Light Bulbs Etc. vs The Internet & Big Box Stores

Posted: August 29, 2016

Selecting Lighting whether a simple outdoor lantern, A replacement vanity wall sconce or just a light bulb can be a rather daunting experience. There are so many choices not to mention a myriad of different styles at every price point. So where do you begin?

Today the most common sources to purchase lighting are:

  1. Internet
  2. Big Box Stores
  3. Lighting Showrooms


(A) The Internet: (Pros) Convenience, competitive pricing and usually easy returns with minimal restocking fees (if any).

(Cons) Selection is large but repetitive which can be confusing. One cannot see the item physically which often looks very different in real life and hence the large volume of returns. The customer service personnel have little or mostly no knowledge of the product and therefore unable to provide any advice or technical information. Damage items are quite prevalent especially with large items.

(B) Big Box Stores: (Pros) Items displayed are usually stocked and can be taken with the client at time of purchase. (Cons) Selection is limited to more generic styles. Sales personnel uninformed and usually handle multiple departments and therefore mostly uninformed on lighting. This often results in consumers purchasing items that they think will work only to be disappointed. The warehouse environment of the box stores is not conducive to purchasing design products like lighting as it does not show the products off in the “best light

(C) Light Bulbs Etc.: (Pros) Large full service Lighting Store which showcases the very latest in lighting fashions and since pricing is largely controlled by the manufacturers policy of Minimum advertised pricing (IMAP), prices are extremely competitive and in line with Internet and Box stores contrary to many consumer misconceptions. Our lighting Showrooms have trained personnel who understand lighting both from a design standpoint as well as the technical knowledge, which is in itself a huge advantage given the choices of so many different light sources available to today. Many lighting showrooms have design services that can and will help you to make smart lighting choices. The merchandise is displayed in a more realistic environment where clients are able to appreciate it the aesthetics more realistically.

(Cons) There aren’t any We’re a little biased maybe?


Simply stated: Light Bulbs Etc. offers so much more

We offer online pricing on everything.  You will never pay more than the current online price for anything.

Each one of our three stores in Orange, Montclair & Costa Mesa, have knowledgeable and talented sales staff on hand.  They can answer any of your lighting questions that you may have.   We also have a lighting design team. 

In some cases, using design tools on their computer an LBE designer can take a photo that you bring to them of a certain room in your home and place a light fixture that you have picked out into that photo.  This way, you can see how the light fixture will look in the room before making a purchase.  Ask about this service to find out scheduling.

You may decide to hire a lighting designer, which can cost upwards of $100 per hour on average.  Sometimes, a conversation with a member of our knowledgeable sales staff may be all it takes to answer your questions. 

At Light Bulbs Etc., We do offer lighting design and have a lighting design team on staff. 

So to briefly review:

 Big Box Stores will possibly have items in stock ready to take home, although usually very limited, also there is—

--No personal customer service

--No follow-up service

--May require very costly lighting designer or contractor to clean-up mistakes



Purchasing from Light Bulbs Etc., there is

--Personal customer service, above and beyond

--Follow-up and questions answered

--Lighting design available if needed

=Happy Customer J