SOLON, Ohio — “To love beauty is to see light.” -Victor Hugo
It’s safe to say that Jayden Frank of Solon couldn’t agree more with that philosophy.
The art of illumination has been a life-long passion for Jayden, but in fairness he’s only 10, so his life hasn’t been that long yet.
Some kids get really into dinosaurs at a young age, some get into baseball cards. But Jayden was drawn to lights like a moth to the flame.
According to his father Steve, even before he could speak Jayden would point at and observe lights. A trip to a grocery store, a car ride at night, or a change in his preschool classroom would lead to conversations about lights or urgent pointing to share in his observations.
In his young tenure Jayden has already amassed an impressive personal collection of lightbulbs of various shapes, sizes, and wattages. He’s converted the closet in his bedroom into a “light closet” with labeled drawers. His favorite lights earn the honor of being wired up so that they can be showcased at his leisure.
About 3 years ago Jayden began making videos in which he exhibits some of his favorite bulbs on his YouTube channel, called, appropriately enough: JZ Lights: “The Light Boy”.
And let me tell you, things have really gotten lit for Jayden as of late. His passion for phosphorescence actually earned him a sponsorship with a company called 1000bulbs.com: They admired the young man’s moxie.
Next up for Jayden was his national television debut on The Ellen Show, where The Light Boy wowed guest host Julie Bowen with his brilliance.
Jayden shined like a pro, and was particularly excited to have had own dressing room complete with a snack drawer featuring Funions. This was a big highlight for Jayden.
It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to meet a 10-year-old lighting expert, so when Jayden invited me to hang out at his favorite haunt, The Habitat for Humanity ReStore, only a dim bulb would’ve say no.
Jayden and his father are regulars at all of the Greater Cleveland ReStore locations, he enjoys exploring the older lighting technologies there and potentially adding to his collection.
Jayden ushered me through the lighting section, taking interest in an occasional fixture that catches his fancy. He’s a patient teacher and I learned more about the upsides and downsides of fluorescents than I thought possible.
When asked about his future plans, Jayden says he wants to make and design lights. He wants to challenge himself to develop an even more efficient type of light in the future. I wouldn’t bet against the young man.
Some kids collect comic books, others are into video games. Jayden Frank really likes lights, and that’s cool. He’s a unique bulb who shines a little brighter than most, and I found our time together enlightening.
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