The lighting is a crucial element in any room remodel, but how much does it cost to install new lighting? It’s a question you’re likely to be asking when embarking on one of these in order to draw up a budget.
Living room lighting should consist of different elements, such as pendant lights or chandeliers, wall-mounted lights, and floor and table lamps, providing ambient, task and feature lighting for the room, and enabling changes of mood. The same can be said for bedroom lighting, in particular, too.
But since all but table and floor lamps require the involvement of an electrician the question of how much it costs to install new lighting is important. Here, we’ve called on an expert to reveal which factors influence the cost of installing lighting, and what you might expect to pay for the different types.
How much does it cost to install new lighting?
So, how much does it cost to install new lighting? There are a variety of factors that come into play when considering this question, including the type of light, the room’s current wiring, the home’s age, and where you live.
Bailey Carson, home care expert at Angi, offers this guide: ‘Installing a light fixture can cost anywhere from $75 to $2,500 (£56 to £1,870) but tends to fall in the range of $150 to $900 (£112 to £672). Electricians usually charge between $35 to $100 (£26 to £75) per hour and take around two hours to complete a light fixture installation.’
How much does it cost to install lights of different types?
A successful lighting scheme will consist of different types of light so that the room is comfortable and functional for all the activities that take place there, to highlight different features of the space, and so the atmosphere can be altered as required.
In order to know how much does it cost to install new lighting, assess the types of light you plan to include against the following guide from Bailey, and note that this doesn’t include purchasing the light itself:
Ceiling-mounted lights are the most common light fixture and will typically range in cost from $90 to $230 (£67 to £172) to install.
Pendant lights are not as bright as ceiling-mounted lights but can add great mood lighting and style to a room. Installing a pendant light tends to cost between $95 and $250 (£71 to £187).
Chandeliers are more expensive than pendant or simple ceiling-mounted lights since they are more elaborate and often more delicate. Chandeliers are also heavy, often requiring additional reinforcements in the ceiling to keep them in place. Replacing an existing chandelier costs around $100 to $200 (£75 to £150), while adding a new one can range from $300 to $2,000 (£225 to £1,500).
Recessed lighting will cost more than mounted lighting since the electrician or handyman will have to cut and finish surrounding drywall. Installing recessed lighting usually costs around $125 to $230 (£93 to £172).
Track lighting will likely cost between $100 and $250 (£75 to £187) to install, unless you need to add wiring and junction boxes, which can add between $100 to $200 (£75 to £150) to the total cost.
Sconces, or wall-mounted lights, typically cost between $90 and $250 (£67 to £187) to install if you already have electrical wiring in place. If not, plan on an additional $100 to $200 (£75 to £150).
Which factors influence the cost of installing new lighting?
The type of light is a factor when answering the question how much does it cost to install new lighting. ‘Different light fixtures cost different amounts to purchase and to install,’ explains Bailey.
‘Chandeliers, for example, will likely be more expensive than pendant lights since they are heavier and more delicate. If you’re putting a chandelier in a new location, you may also need to add reinforcements to keep it from falling, which will also add to installation time and labor costs.’
However, think about how many lights will be fitted in the living room, too. ‘Some light fixtures are not as bright as others and so you may need to install more to have the right amount of light for your space,’ says Bailey.
A further influence on costs is the wiring requirements of a new lighting scheme. ‘If you are replacing existing lights or can connect to existing wiring, your installation costs will be lower than if you need to add or reroute wiring to reach the new location,’ she says.
The age of your home – specifically, its wiring – also counts. ‘Older homes often have older wiring systems that will need to be updated to install a new light fixture,’ she continues. ‘Additional labor time will mean higher costs.’
The cost of the labor will also vary. ‘The electrician you choose for the job, as well as where you live, will have an impact on the cost of labor,’ she explains. ‘Electricians typically charge hourly, so more complex or bigger projects will cost more since they’ll require more time.’
What lighting is best for the living room?
If you are planning living room lighting, the three types of lighting that are important are: ambient, task, and feature or accent lighting.
‘Plan a lighting scheme with different layers to create the best effect in any living room,’ recommends Lucy Searle, global editor in chief of Homes & Gardens.
‘Ambient lighting is the overall background lighting for the room, task lighting might provide the illumination needed for reading, for example, and accent lighting could show off the room’s architectural features, or a display, or add drama. Flexibility is important, so include dimmable lighting to change the mood of the room easily.’
How do I add overhead lighting to my living room?
Both pendant lights and chandeliers can be stylish overhead options for a living room. Either can make an attractive feature as well as providing the room’s background lighting. While chandeliers might seem like a traditional choice, don’t rule one of these out for a modern living room as striking contemporary designs are available as well as those with classic style.
Always team overhead lighting with other sources, though. Think wall sconces and floor lamps, too, along with the accent and task lighting the room needs.
Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart,
decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in
furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For Realhomes.com, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.
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