Title:
Illuminated swing
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A swing that is illuminated for a child's safety and enjoyment at night time. The illuminated swing is a self contained unit that can attach to any swing set structure. The illuminated swing is comprised of a seat, a means to suspend the seat from a swing set structure, a light source, a power source and a switch. The power source supplies power to the light source and the switch allows the light source to be toggled between the light emitting state and the off state. The light source gives the illuminated swing an illuminated or glowing appearance. In a second embodiment an illuminated swing set includes a swing set structure, a power source, a light source and a switch. Light sources are disposed along the swing set structure and internal to individual swings attached to the swing set structure. The power source supplies power to the light sources and the switch allows the light sources to be toggled between the light emitting state and the off state. The power source includes a battery, so that the illuminated swing set can operate without a connection to an electrical grid. A solar cell recharges the battery, allowing the illuminated swing set to operate for substantial periods of time without battery replacement. An electrical buss is disposed on the swing set structure to distribute power from the power source to light sources disposed away from the power source. The illuminated swing and the illuminated swing set are more enjoyable and safer to use than commonplace swings and swing sets.



Inventors:
Cadotte Jr., Roland (Freehold, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/388911
Publication Date:
09/28/2006
Filing Date:
03/25/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63G9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, KIEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Roland Cadotte Jr (Freehold, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. An illuminated swing comprising: a light source; and a power source to supply power to said light source; and a seat upon which to sit; and a means to suspend said seat from a structure whereby a child can use said illuminated swing during periods of darkness with increased enjoyment and safety.

2. The illuminated swing of claim 1, wherein said light source is comprised of light emitting diodes whereby said light source draws minimal power and is highly reliable.

3. The illuminated swing of claim 1, wherein said light source is disposed internal to said seat whereby light propagating from the interior of said seat to the exterior of said seat gives said seat a glowing appearance.

4. The illuminated swing of claim 1, wherein said light source is disposed internal to said means to suspend said seat whereby said means to suspend said seat is illuminated internally.

5. The illuminated swing of claim 1, further including an electrical connector whereby said illuminated swing can be electrically connected to said power supply when said power supply is disposed external to both said seat and to said means to suspend said seat.

6. The illuminated swing of claim 1, wherein said power source includes a battery so that said illuminated swing can be powered without a connection to an electrical grid.

7. The illuminated swing of claim 1, wherein said power source is located internal to said seat whereby said illuminated swing requires no electrical connections.

8. The illuminated swing of claim 1, further including a switch that can electrically isolate said power source from said light source whereby said light source can be toggled between the light emitting state and the non light emitting state.

9. The illuminated swing of claim 8, wherein said switch is a pressure sensitive switch whereby said light source can be put into the light emitting state by sitting on said seat located in said illuminated swing.

10. An illuminated swing set comprising; a light source; and a power source to supply power to said light source; and a swing set structure to which said power source and said light source can be attached whereby said light source illuminates said swing set structure for increased enjoyment and safety during periods of darkness.

11. The illuminated swing set of claim 10, wherein said power source includes a battery so that said illuminated swing set can be powered without a connection to an electrical grid.

12. The illuminated swing set of claim 11, further including a solar cell for recharging said battery whereby said illuminated swing set can operate for a substantial amount of time without replacing said battery.

13. The illuminated swing set of claim 10, wherein said light source is comprised of light emitting diodes whereby said light source draws minimal power and is highly reliable.

14. The illuminated swing set of claim 10, wherein said swing set structure is comprised of an overhead member and a support means to support said overhead member.

15. The illuminated swing set of claim 10, further including a switch that can electrically isolate said power source from said light source whereby said light source can be toggled between the light emitting and non light emitting states as desired.

16. The illuminated swing set of claim 10, further including a light controlled switch that isolates said power source from said light source when ambient light reaches a threshold level.

17. The illuminated swing set of claim 10, further including an electrical buss that distributes power from said power source to said light source whereby said light source can be disposed away from said power source.

18. The illuminated swing set of claim 10, wherein said light source is disposed along said swing set structure whereby portions of said swing set structure can be illuminated.

