Average Labour Cost/Price to Fit/Change a Light fitting (Electricians' Rates)

To clarify the following prices it is recommended that you read the article in the INFORMATION box below the PRICES…

(These prices are based on a tradesman’s rate of £150.00 per day and a labourer if required at £100.00 per day. This includes the cost of buying and collecting any materials, dumping any waste if necessary and any incidental materials they will need. The minimum price will usually be for a half day)

How Much Does it Cost To Change a Light Fitting?

light fitting

These prices are based on an electrician’s rate of £200 per day and a labourer if required at £100 per day. They include the cost of buying and collecting any materials, dumping any waste if necessary and any incidental materials they will need.

(The minimum price will usually be for a half day)

Job 1
Why not?....Lets have a 6 lamp grid in your 12’ x 10’ (3.6m x 3m) kitchen but it must be symmetrical and the room above has a laminate floor. That’s the ceiling gone then!

This will take 2 men 2.5 days at £200 per day. (They are “competent scheme members”) You are providing the lights ( £18---£90), the testing shows no faults.

A plasterer mate will come in and do the new ceiling for them for £100.00

Materials £75, Plasterer £100, Labour £400

Job 2
Same job from room above which you have completely cleared out you and will return everything. You are providing the light fittings.

This will take our friends 1.5 days

Materials £15, Labour £600

If they are stripping and returning the room above

If a carpet fitter is used £40.00

Job 3

Your wife wants 4 dimmed wall lights in the living room. There are no mouldings around the ceiling edge.

You will supply the units and switch and you want a pair on one wall and a pair opposite them.

This will take them 1.5 days assuming the test shows no existing faults but their plasterer mate will need to be called back again. This assumes that you are “doing” the room above as before. They will cover and clean up the living room.

Materials £20, Plasterer £100, Labour £500,

Right then, a good job well done. Now all you have to do is spend the next 3 weekends re decorating!

Job 4
If it’s a straightforward “like for like” either ceiling or wall lamp, then he will be gone in half an hour but he will probably charge solicitors' rates! (but, at least you will be getting something tangible for your dosh)…..£65.00

Job 5
If he has to clear a bedroom, take up a board, fit a plate, put it all back again, he’ll charge you a day + materials…….£230.00

If the bathroom has to be ripped out, forget it and buy yourself a torch!

Fitting Downlights

Job 6
Let’s assume you want to fit 4 mains downlights into a plasterboard dining room ceiling and they all go exactly where you want them to and the work can be done from the bedroom above. You are supplying the lights and dimmer.

Anyway, it’s a day and a half’s work with a labourer to strip the bedroom, lift the boards, wire and fit the 4 downlights and put the room back….

Job 7
The easiest 4 downlight installation is in a bedroom where loft access is available and the loft has not been boarded. For this expect to pay……… £175.00

Simple mains downlights will cost £30.00 for four, while a low voltage light will set you back £25.00 per lamp kit (inc. light fitting, bulb and transformer).

For your must-see guide to Tradesmen's Rates please click on the map…


A Price Guide and Information Sheet on Putting Up Light Fittings



These are the normal “lumieres” (electrician speak) which hang from the middle of your ceilings. They comprise the “rose” which is the shroud or flex cover, immediately against the ceiling. This is plastic today but will be “bakelite” or pottery clay the older it gets. Originally when there were gas lights there was no need to shroud anything and it was simply a decorative plaster “rose”.

The “flex” emerges out of the rose and connects to the lamp holder (more electrician speak, they call light bulbs… lamps). It’s called a flex because the wire inside the plastic sheath is made up of very thin strands of copper wound together, these are relatively flexible and hopefully hang vertically. If normal electrical
cable was used (the sort that is usually under the floor) because this is made from solid copper wire it wouldn’t straighten out when the light fitting was hanging from it.

There are lots of regulations regarding having electrical work done in dwellings but if you want to renew one or all of your pendants you can, without troubling “officialdom”. You can even get your granny to do it. This doesn’t apply to either the kitchen or bathroom however, here the rules are very strict. (See
electrical installationsl)


Popular little blighters aren’t they? Personally I think they are a bit over used, kitchens and bathrooms yes but kids bedrooms? I suppose they go with all the other hi tech stuff nowadays but I come from a gentler time with the biggest spotty dog in the whole world and Shirley Abicair and her zither. (I was only 5 and of course knew nothing but I did know that it wasn’t just a father’s love, which sat him down with me to watch young Shirl every Tuesday afternoon)!

