The present invention relates to a switch, particularly
suitable for use in household electrical appliances and the like.
Currently, with particular reference to applications to
household electrical appliances, the most widely used switches are constituted by
a switch body, provided with the components required for its operation, which optionally
can be associated with a button lighting device at a containment portion which lies
below the button.
Generally, in these kinds of application, the switch body
is associated with a panel and then the switch (constituted by the switch body and
by the panel associated therewith) is fitted to the household electrical appliance.
It is evident that although these switches can be offered
with the possibility to light the button, they do not allow customization (except
for the panel) depending on the type of application or in relation to the company
that markets the household electrical appliance on which the switch is fitted.
If the button is to be customized it is in fact necessary
to use switches in which so-called backpanel mounting is provided.
However, switches in which backpanel mounting is provided,
due to the particular configuration and the types of connection among the various
structural elements that constitute the switch, do not allow the option of lighting
The aim of the present invention is to provide a new switch
provided with a button lighting device.
Within this aim, an object of the invention is to provide
a switch in which the button can be optionally customized by the user.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a
switch with backpanel insertion.
Another object of the invention is to provide a switch
which has a very simple structure, is highly durable and easy to use and has a competitive
production cost, so that its use is advantageous also from an economical standpoint.
This aim and these and other objects, which will become
better apparent hereinafter, are achieved by a switch comprising a switch body and
a control actuator, which can be associated with a control button and can move with
respect to said switch body, characterized in that the control actuator has a receptacle
for a light source at a containment portion which is directed toward the button,
the switch body being provided with fixing means for a panel, by backpanel insertion,
which comprise at least two abutment portions and at least two locking elements
which act, with the panel in the mounted position, respectively at opposite faces
of said panel, the two locking elements being arranged proximate to the button,
means for detachable connection between the button and the control actuator being
Further characteristics and advantages of the invention
will become better apparent from the description of some preferred but not exclusive
embodiments of a switch according to the invention, illustrated by way of non-limiting
example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:
- Figure 1 is a side elevation view of a switch according to the present invention;
- Figure 2 is a sectional view of the switch, taken along the plane of arrangement
II-II of Figure 1;
- Figure 3 is a perspective view of the switch with the panel and the button disassembled;
- Figure 4 is a view, similar to Figure 3, with the panel and the button during
- Figure 5 is a view, similar to Figures 3 and 4, of the switch in the assembled
- Figure 6 is a side elevation view of the switch of Figures 1 to 5;
- Figure 7 is a side elevation view of a switch according to the invention, associated
with a different panel type;
- Figure 8 is a side elevation view of the switch of Figure 7;
- Figure 9 is a sectional view of the switch of Figures 7 and 8, taken along the
plane of arrangement IX-IX of Figure 8;
- Figure 10 is an exploded perspective view of the switch shown in Figures 7 to
- Figure 11 is a perspective view of the switch shown in Figures 7 to 10;
- Figure 12 is a perspective view of the switch, with the panel and the button
disassembled and with the panel shown only partially for the sake of greater clarity;
- Figure 13 is a view, similar to Figure 12, with the panel and the button assembled;
- Figure 14 is a view, similar to Figures 3 and 4, of the switch with the panel
and the button during assembly.
In the examplary embodiments that follow, individual characteristics,
given in relation to specific examples, may actually be interchanged with other
different characteristics that exist in other examplary embodiments.
Moreover, it is noted that anything found to be already
known during the patenting process is understood not to be claimed and to be the
subject of a disclaimer.
With reference to the figures, a switch according to the
invention, generally designated by the reference numeral 1, comprises a switch body
2 and a control actuator 3.
The control actuator 3 can move with respect to the switch
body 2 along a movement direction in order to allow the opening and closing of electrical
The control actuator 3 can be associated, by virtue of
detachable connection means 5 described in greater detail hereinafter, with a control
According to the present invention, the control actuator
3 is provided with a receptacle 6 for a light source 100 at a containment portion
3a which is directed toward the button 4 during use so as to allow the lighting
of said button 4.