19. The illuminated swing set of claim 10, further including a swing that is comprised of said light source, a seat, and a means to suspend said seat from said swing set structure.

20. The illuminated swing set of claim 19, wherein said light source is disposed internal to said seat whereby light propagating from the interior of said seat to the exterior of said seat gives said seat a glowing appearance.

21. The illuminated swing set of claim 19, wherein said light source is disposed internal to said means to suspend said seat whereby said means to suspend said seat is illuminated internally.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application benefits from provisional application 60/665,538 filed Mar. 26, 2005. The title of the provisional application is Illuminated Swing. The applicant is Roland Cadotte Jr.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to swings used in playgrounds.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Children's playgrounds typically contain swings for children to play. These swings are typically used during the day when there is abundant light. However, at night when there is little ambient light, swings are typically not used by children or they are used in a hazardous manner. The illuminated swing and the illuminated swing set allow children to use swings at night in an enjoyable and safe manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of this invention is to provide an illuminated swing that children will enjoy using in the dark.

Another object of the invention is to provide an illuminated swing that is safer to use in the dark.

Another object of the invention is to use light emitting diodes to illuminate the swing.

Another object of the invention is to use a power source internal to the swing to supply power to the light source.

Another object of the invention is to have a switch contained in the swing to turn on and off the lights internal to the swing.

Another object of the invention is to illuminate the means for suspending the seat from an overhead structure.

Another object of the invention is to provide a structure that contains an electrical buss for supplying power to light sources disposed away from the power supply.

Another object of the invention is to use solar cells for recharging the rechargeable batteries that supply power to the light sources.

Another object of the invention is to put the illuminated swing into the light emitting state when a child sits in the illuminated swing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The various embodiments of the invention are described in detail with reference to the drawings in which items are identified by the reference designations, wherein;

FIG. 1. is a pictorial view of the illuminated seat and the illuminated suspension means.

FIG. 2. is an electrical schematic of an embodiment of the invention using a single light emitting diode.

FIG. 3. is an electrical schematic of an embodiment of the invention using three light emitting diodes in a parallel configuration.

FIG. 4. is an electrical schematic of an embodiment of the invention using light emitting diodes in a parallel and a series configuration.

FIG. 5. is an electrical schematic of an embodiment of the invention including a photo sensor, solar cell, over ride switch and voltage regulator.

FIG. 6. is a pictorial view of the main seat housing.

FIG. 7. is a pictorial view of a printed wiring board containing LEDs.

FIG. 8. is a pictorial view of the means to suspend the seat attached to the seat.

FIG. 9. is a pictorial view of a swing set structure.

FIG. 10. is a pictorial view of an embodiment of the illuminated swing set.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The illuminated swing as shown in FIG. 1 is comprised of a seat 500 upon which one sits and of a means 600 to suspend the seat 500 from an overhead structure. One or more light sources are included in the seat 500 and or in the means 600 to suspend the seat 500. The light sources can be contained internal to the seat 500, requiring that the seat 500 be constructed of a transparent or translucent material to allow the light emitted from the light sources to propagate from inside the seat 500 to the exterior of the seat 500. The light sources can also be contained on the exterior of the seat, whereby the emitted light propagates away from the seat 500 by not necessarily through the seat.

The illuminated swing may contain different types of light sources including light emitting diodes (LEDs) and light bulbs. Light emitting diodes are the preferred light source, since they are efficient, durable, and inexpensive though other light sources can be used. Numerous light emitting diodes exist that are suitable for this application including those that emit light at different wavelengths, those that have different intensity outputs and those that can be seen at different viewing angles. The LTST-T670KRKT manufactured by LiteOn Inc. Taipei, Taiwan is suitable for use in the illuminated swing. This LED is an ultra bright red LED with a 120° viewing angle and draws approximately 20 ma at 2 volts.

