Vehicle exterior door handle with lighting module

  • US 9,598,003 B2
  • Filed: 08/10/2015
  • Issued: 03/21/2017
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/03/2007
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
Patent Images

1. An exterior door handle assembly suitable for mounting at a door handle region of a vehicle door, said exterior door handle assembly comprising:

  • a strap-handle portion pivotally movable to open a vehicle door at which said exterior door handle assembly is mounted, wherein said strap-handle portion has a length dimension and a width dimension, and wherein said length dimension is generally horizontally oriented and said width dimension is generally vertically oriented when said exterior door handle assembly is normally mounted at the door handle region of the vehicle door, and wherein said length dimension is greater than said width dimension;

    a sealed self-contained elongated lighting module comprising (i) at least one illumination source that, when electrically powered, emits light, (ii) an elongated housing, (iii) an elongated light-transmitting cover and (iv) a light pipe;

    wherein said sealed self-contained elongated lighting module is substantially water impervious;

    wherein said elongated housing and said elongated light-transmitting cover of said sealed self-contained elongated lighting module encase said at least one illumination source of said sealed self-contained elongated lighting module;

    wherein said illumination source of said sealed self-contained elongated lighting module of said exterior door handle assembly is electrically powered in response to at least one of (i) a touch of said strap-handle portion, (ii) a movement of said strap-handle portion, (iii) actuation of a remote keyless entry module, (iv) a passive entry device, (v) a motion detector and (vi) insertion of a key into a keyhole at said exterior door handle assembly;

    wherein said strap-handle portion receives said sealed self-contained elongated lighting module;

    wherein said strap-handle portion has a contour and said sealed self-contained elongated lighting module has a contour, and wherein, with said sealed self-contained elongated light module received in said strap-handle portion, the contour of said sealed self-contained elongated lighting module generally matches the contour of said strap-handle portion; and

    wherein, with said door handle assembly mounted at a vehicle door and when said at least one illumination source is electrically powered, light emitted by said at least one illumination source passes through said elongated light-transmitting cover so as to be viewable by a person viewing said exterior door handle assembly from outside of the vehicle door.

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