school house light - inexpensive vs expensive

laurielou177August 3, 2011

We are doing a kitchen remodel to make our 1918 house's kitchen look more "period" Our big expense is the custom cabinets being made by a friend and the marmoleum checkerboard flooring. There are some other things, but these are the big commitments. We do want to remove the big flourescent lights and the can light and put in some schoolhouse lights. There are some awesome reproduction lights from Schoohouse Electric,Rejuvinations, etc. but in looking to make some cuts, we are thinking maybe these could go and we could use some "copies" from Home Depot, or other such places. It seems hanging from the ceiling (semi-flush)they will not be as noticable as some other things in the kitchen. They have some steel ones w/oil rub bronze finish as opposed to the better reproduction lights which are brass and cost 3-4 times as much. Yes, you get what you pay for, but we are trying to prioritize the expenses! Any thoughts?

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I guess your question boils down to whether lights from a company that specialices in re-creating period lights will be comparable to somewhat similar lights from Home Depot.

It is a given that Home Depot is not "copying" the Schoolhouse Electric designs. The styles are probably similar but not identical. The question that only you can answer is whether you will remember and wish for the more expensive lights that are styled and look better.

You do get what you pay for. We faced a similar choice when upgrading chandeliers and other lights at a beach house. We ended up going with the more expensive fixtures that were considerably better designed that the Lowes models. You need to decide what you can live with.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 3:06PM
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Yes, still deciding. We have made lots of choices where we've selected the "better" and realize all "better" would be great. Just trying to spend on what we will use and enjoy most and less on something we might not notice as much. Probably will end up spending more on the lighting just because we are finding big box copies of some of the lights we are looking at are really limited at this point and for the overhead lights, take less wattage where we really need the most.I think if that time period is more fashionable again or copied more, there may be more options, but for now it seems, there just aren't even many cheaper copies we've found. For example, it seems there are copies of mission furniture in all price ranges and varieties, but less of the lighting. Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 10:44AM
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It's easy to upgrade lighting fixtures later. Buy the cheap ones, and check thrift stores for the shades.

Put the money into the stuff that can't be upgraded without hassle and lots of money: the floor and cabinets.

Most people will glance at the lights and think "light".

I've never seen anyone who can consistently tell the difference between an original, an inexpensive reproduction or a solid brass expensive modern duplicate recast from the original molds.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 12:02PM
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