(19)
(11)EP 3 124 875 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
11.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/50

(21)Application number: 16176700.9

(22)Date of filing:  28.06.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F24C 7/08(2006.01)
H05B 3/74(2006.01)
A47J 27/00(2006.01)
H05B 6/12(2006.01)
F21V 8/00(2006.01)
A47J 36/00(2006.01)
H05B 1/02(2006.01)

(54)

A HEATING APPLIANCE COMPRISING A FIBER OPTIC LIGHT GUIDE FOR GENERATING ILLUMINATED INDICIA FOR AN ELECTRIC BURNER OF THE HEATING APPLIANCE

HEIZGERÄT UMFASSEND EINEN FASEROPTISCHEN LICHTLEITER ZUR ERZEUGUNG EINER BELEUCHTETEN MARKIERUNG FÜR EINEN ELEKTRISCHEN BRENNER DES HEIZGERÄTS

APPAREIL DE CHAUFFAGE COMPRENANT UN GUIDE DE LUMIÈRE À FIBRE OPTIQUE GÉNÉRANT DES INDICATIONS LUMINEUSES POUR UN BRÛLEUR ÉLECTRIQUE DE L' APPAREIL DE CHAUFFAGE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 27.07.2015 US 201514809898

(43)Date of publication of application:
01.02.2017 Bulletin 2017/05

(73)Proprietor: Whirlpool Corporation
Benton Harbor, MI 49022 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • Millett, Frederick A.
    21025 Comerio (IT)

(74)Representative: Spina, Alessandro et al
Whirlpool EMEA SpA Via Carlo Pisacane, 1
20016 Pero (MI)
20016 Pero (MI) (IT)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 752 623
DE-A1- 4 100 767
US-A- 5 013 893
US-A1- 2006 081 602
WO-A1-2013/083527
DE-A1- 4 405 610
US-A- 5 138 135
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND



    [0001] The device is in the field of electric appliances such as ranges and cooktops. Specifically, the device is in the field of illuminated indicia for communicating the heating condition of a cooktop during use of the electric heating appliance.

    SUMMARY



    [0002] US 5138135 discloses a heating appliance according to the preamble of claim 1. DE 410076 A1 discloses a light for domestic equipment having an elongate light conductor with a light source located at one or both ends of the light guide. WO 2013/083527 A1 discloses a gas hob having a lamp arranged on the underside and configured such that a periphery of the hob panel, in at least one operating state of the gas hob, lights up as an illuminated region. US 5013893 discloses a radiant heater with a glass rod light guide located below the glass ceramic plate and surrounding the outer circumference of the heating field.

    The features of the invention are listed in the appended claims.



    [0003] These and other features, advantages, and objects of the present device will be further understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art upon studying the following specification, claims, and appended drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS


    In the drawings:



    [0004] 

    FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a cooktop disposed within a counter and incorporating an aspect of the indicial light module of the present device;

    FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the cooktop of FIG. 1;

    FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the cooktop of FIG. 2 with the translucent cooktop surface removed and exposing the electric burners and aspects of the indicial light module;

    FIG. 4 is an enlarged plan view of the cooktop of FIG. 3 taken at area IV;

    FIG. 5 is a top plan view of an alternate aspect of the cooktop of FIG. 4 illustrating a multi-component light guide of the indicial light module;

    Figs 6-8 illustrate embodiments which are not covered by the present invention.

    FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the indicial light module of FIG. 2 taken along line VI-VI, and illustrating a solid silicone light guide of the indicial light module;

    FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate aspect of the indicial light module of FIG. 6 showing a triangular prism light guide;

    FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate aspect of the indicial light module of FIG. 7, illustrating a multi-part light guide of the indicial light module; and

    FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate aspect of an indicial light module;

    FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate aspect of the indicial light guide of FIG. 9;

    FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate aspect of the indicial light module of FIG. 9 illustrating a multi-part light guide; and

    FIG. 12 is a schematic flow diagram illustrating a method for communicating the heating condition of a cooking surface of a heating appliance.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



    [0005] For purposes of description herein the terms "upper," "lower," "right," "left," "rear," "front," "vertical," "horizontal," and derivatives thereof shall relate to the device as oriented in FIG. 1. However, it is to be understood that the device may assume various alternative orientations and step sequences, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification are simply exemplary embodiments of the inventive concepts defined in the appended claims. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting, unless the claims expressly state otherwise.

    [0006] As illustrated in FIGS. 1-6, reference numeral 10 generally refers to an indicial light module to be positioned proximate an electric burner 12 and under a cooktop 14 of a heating appliance 16. The heating appliance 16 can include a cooktop 14 that is at least partially translucent and an electric burner 12 that is positioned in thermal communication with an upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14. The electric burner 12 is configured to be operable between a deactive state 20 and at least one active state 22. The upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 proximate the electric burner 12 can also define a temporary cooldown state 24, which can occur after the electric burner 12 is moved from the at least one active state 22 to the deactive state 20. It is contemplated that the cooldown state 24 can be further defined as the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 cooling down after being heated during the at least one of the active states 22, as will be more fully described below. The heating appliance 16 can also include the indicial light module 10 that includes at least one light source 26. The indicial light module 10 is configured to be in an illuminated state 28 at least when the electric burner 12 is in the at least one of the active states 22. It is contemplated that the indicial light module 10 can be at least partially in the illuminated state 28 during the temporary cooldown state 24 of the heating appliance 16. A light guide 30 is configured to extend from the indicial light module 10, where the light guide 30 extends around a portion of the electric burner 12. The light guide 30 is positioned such that the light source 26 of the indicial light module 10 directs light through the light guide 30. The outer surface 32 of the light guide 30 includes a formed or conditioned surface 34 for directing the light 50 from the light source 26 upward and through the partially translucent cooktop 14 such that the light guide 30 is at least partially visible through the partially translucent cooktop 14 when the indicial light module 10 is in the illuminated state 28 and/or a partial gradient of the illuminated state 28. According to the various embodiments, it is contemplated that the light guide 30 can be a silicone light guide 30 that is a substantially solid silicone prism 40 that extends at least partially around the electric burner 12 of the heating appliance 16. Other materials of the light guide 30 are also contemplated, as will be described more fully below.

