Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
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U.S. Patent 7,972,036 for “Modular bollard luminaire louver.”
Texas Business Patent Of The Day: Three Texas men invented a lighting bollard that is more impervious to vandalism and provides lighting that adjusts to whether people are present or not.
John William Schach of Kyle, Donald Manuel Perreira of San Marcos and Chris Boissevain of Wimberly received U.S. Patent 7,972,036 for “Modular bollard luminaire louver.”
The three filed for the patent on April 30, 2008.
The patent assignee is Genlyte Thomas Group LLC of Delware.
Bollards are protective structures which are generally located around buildings or machines at industrial, commercial, or institutional premises. They are believed to be named because their shape tends to resemble posts or "bollards" used at wharfs, and around which mooring lines are fastened. Bollards are generally known as having cement or extruded metal posts to protect an exterior portion of a building or the like. When metal bollard posts are utilized, they may be fastened to structures already placed in the ground or cemented into place, or alternatively filled with cement.
In many instances, the bollard structures are utilized to provide lighting over a preselected area. In some instances, the bollard luminaires provide illumination in a selected direction in order to illuminate a structure which the bollard protects. The bollards are generally known to have domes or other upper casting portions, and multi-tier louvers, or a combination of both.
One problem with existing bollard luminaires is their inefficient use of energy. Existing luminaires are typically on at a high level of illumination for several hours at a time. However, during many of these hours, people are not present, and therefore the high level of illumination is not necessarily needed, where a lower level of illumination would suffice. When examining whether sensors could be utilized with existing bollard designs to sense occupants in the area of the bollard and change the illumination level from a low level to a high level. One problem was the use of sensors which require an unobstructed "view" of the area surrounding the bollard. In order to provide such "view," the sensor had to be placed outside of the bollard, which was detrimental to the aesthetic quality of the bollard. Moreover, a lens needed to be placed over the sensor to try to inhibit vandals who may have attempted to break or steal the sensor. Thus, a bollard design is needed which does not require the sensor to be placed outside of the bollard, and which therefore retains the aesthetically pleasing qualities of the bollard, without inhibiting the utility of the sensor.
Another problem with the existing bollard design is that existing lamp systems are not as efficient as newer forms of lighting, such as light emitting diodes (LEDs) which can emit an equivalent amount of light with less power usage. Additionally, it would be preferable to incorporate the LED technology in such a way as to render the lighting modular so that banks of light could be replaced as they deplete or become less efficient. Alternatively, it would be preferable to easily replace the banks of light as newer lighting technology becomes available without need of replacing the entire bollard assembly.
Given the foregoing, a luminaire is needed which has improved efficiency over existing luminaires, which allows for easy replacement of the lamp structures and which also utilizes a sensor which is enclosed within the luminaire housing.
The three Texans’ device is a modular louver assembly for a bollard luminaire. It has a an upper surface, a lower surface and an opening, a heat sink within the opening of the louver and adjacent the lower surface, a number of LEDs about the heat sink on a lower surface of the louver, and, a lens beneath the heat sink.
When the sensors detect a person within the vicinity, the LEDs are ramped up to provide more light for a predetermined amount of time. When the sensors do not detect people in the area for a predetermined amount of time, the LEDs are ramped down to a lower light level.
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