There are two main
types (in direct contrast to the two hundred and two, different design combinations), those which operate on mains power and low voltage ones which need a transformer. There’s no difference in light intensity as almost all of them use 50 watt bulbs and despite what the manufacturers say the bulbs “go” just as frequently in both types.

Fitting them, particularly if a large number are needed and symmetry is important can be a nightmare for two reasons.

One… they are really designed for thin plasterboard ceilings and don’t fit happily into the much thicker old lath and plaster ones. These can be loose anyway but cutting 65mm diameter holes into them and not snapping the laths is nigh on impossible. If it is accomplished, you can bet your life some if the lights will be quite loose and as soon as the first bulb “goes” and you disturb the fitting, it will never go back flush with the ceiling.

Two…. if you are hoping to fit a grid of say six lights, you want them to be symmetrical on the ceiling. So you set off by deciding roughly where you want them all, then spend quite a long time having a good old measure to get the 6 spots marked dead right. Then if you know no better you cut the correct sized hole for number one, spend half an hour getting the plaster out of your eyes and go for the second and third ones. Good we’re half way through, piece of p*ss this building lark isn’t it! Hole number 4 seems to be giving you trouble though, what’s this erking great chunk of wood doing here?

I don’t care who you are, you
will hit a joist with one of the holes and that will completely (place your own adjective here)… up the job. What are you going to do with the holes you’ve already cut (go on just you try and fill them, it’s impossible)!

There is no way around it, there are only two ways the job can be done.

One…You have to resign yourself to the fact that the ceiling is going to be completely messed up. Even if you only end up with 3 unwanted holes, the cables have still got to go in. How are you going to drill through 75mm thick joists via 65mm holes. It would be like papering the hallway through the letterbox! So take out shares in “Optrex”, wreck the ceiling, work out where the lights
can go (you might even get lucky and they will be symmetrical), fit the cables then fix plasterboard underneath it all, cut the holes in that (how many sodding holes have you cut so far)? Plaster the whole new ceiling, paint it twice and at long, long last, fit the (same adjective probably) lights!

Two… Work from the room above, move all the furniture, take up the carpet and far more boards than you thought you’d have to and start measuring. Poke small holes through to mark the positions for the lights, fit the cables, return everything and hope to goodness you made the small holes big enough to see, when you get downstairs.

(Builders secrets no. 43)

To fill the unfillable hole (Track 3, Perry Como 1958, on the “Catch a Falling Star” album), dab plaster (via the hole) on either side of it on the top side of the ceiling. Take a 150mm length of plasterboard that’s 60mm wide, with a “little finger” sized hole cut right in the middle of it. Wangle it through the unwanted hole, set it equidistant on top so its sitting on the plaster, put your smallest digit into the little hole you cut and stand there on a chair, finger in hole, pulling gently downwards for two hours till it sets. Oh and hope your neighbours don’t come round for a cup of sugar.

Dimmer Switches

If you want one, find out it’s wattage capacity before you buy it. Lots of them will only accommodate a total of 250 watts, that’s
5 x 50 watt bulbs. If you want to dim a grid of 6, you will be in trouble. You will probably end up with 2 switches because the higher wattage ones the supplier can get, won’t match the range of lovely slim, trim, brushed satin alloy nonsense which none of us can do without nowadays, in this fabulous “look what we’ve got now” world we are so privileged to inhabit.

Questions to ask the “sparks” during his quotation visit.

You should also read the article entitled
"How to Deal With Builders"

The following questions are duplicates from “electricity”, you really should read “electricity” before having any electrical work done in your home.

Does the intended work, require him to be a member of a “competent person scheme”?
He may not know, but he should shouldn’t he?

Is he a member of a scheme and if so which one?
If he’s not, will building control have to be involved and who will inform them, organise their visit, and pay them?

(Actually, if he is an employee of a larger firm, the man himself doesn’t have to be a scheme member but his employer does)!

Will he be issuing an electrical safety certificate?

Can he offer you insurance?

Does he have a formal complaints procedure?

Will he be undertaking pre- and post- checks of the relevant circuit(s) as part of the process?

A-Z of Job Pricing