The preferred embodiment of the illuminated swing contains a DC power supply 29 that supplies power to an LED or to LEDs. LEDs typically require a small DC supply voltage to emit light. A single LED 20 as shown in FIG. 2 is being powered by a DC power supply 29. The DC power supply 29 can take on many forms, including a single battery that supplies a DC voltage directly to an LED 20 or a 120V AC supply that is converted with the proper electronic circuitry to a DC voltage. Current limiting circuitry is recommended, whenever using LEDs. The current that flows in an LED increases exponentially as the voltage that is applied across the LED's terminals is increased. Therefore a small increase in supply voltage can cause an extremely large change in LED current. LED current limiting circuitry is typically comprised of a single resistor 30 connected in series with an LED 20. This limiting resistor 30 creates a minimum resistance seen by the power supply 29 and therefore limits the current that flows into the LED 20. The value of the limiting resistor is determined by dividing the voltage across the limiting resistor 30 by the desired current. The voltage across the limiting resistor 30 is the voltage difference between the power supply 29 voltage and the LED 20 voltage. For example in FIG. 2, one LTST-T670KRKT LED 20 is connected in series with the power supply 29 and the current limiting resistor 30. The voltage drop difference between the power supply 29 and the LED 20 is 0.5 volts assuming the LED 20 has a 2 volt drop and the power supply 29 supplies 2.5 volt. If the desired current is 20 ma, then 0.5 volts would be divided by 20 ma to determine the resistance of the limiting resistor 30. In this example the resistance is 25 ohms.

The illuminated swing may contain one or more light sources depending on the size of the swing and the desired brightness of the swing. An illuminated swing with numerous light sources has a number of advantages over an illuminated swing with a single light source. These advantages include potentially emitting greater amounts of light and more uniformly illuminating the illuminated swing. The light sources can be connected to the power source 29 in series, in parallel or in a combination of both series and parallel. The optimal circuit configuration for the illuminated swing depends on many factors including the type of light source and the quantity of the light source. LEDs can be connected in series or in parallel. However, a series configuration is typically only practical when using a small number of LEDs. In a series configuration, the required power supply voltage is the sum of the voltage drops across each LED. This can be prohibitively large when using a large number of LEDs. For example, if 100 LEDs were used, the required voltage would be approximately 200 volts, assuming each LED had approximately a 2 volt drop in the on state. 200 volts is not easily produced and in addition can be very hazardous. A parallel configuration shown in FIG. 3 is a second circuit topology that can be used with multiple LEDs 20, 21, 22. A parallel configuration has the advantage that the required power supply 29 is the voltage across a single LED plus the voltage across its current limiting resistor. This supply voltage is significantly less than the voltage required if all the LEDs 20, 21, 22 were connected in series. For the illuminated swing embodiment using the LTST-T670KRKT LEDs, the required power supply 29 voltage would be approximately 2.5 volts assuming each LED 20, 21, 22 operates at 2 volts, draws 20 ma of current each, and is connected in series with a 25 ohm current limiting resistor 30, 31, 32. The required 2.5 volts is the sum of the voltage drop across a single LED 20, 21, 22 plus the voltage drop across a single LED's limiting resistor 30, 31, 32. The disadvantage of this parallel configuration is that the DC power supply 29 has to supply a large amount of current as compared to the series configuration with the same number of LEDs. A circuit configuration using both a series configuration and a parallel configuration is also possible as shown in FIG. 4. This configuration requires less power supply voltage than if all LEDs 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 in this embodiment were connected in series and less power supply current than if all LEDs 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 were connected in parallel. Light bulbs and other light sources have different characteristics than those of LEDs, and therefore the preferred electrical configuration depends on the type of light source being used. A combined parallel and series topology is typically preferred when using battery powered LEDs.

