What Type of Lighting Is Best for a Loft?

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Loft Lighting

A loft not only provides you with extra space but also adds value to your property. That being said, quite a lot of people in the UK are looking towards loft conversions.

When designing a loft space or starting a loft conversion, there are a few things you need to consider. In addition to creating proper access to the loft, you need to make sure it is structurally sound, has ample headroom, follows Building Regulations, has fire safety and insulation in place, and of course, has adequate lighting.

Just as with any other area on your property, it is very important to install proper loft lights that allow you to actually see and fully utilise the space. You wouldn’t want to work with a handheld torch the entire time, would you?

Read our detailed guide to understand the importance of loft lighting, what type of lighting is best for a loft, how to choose the best one according to your needs, how much it costs, and much more:


Proper loft lighting is just as important as lighting up any other part of your property so that you can see and actually use the available space.

A few well-placed lights can make a world of a difference and can transform your loft into a useful storage space, a workshop, or a cute little hobby room.

Here are the two main reasons why you should focus on proper lighting for your loft:

Get more out of your loft space

Loft spaces are a great solution for adding extra space to your property and proper loft lighting is an integral part of that.

Installing adequate lighting will help you make the most out of the space and allow you to do so much more than just use it as a storage space for your suitcases or Christmas decorations.

Increase the value of your home

A loft is similar to adding an extra useful room to your house which can be used both as a liveable space as well as a storage space.

It increases the value of your home and can be extremely beneficial if you plan on eventually selling your property.


There are several great options for lighting up a loft space and, depending on how you plan on using your loft, you may choose one or more than one of the following loft lighting options:

Battery-powered LED lights

LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are one of the best modern lighting solutions for lofts as well as other areas of your property due to their durability and energy efficiency.

Battery-powered LED lights are bright lights that instantly illuminate the loft space and require no electrical wiring to work. They can simply be screwed in place and provide a convenient and hassle-free source of light.

They pack quite a punch in terms of illumination and one little light gives the same output as a 32-watt bulb. In addition to that, they are easy on the pocket, compact in size, and a great option for your loft.

Single bulb holder

A pretty basic way to light up a loft, single bulb holders consist of a holder for a bulb that is screwed onto the wall or ceiling and a wire running from it to the circuit.

They are ideal for small areas such as lofts and come in a variety of options. You’ll need standard screw-in light bulbs that you can choose out of several types according to your requirements, such as LED bulbs, panels, and fluorescent lights.

Recessed lights

Recessed spotlights are a great option whether you’ve covered the roof beams of the loft or left them open. You can easily fit several of them discreetly in the available space.

Their biggest advantage is that you can position a number of them to produce a good amount of lighting in the loft without them being too harsh or intrusive.

You can use various types of bulbs for this purpose out of which LED lights are the most efficient and environment-friendly. Not only are they long-lasting but also incredibly cheaper to run and are available in several colours and temperatures.

Natural lighting

Artificial lighting is essential for your loft space, particularly for trips up there during the night. However, during the daytime, you do not need to rely on artificial light sources and can make use of natural lighting.

You can use sunlight during the day through skylights and windows installed inside your loft. You can easily set them into the roof whether you’re boarding your loft or going for a full conversion.

Natural light is, of course, the most efficient type of lighting has the advantage of being free of cost, and doesn’t need to be switched on or off.


Out of all the great options for loft lighting, the best one for you depends on the space you have and how you wish to use it.

Bright lights may be a bit over-the-top for a tiny loft, whereas a single bulb may not be adequate to brighten up the entire area.

That being said, it is always best to assess your loft space before picking a favourite. You may also work with a mix of different kinds of lights to brighten up the space.

There is no competition when it comes to natural lighting which is why, if you have the budget, we suggest you go with roof windows to make full use of it during the daytime.

However, during the evening and night, you will need some artificial lights. Battery-powered LED lights are a popular choice for loft spaces since they are luminous, compact, economical, and incredibly easy to install without worrying about wires and cables.

Before deciding on the best lights for your loft space, you need to consider a few points since they will have an impact on the amount of work needed and the type of light best suited for your needs. They include:

  • Any existing lights
  • The number of lights you need
  • The number of plug sockets required
  • The size of the loft
  • What you need to use the loft space for

If you have existing lighting in your loft, always check to see if it has been properly installed and to the standard of an NICEIC approved contractor to ensure your and your family’s safety.

In some cases, a little amount of work may need to be done such as changing a light or switch or upgrading the wiring or fuse board.

If you are unsure about the condition of your existing lighting and wish to get an expert opinion, feel free to contact us so that we can advise you on the best solution for your needs.

