Lighting professionals can remove old lighting, repair existing lighting, replace existing lighting, help customers plan new lighting and install new lighting. Lighting installation can take place indoors or outdoors of a house, apartment or other type of building. Lighting can be installed in a new construction home or building, during a remodel, or in an existing structure. Installation costs depend on ceiling height, the type of light fixture, whether electrical power already exists in the installation location, and whether the installation location is drywall or cement.
Customers can save money by removing and replacing existing lighting rather than installing new lighting where a power source does not already exist. With replacement, the lighting company doesn’t have to run a new electrical line from another source, saving on labor and parts.
If no hard-wired lighting exists in a room, installing the wiring for ceiling or wall lighting will increase the total cost. This task requires electricians to cut holes, run electrical wire, put in a base and possibly drill through stud work—all of which adds labor and materials. These additional labor and material costs may be reflected as a one-time charge per room, with new light itself billed separately, or they may be defrayed with a higher per-light cost overall.
Some electricians charge by the light. For recessed lighting, the per-light charge includes the light housing, wiring, lamp and trim, LED bulb, and labor for installation. For rooms with existing lighting, S&S Electric and Residential Services in Rancho Cucamonga, California, charges $65–$85 per recessed light, including materials and labor. The company charges an additional $100–$125 per room, for rooms without an existing electrical source. Price variations reflect height of ceiling.
Some companies don’t charge an additional fee when a room doesn’t have existing electrical but instead charge a higher price per light. According to S&S Electric and Residential Services, competitors who follow this pricing structure charge about $100–$150 per light, which can be beneficial when customers want to install just a couple lights. The overall cost increases significantly if someone needs a larger number of lights installed, however.
Type of light
When it comes to recessed lighting, the type of LED selected can affect the cost. LEDs come in a range of colors and brightnesses. Retail prices range from $15 to $20 per 2700K–3000K LED soft light and $20 to $30 per 4000K–5000K LED bright light.
The cost per light is lower when purchased through an electrician because the pro can get lights at a wholesale cost. The overall cost for installation services, however, will then be higher.
Chandeliers and pendants
Ceiling height is a factor in the cost of installation services for hanging lights, as well as whether the ceiling is prewired or not. Prices for installation depend on the weight of the light, complexity of the installation job and how long it takes to install. Here are two examples of costs for installation of hanging lights from S&S Electric and Residential Services:
Standard, lightweight, pendant light on a 10- to 12-foot ceiling (over a dining room table): $95
300-piece crystal chandelier on an 8.5 foot ceiling: $500—four workers required to assemble and hang the fixture
Minimum service fee
Some companies charge a minimum service fee to cover travel time, transportation expenses and employee wages. For example, S&S Electric and Residential Services charges $125 per service call. This fee covers one hour of travel time and up to one hour of in-house work. Replacing a part such as an outlet switch doesn’t take much time and would be covered by the service charge. Costs for more complex projects, such as replacing a bad breaker, include the cost of materials as well as any labor beyond the one hour of labor included in the service charge. Additional labor is charged at an hourly rate.
Some companies charge hourly rates for certain repairs or installation work. The rate depends on the experience level of the worker. For example, S&S Electric and Residential Services charges $65 per hour for journeymen—lead electricians—and $55 per hour for apprentices, who are journeymen helpers.
Lighting installation for commercial spaces is more expensive because the voltage of the electrical system is typically higher. These jobs require more expertise, care and specific equipment.
Some areas of the country have higher or lower hourly rates or per-light prices based on the cost of living and regional competition.