How Much Does It Cost to Install a Light Fixture?

Kelly Weimert
Written by Kelly Weimert
Updated January 11, 2022
Dining area and kitchen with beautiful hanging lights
Photo: PC Photography / iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

The typical cost to install a light fixture is $151 to $894

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Your light fixtures can do a whole lot more than illuminate your room. From helping to solidify your aesthetic to setting the mood for productive work sessions and romantic movie nights, light fixtures are an important part of any home's interior. If you're in the market for a new light fixture, then cost is likely one of your bigger concerns. Here, we cover everything you need to know about how much it costs to install light fixtures based on factors like type, square footage, and whether you hire a pro to do it or install it yourself.

What Is the Average Cost to Install a Light Fixture?

It typically costs between $151 and $894 to install a light fixture, but the cost can reach as high as $2,500 or go as low as $75, depending on several factors. For instance, an electrician or handyman is likely to charge more to install recessed lighting than mounted lighting since recessed lighting requires them to cut and finish the surrounding drywall. 

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Light Fixture Near You?

Light fixture installation costs can vary based on where you live due to factors like cost of living. 

  • Austin, TX: $189–$1,384

  • Charlotte, NC: $168–$699

  • Chicago: $165–$1,157

  • Dallas: $187–$1,336

  • Denver, CO: $168–$576

  • Los Angeles: $197–$1,669

  • New York: $180–$919

  • Portland, OR: $171–$1,005

  • Seattle: $256–$922

  • Washington, D.C.: $149–$760

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Light Fixture by Type?

There are many different types of light fixtures, and the type you choose can greatly affect the cost. 

Ceiling-Mounted Lights

Ceiling-mounted lights, which are standard lights mounted on the ceiling, are the most common type of light fixture. They're often brighter than other light fixtures, like pendant and recessed lights, so you typically only need one ceiling light in a small- to medium-sized room to adequately illuminate the space. The cost to install ceiling lights generally ranges from $90 to $230

Pendant Lights

Pendant lights hang from mounts on a ceiling, much like a pendant on a necklace, hence the name. They're a great way to add mood lighting to a space since they're not typically as bright as standard ceiling-mounted lights. They also come in limitless styles, ranging from ornate and traditional to minimal and modern, so it's easy to find pendant lights to complement your unique style sensibilities. It typically costs between $95 and $250 to install a pendant light. 

Chandeliers

Like pendant lights, chandeliers hang from the ceiling, but they're usually more ornate and elaborate than their pendant counterparts. Replacing an old chandelier costs less than installing a chandelier in a brand new spot since chandeliers are usually pretty heavy and require additional reinforcements. Replacing an existing chandelier usually ranges from $100 to $200, while installing a chandelier in a new location can cost anywhere from $300 to $2,000, depending on the chandelier's weight and the intricacy of the set-up. 

Recessed Lights

Recessed lights fit into recesses within your ceiling. They aren't as bright as standard ceiling-mounted lights, so you typically need multiple recessed lights to illuminate even a small room. Installing recessed lights requires cutting into your ceiling's drywall to form the recess and installing junction boxes (i.e. enclosures for wiring). Recessed lighting usually costs more to install than standard ceiling-mounted lights, ranging from $125 to $230

Track Lighting

Track lighting is a fixture with multiple light sources on one track, so it's usually quite bright and comes in many different styles. As long as your room already has overhead light fixtures with wiring that electricians can tap into, it should cost you between $100 and $250 to install track lighting. However, if you need to install wiring and junction boxes, then you might be looking at an additional $100 to $200

Wall-Mounted Lights

Wall-mounted lights, also known as sconces, usually serve as secondary light sources and decorative accents. They're an effective way to light the paths of darker areas, like hallways, and often provide a nice, moody glow. It usually costs between $90 and $250 to install wall-mounted lights, but if you also need to install new electrical wiring, then it may cost you $100 or $200 extra. 

Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent light fixtures have a standard length of 48 inches and they provide bright lighting without using much energy, making them highly popular light bulb types in work settings and energy-conscious homes. Depending on how your wires are configured, you can expect to pay $85 to $217 to install a fluorescent light fixture. 

