Commercial Lighting Cost Per Square Foot (Full 2023 Guide)

For providing lighting to commercial buildings you do not just have to look for creative, design but you need to have knowledge about the lighting cost. for a new construction building, you need to look at many things such as materials for the building, plumbing, and electrical working cost so you need to have proper planning. so this article will guide you about the commercial lighting cost per square foot because you should not ignore lighting in case of new commercial property.

For quick and short answers:

On average the cost per square of commercial indoor lighting is $3.20-$4.00.But you can just decide the lighting cost per square foot by reading the direct answer you need to understand the common factor which affects the cost per square foot which is explained below.

Commercial Lighting Cost Per Square Foot:

In the case of lighting a commercial building, it does require finishing after completing the preliminary construction phase. The commercial lighting cost per square foot depends on various factors such as labor costs of charging that can vary according to their hourly rate.

Lighting Cost Per Square Foot
Lighting Cost Per Square Foot

The following are some components that fall in finishing the outfitting of lighting are such as:

  • Displays and fixtures
  • Roofing
  • Ceiling
  • HVAC
  • Flooring
  • Indoor and outdoor signage

Factor affecting lighting cost per square foot:

The lighting cost per square foot is not the same every time as it depends on various factors to determine the final cost. the following are some factors you need to decide on and begin the stages of starting commercial lighting.

  • Location.
  • Light fixture.
  • Size of the project.
  • Installation team quality.


The location is considered the main factor to determine the lighting cost because the cost is different in different regions somewhere it’s high or low cost. the commercial lighting cost can be low in specific states, cities, and within the cities. The following are US regions in which the cost is from lowest to highest:

  • Midwest
  • Southern
  • Eastern
  • Western

Light fixture:

The type of light fixture also decides the cost of commercial lighting. the cost of installing light have different price depending on the multiple chandeliers or fluorescent lights. the type of light fixture you are installing in the commercial building depends on the interior design. for example, the type of light fixture installed in a high-class restaurant is more expensive like chandeliers than the light fixture installed in the warehouse can be ceiling lights which are low cost.

The following table explains the average total cost of installing different light fixtures:

Types of light fixtureAverage costs
Ceiling lights$75-$1,200
Fluorescent lights$75-425
LED strip$70-$400
Pendant lights$70-$4,800
Recessed lights$100-$500
Track lighting$100-$800
Wall-mounted light$180-$950
Lighting Cost Per Square Foot
Lighting Cost Per Square Foot

Size of the project:

The size of the project does impact the overall lighting cost per square foot as if the lighting needs to be done in a larger project so it will have a high electrical cost when compared to the smaller projects. it may also depend on the contractor who will cost fewer charges per square foot on a larger you need to compare costs with the different contractors and then decide according to your budget which is cost-efficient.

Lighting Cost Per Square Foot
Lighting Cost Per Square Foot

Quality of the Installation Team:

The other factor for commercial lighting cost per square foot is completing the work by hiring a professional electrician or contractor because competing for the installment of lighting should be done by using high-quality products and does require a person who has experience in this work. but hiring electricians who have experience will cost more.

Some important methods used to calculate lighting:

The following are some methods used to calculate lighting which will help you to know about how many fixtures you need so that you get space for lighting, helping you to increase the efficiency of the lighting system and the best technology and fixtures you should use to light up.

  • Calculating light illuminations.
  • Calculating lighting needs.
  • Calculating light load.

Calculating light illuminations:

The Calculation of light illuminations can be done by two components:

  • Wattage.
  • Lumens.

Wattage formula:

The calculation will help you to find out how much light you need. Let’s understand it by an example. Assume lighting in a space of 10 by 10 feet so the footage in the room is 100 square feet. 

Now to calculate the wattage:

Multiply 1.5 W for general use by the square footage of the room: 1.5 × 100 = 100 W. 

For work or study, wattage calculation multiplies 2.5 W by the square footage of the room = 2.5 × 100 = 250 W. 

Lumen formula:

The calculation will help you to find out the amount of light the space or room is receiving. The following are some points you need to know to calculate lumens:

  • Dimension of room. 
  • The total sum of lumens which is produced by light sources. 
  • Dividing total lumen by the dimension of a room. 

Let’s understand it by an example, let’s suppose it’s a 10 by 10-foot room and requires  75 lumens per square foot so for that need to multiply 100 × 75 hence there is a need to have 7500 lumens of light in total. 

Calculating lighting needs:

This calculation is helpful to know how much electrical power is needed for lighting the space or room. For example, a room of 500 square feet requires electrical power for the lighting of 1500 W general use. You need to have a light meter to measure light in a lumen. 

Lighting Cost Per Square Foot
Lighting Cost Per Square Foot

Calculating lighting load:

Formula to calculate lighting load:

Watts = volts × amps. 

Let’s understand by an example, suppose the voltage is 240V having 20 amps then wattage capacity equals to. 

Watts = 240 volts × 20 amps= 4800 Watts. 

Lighting Cost Per Square Foot
Lighting Cost Per Square Foot


The above mention calculation method will help you to decide before only the amount of light, type of lighting require, and lighting cost per square foot depending on various factor that is explained above. 

Rick Costa

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