Gary Benzel

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When he was just 13 years old, for his science project, GeodeLights founder Gary Benzel created an opti-coupler, a device connecting two electrical circuits using two lights as conductors. Revolutionary for its time, such devices can now be found in any Radio Shack. What followed was a long career as an inventor, innovator and business pioneer. In 1988, Gary founded AquaLogic, creating high-end holding systems, environments for live marine creatures. His products currently are in use at thousands of the great public aquariums, and in scientific marine laboratories worldwide. An avid rock hound, Gary has long admired the natural elegance and beauty of geodes, spending many vacations in search of these natural treasures. In 2012, he discovered the extraordinary geode mines of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, home to one of the world’s great geode beds, some 60 miles wide and 5 miles long. Gary turned his creative mind to determining how to best share and display these dazzling natural works of art with others. His “aha” moment came when he realized that the spectrum of light generated by LED bulbs allowed  a magnificent display of colors from inside the geodes. In addition, he discovered that, so lit, the lamp cast fascinating variegated patterns on counter tops, flooring, or any surface beneath it. Turning to his vast experience with electrical and mechanical products, Gary then went to great lengths to build swag geode lamps that exceed ETL and UL safety codes, and can easily withstand the rigors of installation and daily use. Like man-made artworks, each unique lamp is numbered, a beautiful conversation piece that truly will grace any home or business.

 

Kathy 1205new

Kathy developed an early fascination for geodes and other rocks in high school while camping with her family. She went on to college, earning a degree in marine biology, and eventually married and started a family. Together with her husband, a sea urchin diver, they built Catalina Offshore Products, Inc., a seafood company that employed 75 people.

After her children were grown, she rediscovered her love of lapidary work, shaping and polishing gemstones, called cabochons, through the San Diego Lapidary Society. When she and Gary met, they discovered that they shared a love of hunting and collecting rocks and geodes.  They soon hit upon the idea of creating GeodeLights, and Kathy now helps in the
manufacture of these beautiful lights, and with the bookkeeping side of the business.

 

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