An illuminated swing contains switches 100, 101 as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 that are connected in series with the power supply 29. These switches 100, 101 allow the LEDs 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 to be switched between the light emitting state and the non light emitting state. Numerous switch types can be used for this function. Switch 100 is a toggle switch that can be located anywhere on the seat. Switch 100 is toggled between a high impedance state and a low impedance state. When switch 100 is in the low impedance state, current flows from the power source 29 to the light source 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. This puts the light source 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and the illuminated swing into the light emitting state. When switch 100 is in the high impedance state, no current flows from the power supply 29 to the light source 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and the light source 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 is put into the non light emitting state. Switch 100 remains in a given state, until it is switched to a new state by the user. Numerous switches are available that are suitable for this function including a toggle switch CKN1002-ND distributed by Digikey Corporation, Thief River Falls, Minn. Switch 101 is a pushbutton switch that is located internal to the seat. Switch 101 is normally in a high impedance state, and is put into a low impedance state only when pressure is applied to its plunger. Switch 101 is disposed in the seat of the illuminated swing and positioned such that when a child sits in the seat, pressure is applied to the switch's 101 plunger. This puts the switch 101 in the low impedance state and consequently puts the light sources 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and the illuminated swing into the light emitting state. Switch 101 remains in the low impedance state only as long as the child remains seated in the seat. Numerous switches are available that are suitable for this function including a push button switch FB15AN manufactured by NKK, Scottsdale, Ariz. The pushbutton switch could also be disposed in the means 600 to suspend the seat 500. The toggle switch 100 differs from the push button switch 101 in that the toggle switch 100 remains in a given state until a force is applied to the switch 100. The pushbutton switch 101 needs constant pressure to remain in the low impedance state.

The preferred embodiment of the illuminated swing contains a power supply that is comprised of a number batteries. FIG. 5 shows an embodiment of the power supply that contains six batteries that supply power to the light sources 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. The batteries' 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 output voltage decreases as the batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 supply current to the light sources 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. A voltage regulator 60 is connected in series with the batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 to maintain a constant supply voltage to the light sources 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. A constant supply voltage is required for the light sources 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 to emit a constant amount of light over time. In this embodiment the voltage regulator converts the voltage from six series AA batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 to a constant 4.5 volts. Without the voltage regulator 60, the voltage supplied to the light sources 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 could range from approximately 6 volts to 8 volts depending on the battery type and the batteries' stored charge. The voltage regulator used in FIG. 5 is the TK11245BMCL. This voltage regulator 60 is manufactured by Toko America Inc., Mt. Prospect, Ill. Numerous other voltage regulators are suitable for this application.

Numerous types of batteries can be used to supply power to the LEDs in the illuminated swing. FIG. 5 shows six series AA alkaline batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 that supply power to the LEDs. Each of these batteries typically supplies 2000 ma-hours of current. Since the six batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 are connected in series, they have the same 2000 ma-hour current capability as a single battery, but at a much greater voltage. If the light sources 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 consume a total of 60 ma, or 20 ma from each set of series LEDs, then the six series batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 have enough charge to supply power to LEDs 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 for approximately 33 hours. This battery lifetime is determined by taking the ratio of battery ma-hours to the total amount of current supplied to the LEDs 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. Higher capacity batteries such as C and D cells can be used to increase battery life.

A light activated switch 110 can be included in the illuminated swing as shown in FIG. 5, to prevent the illuminated swing from being left in the on position accidentally during daylight hours. The light activated switch 110 uses a light dependent resistor whose resistance is controlled by external light. The light activated switch 110 goes into a high impedance state when the ambient light reaches a certain threshold level, typically during day light hours. The light activated switch 110 goes into a low impedance state when the ambient light is below a certain threshold level, typically during night time hours. The light activated switch 110 is connected in series with the batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, the toggle switch 100 and the voltage regulator 60. When the ambient light level is above a certain threshold, the light activated switch 110 goes into its high impedance state preventing the batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 from supplying power to the voltage regulator 60. This prevents the batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 from accidentally supplying power to the light sources 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 during periods of high ambient light and therefore preventing accidental battery discharge. An over ride switch 120 is included in the circuit to allow the batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 to supply power to the light sources 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 when ever desired. A single pole single throw toggle switch can be used as the override switch 120. Numerous switches are available that are suitable for this function including a toggle switch CKN1002-ND distributed by Digikey Corporation, Thief River Falls, Minn. When the ambient light level is below a certain threshold, the light activated switch 110 goes into its low impedance state allowing the batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 to supply power to the voltage regulator 60.