    [0007] Referring again to FIGS. 1-6 and according to one feature of the invention the at least one active state 22 of the electric burner 12 can include a plurality of electric power levels 68, through which the flow of electrical current 70 from a power source (not shown) can be delivered to an electric burner 12 to define the plurality of electric power levels 68. The varied flow of electrical current 70 can, in turn, increase or decrease the amount of heat 72 emitted from the electric burner 12 and transferred to the partially translucent cooktop 14. It is also contemplated that the illuminated state 28 of the indicial light module 10 includes a plurality of lighting intensities 74 that can correspond to the plurality of electric power levels 68 of the electric burner 12. In this manner, according to various aspects of the device, it is contemplated that the indicial light module 10 can provide varying intensities of light 50 through the light guide 30 for indicating to the user the amount of heat 72 being provided by the electric burner 12 to the upper surface 18 of the partially translucent cooktop 14. It is also contemplated that the plurality of lighting intensities 74 provided by the indicial light module 10 can be generated by at least one lighting element 80 positioned within the light module 10. Accordingly, as the lighting intensity of the indicial light module 10 needs to be increased to correspond to an increase in heat 72, additional lighting elements 80 disposed within the indicial light module 10 can be activated to increase the amount of light 50 delivered through the light guide 30 to be directed through the partially translucent cooktop 14. Alternatively, it is contemplated that the plurality of light intensities of the indicial light module 10 can be provided by a single lighting element 80 that can provide various amounts of light 50 depending upon the flow of electrical current 70 delivered to the lighting element 80 disposed within the indicial light module 10.

    [0008] According to the various embodiments, the indicial light module 10 can be used in conjunction with any one of various heating appliances 16. Such heating appliances 16 can include cooktops 14 having electric burners 12 that are resistive heating elements, inductive heating elements, combination resistive/inductive heating elements, and other similar electrical burners. Additionally, it is contemplated that the indicial light module 10 can be used in conjunction with gas-powered heating appliances 16. When disposed within a heating appliance 16, the indicial light module 10 is configured to provide a light guide 30 that extends at least partially around the electric burner 12 (or other type of heating element, as discussed herein) where the light guide 30 is configured to direct light 50 from the indicial light module 10 through the translucent cooktop 14 to reveal an illuminated indicia 52 of a plurality of illuminated indicia 54 within the upper surface 18 of the translucent cooktop 14. In this manner, the illuminated indicia 52 can communicate to the user of the appliance the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14, or an approximation thereof based upon various configurations of the indicial light module 10.

    [0009] Referring again to FIGS. 1-6, various embodiments of the heating appliance 16 can include a temperature sensor 90 that is in communication with the cooktop 14, where the temperature sensor 90 records a temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 proximate the electric burner 12. According to the various embodiments, the temperature sensor 90 can be placed in communication with the indicial light module 10 to provide information as to the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14. The information as to the temperature 56 can be used to control the operation of the indicial light module 10 to provide a corresponding illuminated indicia 52 that is adapted to communicate to the user the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14. Such information can be useful during the cooldown state 24 of the electric burner 12, where the electric burner 12 can be in the deactive state 20, but the electric burner 12 and/or the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 may temporarily have an elevated temperature 56.

    [0010] By way of example, but not limitation, in certain heating appliances 16 having resistive heating elements, the resistive heating elements are generally visible through the cooktop 14 when the heating elements are in an active state 22 and in producing heat 72 to transfer to the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14. In such conditions, the illumination of the resistive heating elements through the flow of electrical current 70 through the resistive heating element can provide an indication to the user that the heating element is activated and the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 is at an elevated temperature 56. When the resistive heating element of the electric burner 12 is moved to the deactive state 20, it is typically the case that the resistive heating element is no longer illuminated, but the resistive heating element and/or the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 remain at an elevated temperature 56. In heating appliances 16 that incorporate the indicial light module 10, the indicial light module 10 provides illuminated indicia 52 to the user to communicate that the surface temperature 56 of the cooktop 14 is at an elevated level to be warm or hot, whether the electric burner 12 is in the deactive state 20, any of the active states 22 and/or the cooldown state 24. The various illuminated indicia 52 can include one or more types of indicia that communicate various information to the user. Such illuminated indicia 52 related to the status of the heating appliance 16 can include, but is not limited by, heat indicia, temperature indicia, function indicia, heating condition indicia, and others.

    [0011] According to the various embodiments, the cooldown state 24 of the electric burner 12 can be defined by an elevated surface temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 after the electric burner 12 has been moved from one of the active states 22 to the deactive state 20. The cooldown state 24 can persist until such time as the surface temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 reaches or falls below a predetermined temperature 100. At this point, the illuminated state 28 of the indicial light module 10 can be deactivated and the lighting elements 80 turned off. The temperature sensor 90 can communicate to the indicial light module 10 the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 such that the indicial light module 10 can convey an illuminated indicia 52 to the user as to the existing temperature 56 when the surface temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 exceeds the predetermined temperature 100. According to one feature of the invention such illuminated indicia 52 include one or more of the plurality of light intensities provided by one or more lighting elements 80 disposed within the indicial light module 10.

    [0012] According to another feature of the invention, the illuminated indicia 52 are a plurality of colored lights 110 that are directed through the partially translucent cooktop 14. Such colored lights 110 can correspond to the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14. In such an embodiment, the plurality of light elements within the indicial light module 10 can include a first light element 120 having a first color 122 and a second light element 124 having a second color 126. The plurality of illuminated indicia 54 produced by the plurality of lighting elements 80 can include a plurality of illuminated colors delivered by a single light guide 30, or multiple light guides 30, and directed through the partially translucent cooktop 14. In this manner, the first and second light elements 120, 124 can be simultaneously illuminated, and at varying intensities, to form a third color 128 of the illuminated indicia 52. It is contemplated that the light guide 30 for providing the plurality of illuminated colors can be made of various materials. Such materials can include, but are not limited to, silicone, fiber optic cable, plastic, glass, combinations thereof, and other similar light-transmitting materials.

