Unexpected Places to Buy Affordable Light Fixtures

While I am far from a home improvement guru, in the past few months of really focusing on fixing up our new home in various ways, I’ve come to learn a few tricks and shortcuts to increase my home improvement savvy and frugality.
I really do wish I’d learned of some of these tips and tricks before moving into our new home! But now that I know where to look for bargains and great finds, it makes beautifying my home far more wallet friendly, and I figured my blog is as good a place as any to pass on my newfound tricks!
In the past nine months, these are the most reliable and – for me – unexpected places to buy affordable light fixtures!

1. Swap Meets and Yard Sales

I never thought about looking at swap meets or yard sales for light fixtures. I’d had it in my head that used light fixtures must have something wrong with them – it never really occurred to me that personal tastes and preferences may move someone to replace a perfectly fine light switch until I was a home owner myself!
I also had the misconception that only used things would be found at a swap meet or yard sale. So you can imagine my surprise when I found brand new, still in the box designer light fixtures that would be perfect for my kitchen for only $2.50 each at a local swap meet! I found these fixtures while waiting for the purchasing of our home to be finalized. It was one of the first home improvement purchases I made for our new home, and they are still one of my favorite!


2. Thrift Stores and Habitat for Humanity ReStore Shops

While I am a thrift store junky, I had never heard of the ReStore chain of home improvement thrift stores run by the non-profit Christian organization Habitat for Humanity. I was discussing upcoming home improvement plans with a friend of mine, and she mentioned how she has a friend who is always making random home upgrades that look amazing with ReStore.
It took me awhile to finally get around to checking out what this store is all about, because the concept – a home improvement thrift store – seemed too good to be true. But when we visited, we were blown away! The variety is amazing, and the prices are unbelievable! I seriously wish I’d learned of this store sooner, it would have saved us SO MUCH MONEY! Check out this New Orleans gas lamp style front porch light fixture we picked up to replace our dim and dull one, so only $8! Pretty adorable, no?


3. Sales and Clearance at Home Improvement Stores

While hunting around for bargains, don’t forget to check out your run of the mill home improvement stores like Lowes, Home Depot and Orchard Supply Hardware. Now only are they a great place to check out for inspiration, but their sales can be off the charts! When we first moved into our home, we needed floor lamps for our living room which inexplicably has NO overhead lighting. We ended up picking up a three piece floor lamp set for only $15, on sale from $90!
But even without finding a killer sale, the going rate for basic light fixtures are not too shabby if you are just looking to replace something old and broken or terribly outdated, like we were with our 1950’s ranch house. For instance, we just needed a simple fixture to replace the ugly 60’s throwback lights in our entryway, so we found this energy efficient lamp (with bulb included!) for only $20 at our local Lowes!


4. Hand Me Downs from Friends and Family

While I haven’t accepted any light fixture hand me downs from friends or family just yet, I would not discount it or fail to ask if I were you! I have found friends and family a great source for advice and help with our various projects! For instance, my parents gave me a TON of objects that range from functional to decorative for my goat barn and pen.
So if you are in the market for light fixtures, let your friends and family know! Who knows? They may be looking for an excuse to upgrade their light fixture, and gifting you hand me downs may be just the excuse they need!

5. Antique Stores

Not only do antique stores offer some unique and rare one of a kind finds for home upgrades, if you are a DIYer like me, you can always create a light fixture with found items for an industrial or chic look. (I have been on the lookout for awhile now for some egg baskets to use as hanging industrial light cages!)
You can also use found objects from antique stores to dress up existing light fixtures. Check out how the previous owners of our house dressed up the kitchen island lighting with this vintage citrus ladder! (We asked them to leave it with the house purchase, and they were kind enough to oblige!)


