Benson’s Lighting, A Bright Idea

 Benson’s Lighting at the same location since 1963

Benson’s Lighting at the same location since 1963

Since 1963, Benson’s Lighting has been serving the needs of South Floridians with world-class knowledge and service. In the beginning, it was John Benson who broke away from the family business (Benson Electric) to open a mom-and-pop lighting store located in what was then the very end of Miami ‘civilization’.

In 1973, Dick and Nancy Cole bought Benson’s Lighting when it was still small and local. Through hard work and business acumen, the Coles increased business four-fold and grew Benson’s Lighting to national notoriety and respect.

After twenty wildly successful years, the Coles decided it was time to retire, but they wanted to hand things off to someone who would continue the business with as much professionalism and knowledge as they had. Thankfully, they had become friendly with Ric and Rebecca Jolie through various industry-wide events and conventions.

 Rebecca and Ric Jolie amongst their showroom fixtures

Rebecca and Ric Jolie amongst their showroom fixtures

In 1994, Ric and Rebecca Jolie left their senior positions with New England’s largest electrical and lighting distributor to buy and run Benson’s. It was their goal to break away from corporate lifestyle and serve people personally in an industry they knew and loved.

From the moment you walk into their showroom, it’s obvious they love and nurture the lighting business. They, and their ten seasoned full-time staffers, greet you at the door and provide personalized service unrivaled anywhere. Rebecca Jolie remarks, “Beyond illumination, lighting creates mood and purpose for a space. When appropriate, we will go on-site to collaborate closely with the homeowner, builder, electrical contractor and designer. This integrated approach to our service assures a successful lighting solution.” It’s clear they know everything about the products they sell and can quickly align themselves to accomplish your lighting goals. Only years of industry experience can accomplish that. Case in point, employees Karen Pollard, Fred Garcia and Maria Gonzalez have been with Benson’s even longer than Ric and Rebecca. The others are all multi-year vets as well.

“Over the past few years LED lighting has been a dramatic sea change for our business and the industry as a whole,” explains Ric Jolie. “In my 35 years, I’ve never seen a technology take hold like this. LED lights bring tremendous advances and advantages for our customers, including up to 80% energy saving, drastically reduced maintenance [changing bulbs] with lamp life ranging from 50 to 100,000 hours, significant heat reduction and the size of the light source is so small that innovative, new fixture designs are now available. It is really an exciting time!”

 Showroom filled with classic, modern and every style in-between

Showroom filled with classic, modern and every style in-between

The other significant change in the industry is the use of the Internet. Ric explains, “Yes, of course, we have a website with 50,000 items on it. Yes, we recognize people are buying lighting online… but we still don’t do consumer sales online.” Rebecca Jolie adds, “That’s because lighting purchases require consulting, planning and personalization. An email, phone call or better yet a face-to-face discussion allows us to understand, educate and respond to our customer on a personal level, so we advise and guide them accurately about their purchase. The best part is they still get equal or better pricing from us than they can get from any online store.”

Business is booming for this world-class store. “We’ve seen a great recovery in the Miami market and we see more ahead,” remarks Ric Jolie. “We believe we are uniquely positioned to ably help our customers.”

Business is booming for this world-class store. “We’ve seen a great recovery in the Miami market and we see more ahead,” remarks Ric Joie. “We believe we are uniquely positioned to ably help our customers.”

Benson’s Lighting already has legions of loyal fans. Ric boasts, “We now have third generations of families coming in to buy from us.” Benson’s also serves commercial enterprises and builders. While I was in the store, Hollub Homes Construction Manager Robbie Bishop stopped in for some expertise. “Our client wants to install bright white lights outside their home for security,” he stated. Rather than just hand Robbie a product and say ‘here, this is what you want’ Ric was quick to provide a full lesson about color temperature and how 4000-degree Kelvin LEDs would serve the homeowner best.

 Hollub Homes Construction Manager Robbie Bishop learns about lighting form Ric Jolie

Hollub Homes Construction Manager Robbie Bishop learns about lighting form Ric Jolie

It is this level of service and their commitment to educating themselves and their customers that sets them apart. I recently had a full home renovation to do. After looking around, I chose Benson’s Lighting. I’m glad I did. They helped me plan, organize and purchase over 90 pieces of lighting. And when I had a technical issue with one manufacturer, Benson’s Lighting was there to correct it. “You are our customer. It is our obligation to ensure you are 100% happy,” states Rebecca.

So, as you head into the holidays and want to decorate with lighting or fans, I wholeheartedly recommend Benson’s. You can visit them at 12955 SW 87th Avenue, call 305-235-5841 or try www.BensonsLighting.com