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The present invention pertains to improvements in umbrella visibility, and more particularly pertains to a safety umbrella with an illumination device located at the top of the umbrella.
Umbrellas are one of the most common accessories for warding off and protecting oneself from the vagaries of the weather, especially foul and inclement weather that includes rain, hail, sleet, and even snow. During daylight hours the individuals and the umbrellas they are using are generally visible even in such inclement weather. However, people are out and about as much during the dusk and nighttime hours as they are during the visible daylight hours, and rainy, dreary, overcast inclement weather at night doesn't inhibit their activities. With visibility thus reduced, it is desirable to provide the umbrella with some type of illumination means so that the individual can be made more visible to vehicles oncoming and rushing by and which also provides the added benefit of reducing the chances of accident or injury to both the individual that is out and about walking or crossing an intersection and for the motorists speeding by the ambulatory individual.
The prior art discloses various designs that incorporate an illumination means with an umbrella.
For example, the Carver patent (U.S. Pat. No. 4,031,381) discloses an umbrella having an illumination means that is actuated only when the umbrella is open.
The Yang patent (U.S. Pat. No. 5,323,798) discloses a flashing umbrella wherein flashing lights are disposed at the distal end of each rib of the umbrella.
The Wu patent (U.S. Pat. No. 6,126,293) discloses an illuminating umbrella wherein the top and the tips of the ribs include illumination means.
The Wu patent (U.S. Pat. No. 6,158,451) discloses an illuminated umbrella having an illumination device that is detachably securable to the top of the umbrella.
The Yang patent (U.S. Pat. No. 6,341,873 B1) discloses an illuminated umbrella having a top illumination assembly and tip illumination assemblies.
The Li patent (U.S. Pat. No. 6,692,135 B2) discloses an attachable lighting system for an outdoor umbrella that includes an umbrella mounted to a support pole to which a foldable awning is mounted with the ribs of the awning having light bulbs affixed thereto.
The Li patent (U.S. Pat. No. 6,955,667 B2) discloses a lighting arrangement for a foldable outdoor awning wherein the supports for the awning include light bulbs affixed thereto and the arrangement also includes a solar panel collector.
The Khor patent (U.S. Pat. No. 6,991,341 B1) discloses an illuminable umbrella that automatically produces light when the umbrella is in the open position.
The Lee patent (U.S. Pat. No. 7,100,624 B2) discloses an umbrella having a plurality of cover support ribs with each rib having lamp holes formed thereon for the detachable mounting of lamps.
Nonetheless, despite the ingenuity of the above devices, there remains a need for a handy and easy-to-use safety umbrella.
The present invention comprehends a safety umbrella for allowing the individual using the umbrella to be seen in advance by motorists and automotive vehicles, especially at night or in dark overcast inclement weather and rainy weather where visibility is otherwise low. Whether the individual is walking along a road, street, on a sidewalk, or crossing a busy intersection, the safety umbrella not only makes the individual more visible but also provides a safeguard for both the individual and any automotive vehicles passing by the individual.
Thus, the safety umbrella of the present invention includes a center pole having an umbrella cover mounted at its upper end and an opposite hand gripping end that includes a housing and a loop and cap member detachably securing to the housing. The housing includes an internal chamber for holding at least one battery that is interconnected to an on/off switch mounted to the exterior of the housing, and the internal chamber and battery are closed off by the attachment of the loop and cap member to the housing.
The inner end of the internal chamber of the housing includes battery contact plates that are connected to electrical wires that extend through the center pole to the upper end of the center pole. The wires connect to an illumination device, which in the preferred embodiment is a LED bulb, and the LED bulb projects from the top of the umbrella cover. The LED bulb is enclosed within a transparent casing that is removable from a mounting member on which is seated.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a safety umbrella with an illumination device so that the user of the umbrella can be seen in dark and rainy weather.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a safety umbrella that both keeps rain of the individual as well as allows the individual to be visible at night and in dark inclement rainy weather.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a safety umbrella having a lighted top thereby providing advance visibility for automotive vehicles when the individual is crossing intersections, roads, and streets at night and during dark inclement rainy weather.