The illuminated swing contains a seat 500 that can be constructed to look similar to seats found in traditional swings. The illuminated swing's seat 500 can be formed of plastic and shaped such that it is comfortable for sitting. The seat can be comprised of three separate pieces that are attached together to form the seat 500. The first piece that comprises the seat is the main seat housing 501 as shown in FIG. 6. The main seat housing 501 contains an opening 510 to allow the light sources, switch, power supply electronics and any other components to be placed inside of the main seat housing 501. The second piece that comprises the seat is a plastic wall that attaches semi permanently to the main seat housing 501, typically with screws or plastic snaps. This plastic wall seals the opening 510 in the main seat housing 501. The second piece that comprises the seat is not shown because of its simplistic function and commonplace construction. The third piece that comprises the seat 500 is a battery door that encloses that battery compartment 520 formed in the main seat housing 501. The third piece that comprises the seat is also not shown because of its simplistic function and commonplace construction. The light sources, switch, power supply electronics and any other required components can be secured and electrically connected together by mounting them on a printed wiring board 530 that is secured internal to the main seat housing 501. The printed wiring board can be inserted into the opening 510 in the main seat housing 501. FIG. 6 also shows a possible location for toggle switch 100. FIG. 7 shows six LEDs 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 mounted on a printed wiring board 530. A printed wiring board 530 is a dielectric material with conductive traces to which electrical and mechanical components can be mounted. The conductive traces contained on the printed wiring board 530 are not shown in FIG. 7. Printed wiring boards are typically constructed with FR4, though numerous other materials can be used including paper and Mylar. Electrical conductors connect the batteries 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 located in the battery compartment 520 to the printed wiring board 530 shown in FIG. 7. Numerous other techniques can be used to construct the illuminated swing, it is not the intent of this disclosure to limit the illuminated swing to any single method.

Light sources may be included in the means 600 to suspend the seat 500, so that the means 600 to suspend the seat 500 can be illuminated. The means 600 to suspend the seat 500 is constructed with a steel chain 620 that connects the seat 500 typically to an over head structure. The steel chain 620 is located inside a translucent plastic tube 640. FIG. 8 shows the means 600 to suspend the seat 500 with the plastic tube 640 shortened to allow a better understanding of the components that comprise the means 600 to suspend the seat 500. Rope or other suspension means can be used instead of the steel chain 620. The plastic tube 640 prevents fingers and hands from being injured by the steel chain 620. A light rope is collocated with the steel chain 620 inside the translucent plastic tube 640. A light rope is a plurality of light sources electrically connected 632 and contained in a tube of transparent or translucent flexible plastic or rubber 631. Light ropes typically use either light bulbs or LEDs for light sources. Light ropes are available from a number of distributors including Novelty Lights.Com which sells a light rope that uses light bulbs and is powered by a 12 volt supply and light ropes that use LEDs and are powered by a 120 volt supply. A light rope can be constructed with LEDs that requires a smaller supply voltage and can more easily be powered with batteries. A combination serial and parallel circuit topology as previously described could be used in this light rope. The exact configuration depends on the desired number of LEDs included in the light rope. The cross sectional area of the means 600 to suspend the seat 500 is typically too small to contain a power supply 29. Therefore electrical conductors are fed from the light rope internal to the means 600 to suspend the seat 500 to the power supply disposed internally to the seat 500 of the illuminated swing. One electrical conductor connects the power supply's electrical signal to the light sources and the second conductor connects the power supply and light sources together for the ground return.