6. Craigslist and Online Outlet Stores

I just gotta throw this out there.. I am the Craigslist QUEEN. The majority of our upscale or designer furniture comes from my tirelessly trolling Craigslist for the perfect couch / rug / table / whatever. While I have not purchased light fixtures off Craigslist just yet, I am always keeping an eye out for something spectacular or too perfect to pass up. There are TONS of affordable options that may be floating around in your digital neighborhood, so check it out!
And don’t underestimate online outlet shops, like Amazon.com and Overstock.com! There are some phenomenal finds at jaw dropping prices.
Like most things, unless you have a huge budget for home improvement, the key is PATIENCE. Take your time, have fun hunting (it’s like a giant home improvement scavenger hunt!) and little by little, for a fraction of the cost, you can illuminate your home with some great light fixtures on the cheap!

Where do you generally go for home improvement bargains and finds? Share below!

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Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

68 thoughts on “Unexpected Places to Buy Affordable Light Fixtures

  • 5 February, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Wow…….! so great info….. This is indeed Very useful for every one who buys a new house…. 🙂

    • 5 February, 2015 at 11:56 pm

      I hope so!! I really do wish I’d had this info before we moved in! ^_^

  • 6 February, 2015 at 12:06 am

    When we redid our kitchen, we donated our old cabinets to our local Restore – they picked them up for free! It’s a neat store, but I can get into trouble there so I try to stay away…

    • 6 February, 2015 at 12:09 am

      Yeah, hubby and I have plans to go back to buy some used shower doors to use for glass in our new greenhouse.. my hubby is always trying to rush me through, because I like to spend way too much time (and money) there! lol!

  • 6 February, 2015 at 12:10 am

    I always look at the clearance merchandise at Home Depot but I never think of going to Goodwill or the Habitat store! These are all great ideas!

    Doused In Pink

    • 6 February, 2015 at 12:19 am

      Yeah, I hadn’t even thought to check those places either.. until I stumbled upon some awesome finds! Now I check there FIRST! <3

  • 6 February, 2015 at 12:16 am

    I love all your fixtures, I’m all about a deal too!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 12:22 am

      Thank you! I’m so happy with the random finds!! <3

  • 6 February, 2015 at 12:46 am

    I always thought light fixtures sold at thrift stores and such were definitely broken! Thank you for making me change my mind and now I’m thinking I need to check out some yard sales this spring. I need a few of them for my home.

    Love the pics too!

    (So nice to meet you, my new friend!! And so glad you came by to introduce yourself!)

    • 6 February, 2015 at 12:51 am

      Thank you so much for stopping by to say hi!! *my day is made! hehe!*

      Yeah, I am such a sucker for thrift store and hand me down home improvements now, it’s not even funny! I mean, good finds are rare, but when they happen (and cost a fraction of the sticker price) it’s soooo worth it!!

  • 6 February, 2015 at 12:55 am

    Umm…I love your big kitchen window and the light/ladder!!!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 1:14 am

      Not even gonna lie, I’m pretty sure the kitchen is what moved us to make an offer on this house, haha! 😉

  • 6 February, 2015 at 1:01 am

    I’m a huge bargain shopper and I love all of your ideas! I can’t believe all of the incredible deals you’ve found. That ladder is so cool too!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 1:15 am

      Yeah, I am so happy they decided to leave that with the house. A totally random request, I know (in hindsight, I probably should have asked for more practical things with the sale.. like having them leave the house clean, or have the chimney serviced, lol!)…

  • 6 February, 2015 at 1:36 am

    I recently discovered our local habitat for humanity store and found some nice items.I don’t know why I haven’t thought of Amazon or overstock for light fixtures that’s such a great idea!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 1:39 am

      Yeah, I am pretty sure I’ll be ordering doorknob handles through Amazon.. far cheaper than the Home Supply stores!