    [0013] According to the above feature of the invention, the number of colored lighting elements 80 within the indicial light module 10 can vary depending upon the configuration of the heating appliance 16 and the number of colored lights 110 intended to be included to produce the illuminated indicia 52 for the heating appliance 16. It is also contemplated that various colored lights 110 can be combined to produce a wide range of colored indicia such that the illuminated indicia 52 visible through the partially translucent cooktop 14 can appear to be a series of stepped color variations or a gradual change in color that can correspond to the gradual change in the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14. It is also contemplated that the plurality of light intensities and the plurality of colored lights 110 that define the illuminated indicia 52 correspond to a corresponding heating condition 140 or heating function of a plurality of heating conditions 140 or heating functions of the heating appliance 16, as will be described more fully below.

    [0014] According to the various embodiments, where a temperature sensor 90 is not included in the heating appliance 16, the illuminated state 28 of the indicial light module 10 can be activated when the flow of electrical current 70 is delivered to the electric burner 12 to place the electric burner 12 in one of the active states 22. In such an embodiment, it is contemplated that an electrical sensor 150 for monitoring the presence or absence of electrical current 70 and/or the amount of electrical current 70 flowing through a particular electric burner 12.

    [0015] According to the various aspects of the device, the heating appliance 16 incorporating the indicial light module 10 can be configured to provide the illuminated indicia 52 without the aid of a temperature sensor 90. In such an embodiment, it is contemplated that the flow of electrical current 70 provided to the electric burner 12, which generally corresponds to the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14, can be used to communicate to the indicial light module 10 the intensity and color of the illuminated indicia 52 to provide for viewing through the translucent cooktop 14. In such an embodiment, the greater the flow of electrical current 70 through the electric burner 12, the higher the temperature 56 will be of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14. As the flow of electrical current 70 is increased or decreased, the increase or decrease in the flow of electrical current 70 will communicate to the indicial light module 10 how, based upon the change in heat 72, the illuminated indicia 52 should appear through the translucent cooktop 14.

    [0016] By way of example, and not limitation, a greater flow of electrical current 70 can correspond to an illuminated indicia 52 that communicates a higher temperature 56. Conversely, a lesser flow of electrical current 70 can correspond to an illuminated indicia 52 that communicates a lower temperature 56. When the flow of electrical current 70 to the electric burner 12 is interrupted and the electric burner 12 and the cooktop 14 are placed in the cooldown state 24, it is contemplated that a control 160 for operating the indicial light module 10 can include a timing function that corresponds to the general time necessary for the electric burner 12 and the cooktop 14 to cool down after being at a particular heating level. Such a timer function would necessarily include an approximated time for cooling down the electric burner 12 and the cooktop 14 since various factors can dictate the amount of time actually necessary for cooling down the electric burner 12 and cooktop 14 for the heating appliance 16. While the timing function may not be a precise indicator of the actual temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14, the timing function may be used in various models of heating appliances 16 that are intended to include different applications and functions.

    [0017] Referring again to FIGS. 1-6, where the heating appliance 16 includes a temperature sensor 90 for communicating to the indicial light module 10 the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14, the indicial light module 10 can receive electrical current 70 that is delivered separately and independently from the electric current delivered to the electric burner 12. Accordingly, the flow of electrical current 70 to the electric burner 12, in various embodiments, may not communicate to the indicial light module 10 information corresponding to the illuminated indicia 52 to be communicated to the user of the appliance. It is also contemplated that a temperature sensor 90 and electrical sensor 150, such as a voltage sensor, resistor, or other electrical sensor 150, can operate in combination to communicate to the user various temperatures 56 and/or heating conditions 140 of the heating appliance 16. In such an embodiment, the various temperature and electrical sensors 90, 150 can be implemented while the electric burner 12 is in one of the active states 22. The various active states 22 of an electric burner 12 can include various temperatures 56 of the electric burner 12, and can also include various predefined heating conditions 140 of the heating appliance 16. Such predefined functions can include, but are not limited to, a preheat function, a warming function, a temperature function that fluctuates the flow of electricity to the electric burner 12 to maintain a consistent temperature 56 on the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14, and other similar functions of the heating appliance 16. In addition to the voltage sensor, or other electrical sensor 150, the illuminated indicia 52 during operation of the various active states 22 of the heating appliance 16 and the electric burner 12 can be dictated by the control 160 for operating the heating appliance 16.

    [0018] According to the various embodiments, when the flow of electrical current 70 to the electric burner 12 is interrupted and the electric burner 12 is placed in the deactive state 20, it may be necessary to implement the use of a temperature sensor 90 for accurately measuring the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14. In such an embodiment, the cooldown state 24 of the heating appliance 16 can be accurately conveyed through the illuminated indicia 52 to the user of the heating appliance 16. Additionally, the use of a temperature sensor 90 can be implemented when a heated cooking article 170, such as a pot, pan, plate or other cooking article 170 is placed upon the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14. While the electric burner 12 may not be in an active or cooldown state 22, 24, the heat from the cooking article 170 may transfer heat 72 from the cooking article 170 to the cooktop 14. The temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 may become elevated as a result of the placement of the heated cooking article 170. In such a situation, the temperature sensor 90 of the heating appliance 16 can recognize an elevation in the surface temperature 56 of the cooktop 14, such that such a rise in surface temperature 56 can be communicated to the user through an illuminated indicia 52 provided by the indicial light module 10.

    [0019] According to various embodiments, such a functionality may be useful, where the electric burner 12 is an inductive heating element. When an inductive heating element is used, the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 is not directly heated by the inductive electric burner 12. The operation of inductive heating causes the cooking article 170 placed upon the cooktop 14 to be heated through the formation of an induced electrical current 70 within the cooking article 170 that results in resistive heating formed within the cooking article 170 itself, rather than within the cooktop 14 of the heating appliance 16. The cooking article 170 that is heated through the inductive electric burner 12, can radiate heat 72 from the heated cooking article 170 and into the cooktop 14 that can result in an elevated temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14. The temperature sensor 90 can measure the increase in surface temperature 56 of the cooktop 14 and communicate to the user, through the illuminated indicia 52 provided by the indicial light module 10, the surface temperature 56 of the cooktop 14. Accordingly, the plurality of illuminated indicia 54 can include a plurality of heat-related illuminated indicia 52, wherein each heat related illuminated indicia 52 of the plurality of heat-related illuminated indicia corresponds to a respective surface temperature 56 of the translucent cooktop 14.

