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Lanai Lights now available for the islands

By Staff | May 11, 2016

Lanai Lighting is mounted directly on the vertical and horizontal bars of screened enclosures. PHOTO PROVIDED

About five years ago a gentleman was sitting outside looking into his dark extended screened lanai when an idea sprung eventually turning into a growing Southwest Florida business.

Jeff Steele, of Lanai Lights, said his father Bob was sitting on his porch smoking a cigar when he said it would be nice if there were lights in his extended screen lanai. The assembly of what would eventually turn into Lanai Lights began by cutting a PVC pipe in half and adding a light bulb, among other items.

His father ended up creating a lighting system that attaches to the screen within the enclosure. Steele said the first prototype was installed at his father’s house.

“I came over and looked at it. The lights were hand molded plastic,” he said.

Three months later, Bob installed the lights in his son’s enclosure in time for his 50th birthday party.

LumiNite add extra light to the exterior of a home. PHOTO PROVIDED

“All my friends came over and talked about these neat lights on my cage,” Steele said. “A couple of my buddies said why don’t we open a business and start making these?”

So the process began and a patent was secured for the design. Injection molders were purchased, so Lanai Lights could be professionally made. Since opening the business, they have morphed into using low voltage LED lights because it is safer around pool areas, more energy efficient and the wave of the future.

The lighting is mounted directly to the aluminum vertical, or horizontal bars of the screened enclosures. All of the wiring is hidden.

“It opens up all of your space, so the whole screened in area is useable,” Steele said. “It’s not decorative lighting, it’s functional lighting.”

He said they also offer different colored lighting, such as green, to jazz up the screened in enclosure and change the atmosphere of the pool area.

A few years ago, another product was added to the business, LumiNite, pathway, walkway and driveway lighting that is placed into the ground on stakes. The red and orange colored LED lighting conforms to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Imperiled Species Management Section, making the lighting safe for the island during turtle nesting season.

The nesting season of threatened and endangered sea turtles began May 1. Once the sea turtle eggs hatch, they use the seaward horizon as their guiding light to the ocean. If artificial lighting is detected by the sea turtles, they will use it as their guiding light taking them away from the water.

Steele said the lights can be directed towards the ground lighting the walking space, rather than the sky.

“The island itself is kind of dark in places and we think we can provide some nice lighting to make outdoor space more useable,” Steele said. “The walkway lighting is very friendly and low. It provides a safe area where you can walk around. You can see what is under your feet and you won’t trip over something.”

He said they did their first install of the lighting on the island after going through the planning commission and building department. Steele said they received their blessing because it met all criteria necessary to be used on the island, which included the Dark Sky Ordinance.

“They are professionally installed. We are just the manufacturer. A local electrician will do the actual install,” he said.

Steele said those interested in using the lights on Sanibel have to pull permits and go through the correct regulatory boards to install the lights.

The business is based in Fort Myers. Everything is made in the United States and assembled in Fort Myers.

For more information, call (239) 415-2561, or visit www.lanailights.com.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.