Downlights cost around £300 to fit in a standard sized room that requires conversion from a traditional centre rose including fitting 6 LED downlights, a dimmer switch and the associated wiring and connectors. Downlights are a popular electrical upgrade to a room that can transform a space with a traditional central hanging lamp into a cleverly positioned, modern lighting alternative. They suit both low and high ceilings and now have very energy efficient LED lighting solutions that are dimmable and have a superior lumen range to old halogen bulbs.
Downlight installation costs depend on a number of factors, the biggest being, do the recesses and wiring already exist? If that is the case then swapping out old halogen lighting with new LED lighting should be straight forward and would take only a couple of hours. But if you are converting a room then the following factors will affect the price.
Having good access to the ceiling cavity is important for an electrician to install downlights in your home quickly, safely and cheaply. For bedroom installations having access to the loft makes things a whole lot easier and cheaper to layout and if you are installing kitchen downlights being able to lift the floorboards in the room above can make a big difference.
The alternative is to chase wires through the ceiling by drilling additional holes in the ceiling between the downlight recesses. If it is a small space like an ensuite you probably don't need the additional holes but for a larger room the additional access holes will require filling or plastering and decoration after the electrician has finished the installation. Another alternative if you are living in a flat is to “drop” the ceiling by fitting a sound proofing barrier between you and the noise neighbours above. Both alternatives will make the downlight installation more expensive.
Downlights come in various sizes, shapes and ratings and can be as little as £5 or as much as £70 a unit. If you are fitting your downlights in a bathroom or kitchen you need an IP65 rated downlight and a qualified electrician will also recommend that for the rest of the property you have fire rated downlights that adhere to current building regulations. Some downlights are designed to be buried under insulation in the loft while others need space so make sure you talk to the electrician about your options before he begins as well as how many downlights will suit the size of the room.
Downlights come as integrated LED units, or as a retainer for GU10 LED bulbs that you can change. If the integrated unit fails the whole thing has to be replaced. Integrated units tend to last longer and perform better with dimmer switches throughout the lumen range but they are more expensive. GU10 LED bulbs are commonly used to replace downlights with halogen bulbs and have been great for households upgrading to LED lighting. LEDs use up to 90% less power than halogen bulbs so you will soon notice the cost saving.
Tip:You might need to upgrade your dimmer switches with LED modules to achieve the full range of lighting.
Colour wise, the warm white (3000k) downlight offers a warmer light compared with the cool white (4000k) which is suited to bathrooms and kitchen areas where plenty of light is required. Tilted downlights help you get your coverage right if you have recesses in the room that you want to illuminate.
Whichever downlights you choose, it is best to pick a downlight that suits your particular need, has a wide enough coverage to avoid dark spots and is bright enough to fill your room with plenty of light. The following table shows the cost of downlights by leading lighting brands.
|Aurora||£5 to £35|
|Collingwood||£17 to £50|
|Luceco||£8 to £20|
Replacing downlights is quite straightforward but installing downlights that will change the ceiling layout and the electrical network is best left to a qualified electrician. They will have a lot of experience and the right tools to make sure the job is done correctly and more importantly, safely.
For an electrician to install 6 downlights in a medium sized room using the current switch network will cost around £400 including the price of the downlights.
The job will take a day and involves the electrician first measuring up the ceiling layout based on the size of the room and the lights you have chosen. They will then cut the recessed holes using a drill and, depending on access to the ceiling cavity, they will start to prepare the wiring network that will be connected to the switch from the now redundant centre rose wiring.
If the electrician only has access to the ceiling they will cut the additional holes so that they can chase the wire through to make up the network. The hole for the now redundant centre rose and the additional holes will need to be made good after the installation of the downlights. If you want this done by a painter and decorator or you want to do it yourself then you should discuss this with the electrician because it will affect the price you pay.
Downlights are easy to daisy chain and modern connections are push fit so the new loop should be easy to connect as long as the wires have been stripped correctly.Planning the layout before fitting the lights and getting the best access possible will make the job as easy as possible and help the electrician avoid costly mistakes.
Hiring an electrician is the biggest cost when fitting downlights. They will have an hourly and daily rate and will charge either based on how long they think the job will take.
If its just a matter of upgrade halogen downlights with new LED light where the circuit is already in place including the switches, then it would only take a couple of hours. The electrician would first need to check the old wiring is up to scratch and there are no fire hazards, but you would expect to pay less that the estimated regional prices we have quoted.
If you are converting central rose lighting into 6 downlights in a medium sized room with a dimmer switch, then expect to pay the price esimates quoted including the price of the lights. Other factors like access and quality of the wiring and redecoration also come into play but you will be charged a day rate which will be similar to the estimated costs quoted.
Depending on where you live and the availability of an electrican in your area, you can expect to pay anything from £250 to £400 for a medium sized room. If yourroom is larger or your downlights are expensive you will be paying more.
To see the rates and get quotes of electricians in your area post your job on HaMuch to check the availability and cost of electricians local to you.
|Cost to rewire a house or flat||£6250|
|Cost to replace a consumer unit||£400|
|Cost to do a PAT test||£60|
|Cost to install solar panels||£7500|
|Cost to installing an electric shower||£450|
|Cost to install downlights in a room||£440|
|Cost to install CCTV cameras||£740|
|Cost to install a bathroom extractor fan||£240|
|Cost to fit an new plug socket||£180|
|Cost to install an electric vehicle charger||£400|
|Cost of an EICR test||£150|
|Cost to install of a cooker hood||£350|
|Repair of a cooker hood||£150|