US 20130016864A1 (19) United States (12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2013/0016864 A1 Ivey et al. (54) LIGHTING AND AUDIO COMMUNICATION SYSTEM (43) Pub. Date: (60) (71) Applicant: Mitek Corp., Inc., Phoneix, AZ (US) (72) Inventors: Loyd Ivey, Phoenix, AZ (US); Bruce Marlin, Ennis, TX (US); Alan Cross, Monroe, WI (US); Brad Diedrich, Oregon, WI (US) (73) Assignee: MITEK CORR, INC., Phoenix, AZ (Us) (21) App1,No,; 13/623,846 (22) Filed: sep_ 20, 2012 Jan. 17, 2013 Provisional application No. 61/211,644, ?led on Apr. 1, 2009. Publication Classi?cation (51) Int. Cl. H04R 1/20 H04R 1/02 (52) (57) (2006.01) (2006.01) US. Cl. ..................................................... .. 381/340 ABSTRACT A lighting and communication system With a horn enclosure for recessed ceiling panel or Wall mounting, including a speaker With a horn expansion area to direct sound Waves from the speaker to a horn enclosure front, at least one light Related U-s- Application Data enclosure located Within the horn enclosure, the light enclo sure de?ning a light cavity Which is separated from said horn expansion area, With a light source inside the light cavity. The (63) Continuation-in-part of application No. 12/752,560, ?led on Apr. 1, 2010, noW Pat. No. 8,300,869. playing text, colors orpatterns in response to a control system signal. light source can be an LED array, Which is capable of dis Patent Application Publication Jan. 17, 2013 Sheet 1 0f 7 US 2013/0016864 A1 Patent Application Publication Jan. 17, 2013 Sheet 2 0f 7 US 2013/0016864 A1 Patent Application Publication Jan. 17, 2013 Sheet 3 0f 7 US 2013/0016864 A1 Patent Application Publication Jan. 17, 2013 Sheet 4 0f 7 US 2013/0016864 A1 Patent Application Publication Jan. 17, 2013 Sheet 5 0f 7 US 2013/0016864 A1 Patent Application Publication Jan. 17, 2013 Sheet 6 0f 7 US 2013/0016864 A1 Patent Application Publication 110 Jan. 17, 2013 Sheet 7 0f 7 US 2013/0016864 A1 US 2013/0016864 A1 LIGHTING AND AUDIO COMMUNICATION SYSTEM RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER APPLICATIONS  This application is a continuation in part of US. patent application Ser. No. 12/752,560 ?led Apr. 1, 2010 naming the same inventors Which, in turn, claims the bene?t Jan. 17, 2013 strictly for illumination, and did not have any implications for emergency assistance such as ?re, Weather emergency, or other communication applications. Combination lights and speakers have consisted of lights mounted directly in front of the speaker components, Which has Wattage limitations in terms of heat generation, and can create a ?re haZard if the lamps used become too hot. of provisional application Ser. No. 61/211,664 ?led Apr. 2, SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 2009 naming the same inventors.  FIELD OF THE INVENTION  The present invention relates to a combination light ing and audio communication system for use in ceilings and Walls, and more particularly to a modular system for provid ing both light and sound in a commercial suspended ceiling panel system. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION  It is Well knoWn in the art to use various types of incandescent and ?uorescent light sources for residential and commercial buildings, mounting them into a ceiling tile or dryWall type ceiling or Wall. Light sources are provided in either surface mounted or recessed con?gurations, and in the case of recessed mountings the housings can be cylindrical, square or rectangular. The square and rectangular light sources can be siZed for mounted directly into ceiling grids Where no cutting of tiles is required.  There have been recent developments Which utiliZe loW voltage or Light Emitting Diode (LED) sources in place of the traditional incandescent and ?uorescent lights. These LED arrays are smaller in physical siZe With a nearly ?at pro?le, lending themselves to loW ceilings With limited ple num space or even loW pro?le surface applications. The LED arrays are also much more energy ef?cient that traditional light sources, and offer the option of multiple colors and rapid on/off cycles. The present invention includes lighting and audio components in the same ?xture to create a lighting and com munications panel. The panel assembly includes a square or rectangular enclosure having a siZe and shape often corre sponding to various suspended ceiling tiles or modular light ing. The edges of the enclosure are con?gured to ?t into standard ceiling grids, or to be ?ush mounted into a neW or existing Wall or ceiling structure. There is a lighting element generally parallel With the front edge of the tray, and Which covers substantially the entire opening of the tray. The light ing element can consist of traditional lighting sources such as incandescent, ?uorescent, neon, or HID.  Alternatively the lighting element used in the assembly may consist of an LED array, of generally tWo types. A top ?ring LED array has many LED’s positioned in grid patterns on a generally ?at panel. This plurality of LED’ s can be programmed to light individually in a desired sequence, in order to form letters, numbers, or various shapes including arroWs, chevrons, logos, or symbols. The shapes and symbols can be programmed to scroll along a linear path, or to simulate motion in any direction.  