It may be better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, but home and business owners in Costa Rica don’t need to do either, thanks to the variety of lighting options available here. From simple light fixtures to custom-made lamps to three-story chandeliers, Central Valley stores are ready to enlighten you.
For wiring and other services during construction or when your home or office needs an overhaul, Schneider Electric (210-9457) in San José offers industrial, commercial and residential applications. Schneider, part of a French consortium, offers a range of products from switches to energy-saving devices, product manager Kattia Cabibo told The Tico Times.
According to the company’s Web site, www.schneider-electric.co.cr, it has taken on commercial projects at Mall San Pedro and the Aurola Holiday Inn in the San José area, as well as the Four Seasons resort in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. However, it also offers electrical services for homeowners, who can speak to the Schneider service department for personalized attention. The store is 1,500 meters west of the U.S. Embassy in the western suburb of Pavas, and is open Monday to Friday 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ready for lamps? In the same neighborhood as Schneider Electric, 800 m west of the embassy, Esquina de las Luces (296-6339) offers simple ceiling roses, three-story chandeliers and everything in between, according to salesman and electrical technician Antonio Valverde. The store specializes in metal lamps, including hanging and table lamps for home or office and lanterns or wall lighting for exteriors and gardens.
Prices vary widely. For example, hanging lamps start at ¢17,000 (approximately $33) and top out at ¢750,000 ($1,465) for a 40-light, two-meter-high chandelier, Valverde said. The store also offers fluorescent energy saving lights, free assembly and electrical parts guarantee, as well as optional installation with guarantee at an additional charge. Esquina de las Luces is open Monday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For residents of the northern Central Valley city of Heredia, a particularly convenient option for lighting is House ’n Kids (237-5039), in the Paseo de las Flores mall. In addition to a wide array of home furnishings for adults and kids alike, appliances and toys, the store offers ceramic floor and table lamps both modern and rustic. It’s open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Want to design your own lighting? Try Gado Gado, a furniture and home decoration store in the western suburb of Escazú. According to owner Rafael de la Rosa, onstaff designers can help clients fulfill their lighting dreams, taking into account the dimensions of the space it needs to illuminate and the client’s tastes.
The Asian-themed store also has ready-to go options on display, in metal, wood and even leather. Also on offer: indoor and outdoor furniture for homes or hotels and decorative pieces including bowls and statuettes.
Visit www.manosmagicas.com/gadogado for photos and other information. The store is 500 m south and 375 m east of San Miguel Church in Escazú center, and is open Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Also in Escazú, 800 m west of Multiplaza at the entrance to Guachipelín, is Construplaza (215-3000), a shopping center that offers a wide array of construction, home and garden materials. Randall Soto of Construplaza told The Tico Times in an e-mail that the center offers brands such as Tecno Lite, Arq-Deco and Sylvania, and that “luxury and super-luxury” lines can be found there. Another service offered by Construplaza: the center’s experts visit construction projects anywhere in the country to offer advice and support, according to Soto. Construplaza is open Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Finally, in Alajuela, northwest of the capital, La Carreta Ltda. (441-3135) has 32 years of experience selling – and fixing – lamps, and offers Costa Rican art and handicrafts as well.
The business “has a great tradition with lamps, and is very well known on a national level,” General Manager Guillermo Ramírez told The Tico Times. He said the merchandise at La Carreta includes ceiling light fixtures; hanging, wall and table lamps, made either of Spanish bronze or rustic Mexican painted glass with ironwork; and ceiling fans with or without lights. The Mexican-style lamps range from ¢17,000-100,000 ($33-195) depending on the size, while the store’s simplest ceiling roses start at ¢1,900 ($3.70).
La Carreta repairs lamps and sells lamp parts such as sockets and lampshades, as well as fixtures to light building facades.
Inspired to give your lamps something eye-catching to illuminate? The store also displays and sells Costa Rican artwork –painters whose work is now on display include Ana Trejos, José Miguel Iglesias and Manuel Alonso, according to Ramírez –along with mirrors, gifts and jewelry. La Carreta is 150 m north of CEMACO on the INVU Las Cañas Highway in Alajuela, and is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.,Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.