Beware of Cheap Fixtures

Aug 17, 2023

What You Pay For

You can get a lamp or solar fixture at most big-box hardware stores for around $30-60 each. After some quick calculations, it may seem like you could put together a viable outdoor lighting system for a couple thousand dollars. When considering hiring a professional outdoor lighting business and possibly spending three to four times as much money, this big-box price tag may begin to seem tempting. The sad truth is, however, that you get what you pay for. 

Whether or not you choose to hire Carolina Outdoor Lighting, we want to encourage you to take a moment to consider what you are really getting when you buy out-of-the-box fixtures. After hundreds of hours spent trying to fix (or inevitably replace) old outdoor lighting systems, the COL crew has seen the countless ways these systems fail over the course of a few seasons.



Outdoor lighting design is one of those fields that looks straightforward from the outside, but the more you learn, the more you learn there is to learn. Knowing how to precisely balance brightness, color temperature, wattage, beam spread, placement, aiming and fixture selection (just to name a few) make the difference between putting light on a tree and creating magic in your front yard. These decisions are also only the surface level of lighting design. When you try to do-it-yourself, you miss out on the mountain of education and experience that a professional designer provides. Our lead COL designers know how to lead the eye through a space, create focal points, and utilize diversity in the lighting methods. All of these skills and techniques work together to bring each individual fixture together into a seamless composition.



Big-box and chain hardware stores run on profit based motives, which means they are always trying to make the most money from the cheapest materials. These fixtures are often made from a lightweight molded plastic prone to physical damage, uv and weather wear, and are less likely to produce light that is consistent in color and brightness from fixture to fixture. Light fixtures that are integrated with their stakes are more prone to breakage, and cheap mini-LED diodes begin to burn out quickly. In each aspect these fixtures fall short of professional standards held by businesses like Carolina Outdoor Lighting. We only use fixtures that last – and carry warranties if they fail – and strongly suggest you do as well. 



One of the most valuable things you pay for when hiring a professional outdoor lighting business is our care and attention. COL technicians make sure the job is done right the first time, and when landscapers, bears, or children damage your system, we can be there at a phone call to get your system fully operational again. Additionally, Carolina Outdoor Lighting offers optional maintenance programs that allow us to keep an eye on things and fix any issues before they arise. Furthermore, when customer satisfaction is our priority – instead of just profit – it directs us to take a host of extra steps to provide the absolute best product we can. Walkthroughs of the property to make night-time adjustments are standard procedure, and we are always willing to adapt the plan to best fit your needs. 


What You Get

When you hire Carolina Outdoor Lighting for your lighting needs, you get top to bottom professionalism. Appropriate transformers, wire selection, and route calculations make sure the electrical capacity of the system is not overloaded and can sustain a long lifespan. High quality, beautiful, and durable fixtures will set your home aside. Thoughtful choices at every stage from design, to product selection, to installation, to maintenance exponentially increase the impact of the home and landscape. And best of all – you don’t have to do it yourself.


We Can Help

If you are trying to decide the best way to safely and beautifully light your home, give us a call for a complimentary estimate and design meeting. Find contact links here on our website!