    [0020] Referring now to the various aspects of the device as exemplified in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5, the light guide 30 for the indicial light module 10 can include one or more members that extend around at least a portion of the electric burner 12. It is contemplated that the light guide 30 can include first and second ends 180, 182 that are each positioned within a portion of the indicial light module 10. In this manner, a plurality of lighting elements 80 of the indicial light guide 30 can be positioned to direct light 50 through one or both of the first and second ends 180, 182 of the light guide 30. According to one feature of the invention, by directing light 50 through the first and second ends 180, 182 of the light guide 30, the colors from lighting elements 80 can be shown through the first and second ends 180, 182 of the light guide 30 to produce a wide range of individual or combined colors. By way of example, and not limitation, a red-colored first light element 120 can be positioned at a first end 180 of the light guide 30 and a yellow-colored second light element 124 can be positioned at the second end 182 of the light guide 30. In such an embodiment, yellow or red light can be produced by alternately activating one of the first and second light elements 120, 124. Additionally, where both the first and second light elements 120, 124 are activated, the red and yellow light from the first and second light elements 120, 124 can be mixed within the light guide 30 to produce an orange light, as a third color 128, within the light guide 30. Such mixing of light 50, commonly referred to as additive color mixing, can be implemented through the use of a wide range of colors visible by the user through the upper surface 18 of the translucent cooktop 14.

    [0021] According to various aspects of the device, the translucent cooktop 14 of the heating appliance 16 can be tinted such that the various internal components of the heating appliance 16 are obscured from view by the user. Translucency of the cooktop 14 is configured to be of a degree such that the mechanical and electrical mechanisms of the heating appliance 16 are generally not visible by the user. The translucency of the cooktop 14 is such that the illuminated indicia 52 provided by the indicial light module 10 is visible through the partially translucent cooktop 14. As a result of the partial translucency of the cooktop 14, the cooktop 14 may be tinted such that a substantially white light 50 positioned under the cooktop 14 may appear to be a different color when viewed from above the cooktop 14. In such an embodiment, the light guide 30 can be tinted, or a tinted member can surround the light guide 30. The effect of a tinted layer or tinted material of the light guide 30 is that the tinted light emanating from the light guide 30, when passed through the translucent cooktop 14, appears to the user as a visible light having a wavelength corresponding to a substantially predetermined colored light 110. Such a colored light 110 can include white, blue, red, yellow, any combination thereof, or any color desired for use as a component of the indicial illumination of the device.

    [0022] Referring again to FIGS. 2-5, according to various aspects of the device, the illuminated indicia 52 can be positioned within specific portions of the cooktop 14, proximate each of the respective electric burners 12. It is contemplated that each electric burner 12 can have its own dedicated indicial light module 10 for providing an independent and dedicated illuminated indicia 52 for each of the electric burners 12 of the heating appliance 16. To assist in directing the illuminated indicia 52, portions of the light guide 30 can be covered by an opaque covering 190 that limits the delivery of the illuminated indicia 52 to be from only specific portions of the light guide 30. It is contemplated that the illuminated indicia 52 can be positioned in front 192 of each of the electric burners 12, such that the illuminated indicia 52 can be visible under or around the cooking utensil placed upon an electric burner 12. Accordingly, the illuminated indicia 52 may be a linear or arcuate member that extends around only a small portion of the electric burner 12. It is also contemplated that the light guide 30 can be configured to convey the illuminated indicia 52 around the entire circumference of the electric burner 12 or one or more portions of the circumference of the electric burner 12.

    [0023] According to the various embodiments, in order to allow the illuminated indicia 52 to be directed toward the cooktop 14 by particular portions of the light guide 30, the light guide 30 can include a conditioned portion or a conditioned surface 34 that allows light 50 to be directed from the interior of the light guide 30 and toward the cooktop 14 to produce the illuminated indicia 52 for the heating appliance 16. Such conditioned surface 34 or conditioned portion can include, but is not limited to, a surface texture, a geometric shape incorporated within the light guide 30, and other similar conditioned surfaces 34 that are configured to direct light 50 upward and through the surface of the translucent cooktop 14. The use of the conditioned surface 34 can, in various embodiments, make the user of the opaque covering 190 unnecessary, as will be described more fully below.

    [0024] Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 11, it is contemplated that the silicone light guide 30 can include a single light guide member or multiple light guide members for delivering light 50 from the various light fixtures of the indicial light module 10 to the upper surface 18 of the translucent cooktop 14. While FIGS. 6 and 8 illustrate a pair of silicone light guides 30, it is contemplated that three or more light guides 30 can be incorporated within the heating appliance 16 for conveying multiple illuminated indicia 52 for conveying various information during use of a heating appliance 16. A light guide frame 220 can be implemented to obtain the plurality of light guides 30 in a desired configuration with respect to the indicial light module 10 and the electric burner 12. The frame 220 can also serve as part of the opaque covering 190 for the light guide 30.

