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Costed: Lighting

Nang Murng and Clive Rowe

Nang Murng, head of resource data, and Clive Rowe, construction data analyst, both at RICS, look at lighting costs

In the UK lighting consumes 58,000 TWh/y, equivalent to 18% of electricity production. Domestic lighting accounts for 26% of consumption (15,000TWh) and 15% of a typical household’s electricity bill. Smart lighting controls and energy efficient lights could cut consumption by up to 6% a year, for example by changing which bulbs we use and how we use them. Homes typically use a mixture of standard light fittings and down- or spotlights; energy efficient bulbs are available for both. Reduced energy consumption would also lower CO2 production and help meet government targets. 

Lighting is central to making a house a home. The right lighting allows you to perform tasks easily, and makes you feel safer and more comfortable. Lighting choices are guided by the function or use of the room, aesthetic requirements, degree of comfort required and cost. Factors such as energy consumption, lamps and ballast life, installation and maintenance costs must also be analysed. A more expensive system may be  justified by savings over its lifespan. Each room has specific general and lighting needs. Pendant or chandelier light is common in living rooms. When compared to pendant lights, chandelier lights with their multiple bulbs are generally more expensive and heavier. Chandeliers give a greater amount of light in a wide open space while pendants focus on a specific area.

The following guide rates reflect the prices a developer might expect to pay on a medium-sized residential project for products in the low to upper-middle specification range. Prices allow for electrical installations (per point) for straight forward installations including the cost for cable, conduit and conduit fittings, from distribution boards to appliances and fittings, and for switchplates, socket outlets and the like (main switchboards, distribution boards, main and sub-main cables not included). 

The following rates are based on the UK average and represent typical prices at 2018 Q1. Please note that prices can vary significantly depending on the exact specification. Prices are in £ and are based on the BCIS Schedule of rates online services (

Domestic internal lighting
Pendant, one way switch including single LED lamp 126-136
including three LED lamps 184-198
Creative, fused and folded glass, suspended by wire, 
two LED lamps 363-39
Contemporary chandelier one way switch including three LED lamps / eight LED lamps 208-239 / 479-550
Traditional chandelier one way switch inc eight candle lamps 303-333
Flush ceiling one way switch reflecting wash, recessed, 
two LED lamps 138-149
circuit of four, reflecting wash, recessed, two LED lamps 237-254
single spotlight, one LED lamp 124-133
of three spotlights, one 12v LED lamp each, one transformer 190-204
downlighter, one LED lamp 116-125
circuit of six downlighters, one LED lamp each 162-175
eye ball downlighter, one LED light 124-138
twist and lock low voltage downlighter, one LED light, transformer 127-136


low voltage track kit, three pendants, LED bulbs, transformer 247-265
low voltage cable kit, five pendants, transformer 322-346
high voltage track kit, three pendants 284-305
Add for:
low voltage cable pendant / track pendant 26-28 / 28-29.87
high voltage track pendant 30.94-33
Wall mounted one way switch:
240v recessed reflecting wash, LED lamps 136-147
low voltage light kit with transformer and five recessed LED units 195-210
240v picture light / spotlight 151-163 / 129-138
240v creative/designer, fused and draped glass 195-210
240v creative/designer, splashbacks, 1200 x 800 mm 891-958
Add for:
two way switching / three way switching 62-66 / 118-127


Emergency lighting luminaires:
150mm / 300mm three hour non-maintained emergency 
bulkhead luminaire IP40 4 watt T5 240v 186-200 / 257-277


Commercial internal lighting Industrial lighting fittings; high bay type complete with reflector and lamp and gear:
250 Watt sodium 223-240
250 Watt metal halide 213-229
250 Watt mercury discharge 208-223


Domestic external lighting
Weatherproof bulkhead luminaire IP65 8 Watt T5 240v 
non-maintained / maintained 257-277 / 156-168
garden lighting, spotlight on stake, 240v, IP67 156-167
garden lighting, stainless steel bollard, 240v, IP67 382-411
garden lighting, LED spotlight, 240v, IP67 225-242
1000W floodlight, PIR unit, 240v, IP67 170-183


Commercial external lighting
Black aluminium medium beam economy discharge floodlight with 
toughened glass diffuser, integral gear, timed ignitor and lamp:
250 Watt SON-T / 400 Watt MBF 232-250  / 222-239
250 Watt HQI-T 232-249
Black low Wattage discharge floodlight with clear polycarbonate 
diffuser, integral gear:
lamp 70 Watt SON-T no ignitor 172-185
lamp 80 Watt MBF 162-174


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