Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 15)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on September 8, 2006

U.S. Pat. No. 6,826,983:  Light bulb changer.

 light bulb

We claim:

1. A light bulb changer apparatus, comprising: means for immediately detecting a burned out condition in a light bulb; means for automatically removing the burned out bulb upon; and means for automatically replacing the burned burned out bulb with a replacement bulb, wherein the detecting means, removal means, and replacing means occurs automatically in succession without human intervention.

2. The light bulb changer apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a light fixture.

3. The light bulb changer apparatus of claim 1, wherein the detecting means includes: an optical light sensor.

4. The light bulb changer apparatus of claim 1, wherein the detecting means includes: a power switch.

5. The light bulb changer apparatus of claim 1, wherein the automatic removing means and the automatic replacing means each includes: a cone shaped sleeve for slipping about a portion of the burned out bulb and the replacement bulb.

6. A method of automatically replacing burned out light bulbs, comprising the steps of: instantly detecting a burned out condition in a light bulb supported in a fixture; automatically removing the burned out bulb from the fixture; and automatically replacing the burned out bulb in the fixture with a replacement bulb, wherein the steps of detecting, removing, and replacing occurs in automatic succession without human intervention.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the detecting step includes the step of: detecting the burned out condition with an optical sensor.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein the detecting step includes the step of: detecting the burned out condition with a power current sensor.

9. The method of claim 6, wherein the automatically removing and the automatically replacing steps include the steps of: rotating the burned out bulb from the fixture in one direction; and rotating the replacement bulb into the fixture in an opposite direction.

10. A method of assembling an automatic changer for an existing light fixture having an existing light source, from a kit, comprising the steps of: providing a component for detecting a burned out condition from the existing light source, a component for removing the burned out light source and a component for replacing the burned out light source, and an additional light source; assembling the detecting component, the removing component and the replacing component from the kit into an assembly; and retrofitting the existing light fixture with the assembly; and automatically detecting the burned out condition from the existing light source on the existing light fixture by the assembly; automatically removing the existing light source having the burned out light condition, and automatically replacing the existing light source having the burned out light condition with the additional light source, wherein the steps of detecting, removing, and replacing occurs in automatic succession without human intervention.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein the detecting step includes the step of: detecting the burned out condition with an optical sensor.

12. The method of claim 10, wherein the detecting step includes the step of: detecting the burned out condition with a power current sensor.

13. The method of claim 10, wherein the automatically removing and the automatically replacing steps include the steps of: rotating the burned out light source from the fixture in one direction; and rotating the additional light source into the fixture in an opposite direction.

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