Live Brighter

Ideas and Inspiration

Celebrating Capitol Lighting’s 100-Year Anniversary

When Max and Ethel Lebersfeld came to Newark, New Jersey from Austria-Hungary in the early 1900s, they had an incredible entrepreneurial spirit. After seizing an opportunity in the newly minted electric industry, their incredible work ethic quickly made them a household name in the local community that would thrive for decades to come.

The generations that succeeded Max and Ethel have been able to carry on their initial endeavor and enduring vision. After 100 years, Capitol Lighting’s relationships with its customers and clients have never been stronger, and today, the family business remains in good hands with the fourth generation of Lebersfelds in executive leadership.

Capitol’s 100-Year Legacy In Lighting

The Capitol Lighting story is a remarkable one, built in the true spirit of the American dream.

As a woodworker and overall master craftsman, Max took it upon himself to break into the electric industry, which was just beginning to take off due to the Edison Electric Company’s presence in Lower Manhattan and northern New Jersey. Because homes implementing electricity needed to remove the floorboards to replace the gas pipes with electric wires, Max was the ideal person for the job. After he completed the work, he would tell residents that if they found any defects, the job would be free, marking the first money-back guarantee in history.

Ethel was a clever businesswoman in her own right. When she realized she couldn’t furnish her family’s home at wholesale pricing because she wasn’t a retailer, she took matters into her own hands. Ethel consulted Max, proposing opening a retail store to combine their joint skillsets, adding: “Why don’t we sell the light fixtures too?” Her persuasive personality resulted in the opening of Lebersfeld’s Electrical Supply on January 24, 1924. They didn’t just wonder if their ambitious lighting company could persist for the next century — they knew it would.

The couple welcomed their son Arthur into the world in 1909. As soon as he was able to walk, Arthur began accompanying his father to work sites, giving him exposure to the business at an early age. He would go on to literally grow up above the family store, making him a fitting visionary to expand the enterprise later on. As the Lebersfelds withstood the economic uncertainties of the Great Depression, their company’s reputation continued to grow, and when Arthur took over, he decided to change the company’s name to “Capitol,” meaning “the best.” He focused on providing the highest level of service and integrity to his customers. Thanks to his bold approach, Capitol Lighting became a multi-store retail chain, with a main headquarters in East Hanover covering over 60,000 square feet.

Arthur picked up right where Max and Ethel left off, mentoring his children Herman and Max (named after his grandfather) and teaching them the ins and outs of the lighting industry. And when it came time for him to “retire” in Florida, he brought the business with him, opening the first out-of-state locations in West Palm Beach and Boca Raton. Today, Herman’s sons, Ken and Eric, and Max’s sons, Jason and Brian, are all a part of Capitol Lighting’s leadership team, continuing their family’s legacy on into the fourth generation.

Envisioning Luminary Brilliance Since 1924

Over the past century, electric lighting fixtures and luminaires have come a long way, becoming an essential element of home design. As trends, materials, and functions continue to evolve, quality, affordability, and variations in style have never been greater. Capitol Lighting is devoted to offering lighting with an artistic flair that is guaranteed to add a personal touch to your home.

From traditional, ornate chandeliers to more modern or industrial pendants, accent lighting, outdoor fixtures, and a whole lot more, Capitol Lighting offers countless solutions to illuminate your home in a way that’s fashionable and functional. With a wide assortment of colors, shapes, and designs, we offer products across a number of categories to ensure we fit the unique requirements of your personal living space.

Bringing Your Creative Imagination To Life

At Capitol Lighting, our ultimate goal has always been “Making Lives Brighter.” We strive to live up to this motto by offering products that give homeowners the opportunity to make each space their own. Through decades of evolutionary lighting trends, we’ve kept up with the world’s best designers and the most chic and captivating designs, allowing our customers to bring their creative vision to life.

In order to realize these promises to our customers, we’ve turned our immersive showrooms into a best-in-class online shopping experience, with lighting specialists available to provide personalized assistance just as they would in person when browsing traditionally. We value our impeccable staff, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without the joint contributions of the thousands of employees who have worked at Capitol over the past century. 

We’re fortunate to have extremely passionate and dedicated employees who have earned the trust of our local community due to their professional knowledge and industry experience. For this, we’re honored to have been awarded the Top Workplaces designation for four years in a row. This is truly a testament to our team-first mentality, which has been a focus for us since the beginning.

Our Continued Commitment To Customers

100 years is an incredible accomplishment in the continuing story of Capitol Lighting, and we’re elated to be a part of the 1% of companies who ever reach this milestone. However, we’re nowhere near finished, and the next century is shaping up to be even more momentous than the last.

At Capitol, we give back to our communities by participating in local initiatives such as building homes for Habitat for Humanity. With our knack for lighting design, there’s no better way to use our resources and tools. Not only have we donated over $1,000,000 in fixtures, but our team actually does the work of building homes for deserving families.

There’s never been a better time to elevate the opulence of your home with stunning lighting fixtures from our expansive selection. Capitol Lighting’s refined operations have made it easy to explore fresh, artistic pieces that will make any space shine, whether shopping online or visiting one of our many showrooms in New Jersey and South Florida.

Capitol Lighting is proud to be a member of both of these communities, and we’re looking forward to offering brilliant lighting solutions to our clientele for many more years to come. 

Shop our 2024 Catalog to see all the latest lighting designs and fixtures we have available right now. Even if you missed out on the first 100 years, the future is only bound to be brighter.