Keynote Speeches, Seminars, Workshops & Training

We teach classes in lighting at both the college undergraduate and at the professional development level. We have provided more classes to more practicing and future design professionals than any other professional provider in the world.

As a teacher of lighting design and applications, James Benya is one of the world's best. He started teaching lighting in 1974 and in 30 years has become recognized worldwide as a clear communicator, practical environmentalist and passionate designer. He is a certified AIA professional development education provider, a certified ASID/IIDA interior design continuing education provider, and one of the top public speakers in the field. A former adjunct professor of architecture and design at California College of Art, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and Lawrence Institute of Technology, James has taught over 400 CEU programs, 300 college classes, and given over 200 speeches about lighting at LightFair, NeoCon, Designers Saturday, and other gatherings of the trade.

James is also an accomplished photographer and widely published in the field of architecture and interior design. In 1994, he started teaching a basic class in photography for architects, interior designers and lighting designers that has become one of his most popular.

Classes in Lighting

Lighting, Daylighting, Energy and Other Public Programs

James is the instructor on lighting and daylighting for the California Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) which provides programs throughout California all year long. For the next CHPS program visit the website

James has taught numerous programs on behalf of electric utility companies throughout the USA. His messages about good design practice and energy efficiency are broadly applicable and widely enjoyed. Currently, James is teaching classes in California for Pacific Gas and Electric, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Southern California Edison. Other sponsors have included Portland General Electric, the Seattle Lighting Design Lab, Montana Power, the Energy Center of Wisconsin, Efficiency Vermont, Colorado Public Service, Salt River Project, Ohio Edison, Carolina Power and Light, Detroit Edison, Oklahoma Gas and Electric, CommEd, ConEd, Georgia Power, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership, just to name a few.

Corporate Programs

James Benya develops and provides classes for lighting companies and their customers. Among clients include The Source at Cooper Lighting; Lutron Electronics; Osram Sylvania;The Lighting Institute at General Electric; Lightolier; The Lithonia Lighting Center; Engineered Lighting Products; Finelite; and the WattStopper. These classes are developed to match the product and marketing objectives of the company.

Trade Shows

In the history of lighting, no single speaker has been more in demand at lighting trade shows and programs in North America. Keynote speaker at the IESNA Annual Meeting (1997), perennial speaker at LightFair International (14 times), Pan Pacific Lighting Exposition (3 times), Lighting World (3 times), the ASID Annual Conference (8 times), the AIA Annual Conference (3 times), the American Lighting Association meeting (4 times), Electric and Electric West (10 times), InfoComm (5 times), the US Green Buildings Council Annual Meeting (2 times), NeoCon (5 times), and Prairie Lights (2 times). His versatility is unparalleled, with topics ranging from high end residential, casino and retail design to energy codes and standards, dark skies, sustainable design and daylighting. No one consistently matches James's extremely high attendee ratings.

Design Centers

James often provides programs at Design Centers for interior designers and architects. He has presented programs and classes including CEU programs at the Merchandise Mart (Chicago), the Michigan Design Center, the Design Center for the Americas (Miami), the Design Center South (Laguna), the Seattle Design Center, the Interior Design Center of New York, the Boston Design Center, the Pacific Design Center (LA), Showplace Square/Galleria (San Francisco), the St. Louis Design Center, the Washington (DC) Design Center, the Minneapolis Design Center, the Phoenix Design Center, and the Honolulu Design Center.

College Programs and Artist In Residence

A former adjunct professor of architecture and design at four colleges and universities, James is warmly received by students and offers excellent career guidance as part of his visit James has been Artist in Residence at the University of Nebraska and a guest lecturer at Michigan State, Oklahoma, Colorado, Renssalaer, UCLA,, Otis, Washington, Penn State, MIT, Louisiana Tech, Georgia Tech, CCS, Wayne State, Montana State,

Contact James to arrange a class or speech

Internet Programs

James is a co-developer and teacher of the US DOE FEMPLIGHTS internet lighting class.