CEDIA has named Joel Spira, founder of lighting control manufacturer Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., the recipient of its 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award. Spira will be presented with the award at the annual Electronic Lifestyles Awards Banquet during CEDIA EXPO Saturday, September 25.
Lutron's Joel Spira during a 2010 Smithsonian Museum ceremony
CEDIA’s Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has exhibited outstanding, creative, innovative, and visionary leadership in the growth and advancement of the residential electronic systems industry. Nominations are submitted by industry professionals and are evaluated on the basis of achievement and service within the industry.
Spira’s career in the electronic systems industry spans more than five decades. He emerged as an early pioneer with his invention of the world’s first dimming device in 1959, for which he was issued a U.S. Patent in 1962. Spira’s invention revolutionized the lighting control industry and launched Lutron on the path toward a legacy of innovation that has lasted 50 years and counting.
“Joel Spira’s contributions to the industry distinguish him as an early leader in bringing lifestyle-enhancing technology into the home,” said CEDIA CEO Utz Baldwin. “CEDIA is proud to honor Mr. Spira with its 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his many years of outstanding innovation.”
Spira has accumulated numerous honors and distinctions over the years, including receiving the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Leonardo da Vinci Award in 2000 as well as being credited with more than 500 U.S. design and utility patents. He has served in an advisory capacity at several prestigious colleges and universities, including Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his alma mater, Purdue University.
In 2010, Spira presided over a donation of materials from Lutron’s history to the Smithsonian’s Electricity Collection in the National Museum of American History. Of the donation, Museum Director Brent D. Glass said, “Collections such as this one from Lutron help us to understand the continuation of the electrical evolution, the process of invention and the history of business and manufacture.”
Spira continues to serve as Lutron’s chairman and director of research. He currently resides in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, with his wife Ruth.
Tickets for CEDIA’s Electronic Lifestyles Awards Banquet, which will also recognize the award-winning work of CEDIA member volunteers, electronic systems contractors, and manufacturers, can be purchased through the registration process for CEDIA EXPO at www.cedia.org/expo or onsite at the event. CEDIA EXPO will be held September 22–26 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.