Also according to the invention, the switch 1 is provided
with fixing means 7 for a panel 8 by so-called backpanel insertion, i.e., with reference
to the arrangement shown in the figures, by inserting the panel 8, provided with
a cutout 8a, downwardly.
The fixing means 7 are constituted by at least two abutment
portions 9 and by at least two locking elements 10, which, when said panel is in
the assembled position (as shown in Figure 5), are designed to act respectively
at opposite faces 8b and 8c of the panel 8.
In greater detail, the locking elements 10 are arranged
in a position which, during use, is proximate to the button 4, while the abutment
portions 9 are in a distal position with respect to the button 4.
According to a preferred embodiment, the abutment portions
9 are rigidly coupled to the switch body 2 and are substantially U-shaped.
The locking elements 10 can instead be provided by providing
a locking head 10a, which is connected to the switch body 2 by way of elastically
flexible connection means 10b, which allow, during the backpanel insertion of the
panel 8, the movement of the locking heads 10a along a movement direction which
is substantially parallel to the plane of arrangement of the panel 8 (and therefore
perpendicular to the direction of insertion of the panel 8).
Advantageously, the elastically flexible connection means
10b can be constituted by a lamina which connects the switch body 2 and the respective
locking head 10a, such lamina being arranged so that its longitudinal dimension
is substantially perpendicular, during use, to the plane of arrangement of the panel
Conveniently, the detachable connection means 5 comprise
at least two locking teeth 5a, which are supported by the button 4 and can be inserted
within a respective locking seat 11 formed on the control actuator 3.
According to an important aspect of the present invention,
the detachable connection means 5 are designed to keep the elastically flexible
connection means 10b in the locked position.
In particular, as clearly shown in the sectional view of
Figure 2, the insertion of the locking teeth 5a within the respective locking seats
11 allows to keep the elastically flexible connection means 10b (and particularly
the connection laminas) pushed outwardly, preventing their mutual approach, which
might cause the separation of the panel 8 from the switch body 2.
According to a preferred embodiment, the switch body 2
has a first pair of mutually opposite side walls 12 and a second pair of mutually
opposite side walls 13, which are connected to each other so as to form a cylindrical
surface which has a substantially rectangular transverse cross-section.
Each side wall 12 of the first pair of side walls supports
an abutment portion 9, while each side wall 13 of the second pair of side walls
supports a locking element 10.
Advantageously, the side walls 12 are larger than the side
Operation of the switch according to the invention is evident
from what has been described above.
In particular, by inserting the panel 8 by backpanel mounting,
its face 8c is made to abut against the abutment portions 9. At the same time, the
elastically flexible connection means 10b tend to move mutually closer, also due
to the "pointed" inclined portion of the locking heads 10a, so as to produce a transverse
dimension which is smaller than that of the cutout 8a of the panel 8.
When the panel 8 abuts against the abutment portions 9,
the locking heads 10a are arranged completely on the opposite side of the panel
8 with respect to the abutment portions 9 (as shown in Figure 5), allowing the elastically
flexible connection means 10b to return to the initial condition.
By inserting at this point the locking teeth 5a within
the respective locking seats 11, the elastically flexible connection means 10b are
kept in this condition (in which the panel 8 is locked), preventing any accidental
separation of the panel 8 from the switch body.
All the characteristics of the invention described above
as advantageous, convenient or the like may also be omitted or be replaced with
The invention thus conceived is susceptible of numerous
modifications and variations, all of which are within the scope of the appended
In practice it has been found that the invention has achieved
the intended aim and objects in all the embodiments.
In practice, the materials used, so long as they are compatible
with the contingent use, as well as the contingent shapes and dimensions, may be
any according to requirements.
All the details may further be replaced with other technically
The disclosures in Italian Utility Model Application No.
VR2004U000040 from which this application claims priority are incorporated herein
Where technical features mentioned in any claim are followed
by reference signs, those reference signs have been included for the sole purpose
of increasing the intelligibility of the claims and accordingly such reference signs
do not have any limiting effect on the interpretation of each element identified
by way of example by such reference signs.