Light Bars

Typically installed beneath cabinets, light bars are often more complex to install than other types of light fixtures. Installation requires a low-voltage transformer and a cable that connects the transformer to the light bar, in addition to the work involved in mounting the fixture. The cost to install light bars usually ranges from $330 to $440

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Light Fixture Yourself?

Lit up chandelier in a designer bedroom
Photo: Anatoli Igolkin / iStock /Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

If you decide to install a light fixture yourself, then your only expenses are the light fixture and the tools required to install it. The tools you'll need vary depending on the light fixture, but you'll probably need a screwdriver, voltage detector, wire nuts, and wire strippers, at minimum. Each of these items can be purchased for less than $20. Light fixtures, however, vary quite a bit in price. Some fixtures cost as little as $30 to $40, while others can cost $1,000 or much more, such as a chandelier

However, because light fixture installation requires working with an electrical system, it can be a dangerous DIY project if you don't have the necessary expertise. If you're not confident in your electrical knowledge and skills, then you should probably hire a local electrician to install your light fixtures for you.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Install a Light Fixture?

Several key factors affect light fixture installation costs.

Lighting Cost Per Square Foot

How well a light fixture illuminates your space depends on the fixture itself, the lightbulb(s) it uses, as well as the size of your room. Recessed lights, for example, aren't typically as bright as standard ceiling-mounted lights, so you often need one recessed light for every four to six square feet of ceiling space, whereas you likely only need one standard ceiling light to illuminate an entire small- to medium-sized room. 

Light Fixture Type

One of the biggest factors affecting light fixture installation costs is the type of light fixture. For example, pendant lights don't usually cost as much to install as recessed lights, since recessed lights require additional installation tasks, like cutting and finishing drywall. Installation aside, the light fixtures themselves also vary widely in price, costing as little as $30 or as much as $1,000 or more. 

Labor Costs

Unless you have experience working with electrical systems, your best bet is to hire an electrician to install your light fixtures. Most electricians charge between $35 and $100 per hour, and it takes an average of two hours to install a light fixture, so you're probably looking at a cost of $70 to $200 to finish the job.  

Removal Costs

If you already have a light fixture in place and don't know how to remove it yourself, then you should pay an electrician to remove it along with any defunct wiring. More complex fixtures can take two to three hours to fully remove, while basic fixtures may not even take 30 minutes. You'll want to factor this added time in when calculating labor costs.

FAQs About Light Fixture Installation

What kind of professional should I hire to install a light fixture?

Because light fixture installation involves working with your home's electrical system, it's best to hire an electrician over a general handyperson. Electrical systems are complex and varied, so hiring an electrician who specializes in these systems can help to prevent damage and resolve any unforeseen electrical problems that might arise during installation. 

How long does it take to install a light fixture?

It typically takes one to two hours to install a standard ceiling-mounted light, but this time varies quite a bit depending on the type of fixture you choose, your existing wiring, and whether you're removing an old light fixture. For instance, if you opt for recessed lighting, you're looking at longer installation times due to the added drywall work that recessed light installation requires. 

Additionally, if you're installing a light fixture in a new location without existing wiring, then you'll need to install the wiring first, which can add several hours to your installation time. And if you're removing an old light fixture to install a new one, then you'll want to factor in the time it takes to remove the old fixture, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to more than two hours.

Does the age of my house affect the cost of light fixture installation?

Yes, your house's age can affect how much it costs to install new light fixtures. If you have a very old house with an equally old wiring system, then chances are you'll need to update your wiring to accommodate your new fixtures. It can take anywhere from one to three or more hours to update an old house's wiring for a new light fixture, and since electricians charge by the hour, you'll want to factor this extra time in when budgeting for the project. 

Does the age of my house affect the cost of light fixture installation?

Yes, your house's age can affect how much it costs to install new light fixtures. If you have a very old house with an equally old wiring system, then chances are you'll need to update your wiring to accommodate your new fixtures. It can take anywhere from one to three or more hours to update an old house's wiring for a new light fixture, and since electricians charge by the hour, you'll want to factor this extra time in when budgeting for the project.

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