Benson’s Lighting — a bright idea for a long time

Benson’s Lighting — a bright idea for a long time

Benson’s Lighting owners Rebecca and Ric Jolie.

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 fourfold and grew Benson’s Lighting to national notoriety and respect.

After 20 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.

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 the 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 10 seasoned full-time staffers, greet you at the door and provide personalized service unrivaled anywhere.

“Beyond illumination, lighting creates mood and purpose for a space,” says Rebecca Jolie. “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,” says 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 percent 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!”

The other significant change in the industry is the use of the Internet. “Yes, of course we have a website, with 50,000 items on it.,” he continues. “Yes, we recognize people are buying lighting online, but we still don’t do consumer sales online.”

Rebecca Jolie adds that it’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,” says Ric. “We believe we are uniquely positioned to ably help our customers.”

Benson’s Lighting already has legions of loyal fans.

“We now have third generations of families coming in to buy from us.” Ric says.

Benson’s also serves commercial enterprises and builders and 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 said.
Rather than just hand Bishop a product, Ric quickly provides a full lesson about color temperature and how 4000- degree Kelvin LEDs would serve the homeowner best.

It is this level of service and their commitment to educating themselves and their customers that sets Benson’s Lighting apart from the competition. I recently had to renovate a house and after looking around, I chose Benson’s Lighting. I’m glad I did. They helped me plan, organize and purchase over 90 lighting pieces. And when I had a technical issue with one manufacturer, Benson’s Lighting was there to correct it.

“You are our customer,” Rebecca told me. “It is our obligation to ensure that you are 100 percent happy.”

So, as you head into the holidays and decorate your house with lighting or fans, I wholeheartedly recommend Benson’s. Visit the store at 12955 SW 87th Ave., call 305- 235-5841 or go to

With sales prices essentially flat and low inventory, selling and buying real estate in the area takes a certain level of finesse to ensure you are getting the best deal. If you have any real estate questions, I’m the local expert and I’m ready to help!

Hal Feldman is a Realtor with RE/MAX Advance Realty. Contact him with story ideas or real estate questions at , or

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