Title:
STRUCTURE OF OPTOELECTRONIC FAUCET
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An optoelectronic faucet includes a faucet body to which a control valve for opening/blocking a water flow is mounted. The control valve is provided thereon with and coupled to a switch base containing a light-transmitting light emission portion and also contains therein a touch control module including an illuminator, which is triggered by means of electrostatics or vibration to activate a power source to drive operation of the illuminator. As such, touching and attempting to rotate the switch base of the faucet control valve triggers the micro-switch to have the touch control module activating the illuminator to give off light traveling to and through the light-transmitting light emission portion for both providing decoration and facilitating fancy/interesting and dazzling effect.



Inventors:
Yang, Chin-sheng (Tainan City, TW)
Application Number:
12/241088
Publication Date:
05/28/2009
Filing Date:
09/30/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MACCHIAROLO, LEAH SIMONE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEONG C. LEI (WALNUT CREEK, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An optoelectronic faucet, comprising a faucet body to which a control valve that selectively opens/blocks a water flow is mounted, a light emission portion, a touch control module, and a switch base being arranged on and coupled to the control valve, wherein: the light emission portion comprises a three-dimensionally configured and light transmitting structure that contains therein a flowable liquid, the light emission portion being mounted to an open end of the switch base; the touch control module comprises a structure that contains therein a power source selectively actuated by a micro-switch to activate operation of an illuminator; and the switch base comprises a hollow structure having an open end receiving therein the touch control module and coupled to the control valve to be movable in unison therewith; whereby when the light emission portion and the switch base are touched in an attempt to rotate the faucet control valve, an electrostatic effect is induced, which causes the micro-switch to have the touch control module activating the illuminator so that the illuminator gives off light that is allowed to travel to and through the light emission portion.

2. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 1, wherein the light emission portion contains therein a liquid of low flowability.

3. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 1, wherein the flowable liquid contained in the light emission portion contains flake-like spangles.

4. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 1, wherein the flowable liquid contained in the light emission portion contains particle-like spangles.

5. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 1, wherein the light emission portion and the switch base are coupled to each other in a releasable manner.

6. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 1, wherein the touch control module comprises a control unit that controls the operation of the illuminator.

7. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 1, wherein the illuminator of the touch control module comprises a light-emitting diode.

8. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 1, wherein the power source comprises a mercury cell.

9. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 1, wherein the illuminator is arranged to surround the control valve.

10. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 6, wherein the control unit controls the illuminator in an intermittent activation manner.

11. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 6, wherein the control unit controls the illuminator in a selective activation manner.

12. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 1, wherein the micro-switch is operated by means of electrostatics to actuate the power source.

13. The optoelectronic faucet according to claim 1, wherein the micro-switch is operated by means of vibration to actuate the power source.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a structure of an optoelectronic faucet, and particularly to an interesting and decorative faucet that can get conducted on due to rotation of a switch base of the faucet for generating lighting decoration on the top of the faucet.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

A faucet is used to control opening/blocking of a water flow. Constituent parts of a faucet include a discharge section and a mounting section for coupling with a water supply pipe. Inside the faucet is a control valve that controls the opening/blocking of the water flow. The control valve is in turn controlled by a rotary handle member to selectively open block the water flow.

Conventional faucets are commonly of the above described arrangement of parts, but may have different configuration for the rotary handle member, which varies from the early triangular shape, spherical shape, stem-like shape, to a duck-beak shape. Besides the variation of the rotary handle member, the overall configuration/contour of the faucet is also of versatile designs that are soft and innovating. However, simply varying the contour of the faucet is not sufficient to suit the needs for variation and innovation of the modern consumers. Thus, besides aesthetic consideration, functionality and interesting are also important factors to attract the interesting of the consumers.

Based on years' experience in development and manufacturing of decorative articles, the present applicant wishes to provide a faucet that, besides functioning as a regular faucet, provides an additional lighting effect. With successive attempts in the development of such a device, an optoelectronic faucet is invented and will be further described hereinafter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Thus, the present invention provides an optoelectronic faucet comprising a faucet body to which a control valve for opening/blocking a water flow is mounted. The control valve is provided thereon with and coupled to a switch base containing a light-transmitting light emission portion and also contains therein a touch control module comprising an illuminator, which is triggered by means of electrostatics or vibration to activate a power source to drive operation of the illuminator. As such, touching and attempting to rotate the switch base of the faucet control valve triggers the micro-switch to have the touch control module activating the illuminator to give off light traveling to and through the light-transmitting light emission portion for both providing decoration and facilitating fancy/interesting and dazzling effect.

The foregoing objective and summary provide only a brief introduction to the present invention. To fully appreciate these and other objects of the present invention as well as the invention itself, all of which will become apparent to those skilled in the art, the following detailed description of the invention and the claims should be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Throughout the specification and drawings identical reference numerals refer to identical or similar parts.

Many other advantages and features of the present invention will become manifest to those versed in the art upon making reference to the detailed description and the accompanying sheets of drawings in which a preferred structural embodiment incorporating the principles of the present invention is shown by way of illustrative example.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of an optoelectronic faucet in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic view illustrating a touch control module of the optoelectronic faucet of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the optoelectronic faucet of the present invention in an assembled form.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view illustrating the operation of the optoelectronic faucet of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following descriptions are exemplary embodiments only, and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the following description provides a convenient illustration for implementing exemplary embodiments of the invention. Various changes to the described embodiments may be made in the function and arrangement of the elements described without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

With initial reference to FIG. 1, which illustrates an exploded view of an optoelectronic faucet constructed in accordance with the present invention, the optoelectronic faucet of the present invention comprises a faucet body A to which a control valve B for opening/blocking water flow is mounted. The control valve B is coupled with a light-transmitting light emission portion 1, a touch control module 2, and a switch base 3.

