Where to Shop for Lights - Through IDs, Lighting Shops or Taobao?
Moving into a new house? Renovating your existing place? It is time to buy new lights.
However, you are faced with daunting situations such as: Where do I buy lights in Singapore? What is the budget for the lighting of my home? How do I decide if a local lighting shop is better or buying online?
(Help me, Light Makers!)
Sure, let’s take one question at a time. There are many options out there and we will narrow it down to buying lights through interior designers (IDs) and contractors, or directly by yourself from lighting shops or online. Clearly they all have their pros and cons so we shall weigh them:
You get what you paid for.
When it is too good to be true, you need to evaluate if certain quality and safety standards have been compromised. Not forgetting the additional costs required to pay for dismantling and installation every time a light blows if you do not know how to replace it yourself.
Pro: When there is a comparison of pricing, the prices of lights bought online eg. Lazada, Taobao, Qoo10, Shopee are all indeed comparably lower than the prices offered by IDs or at lighting shops in Singapore. Pretty designs of modern ceiling pendant lights could go as low as 2-digit figures while retailing prices are in 3-digits. You can get cheap LED lights as low as $4/panel or tracklights at $7/pc even on Carousell.
Con: We were once told by a customer that he is willing to buy 10pcs of an online purchase to keep as spares as it is that cheap and will simply change every time it spoils. Yup, if keeping items with electrical parts in the storeroom over time to collect dust & rust is going to prolong its’ shelf-life, good luck with that.
We always advise – save the trouble and buy a good quality light purchase at the onset to give yourself a peace of mind. We carry international bulb brands and LED panels like Osram; Philips; Cree and more and they are reasonably priced. If you visit our showroom at 318 Jalan Besar, we can assist to explain and show the difference clearly between online purchases and in-house affordable LED lights for your benefit.
SHIPPING & WAITING PERIOD
A big factor to consider is lead time.
It is important to discern when to buy lights from 3rd party IDs / contractors, lighting shops or online. You may require them urgently yet remain unsure of the quality of items bought.
Pro: If you have the luxury of time to wait for the lights, you can read these comprehensive guides and article that have seemed to crack the code to online shopping.
Besides the affordable online prices, you can also ship your items via ezBuy and there are no extra charges for shipping.
Con: In case of a delay, you will need to wait for a way longer period for your items when you order online. Besides the unpredictability of delivery, there is also a risk of your lights getting damaged or broken before reaching your home especially if they are shipped from China eg. Taobao or Amazon.
Lighting shops are physical retail stores where you can visit and view the product, simply cash and carry to buy. At the lighting shop, you can also inspect the quality of the item you would like to buy, and confirm its authenticity before paying. There is no need to wait for several weeks or months for the delivery of your order.
On a similar note, there are instances when the site is not ready to ready to receive goods due to ongoing renovation works in progress. Light Makers recommends buyers to postpone and reshedule delivery until the site has cleared up, to avoid breakage or items missing before installation. We are flexible to help work around with scheduling. You can find our customers’ FAQs answered here.
CUSTOMISE / EXCHANGE POLICY
No turning back.
Once you place your order online and paid in full, you have to wait for weeks / months before receiving your lights. You are unable to review the actual condition of the item before buying.
Pro: If you are lucky, you got yourself a good deal.
Con: So much can go wrong. Missing and incomplete parts or accessories, scratches, marks and bent surfaces incurred during transportation; incorrect order of wrong colour finishing, temperature and length / height specifications… The list goes on.
More often than not, customers turn to us for help to fix the lights ordered online which resulted in more money and stress to troubleshoot and repair. There is no way they are going to pay postage to send the light back to the seller and wait further for replacement.
Speak to us for free no-obligation advice and even onsite lighting consultation. We provide insights which are very useful to customers with sourcing and customisation services and tips to pair the best affordable LED lighting for you.
This is why local retailers charge more.
When buying lights for home use, you need to be sure that the external LED drivers have the safety mark; an indication that the driver is certified safe for use. To clamp down the risk of fires, shock, explosion and other hazards that could result in injury, death or property damage caused from unwarranted products distributed by ambiguous sources, EnterpriseSG has imposed Consumer Protection Safety Requirements Regulations (CPSR) for Controlled Goods in Singapore. They offer valuable product safety tips for consumers available to protect your family and loved ones from being exposed to relevant risks.
Pro: There is an advantage of using LED drivers with safety mark, and this is where insurance comes in. When you buy lights from unregulated suppliers, do note that you are putting the safety of your house at risk. When there is a fire outbreak, your insurance company may not be held responsible if they flag out that the fire was caused by electrical appliances that have no safety mark.
Con: Products with real safety marks are usually expensive, and not all lights in the market have safety mark. Lights from Taobao will not have the safety mark, and it is a risk on your part purchasing these uncertified lights without the safety mark.
Light Makers Singapore complies with CPSR’s regulation and guidelines as a lighting supplier with a strong reputation to protect. All our lights come with warranty and external LED drivers with safety mark. The team receives tremendous support and referrals from our customers’ to their family; relatives; friends; colleagues and IDs because of our consistent quality and service. We also have an interpersonal relationship with our customers as we only sell safe and quality lighting solutions to beautify homes and business offices.
Buying online may look like the best thing especially when you are considering the price. Going through IDs / contractors is definitely convenient but unfortunately they are not as specialised in the specific field of lighting. But Light Makers Singapore is more than just a lighting shop and we are here to serve.
There is no doubt that there are quality sellers online and some retail black sheep spoiling the market, hence do perform your due diligence to scroll through reviews by only going for reputable sellers.