Glowing German orbs alight in U.S.

An American entrepreneur brings European light balls to the U.S. market.

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Great balls of light Great balls of light Great balls of light
An American entrepreneur brings a glowing German product to the US market.

(FORTUNE Small Business) -- A dinner party changed Dieter Kondek's life.

The German-born entrepreneur was talking with friends, expressing his distaste for the lighting designs of the hotel and resort developments opening around his home in Cape Coral, Fla., when the topic of the German company Moonlight surfaced. It manufactures glowing orbs that can light a room, illuminate a path, or float in a pool.

"They create light like the moon," says Kondek, 52. "This is what was fascinating to us."

Intrigued, Kondek researched the company and found that the polyethylene globes can withstand temperatures from -40° to 170° Fahrenheit, range in size from 13 to 30 inches in diameter, and be powered with rechargeable batteries or hardwired into an outlet.

He also discovered that while Moonlight's products were decorating wealthy homes in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, they had yet to reach the U.S. So in November, after 30 years in the high-tech field, Kondek, along with his wife and two friends, launched Moonlight U.S.A. and became the exclusive U.S. distributor.

Worldwide, Moonlight has sold more than 10,000 balls, which cost from $325 to $1,000, and Kondek believes that the U.S. will soon make up half the company's sales. To top of page

What do you think of Dieter's Moonlight globes? Share your opinions.

A quick question from FSB: For a future story, we would like to find business owners who routinely sleep no more than 4 to 6 hours per night. If you're a night-owl entrepreneur, write to Anne Fisher at afisher@fortunemail.com and tell us how you adapted to your current schedule.

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