The light-transmitting light emission portion 1 is mounted to an open end of the switch base 3 and has a three-dimensional and light-transmittable configuration. The light-transmitting light emission portion 1 is also made hollow and contains therein a flowable liquid. If desired, the flowable liquid may be mixed with flake- or particle-like spangles. The outside configuration of the light-transmitting light emission portion 1 can be of a shape facilitating hand holding and operating by a user.

Also referring to FIG. 2, the touch control module 2 comprises a structure that embeds and retains therein a power source 21, a micro-switch 22, a control unit 23, and at least one illuminator 24. The touch control module 3 is arranged and mounted under the light-transmitting light emission portion 1. To reduce the overall size, the power source 21 can comprise for example one or more mercury cells. The micro-switch 22 is operated by electrostatics or vibration caused by being touched to conduct on the power source 21. The control unit 23 is designed for intermittent or selective activation. The illuminator 24 can be any light generation device or element, such as one or more light-emitting diodes, which are arranged in a direction facing the light-transmitting light emission portion 1 and distributed around the control valve B.

The switch base 3 comprises a hollow structure forming an internal chamber 31 having an open end receiving therein the touch control module 2 and coupled to the control valve B to be movable in unison therewith.

As such, when an attempt to open water flow through the faucet by touching and rotating the control valve B of the faucet, the touch causes electrostatics and/or vibration, which activates the micro-switch 22 to turn on the power source 21, driving the illuminator 24 to generate and give off light, whereby the light from the illuminator 24 travels to and through the light-transmitting light emission portion 1 to provide aesthetic and decorative effect and also to provide lighting for operating the faucet.

Further referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, to assemble, the control valve B that functions to open/block a water flow is first mounted to the faucet body A, and then the switch base 3 is mounted to the control valve B. The power source 21, the micro-switch 22, the control unit 23, and the illuminator 24 of the touch control module 2 are then fit into the internal chamber 31 of the switch base 3 in such a way that the illuminator 24 (or the lighting elements thereof) surrounds the control valve B. The light-transmitting light emission portion 1 is set on the touch control module 2 so that the light-transmitting light emission portion 1, which contains therein a liquid of low flowability, is located above the control valve B of the faucet body A and the illuminator 24 projects light toward the light-transmitting light emission portion 1. Further, for ready replacement of different light-transmitting light emission portion 1, the light-transmitting light emission portion 1 and the switch base 3 are coupled to each other in a releasable manner.

With the faucet of the present invention mounted to a water supply pipe, when a user touches and attempts to rotate the light-transmitting light emission portion 1 and the switch base 3 of the present invention, a minute force caused by the touch is sufficient to allow the detection by the micro-switch 22 of the touch control module 2 by means of electrostatics or vibration to cause the operation thereof, thereby activating the control unit 23 and the illuminator 24, making the illuminator 24 lighting the light-transmitting light emission portion 1. With the rotation of the faucet, the flowable liquid inside the light-transmitting light emission portion 1 is caused to flow and the spangles entrains the flow to shift and float, providing a visual effect, so that the user who is opening or closing the faucet may enjoy such a visual effect provided by the lighting device. Further, the lighting of the illuminator 24 can be set in intermittent activation of predetermined seconds or other desired time periods, so that light is given off from the illuminator 24 and travels through the light-transmitting light emission portion 1 to induce an additional dazzling/flashing effect. Alternatively, the light from the illuminator 24 can certainly be set in such a way that it is completely shut down after a given lapse of time, such as several seconds, and is then re-activated to give off light when the user touches the faucet of the present invention again; this adds a bright and shining effect.

From the above description of the constituent parts and operation of the optoelectronic faucet of the present invention, several advantages can be recognized and will be briefed as follows:

(1) The optoelectronic faucet of the present invention uses a touch control module that incorporates a micro-switch so that when the faucet is touched, the touch control module detects the touch by means of electrostatics and/or vibration to cause operation thereof, making the illuminator activated to give off light. And, under the condition that the faucet is being rotated, the spangles contained in the flowable liquid inside the light-transmitting light emission portion may be caused to randomly shift and float, which not only allows the design of a faucet to be versatile and flexible and provides a decoration function to the faucet of the present invention.

(2) The optoelectronic faucet of the present invention, through the above described operation and function, provides a user with lighting when the illuminator lights up the light-transmitting light emission portion and also provides the user with a visual effect and entertainment in using the faucet.

To conclude, the above description of the integral formation of the structure in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention reveals that the present invention does perfectly exhibit the decorative characteristics of the liquid-contained lighting device and that the present invention provides an effect of dazzling/flashing of light through the operation of the illuminator by means of the activation of the touch control module so that a more vivid and dynamic feeling is realized through the flowability of the liquid contained in the liquid-contained lighting device.

While certain novel features of this invention have been shown and described and are pointed out in the annexed claim, it is not intended to be limited to the details above, since it will be understood that various omissions, modifications, substitutions and changes in the forms and details of the device illustrated and in its operation can be made by those skilled in the art without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.