Floor Statement by Congressman Charles W. Dent

I rise today to pay tribute to two fine American business owners, Joel and Ruth Spira, for their donation of a significant collection of materials to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The items the Spira’s are donating represent some of the most noteworthy technological advancements and energy-saving inventions in the history of electric lighting. The collection tell the story of American innovation and the 50-year history of a company that has transformed the use of electricity.

Joel Spira is the inventor and developer of the solid-state electronic “dimming device,” and chairman and founder of Lutron Electronics -- headquartered in my Congressional District in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. A family-owned business, Lutron is governed by five principles:

  • Take care of the customer,
  • Take care of the company,
  • Take care of the people,
  • Innovate with high-quality products, and
  • Deliver value to the customer.

Lutron is known for its commitment to creating energy-saving products. Each year, the installed base of Lutron’s products save the nation nearly 10 billion kWh of electricity, or approximately $1 billion in utility costs. By installing two dimmers in place of two standard light switches in every home in the US, the potential annual savings could be $1.2 billion in electricity and close to 25 billion pounds of CO2—the equivalent to taking more than 1 million cars off the road.

Madam Speaker, I ask you and my colleagues to join me in congratulating Joel and Ruth Spira for this record of accomplishment and for their many contributions.