    [0025] Referring now to the various aspects of the device as exemplified in FIGS. 9-11, the light guide 30 for use in delivering light 50 from the indicial light module 10 to the translucent cooktop 14 includes one or more fiber optic light guides 230 that extends from the indicial light module 10 that extends around a portion of the electric burner 12. In such an embodiment, the fiber optic light guide 230 is positioned such that the lighting element 80 directs light 50 through the fiber optic light guide 230 and through an outer surface 32 of the fiber optic light guide 230 that includes the conditioned surface 34 for directing light 50 upward and through the translucent cooktop 14. It is contemplated that each fiber optic light guide 230 can include a core member 232, typically made of plastic, clear silicone or glass, and a cladding member 234 that extends around the core member 232 to protect the core member 232. According to the various embodiments, each fiber optic light guide 230 can include an edge-emitting fiber 236 where a boundary 238 between the core member 232 and cladding member 234 is slightly inefficient, thereby forming the conditioned surface 34. Typically, each fiber optic light guide 230 results in light 50 being transmitted along and through the fiber optic core member 232 through the process of total internal reflection 212. As a result of total internal reflection 212, light 50 is transferred along the fiber optic light guide 230 from one end to the other. Where the boundary 238 between the core member 232 and cladding member 234 is made to be slighting inefficient through a surface texture, geometric shape, or other similar conditioned surface 34, the process of total internal reflection 212 is at least partially interrupted such that a portion of the light 50 is directed through the conditioned surface 34 and through an edge 240 of the fiber optic light guide 230. In this manner, light 50 can be directed from the fiber optic light guide 230 through the conditioned surface 34 to the transparent cooktop 14 of the heating appliance 16.

    [0026] According to the various embodiments, as exemplified in FIGS. 9-11, each fiber optic light guide 230 can include a conditioned surface 34 in the form of a textured surface along the boundary 238 between the core member 232 and the cladding member 234. Additionally, the conditioned surface 34 can be a raised elongated ridge 210 that extends along the portion of the fiber optic light guide 230, such as along the boundary 238 between the core member 232 and the cladding member 234. Additionally, the fiber optic light guide 230 can include a plurality of fiber optic members 242 that extend at least partially around the electric burner 12 to convey the various illuminated indicia 52 through the translucent cooktop 14, as dictated by the selected function of the heating appliance 16 and/or the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14.

    [0027] According to various embodiments, the one or more light fixtures that direct light 50 through at least one of the first and second ends 180, 182 of the light guide 30 can be one or more of various types of light fixtures. Such light fixtures can include, but are not limited to, light emitting diode (LED), incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, combinations thereof, and other similar light fixtures. It is also contemplated that the indicial light module 10 can include a housing 250 that at least partially encloses the light fixtures and the first and second ends 180, 182 of the light guide 30. The housing 250 can also serve as a conduit through which electrical wiring 252 can extend to provide electrical current 70 to the electric burner 12 and/or the indicial light guide 30. In such an embodiment, the housing 250 can include the electric sensor for measuring the flow of electrical current 70 through the electrical wiring 252. It is also contemplated that the temperature sensor 90 can be positioned proximate the housing 250.

    [0028] Referring now to the various aspects of the device as illustrated in FIGS. 1-12, having described various aspects of the device, a method 400 is disclosed for providing an illuminated indicia 52 for communicating the heating state of a heating appliance 16. According to the method 400, a control 160 for the heating appliance 16 is manipulated to set a desired heating condition (step 402). Based upon the heating condition selected, a level of electrical current 70 is delivered to the electric burner 12 of a heating appliance 16 for generating heat 72 (step 404). The flow of electricity to the electric burner 12 results in the electric burner 12 being placed in one of the active states 22 and heat 72 being delivered to a cooking utensil such as a pot or pan. In the case of a resistive heating element, the electric burner 12 provides direct heat 72 that is transferred to the cooktop 14, and then to the cooking utensil. In the case of an induction burner, the inductive process forms heat 72 within the cooking utensil through the creation of an induced electrical current 70 within the cooking utensil itself.

    [0029] According to another aspect of the method 400, when the electric burner 12 is placed is one of the active states 22 of the heating appliance 16, a sensor communicates to the indicial light module 10 the selected heating condition (step 406). The heating condition can be a temperature and/or function of the heating appliance 16. The sensor can be a temperature sensor 90 that detects the temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14. The sensor can also be a voltage sensor that detects the flow of electrical current 70 to the electrical burner, where the sensor communicates the presence of an electrical current 70 to the control 160, which operates the indicial light module 10. The indicial light module 10, in response to the information from the sensor, activates one or more lighting elements 80 (step 408). The lighting elements 80 deliver light 50 into at least one of a first and second end 180, 182 of the light guide 30 where the light 50 is internally reflected within the light guide 30 (step 410). The internally reflected light 50 within the light guide 30 is delivered to a conditioned surface 34 of the light guide 30 where the light 50 is allowed to partially escape the light guide 30 and be directed toward the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 where the light 50 directed by the light guide 30 is visible by a user during operation of the cooktop 14 (step 412).

    [0030] According to the various embodiments, as the user of the heating appliance 16 adjusts the user interface to select a different temperature 56 or different heating condition of the heating appliance 16, such change at the user interface can result in a change in temperature 56 of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 or a change in the flow of electrical current 70 to the electric burner 12. This change in temperature 56 or flow of electrical current 70 can be detected by one of the sensors and communicated to the indicial light module 10, resulting in a different combination of light fixtures being illuminated, or a different intensity of illumination for one or more of the light sensors.

    [0031] It is also contemplated that modification of the user interface can be directly communicated to the indicial light module 10, where a change in temperature 56 or a change in heating condition at the user interface is directly communicated to the indicial light module 10 to modify the illuminated indicia 52 provided by the indicial light module 10 through the light guide 30 and to the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14.

    [0032] It is further contemplated that the temperature sensor 90 disposed proximate the cooktop 14 can be in communication with the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 to record a surface temperature 56 of the cooktop 14 proximate the electric burner 12. The temperature 56 recorded by the sensor can be delivered to the indicial light module 10 or to a control 160 for operating the indicial light module 10 for modifying the combination of light fixtures to be activated, deactivated or modulated to convey the proper illuminated indicia 52 to the user of the heating appliance 16. The temperature sensor 90 can also be implemented to convey the state of the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 after the electric burner 12 is deactivated. Such a configuration can be implemented to convey to the user a cool down state of the heating appliance 16, whereby the electric burner 12 are deactivated, but the upper surface 18 of the cooktop 14 remains at an elevated temperature 56 for a period of time. The temperature sensor 90 detects the surface temperature 56 of the cooktop 14 as the cooktop 14 cools to a temperature at or near the ambient air temperature of the room within which the cooking appliance is placed.


