Title:
Icicle light string carrier
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A carrier on which a string of icicle lights are stored and transported facilitates a common wire of the light string wrapped tightly around a carrier spindle with the light strands hanging from the common wire on the spindle. The spindle is equipped with a handle that rotates on the spindle. The spindle is small and lightweight, only large enough to enable the common wire to wrap around it with sufficient wounds to support the light strands hanging freely therefrom. Largely due to its small size, the weight carried to the installation location is only slightly increased over the weight of the lights themselves. Thus, the icicle light string on the carrier is able to be easily lifted onto on a building or the like, for example, where they are unwrapped concomitantly with installation.



Inventors:
Allen, Kevin (Maple Valley, WA, US)
Application Number:
10/413915
Publication Date:
10/21/2004
Filing Date:
04/15/2003
Assignee:
ALLEN KEVIN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H75/36; (IPC1-7): B65H75/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, JOHN QUOC
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David L Tingey (Covington, WA, US)
Claims:

Having described the invention, what is claimed is as follows:



1. A mobile light string carrier adapted to store decorative lights in icicle format, the icicle format having a common wire from which a plurality of spaced apart strings of lights hang a hanging distance from the common wire, comprising: a vertical spindle with a top and a bottom, a plurality of spokes disposed on the spindle about the spindle circumference intermediate the spindle such that a substantial portion of the spindle is above the spokes with sufficient region for the common wire to wrap around the spindle above the spokes, the spokes spaced apart such that the spokes separate successive strings of lights when the common wire is wrapped on the spindle above the spokes and the spindle extends below the spokes less than the hanging distance.

2. The carrier of claim 1 including a handle on the spindle top from which to carry the lights wrapped on the spindle.

3. The carrier of claim 1 in which said handle rotates relative to the spindle such that the strings of light unwrap from the spindle as it rotates under a user's hand holding the handle.

4. The carrier of claim 1 in which the spokes extend radially from the spindle.

5. The carrier of claim 1 in which the spokes are near the spindle bottom

6. The carrier of claim 1 comprising four spokes equally spaced about the spindle circumference a same distance from the spindle top.

7. The carrier of claim 1 wherein the spindle is of minimal extent with the spokes near the spindle bottom and the spindle above the spokes is minimally adequate to receive wraps of common wire and the spokes are of limited length sufficient to divide light strings hanging from the common wire wrapped close on the spindle such that the carrier is small and light weight compared to the string of lights therein optimized for facile mobility in carrying the string of lights to a place of installation.

8. The carrier of claim 1 further comprising a vertical stand which extends the spindle below the spokes beyond the hanging distance with a top adapted to removably receive the spindle bottom and a base on a stand bottom.

9. A mobile light string carrier adapted to store decorative lights in icicle format, the icicle format having a common wire from which a plurality of spaced apart strings of lights hang a hanging distance from the common wire, comprising: a vertical spindle with a top and a bottom, a vertical stand with a top adapted to removably receive the spindle bottom and a base on a stand bottom, a plurality of spokes disposed on the spindle about the spindle circumference intermediate the spindle such that a substantial portion of the spindle is above the spokes with sufficient region for the common wire to wrap around the spindle above the spokes, the spokes spaced apart such that the spokes separate successive strings of lights when the common wire is wrapped on the spindle above the spokes, the spindle extending below the spokes less than the hanging distance, and the spokes above the base a distance greater than the hanging distance when the spindle bottom is received into the stand top.

10. A mobile light string carrier adapted to store decorative lights in icicle format, the icicle format having a common wire from which a plurality of spaced apart strings of lights hang a hanging distance from the common wire, comprising: a vertical spindle with a spindle top and a bottom, adapted to receive the common wire wrapped around the spindle with the strings of lights hanging therefrom beyond the spindle bottom, a vertical stand with a stand top and a base on a stand bottom, the stand top adapted to removably receive the spindle bottom, the spindle when received into the stand top supported above the base a distance greater than the hanging distance such that the string of lights hang along the stand above the base, and the spindle adapted to conveniently carry the string of lights to an installation location when removed from the stand.

