Title:
Lighted umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lighted umbrella is provided which illuminates the path ahead of a user and directs the light away from the user's eyes and face reducing shadows and increasing the user's ability to see objects in the dark when it is raining.



Inventors:
Maidment, Stephanie A. (Prairie Village, KS, US)
Application Number:
09/738926
Publication Date:
06/20/2002
Filing Date:
12/18/2000
Assignee:
MAIDMENT STEPHANIE A.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/910, 362/102
International Classes:
A45B3/04; (IPC1-7): A45B3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CANFIELD, ROBERT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Chase Law Firm (Leawood, KS, US)
Claims:

having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by letters patent is:



1. A lighted umbrella comprising: a shaft having a first end and a second end, a handle secured to said second end of said shaft, a plurality of ribs each having a first end pivotally secured to said first end of said shaft, and a free end, a canopy supported on said ribs, and movable between an open position and a collapsed position, a slide on shaft linked to each of said ribs for moving said canopy between said open position and said collapsed position, a light source secured to said free end of one of said ribs, an electrical source electrically connected to said light source, and a switch electrically connected between said electrical source and said light source for controlling illumination of said light source.

2. The lighted umbrella as claimed in claim 1 wherein said light source is adjustable.

3. The lighted umbrella as claimed in claim 1 wherein said switch is mounted to said handle.

4. The lighted umbrella as claimed in claim 1 wherein said light source is automatically illuminated when said canopy is moved to said open position.

5. A lighted umbrella comprising: a shaft having a first end and a second end, a handle secured to said second end of said shaft, a plurality of ribs each having a first end pivotally secured to said first end of said shaft, and a free end, a canopy supported on said ribs, and movable between an open position and a collapsed position, a slide on shaft linked to each of said ribs for moving said canopy between said open position and said collapsed position, a light source secured to said slide, an electrical source electrically connected to said light source, and a switch electrically connected between said electrical source and said light source for controlling illumination of said light source.

6. The lighted umbrella as claimed in claim 5 wherein said light source is adjustable.

7. The lighted umbrella as claimed in claim 5 wherein said switch is mounted to said handle.

8. The lighted umbrella as claimed in claim 1 wherein said light source is automatically illuminated when said canopy is moved to said open position.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE IVNENTION

[0001] This invention relates to umbrellas and, more particularly, to an umbrella that utilizes a directional, electric light to illuminate the path in front of the user.

[0002] Umbrellas incorporating electric lighting systems are known. One problem with these systems is that the lights generally illuminate the entire canopy thus casting shadows around the user and in front of the user and casts light in the user's eyes making it more difficult to see objects and others in the dark. Alternatively, the light may be included in the umbrella handle and directed generally downwardly at the user's feet and not in front of the user. Additionally, by lighting the area under the umbrella canopy the user's identity is compromised decreasing the user's safety. For example, a woman walking down a dark street likely would not want others to know that she is a woman walking alone.

[0003] Accordingly, it is desirable to provide an umbrella that illuminates the area in front of the user so that the user may see irregularities in the sidewalk or path ahead, and not create shadows or other distractions and not illuminate the user's face.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide an umbrella with an adjustable, electric light.

[0005] Another important object of the present invention, as aforesaid, is to provide an umbrella that illuminates the path ahead of a user.

[0006] Still another object of the present invention, as aforesaid, is to provide a lighted umbrella that reduces peripheral shadows.

[0007] Yet another important object of the present invention, as aforesaid, is to provide a lighted umbrella that maintains the general anonymity of the user.

[0008] And another object of the present invention, as aforesaid, is to provide a lighted umbrella which directs the light away from the user's eyes and increases the user's ability to see objects in the dark.

[0009] Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, a now preferred embodiment of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is an overall view of an exemplary embodiment of a lighted umbrella according to the present invention, shown in elevation and partly in section.

[0011] FIG. 2 is an overall view of a second embodiment of a lighted umbrella according to the present invention, shown in elevation and partly in section.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0012] Turning more particularly to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a lighted umbrella 10 of the present invention. Umbrella 10 comprises a canopy 12 held in the open position by a number of ribs 14 supported by struts 16. Struts 16 are attached to slide 18 which may be moved down shaft 20 toward handle 22 to collapse cover 12 in the usual manner.

[0013] Batteries 24 are retained within a compartment in shaft 20 and are electrically connected through switch 26 and a pair of wires 28 to high intensity lamp 30. Preferably two or more AA size batteries may be used. Switch 26 may be attached to shaft 20 or handle 22. Lamp 30 is pivotally secured to one of ribs 14. Alternatively, lamp 30 may be secured to an upper portion of shaft 20 as shown in FIG. 2. Lamp 30 may consist of a conventional, incandescent DC light bulb or a high intensity halogen-type light bulb.

[0014] In the preferred embodiment, switch 26 is manually operated to illuminate lamp 30. However, other embodiments may include an automatic switch in series with a photoelectric sensor to automatically turn on lamp 30 when umbrella is opened and when it is dark. In this embodiment, lamp 30 would include a manual override switch that may be incorporated into handle 22 such as switch 26.

[0015] In use, umbrella 10 is opened by moving slide 18 away from handle 22 toward the top of shaft 20. Slide 18 automatically locks in place when umbrella 10 is in the fully opened position as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. If it is dark, the user may wish to better view the area in the direction of travel. To do so, the user slides or toggles switch 26 located on handle 22 to the ON position to energize and illuminate lamp 30.

[0016] Lamp 30 may be swiveled or pivoted to illuminate an area in front of the user. The light from lamp 30 is directed generally away from the user's face and eyes and thus does not illuminate the user's face. Because the light from the lamp 30 is directed in front of the user, no shadows are cast from the user. If the light is directed down immediately in front of the user, shadows cast from the light are cast behind the user. Additionally, the light from lamp 30 is not directed into the user's eyes impairing the user's ability to see objects or others in the dark.

[0017] Although a full size umbrella is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, compact umbrellas with a collapsible shaft 20 may be used.

[0018] It is to be understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto, except insofar as limitations are included in the following claims.