Back in 1996, the web was still a brand new idea, with only a small portion of the world utilizing it. Yahoo was king back then, and the web was starting to become ripe with informational style websites. Our company (at that time, was named Van O Lite), had been a light bulb distributor since 1951. We worked primarily with the Minnesota and Wisconsin area, servicing both commercial and consumer markets.
Personally, I had a tech background and had spent a good number of years creating and maintaining BBSs (Bulletin Board Systems), which were basically "small versions" of the internet for local markets. I had just begun Minnesota's first college class on the introduction to the internet and was eager to apply what I had learned to our company.
At that time, because the internet was an unknown sales venture, I was only able to work on the website on nights and weekends. After a few weeks, we had a basic informational site put together, highlighting our various products and services. We launched our first site as www.vanolite.com. With in a matter of days, we had people asking for quotes and interested in purchasing our products. There were hardly any e-commerce sites available at the time, so it was definitely a learning process for us. In a matter of months, we had built a small store of around 250 of our most popular products. At that time, this included Compact Fluorescents, Projector Bulbs, Miniature/Automotive Bulbs and Full Spectrum/Daylight bulbs.
As time went on, we continued to add more of our inventory online and the response was great. In 2000, we decided to launch a dedicated e-commerce site aside from Van O Lite, so we created www.lite-house.com. Shortly thereafter, we increased our offering to around 4,000 products.
Fast forward eight profitable years, and here is eLightBulbs.com. We are grateful for our opportunity to be the web's original light bulb store and are thankful that we can continue to lead the pack by providing great customer service, the largest selection (now, over 20,000 products) and competitive pricing.
The internet seems to change frequently now, and we are committed to change with it to stay cutting edge and provide the best online ordering solution for light bulbs. A large part of our choosing "eLightBulbs" as our new online storefront, reflects those ideals. In internet lingo, an "e" site can signify many things, usually confirming that designated site is an online entity. With us, it also brings on a couple other meanings:
- We are primarily an "e" commerce site
- A large part of our product line focuses on "e"nergy "e"fficiency
- We want the entire shopping experience to be "e"asy
Well, that is a little bit of our history and how we got our start online... thanks for reading. :)