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2014 30 Under 35 Profile: Edwin Reyes

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Edwin Reyes
31
Product Manager, Induction Systems, Fulham Electric

By Joe Nowlan

Everyone knows about LED lighting. But Edwin Reyes of Fulham Electric can tell you about another light source that remains somewhat under the radar.

As product manager, induction systems at Fulham Electric’s Hawthorne, Calif., location, Reyes thinks people may be overlooking induction lighting as an even better light source.

“Induction is competing against LED,” he explained, “and LED is the buzzword, the sexy word out there right now. So it’s a little more challenging.”

Reyes agrees that both LED and induction can save energy and money for the end-user. And perhaps it’s tempting to laugh and think that just when people are starting to get accustomed to LEDs, here is yet a new lighting source.

“[But] induction is not something new. It is an old technology that has been improved in the last 15 years,” Reyes explained. “It didn’t get the hype…. If it had been marketed in the ’90s, as was done in 2008, it would have competed harder with other products. It would have been used better for energy-saving solutions. At the same time, it would have been improved further.”

Reyes started at Fulham in 2005 after earning an associate’s degree in computer and electronic engineering technology from ITT Tech.

“I started here as a technician and doing the [technology-related] troubleshooting.… And from there I started doing testing for different applications.… This was testing for the customer so I started learning about all these different light sources that we had in the industry,” Reyes said.

He was born in El Salvador in Central America. He came to the United States (Los Angeles) when he was six years old. And he still remembers his first earthquake.

“I think it was the 1994 Northbridge earthquake; the big earthquake that we had here. I remember that one,” he laughed.
He has some supervisory duties now and encourages new ideas from his staff.

“Sometimes we [supervisors] may think we have the best solution or idea out there. But it might not be. Others may have a better experience or have done it differently and can enlighten the supervisor or their boss with that idea,” Reyes explained.
In his early years, Reyes had some mentors who would let him contribute ideas and suggestions and he tries to follow that approach.

“I will tell [the staff] what we’re trying to do and what our goal is. From there, I’ll review it with them and ask ‘What do you think? You think we can do it differently?’ It’s not just go ahead and do it and just be a robot and do the work…. If they saw that their idea was placed into the design, they’d take pride in that project.”

When he has some free time, Reyes enjoys working out and going to the gym. His favorite sport is soccer. He avidly followed this year’s World Cup, cheering for the American men. He was encouraged by how competitive a game they played against eventual World Cup champion Germany.

“They played well [against Germany] and even went to extra time. And to lose there is an accomplishment. They played the champion and did well,” he said.

Q. What advice you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?

A. I would say learn as much as you can. And the lighting industry is pretty big; an industry that you might not think actually exists. So learn as much as you can and work hard. That’s what I have done. I try to take in as much as I can from people that have been in the industry.

If you are a new person in the lighting industry, there are colleagues and people you’re going to meet that have been doing this for 10, 15—some even as long as 30—years. Try to learn the changing technology from them and their experience. That’s going to help you a lot. I have been mentored by a lot of those colleagues that have been in the lighting industry for so long. So learning from them and working hard actually pays off.

Q. Where do you see the lighting industry in five years?

A. I see it with a dominant light source, very energy-efficient and with more advanced control systems. The lighting industry will turn to controls for increased savings and more end user interaction.

I think everybody’s going to focus on adding some innovative technology to their product which attracts the end user. And we’re seeing the change now.

Joe Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He can be reached at jcnowlan@msn.com.

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