    Claims

    1. A heating appliance (16) comprising:

    a translucent cooktop surface (14);

    an electric burner (12) positioned below and in thermal communication with the cooktop surface (14), the electric burner (12) being operable between a deactive state (20) and at least one active state (22), wherein the cooktop surface (14) proximate the electric burner (12) defines a temporary cooldown state (24) after the electric burner (12) is moved from the at least one active state (22) to the deactive state (20);

    a light module (10) including at least one light source (26), wherein the light module (10) is in an illuminated state (28) when the electric burner (12) is in the at least one active state (22), and wherein the light module (10) remains in the illuminated state (28) during the temporary cooldown state (24); and

    one or more fiber optic light guide (230) extending from the light module (10) and extending around a portion of the electric burner (12), wherein the fiber optic light guide (230) is positioned such that the light source (26) directs light (50) through the fiber optic ring, and wherein the fiber optic light guide (230) includes a conditioned surface (34) for directing the light (50) upward and through the translucent cooktop surface (14) to define a plurality of illuminated indicia (52) within the cooktop surface (14),

    characterized in that said illuminated indicia (52) include a plurality of light intensities provided by a plurality of lighting elements (80) disposed within said light module (10), and wherein the illuminated indicia (52) produced by the plurality of lighting elements (80) include a plurality of illuminated colors delivered by said one or more fiber optic light guides (230), wherein the illuminated indicia (52) correspond to a corresponding heating condition (140) or heating function of a plurality of heating conditions (140) or heating functions of the heating appliance (16).


     
    2. The heating appliance (16) of claim 1, wherein the illuminated state (28) of the light module (10) is activated when electrical current (70) is delivered to the electric burner (12).
     
    3. The heating appliance (16) of any one or more of claims 1 and 2, further comprising:
    a temperature sensor (90) in communication with the translucent cooktop surface (14), wherein the temperature sensor (90) records a surface temperature (56) of the translucent cooktop surface (14) proximate the electric burner (12), wherein the cooldown state (24) is defined by the surface temperature (56) exceeding a predetermined temperature (100) after the flow of electrical current (70) to the electric burner (12) is interrupted.
     
    4. The heating appliance (16) of any one or more of claims 1-3, wherein the conditioned surface (34) is a surface texture applied to the fiber optic light guide (230).
     
    5. The heating appliance (16) of claim 4, wherein the conditioned surface (34) includes a raised elongated ridge (210) that extends along a portion of the fiber optic light guide (230).
     
    6. The heating appliance (16) of any one or more of claims 1-5, wherein the conditioned surface (34) of the fiber optic light guide (230) includes a tinted layer such that light visible through the translucent cooktop surface (14) from the fiber optic light guide (230) includes a visible light wavelength corresponding to a substantially white color.
     
    7. The heating appliance (16) of any one or more of claims 1-6, wherein the electric burner (12) is a resistive heating element.
     
    8. The heating appliance (16) of any one or more of claims 1-6, wherein the electric burner (12) is an inductive heating element.
     
    9. The heating appliance (16) of any one or more of claims 2-8, wherein electrical current (70) delivered to the light module (10) is delivered separately and independently from electrical current (70) delivered to the electric burner (12).
     
    10. The heating appliance (16) of any one or more of claims 1-9, wherein the light source (26) is positioned to direct light (50) through one of a first and second ends (180, 182) of the fiber optic light guide (230).
     
    11. The heating appliance (16) of any one or more of claims 1-10, wherein the fiber optic light guide (230) includes a core member (232) and a cladding member (234) extending around the core member (232), wherein a boundary (238) is defined between the core and cladding members (232, 234), wherein the conditioned surface (34) is defined by the boundary (238).
     
    12. The heating appliance (16) of any one or more of claims 1-11, wherein the light source (26) includes a first light element (120) having a first color (122) and a second light element (124) having a second color (126), and wherein the plurality of illuminative indicia (52) produced by the first and second light elements (120, 124) includes a plurality of illuminated colors illuminated via a single light guide (30) and through the translucent cooktop surface (14), wherein the plurality of illuminated colors corresponds to a plurality of heating conditions (140) of the translucent cooktop surface (14).
     
    13. The heating appliance (16) of any one or more of claims 2-12, further comprising:
    a control (160) in communication with the electric burner (12) and the light module (10), wherein the control (160) is operable to adjust flow of electrical current (70) to the electric burner (12) to define a plurality of heating conditions (140) of the translucent cooktop surface (14), and wherein operation of the control (160) also operates the light module (10) to generate the plurality of illuminative indicia (52) from the fiber optic light guide (230), wherein each of the plurality of illuminative indicia (52) corresponds to a corresponding heating condition (140) of the plurality of heating conditions (140).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Heizgerät (16) umfassend:

    eine lichtdurchlässige Herdplattenoberfläche (14);

    einen elektrischen Brenner (12), der unterhalb und in thermischer Verbindung mit der Herdplattenoberfläche (14) positioniert ist, wobei der elektrische Brenner (12) zwischen einem inaktiven Zustand (20) und mindestens einem aktiven Zustand (22) betreibbar ist, wobei die Herdplattenoberfläche (14) in der Nähe des elektrischen Brenners (12) einen temporären Abkühlungszustand (24) definiert, nachdem der elektrische Brenner (12) von dem mindestens einen aktiven Zustand (22) in den inaktiven Zustand (20) versetzt wurde;

    ein Lichtmodul (10), das mindestens eine Lichtquelle (26) aufweist, wobei sich das Lichtmodul (10) in einem beleuchteten Zustand (28) befindet, wenn sich der elektrische Brenner (12) in dem mindestens einen aktiven Zustand (22) befindet, und wobei das Lichtmodul (10) während des temporären Abkühlungszustandes (24) in dem beleuchteten Zustand (28) verbleibt; und