11. The carrier of claim 10 further comprising a handle on the spindle top from which to carry the lights wrapped on the spindle, the handle being rotatable relative to the spindle such that the strings of light can unwrap from the spindle as it rotates while the handle is held stationary by a user

12. The carrier of claim 11 further comprising a plurality of spokes near the spindle bottom equally spaced about the spindle circumference a same distance from the spindle top such that a substantial portion of the spindle is above the spokes with sufficient region for the common wire to wrap around the spindle above the spokes, the spokes spaced apart such that the spokes separate successive strings of lights when the common wire is wrapped on the spindle above the spokes, the spindle extending below the spokes less than the hanging distance, and the spokes above the base a distance greater than the hanging distance when the spindle bottom is received into the stand top.

13. The carrier of claim 12 wherein the spindle is of minimal extent with the spokes near the spindle bottom and the spindle above the spokes is minimally adequate to receive wraps of common wire and the spokes are of limited length sufficient to divide light strings hanging from the common wire wrapped close on the spindle such that the carrier is small and light weight compared to the string of lights therein optimized for facile mobility in carrying the string of lights to a place of installation.

14. A mobile light string carrier adapted to store a string of lights in icicle format, the icicle format having a common wire from which a plurality of spaced apart light strands hang a hanging distance from the common wire, comprising: a vertical spindle around which the common wire of the string of lights tightly wraps such that the string of wire is secured to the spindle with the light strands hanging from the common wire below the spindle.

15. The carrier of claim 14 further comprising a handle on a spindle top from which to carry the lights wrapped on the spindle in which said handle rotates relative to the spindle such that the strings of light unwrap from the spindle as it rotates under a user's hand holding the handle.

Description:

BACKGROUND

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention pertains to storage devices for decorative lights, and more particularly to devices for storing and handling a string of lights arranged in icicle format.

[0003] 2. Prior Art

[0004] Decorative lights in icicle format are commonly used to decorate buildings, shrubs and trees during holidays. Icicle format is now common, consisting of a main, or common electrical wire, typically installed horizontally, from which a number of pendent strands hang with a number of small decorative lights on each strand. This icicle format conveniently places a larger number of lights in a same location than does prior single strands of lights. With the higher density of lights, lighting generally is increased and the aesthetic effect is enhanced.

[0005] Handling of these lights in icicle can be at least aggravating because the hanging strands become entangled, stressing lights and light sockets. They remain reasonably ordered when they are hanging as when they are installed on a building side with strands separated, but quickly entangle when strands are brought together for storage. To reinstall them, one must spend considerable time separating the strands and replacing broken lights.

[0006] Devices have been disclosed that are designed to store the lights in their hanging format by wrapping the common wire around the device, leaving the lights to hang on their respective pendent strands from the common wire. These devices are generally functional and improve upon folding the lights into a box. However, the devices though functional in storage, are awkward and unwieldy when it becomes time to reinstall the lights. Typically, one employing these prior apparatuses might unwind the lights from the device onto a flat area and then lift the lights without the storage device to the place of installation. And as the lights are unwound and lifted free from the storage device, they become entangled again.

[0007] The object of the present invention is to provide a carrier for storing a string of icicle lights on a carrier that also facilitates convenient transport of the string of lights to a place and then installation of the lights without entangling the pendent strands.

SUMMARY

[0008] This object is achieved in a carrier on which a string of icicle lights are stored and transported with a common wire of the light string tightly wrapped around a spindle with the light strands hanging from the common wire on the spindle.

[0009] The spindle is equipped with a handle that rotates on the spindle. Or rather, the spindle rotates on the handle so as a user holds the spindle from the handle, the string of lights can be uncoiled from around the spindle as the spindle rotates. The pendent light strands remain vertical throughout the procedure and thus tend to remain disentangled.

[0010] The spindle is small and lightweight, only large enough to enable the common wire to wrap around it with sufficient wounds to support the light strands hanging freely therefrom. Largely due to its small size, the weight carried to the installation location is only slightly increased over the weight of the lights themselves. Thus, with the added weight small and the convenience much enhanced by keeping the light strands organized and untangled around the spindle, the icicle light string on the carrier is able to be lifted onto on a building or the like, for example, where they are unwrapped concomitantly with installation.