These and other objects, features, and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a perusal of the following detailed description read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing figures and appended claims.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the safety umbrella of the present invention illustrating the umbrella being used by an individual;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the safety umbrella of the present invention illustrating the primary structural components of the device;
FIG. 3 is an exploded assembly view of the safety umbrella of the present invention illustrating the structural components at the hand-gripping end of the umbrella;
FIG. 4 is an exploded assembly view of the safety umbrella of the present invention illustrating the structural components located at the upper end of the umbrella;
FIG. 5 is a partial perspective view of the safety umbrella of the present invention illustrating the upper end of the umbrella; and
FIG. 6 is an electrical schematic of the safety umbrella of the present invention illustrating electrical components and operation of the device.
Illustrated in FIGS. 1-6 is a safety umbrella 10 for use by an individual 12 to make the individual 12 more visible at dusk and nighttime, and especially during dark overcast rainy inclement weather wherein visibility is greatly diminished or reduced. The safety umbrella 10 includes an illumination means that makes the individual 12 much more visible under such weather conditions when the individual 12 grips the safety umbrella 10 in his/her hand 14 and holds the umbrella 10 above his/her head 16 with the illumination means located at the top of the umbrella 10.
Thus, as shown in FIGS. 1-6, the safety umbrella 10 includes a center pole 18 that is held by the individual 12, and the center pole 18 includes a hand gripping lower end 20 and an opposite upper end 22. Mounted to the upper end 22 is an openable and closable umbrella cover 24 comprising individual canvas segments 26 attached to and separated from each other by flexible ribs 28 that radially extend from the upper end 22 of the center pole 18. The umbrella cover 24 manually opens and closes by any conventional manner.
Located at and attached to the hand-gripping end 20 is a housing 30. The housing 30 includes an exterior continuous surface 32 and an internal chamber 34 with the internal chamber 34 being closed off at an inner end 36. The internal chamber 34 includes annular inner threads 38 adjacent the opening 40 of the annular chamber 34. Mounted at the inner end 36 is at least one battery contact plate 42 and the illumination means is powered by at least one battery 44 that is placed within the internal chamber 34 for contacting the battery contact plate 42.
As shown in FIGS. 1-4 the housing 30, and specifically the internal chamber 34, is closed off for securing the battery 44 therein by a loop and cap member 46. The loop and cap member 46 includes a threaded portion 48 and a loop portion 50 integrally adjoined thereto, with the threaded portion 48 engaging the interior annular threads 38 of the chamber 34 for threadably securing the loop and cap member 46 to the housing 30. The loop portion 50 includes an aperture 52 for allowing the safety umbrella 10 to be carried on a belt loop, a portion of a belt, or the strap of a handbag by passing such articles of clothing through the aperture 52. The housing 30 also includes an on/off switch 54 mounted to the exterior surface 32 and which is interconnected to the contact plate 42 and the battery 44.
As shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, at least one pair of wires 56 extends from the contact plate 42 through the center pole 18 to the upper end 22 for interconnection to the illumination means. The illumination means is located at the upper end 22 of the center pole 18 and, more specifically, at the very top 58 of the umbrella 10 for projecting above the umbrella cover 24 thereby assuring maximum visibility. A mounting member 60 is secured to the very upper end 22 of the center pole 18, and removably securable to the mounting member 60 is a transparent or translucent casing 62. Disposed within the casing 62 is the illumination means that in the preferred embodiment is a LED bulb or light 64. The electrical wires 56 directly connect the LED bulb 64 to the contact plate 42, and thence to the power source—the battery 44. The casing 62 is removable so that the LED bulb 64 can be replaced if needed. FIG. 6 illustrates an electrical schematic 66 of the circuitry showing the on/off switch 54, battery 44, and the LED bulb 64.
While the present invention has been described with respect to a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that numerous modifications, alterations, and variations are possible and practicable to those skilled in the art and will yet be encompassed by description of the invention as set forth herein and come within the ambit of the claims appended hereto.