    einen oder mehrere faseroptische Lichtleiter (230), die sich von dem Lichtmodul (10) erstrecken und die sich um einen Abschnitt des elektrischen Brenners (12) erstrecken, wobei der faseroptische Lichtleiter (230) so positioniert ist, dass die Lichtquelle (26) Licht (50) durch den faseroptischen Ring leitet, und wobei der faseroptische Lichtleiter (230) eine konditionierte Oberfläche (34) zum Leiten des Lichts (50) nach oben und durch die lichtdurchlässige Herdplatten-oberfläche (14) zum Definieren einer Vielzahl von beleuchteten Zeichen (52) innerhalb der Herdplattenoberfläche (14) aufweist,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die beleuchteten Zeichen (52) eine Vielzahl von Lichtintensitäten aufweisen, die durch eine Vielzahl von Beleuchtungselementen (80) bereitgestellt werden, die innerhalb des Lichtmoduls (10) angeordnet sind, und wobei die beleuchteten Zeichen (52), die durch die Vielzahl von Beleuchtungselementen (80) erzeugt werden, eine Vielzahl von beleuchteten Farben aufweisen, die von dem einen oder den mehreren faseroptischen Lichtleitern (230) geliefert werden, wobei die beleuchteten Zeichen (52) einem entsprechenden Heizzustand (140) oder Heizfunktion einer Vielzahl von Heizzuständen (140) oder Heizfunktionen des Heizgeräts (16) entsprechen.


     
    2. Heizgerät (16) nach Anspruch 1, wobei der beleuchtete Zustand (28) des Lichtmoduls (10) aktiviert wird, wenn dem elektrischen Brenner (12) elektrischer Strom (70) zugeführt wird.
     
    3. Heizgerät (16) nach einem oder mehreren der Ansprüche 1 und 2, weiter umfassend:
    einen Temperatursensor (90) in Verbindung mit der lichtdurchlässigen Herdplattenoberfläche (14), wobei der Temperatursensor (90) eine Oberflächentemperatur (56) der lichtdurchlässigen Herdplattenoberfläche (14) in der Nähe des elektrischen Brenners (12) aufzeichnet, wobei der Abkühlungszustand (24) dadurch definiert ist, dass die Oberflächentemperatur (56) eine vorbestimmte Temperatur (100) überschreitet, nachdem der Fluss des elektrischen Stromes (70) zu dem elektrischen Brenner (12) unterbrochen ist.
     
    4. Heizgerät (16) nach einem oder mehreren der Ansprüche 1-3, wobei die konditionierte Oberfläche (34) eine Oberflächenstruktur ist, die auf den faseroptischen Lichtleiter (230) aufgebracht ist.
     
    5. Heizgerät (16) nach Anspruch 4, wobei die konditionierte Oberfläche (34) einen erhöhten länglichen Kamm (210) aufweist, der sich entlang eines Abschnitts des faseroptischen Lichtleiters (230) erstreckt.
     
    6. Heizgerät (16) nach einem oder mehreren der Ansprüche 1-5, wobei die konditionierte Oberfläche (34) des faseroptischen Lichtleiters (230) eine getönte Schicht aufweist, so dass durch die lichtdurchlässige Herdplattenoberfläche (14) sichtbares Licht von dem faseroptischen Lichtleiter (230) eine sichtbare Lichtwellenlänge aufweist, die einer im Wesentlichen weißen Farbe entspricht.
     
    7. Heizgerät (16) nach einem oder mehreren der Ansprüche 1-6, wobei der elektrische Brenner (12) ein Widerstandsheizelement ist.
     
    8. Heizgerät (16) nach einem oder mehreren der Ansprüche 1-6, wobei der elektrische Brenner (12) ein induktives Heizelement ist.
     
    9. Heizgerät (16) nach einem oder mehreren der Ansprüche 2-8, wobei elektrischer Strom (70), der dem Lichtmodul (10) zugeführt wird, separat und unabhängig von elektrischem Strom (70) zugeführt wird, der dem elektrischen Brenner (12) zugeführt wird.
     
    10. Heizgerät (16) nach einem oder mehreren der Ansprüche 1-9, wobei die Lichtquelle (26) positioniert ist, um Licht (50) durch eines von einem ersten und einem zweiten Ende (180, 182) des faseroptischen Lichtleiter (230) zu leiten.
     
    11. Heizgerät (16) nach einem oder mehreren der Ansprüche 1-10, wobei der faseroptische Lichtleiter (230) ein Kernelement (232) und ein sich um das Kernelement (232) herum erstreckendes Hüllenelement (234) aufweist, wobei eine Grenze (238) zwischen den Kern- und Hüllenelementen (232, 234) definiert ist, wobei die konditionierte Oberfläche (34) durch die Grenze (238) definiert ist.
     
    12. Heizgerät (16) nach einem oder mehreren der Ansprüche 1-11, wobei die Lichtquelle (26) ein erstes Lichtelement (120) mit einer ersten Farbe (122) und ein zweites Lichtelement (124) mit einer zweiten Farbe (126) aufweist und wobei die Vielzahl von Zeichen (52), die durch die ersten und zweiten Lichtelemente (120, 124) erzeugt werden, eine Vielzahl von beleuchteten Farben aufweisen, die über einen einzelnen Lichtleiter (30) und durch die lichtdurchlässige Herdplatten-oberfläche (14) beleuchtet werden, wobei die Vielzahl von beleuchteten Farben einer Vielzahl von Heizzuständen (140) der lichtdurchlässigen Herdplatten-oberfläche (14) entspricht.
     