A second variation is a side ?ring LED array, in Which LED’s are arranged around the edge of a translucent panel, to light the panel from only the edges. In either con ?guration, the LED’s are capable of changing color, so the desired shapes can also be programmed in many color com binations. The side ?ring LED array also lends itself Well to a It is also Well knoWn in the art that various speaker transducer type audio system, Which Would keep the overall height of the assembly very loW. Either of the lighting arrangements are used in a variety of recessed enclosures arrangements can be controlled from a common poWer source intended for use in suspended and dryWall type ceilings and Walls in residential and commercial buildings. The speakers Alternatively, the lighting assemblies can be individually  and sWitched in banks similar to traditional lighting schemes. can be either the traditional cone and magnet type, or a trans controlled from a computer or circuit board driven system ducer type attached to a transmitting surface.  Other audio sources can also be incorporated, such Which Would alloW individual control of each light assembly and facilitate communication via changing colors or shapes as sirens, pieZo buZZers, Whistles and the like. Traditional generated by the lights. speakers can be fumished in specialiZed audio ranges such as  Woofers, mid-range, and tWeeters. The various audio devices can be poWered by a centraliZed ampli?er, and controlled by audio speaker driver Which is mounted on top or in back of the tray so that it is not visible after mounting of the assembly. an audio source such as a radio, CD or MP3 player, micro Normally this audio system Will be in a completely different compartment than the lighting, separating the tWo systems for better heat and vibration resistance, and compliance With phone, or computer controlled announcement system. The audio source can send a single output signal such as back ground music or paging to all the speakers, or it can send The lighting tray assembly also includes at least one commercial ?re codes. In order to route the audio Waves from the rear of the tray to the front of the assembly, at least one ?at specialiZed audio outputs to speakers in certain Zones, such as localiZed announcements in airports. The audio devices can also be supplied With a receiver to receive Wireless transmis horn is utiliZed. This ?at horn, in one con?guration accepts sion of an audio signal from a remote transmitter. around the back of the tray, and exits out at least one narroW  Ceiling and Wall mounted lights and speakers are generally mounted separately from each other, as the electri cal poWer and control systems for each are completely differ ent. There have been some light and speaker combinations slot at the front of the assembly. In another con?guration, at least one speaker driver is used in combination With at least tWo ?at horns, to direct the sound along at least tWo separate paths to tWo narroW outlets in the front of the enclosure. In proposed for recessed mounting in ceilings and Walls, but this Way, the speaker is concealed, virtually the entire surface most of these knoWn systems are intended for home use, and of the lighting array is maintained, and the audio Waves can travel unobstructed from the driver to the narroW front outlets. The shape of the ?at horns can be adjusted to create the audio Were not envisioned for large commercial applications. In addition, the lighting in these con?gurations Was intended the sound from the audio speaker driver, extends laterally US 2013/0016864 A1 signal desired. For example the horns can have the same cross section from their audio source to their outlet, or they can expand in siZe from the source to the outlet, or even reduce in siZe as they approach the outlet. The horns can even be created in a labyrinth so that a long horn path can be contained in a Jan. 17,2013  FIG. 5 is a side vieW of another exemplary version of the lighting and audio communication system.  FIG. 6 is top vieW of another exemplary version of the lighting and audio communication system.  FIG. 7 is an electronic schematic shoWing one pos smaller space. These light and speaker assemblies can be arranged throughout the ceiling area, in order to deliver dis tributed light and sound throughout the area.  Another con?guration is to utiliZe a transducer type sible circuit board con?guration for controlling the combina tion of lights and speakers in the lighting and audio commu nication system. audio system Where one or more audio transducers are DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE BEST MODES AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION attached to a ?at panel to transmit the audio signal directly Without the use of the ?at horn to direct the sound Waves.  While the speaker system can certainly be used for the more traditional background music, White noise orpaging functions, the combination With the versatile LED lighting array creates some very unique opportunities. For example, the lights can be individually and independently programmed to respond in pre-determined Ways to certain audio signals. For example, in the case of a ?re signal sent to the audio system, the lighting system can display red arroWs or chev rons indicating the best path to an exit. The LED array could also display scrolling text to indicate the emergency or haZ ard, including several languages or pictorial displays. Weather, chemical, or other haZard situations could be handled in a similar fashion. A code blue emergency in a hospital setting could be programmed to indicate blue chev rons to guide responders to the appropriate location While the audio system announces the information.  