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Lighting the way

Posted 01-APR-04

Ever wonder how traffic signals or digital clocks light up? Probably not. But working behind the scenes to illuminate such vital technology are the unsung heroes of the electronics world — light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Energy-efficient and durable, LEDs have been replacing incandescent light bulbs for more than 30 years, and Pervaiz Lodhie’s company, LEDtronics, has been leading the way.

“This revolution is growing faster than computer technology,” says Lodhie ’71 BS, president and CEO of LEDtronics, which designs and manufactures LEDs for 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies. LEDtronics has come a long way since its modest beginnings in 1983, when Lodhie and his wife, Alma, started it up in their garage. “We’ve grown from a two-person operation to more than 140 employees,” Lodhie says. Now the Torrance-based company employs people from all over the world, and has a satellite office in Karachi, Pakistan. Projects range from lighting on local bridges to walkway illumination on the next-generation space station. “The variety of markets for which we design is mind-boggling. I can’t think of any other product that can cover such a broad spectrum.”

LEDs are more energy-efficient than ordinary incandescent bulbs because they don’t have a filament that burns out, don’t get especially hot and are illuminated solely by the movement of electrons in the semiconductor material.

Considered a global pioneer of the LED light bulb, Lodhie says his company sets design standards for the entire industry. He has also put this innovative technology to great use in his native Pakistan. “Many people there do not have lighting, so they burn toxic kerosene, or rely on candles,” Lodhie explains. “This energy-efficient lighting used with solar panels can help Pakistan.”

Lodhie says that his time at Cal State L.A. helped him immensely. “I found my first engineering job as a student through the Center for Career Planning and Placement. And Cal State L.A. provided me with a hands-on, affordable education, and gave me all the tools I use in the field of mechanical engineering.” Lodhie, a 1999 Distinguished Alumnus, remains active as a member of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology Advisory Board. He also established the Pervaiz and Alma Lodhie Scholarship for engineering students.

Most of all, he loves what he does. “It’s very rewarding to be in a business where I’m able to solve problems,” Lodhie says. “I’m constantly driven to find ways to make life easier.”
Publish Date: April, 2004

Copyright © by California State University, Los Angeles

Link to:Cal State L.A. Today
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