Budgeting a Home Lighting Project
Manage costs, whether you're upgrading bulbs or designing an entire lighting system
The costs associated with upgrading home lighting can be as minimal as a $30 dimmer bought at a home improvement center and installed by the homeowner, or as comprehensive as the estimated 1 percent of construction costs that lighting is said to represent during a major renovation.
In terms of minor upgrades to lighting, much of the cost may be simply the cost to replace a fixture or even a light bulb, particularly if homeowners do the work themselves. A homeowner may spend $500 for a decorative table lamp or splurge on a vintage chandelier for several thousand.
Also worth noting is the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs beginning Jan. 1, which will require many homeowners to adjust what they expect to spend on light bulbs. For example, a 40-watt-equivalent LED light bulb costs about $30 versus the $1.50 we're accustomed to spending on a package of four 40-watt incandescent bulbs. Rather than focus on what you pay at the register, consider other factors that save you money, like longevity (that LED is designed to last 25 years) and energy cost (the LED only requires 8 watts to generate the same lumens as the incandescent).
When lighting is replaced during a major renovation, it is particularly hard to isolate the costs because tradesmen are working on many factors, not just the lighting, when they remove and rebuild walls, ceilings and floors. Furthermore, an electrical contractor will be doing many tasks in addition to running wiring for lighting. Work with your architect or contractor to design the right lighting plan for your renovation.
You can also consult a professional lighting designer to plan a lighting upgrade to a room or to the whole house. Costs can vary greatly. Some lighting designers will work through your architect, so the lighting design fee will be part of the overall design fee; in other cases, a lighting designer may be amenable to charging an hourly consultation fee, which may run from $150 to $300.
Light Bulb Types
Learn about the different kinds of bulbs like incandescent, halogen, fluorescent and LED
Learn to Speak Lighting Lingo
Watts are so last year. The new measure is lumens. Get tips on reading a bulb label.
The ABCs of Lighting Design Groups
Learn about trade organizations that monitor standards and certify professionals
What to Consider in Lighting Projects
Your home's age, ceiling conditions are a few factors to think about when redoing lighting
Designing a Home Lighting Plan
We'll show you the basics, including design ideas, product tips and lighting choices.
Lighting Tips for Every Room
Find out what types of fixtures work best throughout your home
3 Basic Types of Lighting
Learn about ambient, accent and task lighting and how to use each in your home
Setting Goals for Your Lighting Project
Design home lighting that meets your needs with our Room by Room Worksheet
Get expert tips for choosing switches, dimmers and key pad systems
Types of Lighting Fixtures
Whether you choose a valance or pendant, there's a fixture for every need in your home
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