In 1951, Mel Jacobson started Mel's Van O Lite in Minneapolis, MN, by stocking and selling light bulbs out of a van -- hence the name. In 1955, he 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 Minneapolis, MN area. During this time period, Mel's Van O Lite moved twice as they continued to grow and need more warehousing.
After Mel retired in 1980, Don McLellan continued to run the company (as Van O Lite) with three of his sons, Dave (Service Lighting President), 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.
Van O Lite, Inc. first landed on the internet in the fall of 1996, and Paul McLellan (Dave McLellan's son & Service Lighting Vice President) started work on what would become the first company to sell light bulbs online.
In September of 2000, Van O Lite, Inc. created Lite-House.com, which was to be its new dedicated e-commerce superstore! Lite-House.com quickly became the most complete online light bulb store with well over 4,000 lighting products, many features to help the customer locate their products, "human" customer service and much more... it's because of those hard to find traits that Lite-House.com promised to be a leader in lighting e-commerce. Van O Lite had to move once again in 2001 to accommodate the incredible amount of growth that their internet presence had created for them.