callahan Lighting Design

  • Full Name: John Francis Callahan III, a.k.a. Frank
  • Family: Wife - Jen, Kids - Jack & Maggie, Golden Retriever - Sally
  • College: The University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Major: B.S. Architectural Engineering – Illumination
  • Founder and President: The Gift of Giving
  • Favorite Book: Natural Capitalism, Paul Hawken, Amory & Hunter Lovins
  • Most Recent Book: Light Spaces, Kress & Adams
  • Next Book: Age of Turbulence, Alan Greenspan
  • Favorite Movie: HEAT, DeNiro, Pacino. Michael Mann
  • Favorite Food: Cajun/Creole
  • Favorite Restaurant: Café Pasqual’s, Santa Fe, NM
  • Hobbies: Skiing, Wine, Golf, Biking, Fly Fishing
  • Dream Car: 1965 Shelby Cobra
  • Favorite Artist: William Matthews
  • Subscriptions: Powder, The Denver Post, FORTUNE, U.S. News & World Report
  • Favorite Charity: National Sports Center for the Disabled, The Children’s Hospital and Canine Companions for Independence
  • Favorite Gadget: Nespresso C100 Automatic Espresso Machine

Great lighting is not about choosing fixtures. Rather, it is about expressing the very best that any room has to offer in terms of form, volume, objects and materials.


Frank Callahan has been practicing creative lighting design for 11 years encompassing well over a hundred design projects. His wide array of design experience includes private residences, exteriors, art galleries, museums, monuments, restaurants, exhibits, and houses of worship. Frank’s extensive knowledge of many manufacturers’ fixtures and systems allows him to customize every project to the last detail. As principal of Callahan Lighting Design, LLC, he is responsible for lighting solutions from their inception through documentation, construction, and final aim and focus. His expertise also includes lighting control systems and custom fixtures.

Before starting his own lighting design firm, Frank worked as a project manager/designer for an architectural lighting design firm in Chicago, as well as being a senior designer for a museum lighting design company. He has also worked for a lighting fixture manufacturer as a senior specification sales representative.

Frank excels in creating lit environments that are dramatic and visually exciting by designing lighting solutions that enhance the architecture and interior design. He believes in using components that are unobtrusive and virtually disappear. It should go without saying that light’s job is to reveal form, accent art or sculpture, accentuate texture and material,and/or provide for wayfinding at night, doing so in a very efficient and pleasing manner. Its role is not to become an object in and of itself. Eliminating glare and integrating with the architecture are prime objectives, inherent in all of his designs. He is fortunate to have won numerous awards for his work including the G.E. Edison Award of Merit, the I.E.S.N.A. IIDA Guth Award , several I.E.S.N.A. IIDA Guth Awards of Merit and the Electrical Association Award of Merit. His work has been published several times in periodicals and journals including in Lighting Design & Application (LD+A) and Visual Merchandising & Store Display (VM+SD).