[0011] Thus, a primary improvement is in the spindle separating from a stand on a base so only the spindle with lights wrapped around it is moved to a place of light installation. The bulk of the stand and its base remain in the storage facility.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of the mobile light string carrier held by a user, shown with a string of lights in icicle format wrapped around a spindle with a common wire wrapped tightly around the spindle while lights on light strands hang from the common wire. Radial spokes on the spindle separate adjacent light strands to help keep them from entangling.

[0013] FIG. 2 is a side view of the mobile light string carrier of FIG. 1 shown with a vertical support stand supporting the spindle as might be employed during storage.

[0014] FIG. 3 is a top view of the carrier of FIG. 2.

[0015] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the carrier of claim 2, shown without lights strings.

[0016] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the vertical support stand with a post amenable for receiving the carrier spindle over the post end.

[0017] FIG. 6 is a side view of the carrier showing a handle on ball bearings that allow the spindle to turn under the handle, therein facilitating unwinding of wounds of the string of icicle lights.

[0018] FIG. 7 is a side view of the vertical support stand ready to receive the carrier of FIG. 6.

[0019] FIG. 8 is a view of the underside of the carrier shown with a cylindrical cavity sized to receive the post end of the vertical support stand.

[0020] FIG. 9 is a pictorial view of an alternative embodiment of the mobile light string carrier, again shown held by a user with a string of lights in icicle format wrapped around a spindle with a common wire wrapped tightly around the spindle while lights on light strands hang from the common wire but without radial spokes on the spindle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0021] The mobile light string carrier 10 of the present invention is adapted to a store decorative string of lights 100 in icicle format, that is, a plurality of spaced-apart light strands 102 hang a hanging distance 104 along a common wire 106. The carrier 10 comprises a spindle 12, typically cylindrical, around which the common wire 106 of a light string tightly wraps with light strands 102 hanging loosely from the spindle 12.

[0022] A plurality of spokes 14 are disposed on the spindle 12 extending radially about the spindle circumference intermediate the spindle 12 such that a substantial upper portion 16 of the spindle 12 is above the spokes 14 with sufficient region for the common wire 106 to wrap tightly around the spindle 12 above the spokes 14. The spokes 14 are spaced apart such that the spokes 14 separate successive hanging light strands 102 when the common wire 106 is wrapped on the spindle 12 above the spokes 14 to help prevent light strands 102 in the icicle format from entangling. Typically, four spokes 14 are equally spaced about the spindle circumference a same distance 17 from the spindle top 18.

[0023] The spindle 12 typically extends below the spokes 14 less than the hanging distance 104, truncating with its spindle bottom 20 near the spokes 14, minimizing carrier weight for ease in transporting it.

[0024] A handle 22 on the spindle top 18 facilitates a user lifting the spindle 12 while the light strands 102 maintain their free hanging disposition about the spindle 12. The handle 22, typically equipped with a bearing mechanism 24 between the handle 22 and the spindle 12, rotates relative to the spindle 12 to facilitate unwrapping of the string of lights 100 from the spindle 12 as it rotates under a user's hand.

[0025] By design, a spindle lower portion 26 below the spokes 14 is of minimal longitudinal extent with the spokes near the spindle bottom to minimize spindle weight and size. Likewise, the spindle upper portion 16 above the spokes 14 is limited, minimally adequate to receive wraps of the common wire 106. Similarly, the spokes 14 are of limited length sufficient only to divide light strings 100 hanging from the common wire 106 wrapped close on the spindle 12 such that the carrier is small and lightweight compared to the string of lights. The carrier 10 is therein optimized for facile mobility in carrying the string of lights 100 to a place of installation.

[0026] Though the carrier 10 is designed for mobility, it is also intended to enable storage of the light strings 100 when they are not in use. A vertical support stand 30 is provided with a post 32 on a base 34 to support the spindle 12 with a cylindrical cavity 36 sized and shaped to receive the end 38 of the post 32. The post 32 is of length sufficient to support the spindle 12 above the base 34 greater than the hanging distance 104 so the light strands 102 do not reach the base 34, effectively extending the spindle 12 below the spokes 14 beyond the hanging distance 104.

[0027] In an alternative embodiment, the spindle 12 has no spokes. Rather the string of lights 100 of is held on the spindle 12 by tightly winding the common wire of the string of lights to the spindle, sufficient tight to prevent slipping on the spindle. As before, the spindle may be provided with a rotating handle 22.