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Cost To Install Downlights

Before deciding on a new lighting scheme, there are several things to consider, such as available light and visibility. With this guide, we make it simple for you to understand how much does it cost to install downlights and help you decide whether or not they’re the right choice for your home.

Lighting fixtures and fittings can help improve the aesthetics and add character to your rooms. A professional electrician can help you get the look and feel you want by installing downlights.

Cost to install downlights

What is the cost to install downlights

The average cost to install and supply downlights is between £350 – £750. The cost of installing downlights will depend on the number of lights required and how the existing wiring is done. However, the prices may increase if it requires additional work such as lifting floorboards to access wiring or if the entire system itself requires upgrading or rewiring. The supply cost of the downlights themselves are generally between the range of £20 – £75. Additionally, the electricians generally charge between £30 to £55 an hour.

The table outlines the average cost of installing downlights depending on various scenarios. These are determined by the service required and the estimated time to be spent on the job. As you will notice below, some jobs take no time at all, and others will take up to a day. 

Replace light fitting£40 to £801 hour
Install dimmer switch£40 to £801 hour
Install downlights in kitchen£200 to £6004 to 8 hours
Install downlights in loft conversion£200 to £6002 to 4 hours

Factors that determine the cost of installing downlights

Choice of fitting

There are many options available when it comes to choosing the fittings, and these will reflect the expected price range. In a local hardware store, you can purchase standard plastic plugs for about £1, but a plug with a USB port will cost you between £8-£15. 

The option of choosing from a variety of fittings to complement the style and theme for your home is extremely popular among homeowners as it doesn’t only provide extra functionality but is also aesthetically pleasing.

Choice of fixtures

Your choice of fixture will affect the installation cost. For example, if you choose a pendant lamp, then the installation will be simpler than if you choose a crystal chandelier that needs two people to install and takes more time. As for the cost of each scenario: an electrician can install a simple one-hour project for between £40 and £80, and a heavy chandelier for between £90 and £240 (assuming it takes two hours or so).

Installing a Smart Lighting System

Smart downlights allow you to control your lighting from an app on your phone or through a voice-activated device like Google Home and Amazon Echo with Wi-Fi. It will let you turn the lights on and off when you’re on holiday, or when you are due home at the end of the day. 

Some ranges of smart bulbs let you dim the lights, adjust the colour or the colour temperature. You can also set automated lighting to turn on or off at the time that you need it.

These smart white colored bulbs cost between £15 to £45 while coloured bulbs cost in the range of £35 and £50 each. Also, Wi-Fi light switches that operate with remote devices would cost between £18 and £75.

Amount of electrical work required

Your job will take less time if the electrician has to wire through to the location of your fitting, as opposed to installing wiring separately. If you were having your kitchen rewired prior to fitting your fixtures and fittings, you’d be looking at between £950 and £1,800.

Click here to find out the cost to rewire a house.

Size of the room

Generally, the larger the room, more downlights are likely to be required to cover the entire area. This will increase the supply cost and in turn the total cost to install downlights.

Things to consider when installing downlights

The space

Lighting affects the mood of the space. Whether it’s romantic or simply functional is down to you. Having a good plan before installing your lights will make sure you choose the ones that will work best for your space. The choice of lighting should be made carefully to avoid making a room look over-lit on artificial light.

Seeking professional advice

Prior to undertaking a project to install downlights, it’s important that you consult with a few electrical experts who have experience in the field. At Complete Connectrix Ltd, we have undertaken several lighting projects and know exactly what needs to be done prior to completing the job. We also offer free consultation based on individual requirements.

More energy savings

​​The cost of LED lights may be high at first, but they last longer and use less energy while emitting the same amount of light. This means you can count on them to save you money in the long term. Plus, they are available in many different styles, so you can find one that fits most any aesthetic for your home.

Steps to install downlights

Broadly, there are 4 steps to installing downlights:

  • Determine the position of the downlights
  • Fitting them into the ceiling
  • Installing the wiring for the lights
  • Inserting the downlight unit.

Determine the position of the downlights

Before you even start your project, you need to confirm that fitting downlighters is not going to compromise fire safety and building regulations. As such this is an important step that needs to be consulted with an expert.

The ceiling will slow the spread of a fire, but it will not be as effective if it is peppered with holes for downlights. There are fire-rated downlights, which should be used in these situations, and we suggest should always be used for safety’s sake.

On the other hand, spotlights in a kitchen should be positioned over the worktop so that they don’t cast a shadow when you’re preparing food; typically unity will be 600mm wide.

Fitting the downlights into the ceiling

​​​​​When installing a downlight, you’d need to create a pilot hole using a drill. Once the pilot hole is made, you can use an electric drill to make the appropriate size hole for the downlight. However, drilling with a small bit first is important because it allows you to confirm where on the ceiling it will be best to drill the larger hole for the downlight, without hitting any obstacles.

Installing the wiring for the downlights

The next step is to provide the necessary wiring to the downlights. It’s important to first ensure that the circuit is isolated. Test and double-test that it is not live before the wiring work begins. This step will also ensure that you have the appropriate cable from the switch or ceiling connected to the first light, and then cable will be run on to the next light and so on until the last light in the circuit.

Inserting the downlight unit

The last step is to m​​ount the downlight which involves two spring loaded catches attached to the underside of the light unit. These catches clip either side of the ceiling boards, using the space between them to hold the light unit in place.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to understand the cost to install downlights prior to beginning any electrical work. You can then work with an electrician who can check that your wiring and electrical items are all in good working conditions. Thereafter, it’s important that you speak to electrical professionals who can provide a transparent quotation for the job. You can use this guide to understand the various components as you go through these quotations.

Looking for downlight installation costs? Get in touch with our team and request a free quote today!

South West Electrical Contractors

Complete Connectrix Ltd are fully qualified electrical contractors providing electrical packages for contractors, house builders, architects, local authorities, businesses and private clients across South West England.