Title:
Light bulb storage apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A molded-plastic rectangular storage container that holds light bulbs of various wattage and styles including energy-saving fluorescent bulbs. The light bulb holding apparatus consist of a pull out drawer with attached tray. The tray has openings spaced apart in a matrix grid to receive and support bulbs by the globes thereof, housed in a full cover shell that is stackable with other containers.



Inventors:
Kahle, Ellen (St. Louis, MO, US)
Application Number:
12/157382
Publication Date:
12/10/2009
Filing Date:
06/10/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/42
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ACKUN, JACOB K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOHN C. MCMAHON (Leawood, KS, US)
Claims:
1. A light bulb storage device comprising: (a) a drawer including: (i) an upper shelf having a plurality of openings in a matrix grid configuration for insertion of a light bulb therein, each of the openings being sized and shaped to receive and support a globe of a respective light bulb; and (ii) a bottom spaced sufficiently from the upper shelf so as to allow a stem of a light bulb received in the tray to hang free when the stem is placed through an opening and the light bulb is supported by its globe; and (b) an outer shell sized and shaped to receive the drawer therein.

2. The device according to claim 1, the drawer further including: (a) a front panel secured to the front of the upper shelf; and (b) a bottom attached to the upper shelf.

3. The device according to claim 1 wherein the shell includes: (a) a top, a bottom and dual side panels sized and shaped to receive the drawer and so as to provide safe housing of bulbs.

4. The device according to claim 1, further including at least two shells, wherein each shell includes: (a) a set of indents in each corner of the top panels and a set of feet in each corner of the bottom panel so as to allow stacking of the shells.

5. A light bulb storage apparatus, said apparatus comprising: (a) a drawer having a horizontal upper shelf; and (b) a plurality of openings located in the upper shelf; each opening being sized and shaped to receive a light bulb and to support each light bulb by a globe thereof.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present application relates to a container for storing unused light bulbs and, in particular, to a container that holds various sizes of bulbs, is stackable in multiples and supports the bulbs by the globe of the bulb.

Most often lights bulbs are bought in quantities that are unneeded at the time of purchase and placed in storage for when they are needed. Most homes have multiple bulb wattage requirements, causing the purchase of many different settings bulbs for standby. Each type of bulb is commonly sold in storage boxes made of corrugated cardboard. These boxes are flimsy, difficult to use and hard to store in an orderly manner.

A concern with the corrugated cardboard boxes is the inability to stack multiple containers in a stable manner due to the flimsy material. When searching through multiple bulb boxes, the stack will often fall over and require reorganization causing lost time, potential damage to the bulbs, and inconvenience.

The bulbs are placed inside an additional cardboard compartment that slides out of the outer shell, this arrangement allows for both a top and bottom to be open when removed from outer shell. If not maneuvered carefully the bottom bulbs may fall out of the compartment onto the ground, potentially causing damage to the bulbs and inconvenience person trying to retrieve a replacement bulb.

Certain types of storage containers have been developed in the prior art that hold the bulbs in place by providing receivers in the devices that grip stored bulbs by the stem or neck. The neck of the bulb is the generally cylindrical region between the glass globe and the metal base. The neck is a weak point when sheer or sideways force is applied to it and not the ideal location to apply force when falling or jostled, thereby leading to breakage.

Therefore, it is desirable to provide container that would provide a stable stacking surface and more securely hold the bulb in a structurally stronger manner. Also desirable is quick and easy access to the multiple wattage selections in storage.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A storage apparatus is provided for use in conjunction with light bulbs of various sizes wherein the apparatus provides stable containment and easier accessability. The apparatus comprises a shell, a pull-out drawer and an interior tray. The tray is generally hollow and has an upper surface that contains a plurality of apertures or openings that are sized and shaped to loosely receive the globes of various sized light bulbs. The bulb holding upper surface is also sized shaped and positioned such that stems of bulbs placed in the openings have freely and preferably without engagement with the tray, especially engagement that would prevent the stem from moving within the tray.

The apparatus is preferably constructed of lightweight and generally rigid plastic. The sturdiness of the material of construction allows the apparatuses to be stacked. The apparatus is also provided a notch and a foot to allow for securely stacking a plurality of containers.

The number of openings on the tray surface can be varied for the particular needs of the user. For example, the number of openings may be twenty-four. The size of the openings can be varied to accommodate various sized bulbs. After light bulbs are purchased, consumers can place spare bulbs in the storage apparatus, allowing housing for bulbs of various sizes including, but not limited to, standard (25 to 300 watt) incandescent bulbs, energy saving fluorescent bulbs, recessed halogen lights, outdoor spot lights, small night lights, and indoor/outdoor Christmas lights.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the objects of the present invention are: to provide a light bulb storage apparatus for storing light bulbs of various sizes wherein the bulbs are supported by the globes of the bulbs and not the stems; to provide such an apparatus that is configured to be stackable; and to provide such an apparatus that is easy to use, inexpensive to produce and especially well adapted for the intended usage thereof;

Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth, by way of illustration and example, certain embodiments of this invention.

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments of the present invention and illustrate various objects and features thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a light bulb storage apparatus with a tray in accordance with the present application.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the tray showing openings that receives light bulbs.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the tray.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the tray, taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of multiple bulb storage apparatuses stacked on top of each other.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

In FIGS. 1-5 is shown a light bulb storage apparatus or caddy in accordance with the present invention, generally indicated by reference numeral 1. The light bulb storage apparatus 1 is shown in conjunction with light bulbs. The light bulb storage apparatus 1 comprises of a shell or container 2 and a drawer 3 having a tray 4.

The container 2 includes a top 6, a bottom 14, opposing side panels 11 and 12 and a back 13, preferably constructed of a load bearing and resilient plastic. The top 6 has a notches 7-10 in each corner. The bottom 14 has a foot 15 in each corner. The feet 15-18 are sized and shaped to be received in respective notches 7-10 in a stacked configuration, as shown in FIG. 5.

Shown in FIGS. 2-4 the drawer 3 includes a front panel 21 and a bottom 22. The drawer front panel fits snugly in the opening 19 of the front of the container 2 and the bottom 22 is sized and shaped to set on and slide along a top of the container bottom 14 during opening and closing. The drawer 3 have a finger receiving notch 19 to at the top of the front 21 to facilitate opening.

Shown in FIGS. 2-4 the tray 4 is secured at the front and rear to the drawer front 21 and bottom 22 respectively. The tray 4 has a shelf 24 with an upper surface 25, a front edge 26, back 27, and a set of opposing sides 28 and 29. The surface 25 includes a plurality of various sized openings 31 and 32, that are spaced in a manner of four rows of six. It is foreseen that many different configurations of openings 31 and 32 could be used to accommodate bulbs of different sizes or different numbers of bulbs. For example, the tray could have 12 openings all sized for standard sized incandescent bulbs.

The tray shelf 24 is preferably positioned such that standard bulbs 34 hang from the tray shelf 24 without stems 38 of the bulbs 34 being supported by or received in the drawer bottom 14. The openings 31 and 32 are sized and shaped to receive bulbs 34 to 36 respectively by globes 39 thereof. In this manner the bulbs 31 and 32 are supported by respective openings 31 and 32 and are not fixed in position by the stems 38 thereof so as to reduce the likelihood of breakage.

It is to be understood that while certain forms of the present invention have been illustrated and described herein, it is not to be limited to the specific forms or arrangement of parts described and shown.