In another embodiment entitled the illuminated swing set, the power supply 29 and the switch 100 are not located in the seat 500, but are located in or attached to the swing set structure 570 shown in FIG. 9. This swing set structure 570 is comprised of a member 572 located overhead that is typically supported by a second member 574 or a plurality of members 574A, 574B, 574C, 574D, 574E. Swings and other swing set accessories such as slides and rings can be attached to this swing set structure. There are numerous ways to construct the swing set structure 570 and it is not the intent of this disclosure to limit the illuminated swing set to any particular type of swing set structure 570 This illuminated swing set embodiment, is comprised of a power supply 575 and an electrical buss 590 that distributes power from the power supply 575 to light sources disposed in various locations along the swing set structure 570 as shown in FIG. 10. The buss 590 is comprised of two conductive lines 591, 592. One line 591 carries the supply voltage and the other conductive line 592 carries the supply voltage's return signal. The electrical buss 590 contains a finite number of connectors that provide electrical connections to the electrical buss 590. FIG. 10 shows three connectors 593, 594, 595 connected to the electrical buss 590, additional connectors can be added as needed. The connectors 593, 594, 595 are connected to the electrical buss 590 in parallel so that the voltages supplied to each connector 593, 594, 595 is essentially the same. The connectors 593, 594, 595 can be connected in a series configuration, if desired. In this embodiment as shown in FIG. 10, the electrical buss 590 supplies power to light sources disposed in swings 580, 581 and to a light source 582 attached directly to the swing set structure 570. Swings 580, 581 are not illuminated swing embodiments as previously described. Swings 580, 581 do not contain an internal power supply and therefore require connections to an external power supply for powering their internal light sources. Swings 580, 581 and light source 582 contain connectors 11, 12, 13 for electrically interfacing with the connectors 593, 594, 595 contained in the electrical buss 590. The connectors 11, 12, 13 attached to the swings 580, 581 and light source 582 are shown connected to connectors 593, 594, 595 in FIG. 10. Wires leading from swings 580, 581 are not shown in FIG. 10, due to the wire's small size. Numerous commercial connectors are suitable for electrically connecting the light sources disposed in the swings 580, 581 and the light source 582 to the connectors 593, 594, 595 contained in the electrical buss 590. Mate-N-Lok connectors 172165-1 and 172166-1 from AMP TYCO Electronics are suitable for use in this embodiment. These connectors are designed to mate together and are polarized to prevent an incorrect connection. Mate-N-Lok connector 172166-1 is a plug type connector and is ideally suited for use in the electrical buss 590. Mate-N-Lok connector 172165-1 is a jack type connector and is ideally suited for connecting the light sources to the electrical buss 590. The electrical buss 590 distributes power to light sources 582 disposed along the swing set structure 570 and contained in swings 580, 581 and in other swing set accessories attached to the swing set structure 570.

The illuminated swing set contains a single switch 585 as shown in FIG. 10 that is connected in series with the power supply 575. This switch isolates the power supply 575 from the electrical buss 590, thereby isolating the power supply 575 from light sources 582 disposed on the swing set structure 570 or in the swings 580, 581 attached to the swing set structure 570. Additional switches may be connected in series with the individual light sources to allow independent control of the various light sources. These switches allow the light sources to be electrically removed from the electrical buss 590 as desired. This is important since a damaged light source can draw excessive current.

For illuminated swing set embodiments that use a battery as the power supply, a solar cell 610 can be attached to the swing set structure to recharge the battery. Numerous solar cells are available that are suitable for this application including the SX-5-M by BP Solar. This solar cell 610 can output 5 Watts of power, an amount that is sufficient to recharge batteries capable of powering hundreds of LEDs during periods of darkness. A number of rechargeable battery types can be used, including NiMH and NiCad. A controller should be used to control the charging of the rechargeable batteries to prevent the batteries from being overcharged. Overcharging rechargeable batteries can lead to battery degradation or to battery failure. A number of vendors manufacture integrated circuits that control the charging of these battery types. Maxim Integrated Products, Sunnyvale, Calif. manufactures the MAX856 integrated circuit that controls the charging of rechargeable batteries using solar cells. The MAX856 monitors the battery's charge to prevent battery overcharging and uses a reservoir capacitor and a switch mode converter to efficiently recharge the batteries. FIG. 5 shows a schematic of the illuminated swing set circuitry with a block 150A representing the solar cell 610 and the corresponding control circuitry. FIG. 10 shows a possible location of a solar cell 610 on the swing set structure 570.