Our story begins with Max and Ethel Lebersfeld, who came to America from Austria-Hungary in the early 1900’s.
Fine homes were just beginning to get electric lighting. This required intricate work taking apart parquet floors to replace the gas pipes with electric wires. As a master craftsman and highly skilled woodworker, Max was perfectly suited for this work. His reputation grew and it did not take long before his services were in great demand. Max took care to leave a home better than he found it. When he completed a job, he’d tell his customer, “If you can find a floorboard out of place or show me where I have made repairs, the job is free.” As far as we can tell, this was the first “Money Back Guarantee” in American history.
Like Max, Ethel had a strong work ethic. She was a shrewd businesswoman as well. Intent on finding the best deals, she set out to furnish her new home in Newark, New Jersey. She visited wholesalers only to be told they would not sell to her unless she was a retailer. So, Ethel, her entrepreneurial spirit ignited, told Max: “With your skills and my business sense, we should open our own retail store!”
And, thus, on January 24, 1924, “Lebersfeld’s Electrical Supply” opened its doors and began selling everything from small home appliances to light fixtures. Max and Ethel’s son, Arthur, was literally born into the lighting business. His bedroom was above the family’s store and as soon as Arthur could walk, he began accompanying his father to work. Arthur is responsible for the company name change to Capitol Lighting.
The company survived the Great Depression, and during the 50’s and 60’s the “powerhouse” Arthur opened additional locations and built a main headquarters in East Hanover with over 60,000 square feet. It is his entrepreneurial spirit that is credited for the expansion to a multi location lighting retail chain.
As the business grew, so did Arthur’s family. Like their father, sons--Herman and Max--were born into the lighting business. The 3rd generation was in place and Capitol Lighting consumed their days and evenings. Family time was spent in the stores, learning about lighting and focussed on the importance of serving the customers with many a dinner conversation sharpening their business skills.
When Arthur thought about retiring, he moved to South Florida. In his “retirement,” he pushed to expand the business, opening the first Florida store in West Palm Beach, followed soon after by Boca Raton. With stores in New Jersey and in South Florida, Capitol Lighting grew to become a top specialty lighting retailer with an international footprint providing lighting to consumers outside of the showroom markets through capitollighting.com/1800lighting.com.
Herman and Max now serve as Co-Chairmen of the Board, with the fourth generation of Lebersfeld’s in the executive leadership positions. Herman’s sons - Ken and Eric - are Chief Executive Officer and President/Chief Marketing Officer respectively. Max’s son Jason serves as Vice President -Chief Technology & Operations Officer; and son Brian is responsible for operating the online business and call center as Vice President, Director of Ecommerce.
As a family-owned and operated business, we are proud to have our name and reputation tied to what we do. We honor the legacy of our founders, Max and Ethel, as we commit to providing our clients with the utmost in service and quality lighting design.