Our endangered and threatened friends, the mighty sea turtles, are eagerly anticipated to return to South Walton's beaches to unload their precious cargo of eggs beginning around May 1.
Jennifer and Scott Luther are ready to help cut down on the chance of lights interfering with sea turtles nesting or hatchlings returning to the water where they belong.
The Luthers manufacture turtle-friendly outdoor lights for homes, and they do it locally. They own a copper outdoor lighting business, Lucky Street Lanterns.
In January, the Luthers added a new dimension and stature to their lighting by earning turtle-friendly-lighting certification from Florida Wildlife Commission.
To be certified turtle/wildlife friendly, the three criteria that must be met are that the light covers must hang low, long, and be shielded. They also should reduce wall wash. Wall wash happens when light reflects off a wall.
Instead of the white light reflection, the FWC suggests an amber or red glow for outside lighting for homes along the beach.
The lighting the Luthers manufacture meets those criteria.
Jennifer Luther credits their decision to pursue making the lighting to the couple's 4-year-old son, Max.
"He enjoys being outside and walking around, and as we were teaching him about nature and the sea turtles, we wondered how we could make turtle-friendly lights," she said. "Max inspired us."
The Luthers moved to the area in 2011 and bought the lighting business, which has been around since 1960. Their office is located in
The lighting the Luthers make have no glass, and are made of pure copper and brass, made to last a lifetime. All of the lighting is made locally in their shop by hand.
When the Luthers took their lighting to
"They gave us the grand tour and showed Max all the different kinds of sea turtles and animals, and gave him some coloring books to help educate him on what they do and why turtle-friendly lights are so important," said Luther.
The Luthers are the only producers of these exclusive designs on the
Not only are their designs turtle friendly, but the copper that is used is eco friendly, with a patent pending, made to last a lifetime and withstand the elements in coastal communities.
FWC officials were so impressed with the design that they took the lights to their annual turtle meeting in
The lights are sold in stores retail and on their website at www.luckystreetlanterns.com. The prices range from $200-$300 and some customization can be done.
In addition to the certified turtle-friendly lights, the Luthers also produce a wide range of standard copper and brass lights and lanterns. All are handmade in their shop and made to last a lifetime. They also repair and restore existing lights.
Jennifer said with turtle season approaching, she wanted people to be aware there are turtle-friendly options that can help save our wildlife.
"We have always been inspired by nature," the Luther’s said. "This has been a family event. When we have time off, we go for walks. Max has always been interested in nature. These lights are important to help sustain the nature we have come to appreciate. We want to give back to the community."