  • 6 February, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Wow I love that light fixture with the ladder, it’s so cool and unique! I’m not great when it comes to home decor, but I’m trying to get better. I love your ideas here–I never thought to look at yard sales for light fixtures before!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 2:08 am

      Yeah, I LOVE that vintage citrus ladder! I think it’s so industrial, especially with the fixture and the Edison bulb! Some people have said it looks “too country for their tastes”, but I love it! hehe!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 2:09 am

      Thanks! <3

  • 6 February, 2015 at 2:50 am

    These are great tips! If I’m ever look for some I’ll for sure check out those places. Thanks for the list!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

    • 6 February, 2015 at 3:30 am

      Of course!! <3 <3

  • 6 February, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Gingi… I think paying full price for an item is pretty much a waste of time when you can get some really awesome items for such low prices… nice xox

    • 6 February, 2015 at 3:59 am

      Yeah, I generally only pay full price when I’m VERY impatient, or have simply given up looking! lol!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      No problem! Glad you like!

  • 6 February, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    All really awesome suggestions Gingi. Ha, you’re probably feeding the goats now, actually that was prolly done hours ago! I totally am with you, I love thrift shops, Habitat for Humanity and any place that recycles. Great suggestions! It’s so much cheaper and you get a more unique product. Thanks for reminding me, we do need more light in my house. Sigh. Another project. Have a lovely weekend friend!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      My pregnancy craziness is manifesting itself into far more projects than I could ever complete prior to Thyme’s birth, haha. And ReStore has pretty much just been fuel on that crazy flame. But I’m SUPER HAPPY I discovered this store, I’m hooked now…

  • 6 February, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Your kitchen looks amazing 🙂

    I never heard of the ReStore – that sounds cool. I would love to check one out 🙂

    • 6 February, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      Check online to see if there is one in your neighborhood! They get a lot of new still in the box things from stores like Lowes, so it’s really cool!

  • 6 February, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I love going to antique stores and flea markets. You never know what you can find. It is so much fun and I found some pretty cool things for the house there!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      The antique stores in my area are all WAYYYYY overprices, so I actually prefer Craigslist and Swap Meets for antiques.. but I like going for inspiration!!

  • 6 February, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I have a few fixtures I want to switch out! What a great idea… AND you gave me ideas of what to do with my old ones. Happy Friday

    • 6 February, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      Glad you found the post helpful!! <3

    • 6 February, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      I know I didn’t when I started out! hehe!

  • 6 February, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    While we are not exactly shopping for new light fixtures (don’t really have much freedom with home renovations in a rented apartment) we are looking for baby stuff since the third baby was not planned and all of our baby things like crib/stroller were left behind in USA. The prices of brand new items literally shocked me so I scoured our local ad site and managed to score a crib/stroller/car seat/dresser for roughly $150. Can you imagine how thrilled I was? So I can totally understand your excitement with finding a great deal and I’m glad you discovered new places to buy the needed things!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Yeah, we got a lot of our baby things through Craigslist and mommy groups on Facebook! It’s actually super fun to bargain shop!! haha!!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks!!! <3

  • 6 February, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I look out for sales. But then again, we don’t change lights always. Only when its really needed, we buy. Usually its the energy saving florescent.

    • 6 February, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Yeah, I’d like to move more toward energy saving light fixtures…

  • 6 February, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    We got some of the light fixtures for our house when we built from Ebay. They had some really unique ceiling fans.

    • 6 February, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      I didn’t even think to throw eBay into the list! Amazon has stolen my heart, I don’t shop on eBay anywhere as near as much as I used to, but I still go there for sale (mostly for things like bags, clothes, etc…)

  • 6 February, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Antique and thrift stores always have the coolest stuff in general! I haven’t really been looking for light fixtures, but maybe I should pay more attention!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      Yeah, I’m a thrift store junkie! ^_^

  • 6 February, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    I definitely support scouring Craigslist and garage sales for stuff like this! Lighting is so important in any house, in my opinion, and it’s cool when you get really quirky or unique light fixtures to make your place more special.

    • 6 February, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Yeah.. I’m getting much more bold in expressing myself through Craigslist and garage sale finds!