An additional opportunity Would be for the lights to respond automatically to a particular audio frequency. For example, the LED’s can be programmed to display chevrons or text in response to a knoWn ?re alarm or siren frequency. This programmed response could be passive, meaning that it WouldWork With remote audio sources not directly connected  The above and other objects and advantages of the present invention Will become more apparent from the fol loWing description taken in conjunction With the folloWing draWings in Which:  FIG. 1 is a side vieW cross-section illustrating the exemplary embodiment of the lighting and communication system 10. A horn enclosure 20 is a relatively Wide and ?at assembly often made out of sheet steel or other heat resistant materials. The horn enclosure 20 includes a horn enclosure back 22, a horn enclosure front 24, and horn enclosure sides 26, Which together de?ne the tray shape of the assembly. A horn enclosure ?ange 28 is located adjacent to the horn enclo sure sides 26, and extends the entire perimeter of the horn enclosure front 24 to de?ne the horn enclosure opening 30. Adjacent to the horn enclosure back 22 is at least one speaker aperture 32 Which is designed to accept a speaker 34. The speaker 34 has a series of speaker mounts 36 Which corre spond to the shape and siZe of the speaker aperture 32, and the speaker 34 is held in position using clips or fasteners (not shoWn). The speaker 34 is typically poWered and driven by a system including poWer ampli?ers, equaliZers, computers, digital sound processors and other means of control, Which to the communications panel itself. can be located either locally in each enclosure or remote to  run a series of light and audio devices. The combination light In addition to ceiling grid and Wall mounted appli cations of this invention, there are also many other opportu and audio device can also have its oWn individual IP address nities Which the inventors have envisioned, including; to create a variety of Zones or paging areas.  a. multiple types of speaker drivers in one assem bly for paging, ?re, noise masking, etc,  b. large LED arrays~ith combined audio for use in stage, concert, sports, or auditorium applications,  c. ?oor integrated panels for use in discos and sports arenas (hockey, curling), etc,  d. gaming machines With integrated light and sound.  e. retail POP displays With illuminated light and sound;   BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side vieW cross-section illustrating the exemplary embodiment of the present invention.  FIG. 2 is an isometric vieW of the lighting aperture on the bottom side of the present invention.  FIG. 3 is a top vieW of the lighting and audio com munication system.  housing ?ange 40 around the perimeter. The speaker housing 38 can be designed in a variety of shapes and siZes depending on the particular application, and is generally attached via the speaker housing ?ange 40 to the horn enclosure back 22 using clips, adhesive, hinges or fasteners (not shoWn).  f. vehicle dome or backup lights; g. emergency vehicle light displays With audio.  h. baby monitor With night light and audio;  i. LED ?ashlight With integrated audio.   A speaker housing 38 provides a protective covering over the speaker 34, and is often required by local or federal ?re codes. The speaker housing 38 is a generally pan or boWl shaped assembly With one open side de?ned by a speaker FIG. 4 is an isometric vieW from the top side of the lighting and audio communication system, shoWing the vari ous horn guides and speaker mounts. The speaker housing 38 can also be used to mount and protect various other equipment 42, Which may include Wiring, ampli?ers, transformers, or Wireless receivers.  The speaker housing 38 can also provide an enclo sure for a lighting circuit board 44 for controlling various lighting functions or other aspects of the device.  FIG. 2 is an isometric vieW of the lighting and audio communication system 10 and shoWs a trim ring 50 Which is provided to be mounted over the horn enclosure front 24 to conceal the horn enclosure 20 as shoWn in FIG. 1. The trim ring 50 includes a trim ring ?ange 52 Which is at the outer edge of the trim ring 50 and is similar in siZe and shape to the horn enclosure ?ange 28 shoWn in FIG. I. The trim ring ?ange 52 of the trim ring 50 is attached adjacent to the horn enclo sure ?ange 28 at the horn enclosure front 24 using a plurality of spring clips 54 or similar attachment devices as shoWn in FIG. 1. The trim ring 50 includes at least one lighting aperture US 2013/0016864 A1 56 for the light to be able to shine through. In order to control the resulting light, a lens 58 is provided to ?t in the lighting aperture 56. The lens 58 can be a clear or translucent panel, either ?at or textured to diffuse the light. The lens 58 could also include a grid or crate assembly (not shoWn) to further control or diffuse the light. The trim ring 50 also includes at least one