Bright Light is a division of Colonial Electric Supply Company, Inc. Colonial commenced operations in the early 1900's at 10th and Vine St. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies had just won the National League Pennant (1915) and with over one million residents, Philadelphia was the country's largest city. As the city's electrical demands increased through the middle of the century, Colonial responded and flourished.
By 1970, Philadelphia's population was nearly two million. The road systems badly needed updating. Colonial's turn-of-the-century office building and warehouse was taken by 'eminent domain' to make way for the new Vine Street Expressway. Rather than endure a move, Colonial's president and the founder's son, John Wilson, opted to close its doors and liquidate the inventory.
At that time, Joe Bellwoar had been Colonial's star outside salesperson. He offered to buy Colonial's inventory and was given permission to use the Colonial name. Square D, one of the nation's leading electrical manufacturers, agreed to transfer the franchise authorization to the new Colonial Electric Supply. In 1972, Joe moved the inventory to a warehouse at 40 N. 2nd Street in the Old City section of Philadelphia. He renamed the business Colonial Electric Supply Co., Inc. to reflect the company's focus as a wholesale supplier.
Joe grew the business focusing on his core lines: Square D, Thomas & Betts, and General Electric. He was legendary for his incredible service to his three largest accounts, Scott Paper, US Steel and Conrail. It was not uncommon for Joe to get an emergency call in the middle of the night to bring a transformer or some desperately needed cable to these manufacturers. His motto was always, "Service after the Sale".
In 1976, Colonial moved its operations 15 miles west of the city to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. With suburban sprawl taking over farmland and the King of Prussia mall quickly becoming a regional attraction, Colonial was poised for the construction boom of the 70's and 80's. The next generation of the Bellwoar family arrived at Colonial in the early 1980's. By the end of that decade, the company had grown to $20 million in sales and had about 50 employees. The company leapt into the computer-age, well ahead of other distributors, making inventory control, order entry, and purchasing virtually paperless. The 1990's were huge years for Colonial as Jay, David, Steve and Peter Bellwoar took over running the company and sales grew from $20 million to nearly $70 million. The company also became the first electrical supplier in Pennsylvania to achieve ISO certification. Colonial opened its first branch location in 1991 in Downingtown, Pennsylvania with five more regional branches opening before the end of the 90's.
Bright Light began as just an idea back in 1997 and became a reality with the acquisition of a small, privately held company in Wilmington, Delaware. The company was called "Brite Lite" and Colonial decided that "Bright Light" would be more easily recognized. In 2009, Colonial acquired three lighting showrooms in Maryland and kept their name of Annapolis Lighting. The Showroom Division of Colonial Electric is powered by excellence and has a passion for customer service. The same great values which help Colonial to be successful also run through this division. Whether you need a 12 light rock crystal chandelier by Swarovski or a 400 amp breaker, Colonial is here for you. With so much more than lights, Colonial's showroom division is dedicated to help you and any project, big or small.