Torrance, Calif., Oct. 11, 2010—Few lawmakers have more influence in the nation’s
capital than 17-term Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, the powerful chairman
of the House Armed Services Committee. Representing a district mostly of small
towns and rural communities, and having national security on top of his agenda,
it is no surprise that in recent years he has co-sponsored or debated for proposals
to help make America more energy-independent.
“Energy reform is not just a matter of wanting to keep our air and planet
clean, as worthy and as important as those goals are,” he told his House
colleagues in January while debating legislation to reduce energy consumption
derived from fossil fuels and to increase energy production from renewable
resources. “It is also a matter of national security.” Last June,
he voted for Energy and Environmental Law Amendments that increases energy
efficiency standards for various domestic appliances.
It was only natural that during an Oct. 5 discussion meeting in Southern California
with a small group of prominent Pakistani-American professionals, a presentation
on LED lighting by the event’s host sparked Congressman Skelton’s
“Although the purpose of the meeting was to address issues of U.S.-Pakistan
relations, I could tell the congressman was taken with the energy-saving potential
of LED lighting following my introductory presentation,” said Pervaiz
Lodhie, President and CEO of LEDtronics, Inc., a Torrance-based company that
for 27 years has been innovating light-emitting diode lighting technology and
has grown into one of the world’s leading suppliers of energy-efficient,
long-lasting LED lamps, clusters and arrays.
“Congressman Skelton was particularly impressed with the potential of
solid-state lighting to become a major contributor not only to U.S. energy
independence but also to reducing greenhouse gases and the creation of green
jobs,” said Lodhie, noting that LED lighting and solar energy industries
have become the top job creators in the U.S. in the past years.
Rep. Skelton and wife Patricia were surprised to recognize familiar landmarks
among the many architectural applications of LEDs in the LEDtronics slide presentation.
Two of the wide-encompassing LEDtronics lighting projects around the world
are found in the nation’s capital: the South Capitol Street Bridge, which
boasts blue light fixtures from the company, and the Bolling Air Force Base,
some of whose streets are illuminated by several types of LEDtronics luminaires
Other LEDtronics lighting products are featured in many applications and sites
around the globe: U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in South Korea; Vincent Thomas
Bridge, Los Angeles Harbor; Daley Plaza in Chicago; Buckingham Palace in London;
Zapopan tunnel in Jalisco, Mexico; Palace Theatre in Albany, New York; Hillsboro
Arch in Oregon, and turtle-friendly boulevard lights in Florida, among many
“Americans are urged to save energy in their homes, starting with one
simple action: changing a light bulb,” Rep. Skelton has told his constituents
and supporters. “Households should replace one light bulb in their home
with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) that has earned the Energy Star
label,” he has written in his weekly column of January 4, 2009.
A year later and following his lunch meeting at LEDtronics, Rep. Skelton might
be inspired to urge his constituents to replace the CFL bulb with an LED bulb,
considering that the latter outlasts the CFLs by more than 5 times (50,000
hour lifespan vs. 10,000) and consumes less than half the energy on average.
As Rep. Skelton had written then, it is a “cost effective method to reducing