Light bulb business ready to turn on light

Sometimes ideas can come from the most mundane tasks.

For Felipe Herrador Sr., it happened while changing a light bulb a year ago.

“ ‘Man that’s hot.’ My dad burned himself on a regular incandescent. Being an engineer he said, ‘I bet you I can produce something with less heat and less wattage,’ ” recounted Felipe Herrador Jr.

Herrador Jr.’s father had made a decision that would bring his small family into the LED manufacturing business.

In February Herrador Jr., his father and stepmother Monica will open Innovation Engineering Modular in Los Banos, assuming city inspections go as planned. The company will produce energy-efficient light bulbs.

“My dad works in San Jose and my parents have lived here for the past five years,” Herrador Jr. said. “We were looking for a building in southern California but my dad said people are hurting for income so let’s build out of here.”

Innovation Engineering Modular is preparing to hire 12 workers, with plans to have 50 employees within five years. Monica Herrador, who, like her husband, is an engineer, said the company is looking for workers to assemble the bulbs as well as machine operators.

The business, at 110 W. G St., Suite A, has a testing area and room for the heavy equipment that will be utilized for mass production. However, the Herradors are waiting for the building department to grant an occupancy permit.

Herrador Jr. predicts the company will be able to produce 28,000 bulbs per month with its initial 12 employees.

Monica Herrador said the light bulbs, which will be produced in several different wattage capacities, are 90 percent energy efficient and relatively inexpensive.

“We have a product that is high efficiency, low price and made in the United States,” she said.

Herrador Jr. said most LED companies have moved their plants to China.

Herrador Jr. said he plans to sell the bulbs through major chain stores, but they will also be available at the Habitat Westside ReStore. Herrador Jr. said his family’s company cannot sell the bulbs directly to the public because it would violate agreements the business has with retailers.

For more information or to pick up a job application, visit Innovation Engineering Modular at 110 W. G St., Suite A.