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1951 In 1951, Mel Jacobson started Mel's Van O Lite in Minneapolis, MN, by stocking and selling light bulbs out of a van. Mel's Van O Lite quickly grew as a string lighting distributor that serviced many large retail establishments in the Minneapolis area. The company purchased a fleet of cargo box vans and used the vehicles to stock and service all of their grocery and hardware customers.
1955 Mel Jacobson partnered with Don McLellan and their company really started to develop a presence in the Minneapolis area. In the 1960's a warehouse was purchased and Mel's Van O Lite began its role as a prime light bulb distributor in the Twin Cities area. During this time period, Mel's Van O Lite moved twice as they continued to grow and need more warehousing and showroom space.
1980 Mel Jacobson retires and Don McLellan continues to run the company (as Van O Lite) with three of his sons, Dave, Tom and Steve. It was during this time that Van O Lite solidified its presence in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area as a major player in the lighting industry, servicing nearly every grocery and hardware establishment.
1996 Van O Lite becomes the first business in the world to sell lighting products online, when Paul McLellan (Dave's son) started work on VanOLite.com. Van O Lite started out by selling compact fluorescents, full spectrum bulbs and flashlights. The response was immediate, as ecommerce was just starting to grow and become popular in both homes and businesses.
2000 Van O Lite created Lite-House.com to be its new dedicated eCommerce superstore! Lite-House.com quickly became the most complete online light bulb store with well over 4,000 lighting products and provided many features to help the customer locate their products as well as top quality customer service.
2001 Van O Lite built a new facility in 2001 to accommodate the incredible amount of growth that their eCommerce site, Lite-House.com, had created for them. The new facility allowed for Van O Lite to branch out into additional lighting products online, adding in multiple lines of lighting fixtures, ballasts and electrical products.
2004 Van O Lite and Lite-House.com merge to create Service Lighting. ServiceLighting.com launched their new website by increasing its product line from 4,000 to more than 15,000!
2005 Due to phenomenal growth online, Service Lighting moved from Fridley, MN (after 30 years) to a new state-of-the-art facility in Maple Grove, MN, with a distribution center nearly four times larger than their previous one.
2008 Coming full circle, Service Lighting launches a new brand: eLightBulbs. Now offering over 60,000 light bulbs and accessories, eLightBulbs is an incredibly simple, yet feature-rich lighting store that provides the ultimate solution to buying light bulbs online. eLightBulbs is truly "stress-free shopping".
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