When it comes to dimming lights, none of us probably think twice about it, right? We turn a knob or program a master control, and voilà!
Before the late 1950s, however, the technology used for dimming lights was complex, expensive, and rarely seen outside of stage theaters.
But that all changed when a young physicist named Joel Spira decided he wanted to make a device to dim lights—one that was simple and affordable enough for everyday people to use in their homes.
Spira began his quest by commandeering a spare bedroom in his New York City apartment and setting up a makeshift lab. His hard work paid off in 1959 when he "emerged from his lab with a solid-state dimmer that could replace the light switch in a standard residential wallbox."
Not only that, but Spira's dimmer generated less heat and used less energy—two more big benefits that helped his technology take off and solidified Lutron Electronics as the leader in the space for decades to come.
Always innovating, Lutron is still famous for its lighting, controls, and wireless technology. The company that started out with two products now provides over 15,000 to customers worldwide. Here are some highlights…