For the past 20 years the real estate market has experienced extensive growth until the market declined in the last few years. With this explosive growth also came an explosion of home décor, styling and lighting, which the average home owner could afford. Prior to this time most of the average buildings constructed showed little flair or imagination, with few exceptions, such as hotels, government buildings and wealthy estates.
The average home owner does not need to sacrifice with the home décor and lighting. The available choices of lighting range from the mass produced and cheaply made aluminum fixtures found in the big brick-and-mortar home improvement stores to custom crafted lighting imported from Europe. The latter will not be found in any hardware store, but in specialty lighting boutiques.
Most lighting fixtures will not break the bank, nor should it be necessary to skimp on quality. Specialty lighting houses will, of course, have the best and widest selection of styles. There are well over a hundred different manufacturers of lighting fixtures and lamps in the United States alone. Most lighting stores can not compete with the home improvement behemoths for square footage so will make up for that by having the need to sometimes cram as much as possible into a smaller space. For this reason alone these specialty houses rely on a myriad of catalogs. Many times the customer will be permitted to "check out" these catalogs as there is not a way to leaf through them all in a few minutes.
Surprisingly most of the lighting shops are quite good at minimizing the wait time for a light fixture order. Quite often the average shipping time can be as little as 3 days or so. For custom designed order a realistic time frame may be up to 6 to 8 weeks or more.
The customer should be prepared for the majority, if not all lighting stores, to normally require a deposit for any special order. The purpose for this down payment is to cover the minimal expenses which the store will incur in the event of an order cancellation. Many specialty boutiques may also assess a restocking fee in the event of an order cancellation as well.
When shopping for lighting fixtures, a prior special order cancellation may be available at a significant discount in order to move stagnant inventory. Should the customer decide to purchase a number of fixtures then price negotiating may also be an avenue for savings for the customer. The saying, "the more you buy, the more you save" can be applied to this situation.