When making any decent sized purchase as a consumer, it is smart to do some basic product research and to stretch your dollars and resources to get the most “bang for your buck”. There is no exception when it comes to buying lighting products, especially if you are taking on a big project such as entirely revamping your old lighting system. However, the following top eight tips will save you money no matter how small or large your lighting purchase.
- Recognize savings with energy efficiency. Energy efficient lighting products such as CFLs or ever more popular LEDs can result in big savings on your utility bill. By swapping out only the five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs in your home with models that have earned the Energy Star rating, you can save an estimated $40 each year. With energy savings of 70-90% or more, you can save between $30 and $80 in electricity costs over each bulbs lifetime.
- Remember the importance of long life span. By opting for lighting products that are not only energy efficient but also durable, you can save even more money. Energy Star certified lighting products last approximately 10-25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. In illustration, an Energy Star certified CFL bulb installed in a first grader’s room will last until he or she is in high school. An Energy Star certified LED bulb installed in a baby’s nursery will last until he or she leaves for college. In addition to saving money, this also reduces hassling replacements.
- Search for state and national rebates. Through rebates you are basically being paid to save both on the initial product costs and on your recurring energy costs. Utility companies offer rebates for more energy efficient lighting products because it is often cheaper to do this than to build a new power plant. For information on opportunities in your area, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
- Be aware of current company promotions. If you order from Topbulb regularly, stay up to date with what is currently on sale and receive coupons by opting in to receive our newsletter, blog, email, or text notifications. For example, Topbulb newsletter subscribers receive monthly coupons, flash sales, and special pricing. You can sign up to that here.
- Get free shipping on your order. Most online retailers will offer free shipping for orders over a certain dollar amount. For instance, at Topbulb all orders over $95 get the $9.75 fee waived and therefore get free ground shipping. Thus, if your order total is around $90 it would make most sense to just spend an extra net $5, stock up on bulbs, and receive free shipping.
- Order in bulk for price reductions. Almost all stores, whether online or brick-and-mortar, will give customers discounts for buying products in bulk, or at least in multiple quantities. If you know that you are going to need a replacement bulb in a few months, it saves you time and money, and it qualifies your order for free shipping it makes most sense to buy multiple.
- Pay with a “rewards” credit card. I view my credit card as a debit card that rewards me with cash back. I use the Chase Visa Freedom that gives you $125 back as a sign-up bonus, 5% cash back in rotating categories quarterly, and 1% back on everything. However, there are many other credit cards for ranging credit scores and varying reward programs that can be found here.
- Avoid the hassle and cost of returns. When buying your lighting products, make sure you are purchasing an item that meets all of your needs in base, shape, specifications and wants in design, energy efficiency, and life span. If you have any questions, call the company and ask for clarification and/or guidance with your purchase. If they are unable or unwilling to help, you most likely want to purchase from a more customer-service driven company that can also provide industry expertise and advice.
BONUS TIP: Keep your receipt and corresponding paper work long after you have received your lighting purchase and everything is working and in good condition. It is possible that you will find a new rebate or discover a tax credit for your purchase. Also, if your products that are under warranty and there is any need for a return later, having your receipt will make the exchange process much easier.
This list was made from my lifetime of avid bargain shopping and my knowledge of the lighting industry. Over my years of couponing, clearance shopping, and reading about shopping strategies, I have most importantly learned that every little bit counts. If you follow just one or two of the tips I listed above, the savings might not be very noticeable. However, if you combine all or most of them, there is no way you are not going to notice a difference in savings.
Energy Efficient, Long Lasting Bulbs + Rebates + Company Promos + Free Shipping + Bulk Price Reductions + Cash Back Credit Card Rewards + Hassle Free Returns = BIG SAVINGS!
If you have any money saving tips of your own, please share them in the comments below!
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