audio aperture 60 for alloWing the audio Waves to escape from the horn enclosure front 24 as shoWn in FIG. 1. The trim ring 50 often includes a trim stiffener 62 Which helps to retain the shape and rigidity of the trim ring 50. The spring Jan. 17,2013  FIG. 4 and FIG. 9 are isometric vieWs from the top side of the lighting and audio communication system 10, and more clearly shoWs the horn guides 90, speaker mount 36 and speaker mounting ?ange 40. It is also envisioned that there could be a plurality of speakers 34 arranged in multiple speaker housing ?anges 40 and With additional horn guides 90. The multiple speakers 34 as shoWn in FIG. 1 could be a combination of audio ranges such as Woofer, midrange and tWeeter, or a combination of usage such as sirens, buZZers and loudspeakers. clips 54 are sometimes attached to this trim stiffener 62 to  retain the trim ring 50 to the horn enclosure ?ange 28.  As shoWn in FIG. 1, a light enclosure 70 is disposed tively of another version of the lighting and audio communi cation system 1011. The light enclosure 70a of the lighting and adjacent to and above the trim ring 50, and generally centered audio communication system 1011 consists of a frame 50a surrounding a lens 58a Which can be clear or translucent glass or plastic. The speakers 34a consist of at least one contact transducer 10011 which attaches directly to the lens 58a of the light enclosure 70a to produce audio sound Waves 88a.  The light source 82a in this application consists of a side ?ring LED array 8411 Where the LED’s are disposed around one or more edges of the lens 58a of the light enclo inside the horn enclosure 20. The light enclosure 70 includes a light enclosure back 74, light enclosure sides 76, and a light enclosure front 78, Which together de?ne a light cavity 79. There is sometimes a light enclosure ?ange 80 adjacent to the light enclosure front 78, and normally extends outWard around the perimeter of the light enclosure front 78. The light enclosure ?ange 80 or light enclosure sides 76 are attached to the horn enclosure sides 26 of the horn enclosure 20 by a series of tabs 72 or other means of fastening together.  The space created betWeen the light enclosure back 74 and light enclosure side 76 of the light enclosure 70, and the horn enclosure back 22 and horn enclosure side 26 of the horn enclosure 20 de?nes a horn expansion area 86. The purpose of the horn expansion area 86 is to guide sound Waves 88 emanating from the speaker 34 towards the audio aperture 60 of the trim ring 50 and into the ambient area adjacent the horn enclosure opening 3 0. In order to further guide the sound Waves 88, a bifurcation bar 90 may be attached to either the light enclosure back 74 or the horn enclosure 20 to split the sound Waves 88 into tWo or more directions of ?oW.  Inside the light cavity 78 is a light source 82 Which is electrically poWered With either a 120V AC house current or a loW voltage poWer supply, and attached to the light enclosure back 74. One embodiment of the light source 82 is an LED array 84, Which consists of a plurality of bulbs in a plurality of roWs. Other light sources 82 include ?uorescent or incandescent lights. There may be a plurality of tabs 72 at various heights along the horn enclosure sides 26 to alloW a number of different distances betWeen the light enclosure 70 and the lens 58 to provide a variation of diffusion levels of the light source 82.  The light sources 82 or LED array 84 may be con trolled by a lighting circuit board 44, Which can also be located remotely to control a series of lights. The lighting circuit board 44 can control many aspects of the LED array 84 including brightness, color, patterns, text, scrolling, graphic movement, and poWer management.  FIG. 3 and FIG. 8 are top vieWs of the lighting and audio communication system 10, and illustrates that in order to further enhance the ?oW of the sound Waves 88 toWard the FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 are a side and top vieW respec sure 70a. A relatively ?at speaker housing 38a is disposed above the light enclosure 70a to protect the transducer 10011 of the speaker 34a, and is removably attached to the frame 50a of the light enclosure 70a. The result of this con?guration is a more ?at overall shape, capable of being mounted in a ceiling grid, but more appropriate for surface or Wall mount mg.  FIG. 6 more clearly showing the possible location of multiple transducers 10011 of the speaker 34a attached to the lens 58a.  FIG. 7 is an electronic schematic shoWing one pos sible circuit board con?guration for controlling the combina tion of lights and speakers in the lighting and audio commu nication system 10. This control system 110 can include changing the color or intensity of the lights, forming shapes such as chevrons, graphics or pictorials, text, or scrolling text in several languages. It can also control the audio components to send verbal messages, sounds or other signals as pro grammed. It can also be con?gured to prompt an automatic visual lighting sequence based on a pre-determined audio frequency or pattern such as a ?re alarm, bell, siren, or the like. We claim: 1) A lighting and communication system comprising; a) an environmental mounting comprising one of a vertical surface mounting and a ceiling mounting; b) a horn enclosure mounted on said environmental mount ing and comprising at least one rear speaker aperture; c) at least one speaker mounted adjacent to said horn enclo sure; d) at least one horn expansion area inside said horn enclo sure to direct sound Waves from said at least one speaker to a horn enclosure front; audio aperture 60 shoWn in FIG. 2, horn guides 90 can be added to the horn enclosure 20, or to the light enclosure back 74 as shoWn in FIG. 1. The horn guides 90 are generally narroW adjacent to the speaker aperture 32, and expand to be much Wider as they approach the audio aperture 60 shoWn in e) at least one light enclosure located Within said horn FIG. 2. The sound Waves 88 shoWn in FIG. 3 are shoWn to coupling mounted Within said light cavity. 