Vehicle exterior door handle with lighting module

  • US 9,776,556 B2
  • Filed: 03/20/2017
  • Issued: 10/03/2017
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/03/2007
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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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 self-contained elongated module comprising (i) an elongated housing, (ii) an elongated light-transmitting cover and (iii) a light pipe;

    wherein said elongated housing and said elongated light-transmitting cover of said self-contained elongated module encase said light pipe of said self-contained elongated module;

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

    wherein at least one light emitting diode is disposed proximate an end region of said length dimension of said strap-handle portion;

    wherein said at least one light emitting diode 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, when said at least one light emitting diode is electrically powered, light emitted by said at least one light emitting diode passes along said light pipe and exits said self-contained elongated module as diffuse illumination; and

    wherein, with said door handle assembly mounted at a vehicle door and when said at least one light emitting diode is electrically powered, light emitted by said at least one light emitting diode 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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