B at a position above the awning 12B, wherein the upper portion 211B of the supporting shaft 21B is pivotally connected to the lower portion 212B thereof for selectively adjusting a shadowing angle of the awning frame 10B. In other words, the upper portion 211B of the supporting shaft 21B is adapted to pivotally bend with respect to the lower portion 212B thereof to change the shadowing area 100B of the awning 12B.

The awning frame 10B further comprises a folding unit 15B for folding the awning 12B, wherein the folding unit 15B comprises an elongated element 151B having a control portion extended from the central hub 13B to the upper hub 111B within an interior of the guiding shaft 131B and a hidden portion extended within an interior of the supporting shaft 21B, and a hand crank 152B mounted at the supporting shaft 21B to connect the hidden portion of the elongated element 151B and arrange to control a length of the control portion of the elongated element 151B to drive the central hub 13B sliding along the guiding shaft 131B.

The power unit 31B, according to the fourth embodiment, a solar energy collector 311B pivotally mounted on top of the awning frame 10B for collecting solar energy and transforming said solar energy into an electrical energy to the lighting system 30B. Accordingly, the solar energy collector 311B is pivotally mounted on the upper portion 211B of the supporting shaft 21B at a position above the awning 12B wherein the solar energy collector 311B is adapted to be selectively adjusted its orientation for facing towards the sunlight so as to maximize the solar energy to be collected by the solar energy collector 311B. The power unit 31B further comprises a rechargeable battery 312B which is supported by the supporting frame 20B and is electrically connected to the solar energy collector 311B for storing the electrical energy as a power source for the lighting system 30B. Therefore, no external power source is needed to hook up with the outdoor umbrella so as to minimize the extension cable to electrically connect to the external power source. It is worth to mention that the solar energy collector 311B can be incorporated with the outdoor umbrella of the third embodiment as a power source without alternating the original structure of the illuminating units 32A thereof.

As shown in FIG. 18, the illuminating units 32B are mounted to the awning arms 11B and/or the folding ribs 14B respectively, as mentioned above the third embodiment, wherein the illumination unit 32B has the same structure of the illumination unit 32A of the third embodiment which comprises the illuminators 321A, extension wire 322A and light housing 323A. It is worth to mention that the illuminating units 32B can be either mounted along the awning arms 11B or the folding ribs 14B by forming the bottom opening slot 110B. Alternatively, the illuminating units 32B can be mounted along both the awning arms 11B and the folding ribs 14B, as shown in FIGS. 17 and 18, wherein the bottom opening slots 110B are formed on the awning arms 11B and the folding ribs 14B to receive the illuminating units 32B respectively.

In addition, a pivot joint 16B has a H-shaped cross section and defines two upper wings 161B pivotally connecting to the awning arm 11B and two lower wings 162B pivotally connecting to the folding rib 14B such that the illuminating unit 32B is received in the bottom opening slot 110B to extend between the two upper wings 161B of the pivot joint 16B. When the illuminating unit 32B is mounted along the folding rib 14B, the illuminating unit 32B is received in the bottom opening slot 110B of the folding rib 14B to extend between the two lower wings 162B of the pivot joint 16B.

As shown in FIG. 18, the lighting system 30B further comprises a central illuminator 33B suspendedly supported by the central hub 13B to electrically connect with the power unit 31B for providing extra illumination of the shadowing area 100B. Accordingly, the central illuminator 33B comprises a mounting hub 331B securely mounted to the central hub 13B and at least an illuminating element 333B mounted to the mounting hub 331B such that the illuminating element 333B is adapted to pivotally fold to selectively adjust an illumination orientation for illuminating the shadowing area 100B. Since the supporting shaft 21B is positioned out of the awning frame 10B, the mounting hub 331B is directly attached below the central hub 13B. Accordingly, the illuminating element 333B is a light bulb to provide extra illumination of the shadowing area 100B.

FIG. 19 illustrates an alternative mode of the illuminating element 333C which is embodied as a high-intensity light bulb powered by solar energy for generating high-intensity light to provide extra illumination of the shadowing area 100B. Accordingly, in order to enhance the adjustment of the illumination orientation of the illuminating element 333C, the illuminating element 333C is connected to the mounting hub 330C via a ball joint that maximize the adjustment of the illumination orientation of the illuminating element 333C.

It is worth to mention that the detachable illuminator 34A of the third embodiment also can be detachably mounted to the awning frame 10B, such that the detachable illuminator 34A is adapted to be selectively mounted to the awning frame 10B to provide an illumination for the shadowing area 100B.

One skilled in the art will understand that the embodiment of the present invention as shown in the drawings and described above is exemplary only and not intended to be limiting.

It will thus be seen that the objects of the present invention have been fully and effectively accomplished. The embodiments have been shown and described for the purposes of illustrating the functional and structural principles of the present invention and is subject to change without departure from such principles. Therefore, this invention includes all modifications encompassed within the spirit and scope of the following claims.