Budgeting Do's and Don'ts for home renovations

The big one here is - DO budget!

Don't wait for a sales person at your local lighting supplier, or your local electrician to tell you what you should expect to spend.  Take 5 minutes to do some basic maths and work out how much you can expect it to cost, and start from there.  You can always add to your budget if you decide that you want some key "WOW Factor" lights in your home, but at least you'll know what you're starting with.

For renovations - the easiest way to begin, is to count up your existing downlights.  Walk through your home, and count how many in each room.  If you want to go a step further, make a second count of how many of those you actually use (your lighting designer can then talk to you about how your lighting could be better situated so you can get the most out of every area in the home).

Take your tally - say 55 downlights in the average medium home, and upwards of 100 in some larger homes...

The cost of your new lighting will be determined by what you use, and how you use it, however, if we take an average price for a quality mid-range LED downlight as the basis for working out your bottom line, it will look something like this...

55 x $90 = $4,950.00

That's what you should expect to spend on light fittings for replacing all your halogen downlights (which draw 50W + 12W each in most homes 62W x 55 = 3,410W!!) with a one for one LED upgrade (for equivalent light say 16W x 55 = 880W).  Now here's the rub - it's vital that the LED you select is of high quality, and produces the light you need.  There are many on the market claiming a myriad of world saving benefits for budget busting prices, but getting the right light takes research and understanding.  Given that the result is the difference between a gloomy off colour home and one that is vibrant and bright, it's worth the effort.

You'll need to add some dollars for an electrician to come in and install the new downlights - it is fair to assume (providing all cut-outs are the same and there is no additional wiring to be completed) that each new LED downlight, replacing an existing halogen downlight will cost between $30 - $40 to upgrade, based on completing your entire home in one project.  (remember - this is for budgeting purposes only - you must contact your local electrician for his rates specific to your location and complexities inherent in your project)

That brings us to $4,950.00 + 55 x $40 = 7,150.00

As you can see, this is a very simple budgeting process, and certainly does not take into account the various savings you can make through clever lighting solutions and the variety of products in the market.  However, it does give you some insight into what you could expect to spend, and having that knowledge makes all the ensuing style, performance and pricing decisions significantly easier to negotiate.

In my experience, it is possible to redesign the lighting in a home with LED downlights for approximately half the light fitting budget calculated above.  Which will have a knock-on effect into the electrician costs, although you may have some plaster repair costs to add in.

If you're planning to renovate and hoping to do away with the majority of your downlights, a designed lighting solution using pendants, wall lights, floor lamps, table lamps etc. can come in around the full budgeted cost above - and if you want to use hight impact designer light fittings, up to $15,000  - $30,000 or more.  If this is the direction your project is taking, you'll need a greater allowance for the electrician too.  Investing in your lighting in this way can make the difference between a well lit home, and a well lit home that makes a bold statement.

As with any project, there is of course middle ground between the extremes, and a significant component of hiring a professional lighting designer is the simple fact that your designer is on your side.  We spend time determining your expectations with you and work with you to find the best solutions for your home within your budget, in keeping with the functionality of your home and with the final aesthetics in mind.

Mint Lighting Design has no affiliation or financial imperative to select any one brand of lighting over another.  This independence from the supply chain is our promise to you that we will  provide trustworthy lighting advice based on technical knowhow at all times on your project.

When you hire Mint Lighting Design, you can be confident that you'll be heard, your home will be treated with respect and your lighting will be energy efficient, on budget and perhaps most importantly, designed to provide the best environment for your life in your home.

Adele Locke4 Comments