2) The lighting and communication system according to enclosure, Wherein said light enclosure de?nes a light cavity Which is separated from said horn expansion area by said light enclosure; and f) said light enclosure comprising at least one light source expand from their source at the speaker aperture 32 toWard the horn enclosure opening 30 and audio aperture 60 shoWn in claim 1 in Which said horn enclosure is square or rectangular FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. in shape. US 2013/0016864 A1 Jan. 17,2013 3) The lighting and communication system according to communicatively coupled to at least one of commercial and claim 1 in Which a light source is coupled to said light source coupling and Wherein said light source comprises an LED array. emergency communications applications. 14) The lighting and communication system according to claim 1 in Which said ceiling mounting comprises a ceiling 4) The lighting and communication system according to claim 1 in Which said light cavity is completely separated panel for suspended ceilings. from said horn expansion area. 5) The lighting and communication system according to claim 1 in Which said horn expansion area includes a bifur cation bar to assist in dividing said sound Waves toWard mul claim 1 in Which said light enclosure comprises a light enclo sure back, and said light source coupling is mounted adjacent to said light enclosure back. tiple horn enclosure openings. 16) The lighting and communication system according to 6) The lighting and communication system according to claim 1 in Which said light enclosure comprises a light enclo sure side, and said light source coupling is mounted adjacent to said light enclosure side. 7) The lighting and communication system according to claim 1 in Which a light source coupled to said light source coupling operable to be controlled by a control system, said control system comprising a computer or other digital control equipment in order to alloW said light source to display text, colors, or patterns. 8) The lighting and communication system according to claim 7 in Which said control system is capable of changing at least one of said text, colors, and patterns in response to sound Waves emitting from said horn enclosure. 9) The lighting and communication system according to claim 7 in Which said control system is capable of changing said light source display text, colors or patterns in response to sound emitting from external sources comprising at least one of a bell and an alarm. 10) The lighting and communication system according to claim 1 in Which said speaker is replaceable. 11) The lighting and communication system according to claim 1 in Which said horn expansion area increases in vol ume as it approaches said horn enclosure front. 12) The lighting and communication system according to claim 1 in Which said lighting and communications system is individually addressable by said control system adapted to use an individual internet protocol address. 13) The lighting and communication system according to claim 1 in Which said lighting and communications system is 15) The lighting and communication system according to claim 15 in Which said multiple horn openings number at least tWo. 17) The lighting and communication system according to claim 1 in Which said speakers number at least tWo. 18) The lighting and communication system according to claim 1 in Which said speaker comprises a contact transducer. 19) A lighting and communication system comprising; a) an environmental mounting comprising one of a vertical surface mounting and a ceiling mounting; b) a horn enclosure mounted on said environmental mount ing and comprising at least one rear speaker aperture; c) at least one speaker mounted adjacent to said horn enclo sure and adjacent to said at least one rear speaker aper ture; d) at least one horn expansion area inside said horn enclo sure to direct sound Waves from said at least one speaker to a horn enclosure front; and e) at least one light enclosure located Within said horn enclosure, said light enclosure comprising at least one LED array mounted Within said light enclosure, Wherein said LED array comprises and LED array capable of displaying at least one of text, colors, and patterns in response to a signal received from a digital control sys tem. 20) The lighting and communication system of claim 19, in Which said lighting and communications system is individu ally addressable by said control system adapted to use an individual internet protocol address.
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