    • 6 February, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      No problem! <3

  • 6 February, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience Gingi! I’ve been visiting yard sales and thrift stores looking for some photography props and I’m amazed how much brand new stuff I’ve found , very inexpensive, too!

    • 7 February, 2015 at 3:43 am

      See, I need to start stockpiling photography props myself.. and I’ll be thrift storing it up then too! hehe!

  • 7 February, 2015 at 12:31 am

    You really found great bargains!! I too collected lamps and shades on flea markets, charity sales etc. before we moved to the apartment where we are now, but somehow only managed to use two or three, the main problem being the fact that the ceiling is not strong enough for hanging lamps with some weight, so we had to opt for lots of those small light points (don’t know how to express it correctly in english). To use my families’ Liberty Lamp in the dining area (for which we bought Liberty furniture) we had to put a suspended ceiling….
    But I’ve kept everything, and maybe I’ll get a second chance if we move again :))


    • 7 February, 2015 at 4:01 am

      That’s so cool, knowing you and your style, you probably have some amazing finds! I’m always loving checking out the things you showcase on your blog… you have a great eye for style! You should share some of your lighting fixtures sometime, I’d love to see them!!

      • 9 February, 2015 at 12:02 am

        That’s a really good idea, thanks!!!! already made a note, as soon as I have my new phone with (i hope..) decent camera I’ll do it. Should you once move to Italy (in the Army one never knows, I think) pass here before buying new lamps :))))


        • 9 February, 2015 at 4:49 am

          It’s so crazy you say that.. my husband and I WANT to get stationed in Italy, and there are a lot of places there where his job is needed, so we very easily COULD move there! The only thing, the Navy recently implemented a rule, that if you have kids under the age of 2, they WON’T send you overseas! We’re still working on our little family, so we won’t be able to move to Italy for at least 4 to 5 more years… but maybe someday!! And I would be tickled pink to meet you! <3

  • 7 February, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Love the look of the ladder with your kitchen light. And the window in your kitchen is lovely!


    • 7 February, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      Thank you! I love it too!! <3

  • 7 February, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Great post!
    Thanks for the visit.

    • 8 February, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      No prob! Thanks for stopping by too! <3

  • 9 February, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    I love a good hunt and finding just the right thing unexpectedly! Then you have a story to go along with it! Keeping an open mind is also so important as you never know what you can make into a light fixture, planting pot, pillow, etc.!

    • 9 February, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      That’s true! I usually glean all of my inspiration from Pinterest, haha!

  • 9 February, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    We’ve had great luck with Craigslist shopping too! Our friends worry that we’re going to be murdered one of these days, but so far we’ve only had great experiences!

    • 9 February, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      LOL, same! We even get the “you’ll be murdered” line on occasion. haha!

  • 11 February, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Throughout the post the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” kept popping in my mind, haha. I think it’s a given that one would think a store like the first three mentioned in the list would be selling used and less-than-good-quality items.. but the good thing is, if you actually go past the misconceptions you will be wonderfully surprised to find out otherwise. Awesome that you were able to score those light fixtures for a very, VERY good price! Especially for the one that’s brand new. 🙂

    Antique stores, however, aren’t always marking their stuff affordably priced (not from what I’ve seen around here anyway). 🙁 I noticed it with anything old that suddenly becomes a fad, or fashionable. It suddenly becomes expensive once it becomes popular.

    Ah I’ve yet to ever try Craigslist.. hahaha. Kinda intimidates me. Someday, someday. You and most people have convinced me that it is THE place for good furniture.. just need to thoroughly search all those listings. 😉

    • 11 February, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Yeah, I like swap meets for old books and such, but I never thought to check it out for light fixtures till I, ya know, actually found light fixtures there! lol!

      And yeah, I go to antique stores for inspiration mostly.. they already know what they have value-wise, so the odds of getting a great deal are a lot less I think.

      Seriously almost ALL my furniture is from Craigslist! lol.. you should check it out!

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