06:19PM | 03/02/03
Member Since: 10/17/02
11 lifetime posts
We're building a new home and are looking at lighting fixtures. We've noticed a particular style we like is manufactured by several lighting companies. The prices range from $30 (in the local home improvement store) to $130 (in a lighting store) for the same looking fixture (their all polished brass finish). Is there a difference in materials that would make the $130 one better than the $30? I don't want to be cheap, but some of these fixtures won't be used much (foyer) etc.


05:22AM | 03/03/03
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
Lighting stores have a huge markup. One way I know is that when I built my house, the builder said to go to a certain lighting store and cut all price tags in half -- that's what he pays at that store.
That said, yes there is a difference in quality from one fixture to another. Many brass fixtures will tarnish in a short time, while others will stay good looking for many years. Since this is a new house, my advice is to go with quality -- if you can tell which is which. It's hard to do by looking at it, or by the price tag.


01:59AM | 03/05/03
Member Since: 11/05/01
98 lifetime posts
The internal parts all come from the place. Hint not the USA. As stated the finish may be junk and the quality of the metal may be also. Don't pay full price at a lighting store. This is a good example of "You get what pay for".


02:42PM | 03/18/03
Hi! It's true that lighting stores have a huge markup, and that the sockets and transformers all come from outside USA, but you will find more reputable brands, hence better finish and durability at lighting stores, but this is not always true. Some lighting stores will sell the same thing as home centers, but twice the price, and some home centers will carry good brands on special orders. My local home center, for instance, can special order Lightolier fixtures.


05:11PM | 03/18/03
Member Since: 10/17/02
11 lifetime posts
Thanks for all your helpful messages. We finally chose good quality fixtures for the main living areas that will get lots of use, and lesser quality for the utility room closets etc. We did ask our home builder the same question, and he said a better quality fixture has better sockets, better finish, and he also thought the bulbs last longer. He also agreed with you that the lighting stores are a little pricey. I'm learning lots.


03:36PM | 01/09/04
Member Since: 01/07/04
20 lifetime posts
Not all parts for every fixture are sourced from overseas. When you pay top dollar, you are buying better performance:

a. Quality reflector coatings and shapes (stamped, hydroformed or assembled?) means more light out of fixture, means more efficiency and fewer fixtures

b. Quality built transformers will not hum or buzz

c. Quality built housings will flush against a ceiling, and install faster, meaning that your installation labor drops. Quality housings will securely hold the lamp without vibration, meaning longer lamp life. They will not amplify transformer or filament noise into a room.

d. Buy the highest quality you can afford.


12:52PM | 08/09/17
Member Since: 08/09/17
3 lifetime posts
I disagree with the previous assessments. As a lighting buyer for a local lighting store, I see the low grade metals that are often used in the home centers products which are essentially knock-offs of the higher quality products sold in lighting stores. The structures, finishes, and internal parts are graded higher at lighting stores and therefore cost more for higher quality. The mark-up at lighting stores is actually less than most internet sources that use marketing techniques like inflating list prices to make it seem like you're getting a bigger discount than you really are off of list price. Go to a professional to buy your lighting. Support local businesses and buy from a local lighting store that can answer questions, stand behind their products, and assist you in needs beyond just picking what looks good to you. That's what they are trained for. As for paddle fans, don't be fooled by brand names. Know what to look for in a fan. The motor and the construction have more to do with the quality. I know a few well known brands that have a good reputation that is undeserving because their products and customer service have declined over the years. Again, this is why you support local businesses who care about the customer and teach you how to get the most for your money. Not all products in lighting stores will be the most expensive choices, but they will be the most curated choices available. Happy Local Lighting store shopping!
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