This month, Lite Source Inc. celebrates 25 years in the lighting industry. Since its inception in 1983, the Chino, CA-based manufacturer has built a solid reputation as a purveyor of fashion-forward lighting fixtures—a focus that has remained virtually unchanged for more than two decades.
“If you needed contemporary lighting, Lite Source was the name that was synonymous with it, even back then,” says Joel Kent, Director of Marketing.
Long before the company became known for its modern aesthetic, though, Lite Source had a more modest beginning. Operating from their garage, owners David and Celia Lu offered just a handful of trendy styles as their initial foray into the contemporary lighting industry. But, according to Kent, the market share grew steadily throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, which allowed Lite Source to remain focused on contemporary lighting.
“We were the only sheriff in town with that product,” he says. “It’s been a very good ride for us.”
Over the years, Lite Source has occupied seven different locations in Southern California, each successive facility offering more space for inventory and personnel.
Today, Lite Source boasts more than 4,200 distinct products in a range of styles. In 2006, the company made the decision to branch out into the traditional design market; Kent led the effort, which ultimately brought more than 300 new styles to fruition in just two years. The success of that venture is still being felt today, he says, and Lite Source is already moving forward to offer tabletop accessories, consoles and wall art.
Despite diversifying their line, Lite Source’s focus remains fixed squarely on contemporary styles, which makes it harder to phase out older products, says Kent.
“They’re still selling as strong today as they were when we introduced them,” he says of Lite Source’s signature designs, which still command robust customer loyalty. “The styles have changed somewhat, but we still [offer] a great deal of what we consider to be our best-sellers.”