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Costs to aid your lighting specifications

Nang Murng, head of resource data, and Clive Rowe, construction data analyst, both of the Building Cost Information Service of RICS, look at lighting costs

An average household dedicates about 15% of its electricity bill to lighting. We can reduce our lighting bill and energy usage by changing which bulbs we use and how we use them. Houses typically use a mixture of standard light fittings and downlighters or spotlight fittings; energy efficient bulbs are available for both. Switching to good quality, smart lighting controls and energy efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your electricity bill. 

Lighting is one of the features that makes a house a home. Good lighting allows you to perform tasks easily and safely, improves wellbeing and can make spaces feel brighter, more welcoming and comfortable. Several factors determine the choice of lighting, including function or different uses 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 considered. Sometimes a system may cost more initially, but the savings realised over a few years will justify the outlay. Each room has specific and general lighting needs.

The following guide reflects 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 straightforward electrical installations (per point), including the cost for cable, conduit and conduit fittings, from distribution boards to appliances and fittings, and for switch plates, socket outlets etc (main switchboards, distribution boards, main and sub-main cables not included). Prices do not include the contractor’s preliminaries, overheads and profit margin. 

The rates are based on the UK average and represent typical prices at 2019, 3rd quarter. 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. For more information go to

Range £/unit £/unit
Domestic internal lighting
Pendant, one way switch
inc single /three LED lamps 140-151 / 200-215
creative, fused & folded glass, suspended by wire, two LED lamps 379-408
Contemporary chandelier one way switch
inc three / eight LED lamps 200-230 / 503-578
Traditional chandelier one way switch
inc eight candle lamps 318-350
Flush ceiling one way switch 
reflecting wash, recessed, two LED lamps 153-164
circuit of four, reflecting wash, recessed, two LED lamps 247-266
single spotlight, one LED lamp 138-148
set of three spotlights, one LED lamp each, one transformer 191-205
downlighter, one LED lamp 131-141
circuit of six downlighters, one LED lamp each 185-199
eye ball downlighter, one LED light 139-149
twist and lock low voltage downlighter, one LED light, transformer 141-152
low voltage track kit three pendants, LED bulbs, transformer 252-278
low voltage cable kits five pendants, transformer 323-356
high voltage track kits three pendants 285-314
Add for low voltage cable pendant 26-28
low voltage / high voltage track pendant 28-31 / 31-34
Wall mounted one way switch
low voltage light kit with transformer and 5 recessed LED units 196-226
240v picture light 164-189
240v spotlight 142-163
-240v creative/designer, fused and draped glass 208-240
240v creative/designer, splashbacks, 1200 x 800 mm 907-1043
Add for two way / three way switching 71-76 / 132-142
Emergency lighting luminaires
150mm 3 hour non-maintained emergency bulkhead luminaire 
IP40 4W T5 240v 203-218
300mm 3 hour non-maintained emergency bulkhead luminaire 
IP40 8W T5 240v 278-299
Commercial internal lighting
industrial lighting fittings; high bay type complete with reflector and lamp and gear: 250W sodium 241-260
250W metal halide 231-249
250W mercury discharge 226-242
Domestic external lighting
weatherproof non-maintained bulkhead luminaire 
IP65 8W T5 240v 278-299
weatherproof maintained bulkhead luminaire IP65 8W T5 240v 172-185
garden lighting, spotlight on stake, 240v, IP65 187-201
garden lighting, stainless steel bollard, 240v, IP65 295-340
garden lighting, LED spotlight, 240v, IP65 233-250
500W floodlight, PIR unit, 240v, IP65 183-197
Commercial external lighting
black aluminium medium beam economy discharge floodlight with 
toughened glass diffuser, integral gear, timed ignitor and lamp:
250W HQI-T / 250W SON-T 245-264 / 246-265
400W MBF 236-253
black low wattage discharge floodlight with clear polycarbonate 
diffuser, integral gear:
lamp 70W SON-T no ignitor 188-202
lamp 80W MBF 177-191
wall washer flood light with 30 LED lamps, 240v, IP65 172-185


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