The lighting handyman
Perth 6th May 2013
We all shop for our lighting somewhere…while I of course have direct access to lighting manufacturers, the fact is that for our daily home needs, I too at times go to the local handyman shop or even buy some bulbs at the supermarket…all a matter of convenience, really. As lighting designers we deal with professional projects where we specify products that are generally not available in your average commercial shops and those home deco places. And as it is all about prices most of the time it is not surprising that what is on offer is part of bulk purchase arrangements, your Walmarts, Carrefours, Ikea’s and so on.
Australia’s biggest and most famous institution when it comes to handyman and home deco stuff got to be “Bunnings”, a handyman’s mega store spread over hundreds of meters square. In your average Aussie home you will find that practically every fixture is available from Bunnings. That in itself is making life easy as if something is broken and needs replacement you just go to Bunnings, sure to find it. Not only that they are open 7 days a week 7am to 9pm or thereabouts, so for all those weekend handyman jobs we have in and around the house, Bunnings is generally your destination…When in Australia I can’t resist going there and last weekend was just one of those trips as I needed some fixing stuff for a leaking water tap.
Of course I could not resist checking out the lighting section while there…as one of the stores marketing lines is that they are the cheapest in town, it is not surprising that the lighting looks its part. Yes it’s practically all LED, though surprisingly I still saw some halogen being sold (clearing old stock?), quite a number of outdoor fixtures having a solar panel. I know from experience however that they hardly perform, but people buy them because they are dirt cheap…and when it does not really work it is hard to complain as you hardly paid a dime for it. But if you are not demanding and don’t need highly performing lights (some of the packaging’s actually indicate performance data!), just some orientation lighting in the garden, or a little sensor driven security spot for instance, I guess it will do the job.
Light Watch 4-78: See here how the lighting section looks like…