    13. Heizgerät (16) nach einem oder mehreren der Ansprüche 2-12, weiter umfassend:
    eine Steuerung (160) in Verbindung mit dem elektrischen Brenner (12) und dem Lichtmodul (10), wobei die Steuerung (160) betreibbar ist, um den Fluss des elektrischen Stromes (70) zu dem elektrischen Brenner (12) anzupassen, um eine Vielzahl von Heizzuständen (140) der lichtdurchlässigen Herdplattenoberfläche (14) zu definieren, und wobei der Betrieb der Steuerung (160) auch das Lichtmodul (10) betreibt, um die Vielzahl von beleuchteten Zeichen (52) aus dem faseroptischen Lichtleiter (230) zu erzeugen, wobei jedes der Vielzahl von beleuchteten Zeichen (52) einem entsprechenden Heizzustand (140) der Vielzahl von Heizzuständen (140) entspricht.
     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil de chauffage (16) comprenant :

    une surface de table de cuisson translucide (14) ;

    un brûleur électrique (12) positionné en-dessous et en communication thermique avec la surface de table de cuisson (14), le brûleur électrique (12) étant actionnable entre un état désactivé (20) et au moins un état activé (22), dans lequel la surface de table de cuisson (14) à proximité du brûleur électrique (12) définit un état de refroidissement temporaire (24) après que le brûleur électrique (12) est déplacé de l'au moins un état activé (22) à l'état désactivé (20) ;

    un module de lumière (10) incluant au moins une source de lumière (26), dans lequel le module de lumière (10) est dans un état éclairé (28) lorsque le brûleur électrique (12) est dans l'au moins un état activé (22), et dans lequel le module de lumière (10) reste dans l'état éclairé (28) pendant l'état de refroidissement temporaire (24) ; et

    un ou plusieurs guides de lumière à fibre optique (230) s'étendant depuis le module de lumière (10) et s'étendant autour d'une portion du brûleur électrique (12), dans lequel le guide de lumière à fibre optique (230) est positionné de sorte que la source de lumière (26) dirige la lumière (50) à travers l'anneau de fibre optique, et dans lequel le guide de lumière à fibre optique (230) inclut une surface conditionnée (34) pour diriger la lumière (50) vers le haut et à travers la surface de table de cuisson translucide (14) pour définir une pluralité d'indications lumineuses (52) à l'intérieur de la surface de table de cuisson (14),

    caractérisé en ce que lesdites indications lumineuses (52) incluent une pluralité d'intensités de lumière prévues par une pluralité d'éléments d'éclairage (80) disposés à l'intérieur dudit module de lumière (10), et dans lequel les indications lumineuses (52) produites par la pluralité d'éléments d'éclairage (80) incluent une pluralité de couleurs lumineuses distribuées par lesdits un ou plusieurs guides de lumière à fibre optique (230), dans lequel les indications lumineuses (52) correspondent à une condition de chauffage correspondante (140) ou fonction de chauffage d'une pluralité de conditions de chauffage (140) ou de fonctions de chauffage de l'appareil de chauffage (16).


     
    2. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'état éclairé (28) du module de lumière (10) est activé lorsque le courant électrique (70) est distribué au brûleur électrique (12).
     
    3. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon une ou plusieurs des revendications 1 et 2, comprenant en outre :
    un capteur de température (90) en communication avec la surface de table de cuisson translucide (14), dans lequel le capteur de température (90) enregistre une température de surface (56) de la surface de table de cuisson translucide (14) à proximité du brûleur électrique (12), dans lequel l'état de refroidissement (24) est défini par la température de surface (56) dépassant une température prédéterminée (100) après que le flux de courant électrique (70) au brûleur électrique (12) est interrompu.
     
    4. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon une ou plusieurs des revendications 1-3, dans lequel la surface conditionnée (34) est une texture de surface appliquée au guide de lumière à fibre optique (230).
     
    5. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la surface conditionnée (34) inclut une nervure allongée relevée (210) qui s'étend le long d'une portion du guide de lumière à fibre optique (230).
     
    6. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon une ou plusieurs des revendications 1-5, dans lequel la surface conditionnée (34) du guide de lumière à fibre optique (230) inclut une couche teintée de sorte que la lumière visible à travers la surface de table de cuisson translucide (14) depuis le guide de lumière à fibre optique (230) inclut une longueur d'onde de lumière visible correspondant à une couleur sensiblement blanche.
     
    7. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon une ou plusieurs des revendications 1-6, dans lequel le brûleur électrique (12) est un élément chauffant résistif.
     
    8. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon une ou plusieurs des revendications 1-6, dans lequel le brûleur électrique (12) est un élément chauffant inductif.
     
    9. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon une ou plusieurs des revendications 2-8, dans lequel le courant électrique (70) distribué au module de lumière (10) est distribué séparément et indépendamment du courant électrique (70) distribué au brûleur électrique (12).
     
    10. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon une ou plusieurs des revendications 1-9, dans lequel la source de lumière (26) est positionnée pour diriger la lumière (50) à travers une d'une première et deuxième extrémités (180, 182) du guide de lumière à fibre optique (230).
     
    11. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon une ou plusieurs des revendications 1-10, dans lequel le guide de lumière à fibre optique (230) inclut un élément de noyau (232) et un élément d'habillage (234) s'étendant autour de l'élément de noyau (232), dans lequel une délimitation (238) est définie entre les éléments de noyau et d'habillage (232, 234), dans lequel la surface conditionnée (34) est définie par la délimitation (238).
     
    12. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon une ou plusieurs des revendications 1-11, dans lequel la source de lumière (26) inclut un premier élément de lumière (120) ayant une première couleur (122) et un deuxième élément de lumière (124) ayant une deuxième couleur (126), et dans lequel la pluralité d'indications lumineuses (52) produites par les premier et deuxième éléments de lumière (120, 124) inclut une pluralité de couleurs lumineuses éclairées par le biais d'un seul guide de lumière (30) et à travers la surface de table de cuisson translucide (14), dans lequel la pluralité de couleurs lumineuses correspond à une pluralité de conditions de chauffage (140) de la surface de table de cuisson translucide (14).
     
    13. Appareil de chauffage (16) selon une ou plusieurs des revendications 2-12, comprenant en outre :
    un dispositif de commande (160) en communication avec le brûleur électrique (12) et le module de lumière (10), dans lequel le dispositif de commande (160) est actionnable pour régler un flux de courant électrique (70) au brûleur électrique (12) pour définir une pluralité de conditions de chauffage (140) de la surface de table de cuisson translucide (14), et dans lequel le fonctionnement de la commande (160) actionne également le module de lumière (10) pour générer la pluralité d'indications lumineuses (52) à partir du guide de lumière à fibre optique (230), dans lequel chacune des indications lumineuses (52) correspond à une condition de chauffage correspondante (140) de la pluralité de conditions de chauffage (140).
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description