The number of lights and the amount of illumination you require are going to be dictated by the size of your loft and how you are thinking of using it.

If you have a small loft that you need to use for basic storage, a single, bright light may be all that you need. It may, however, not light up all the areas of the loft and you may end up rummaging through your stuff while you’re up there.

On the other hand, if you have a larger space, you may consider more than one light point and even have them recessed into the roof boarding.

Coming to the type and number of lights required, both are related to each other and you have to first consider whether you are going to install a single bulb, multiple bulbs, or LED strips.

Multiple bulbs, LED strips, and recessed lights all give off more uniform light as compared to a single bulb and is something you should consider.

Just as the number of lights in your loft, the number of power sockets also depends on what you plan on doing with the loft.

If the loft is used as a storage space, you may want to vacuum around to keep it clean and tidy. For that purpose, you’d be grateful that you have at least one power socket up there.

However, if you need to use the loft for a special hobby that requires electrical work, it would be wise to gauge your needs and install the required number of power sockets. It can be extremely annoying and dangerous to use extension cables, especially in elevated areas such as lofts where they can easily turn into safety hazards.


You have several options when it comes to choosing both loft lighting fixtures and their bulbs. Two of the most commonly used bulbs include LED and fluorescent lights.

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are fast becoming common in all types of properties including homes, offices, and public properties, and have several advantages over fluorescent and incandescent lights.

Some of the benefits of LEDs over fluorescent lights include:

  • Higher efficiency – they use less energy with savings of up to 50%.
  • Longer lifetimes – they can last up to 13x longer than fluorescent lights.
  • More durable – they are encased in hard plastic instead of glass, making them resistant to breaking and smashing easily.
  • Cooler – they stay cooler when in use, compared to fluorescent bulbs that get too hot.
  • Safer – they contain no mercury which is highly toxic to humans and also bad for the environment.


Lighting up a loft is not a DIY job and it is always best to hire an NICEIC registered electrician to do the job for you. Here is what is involved in the process of installing lights in a loft:

  • The first step is to cut off the electricity supply to the loft to prevent any electricity-related accidents and injuries.
  • Next, the electrician will locate any existing wiring inside the loft. If there is no existing wiring, they will run a circuit from the floor below into the loft.
  • The electrician will split the circuits and connect them to a junction box. All of this requires skills and expertise and must be left to professionals.
  • Once the wiring is done, the new lights will be installed in your chosen place.
  • Everything will be tidied away once done and the electricity supply will be restored.
  • The final checks will be done before your loft is ready to be used.


The cost of installing loft lights is similar to any other lighting job and depends on a few factors such as the size and type of lighting and the size of your loft.

That being said, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay around £120 for installing a light in your loft and the job would take around 2 to 3 hours depending on the complexity of the task.

The main factors affecting the cost for installing loft lights include:

Type and size of light

As discussed above, there are several different types of lights that you can choose to install in your loft, and the size and type you choose will affect the overall cost of installing them.

As compared to a single bulb, you will have to pay much more for LED spotlights and recessed lighting since they may be scattered across the ceiling of the loft. The electrical wiring will have to be spread out much further and each light will need individual installation.

Similarly, if you choose a single but heavy light fixture to light up your loft, the added work to get it up there and secure it in place will impact the total cost of the job.

Electrical work

The total cost might go up if the electrician working on your loft finds that your existing wiring is too old or faulty and needs rewiring done before the new lights are installed.

This may be the case in older properties and property owners who haven’t gotten their electrical wiring and installations tested. Not only can this be a serious safety hazard but is also against the law.

It is recommended in the wiring regulations BS 7671 that a domestic property must be regularly inspected and tested after an electrical installation every 5 to 10 years, or if you are buying/selling the property.

Ease of access

Ease of access is important not only to make the best use out of your loft but is also integral for installing loft lighting.

If you do not have an adequately-sized access point into your loft, you will have to get it renovated before attempting any installation work that requires big and heavy fixtures.


We, at Calder Electrical, provide a comprehensive solution for lighting all kinds of properties including residential, commercial, as well as industrial properties.

We understand the unique lighting needs of lofts and are here to provide you with the best ways to not only properly illuminate your property but also make it incredibly energy-efficient.

Our LED lighting services include:

LED lighting upgrade services

We can survey your loft space and create a lighting design to see if we can not only reduce the number of light fittings but also make the area reach a lighting level suitable for use.

We can also incorporate motion detectors so that the lights inside the loft are only switched on when someone goes up there.

We can give you an energy calculation to show your current lighting costs and the estimated costs by upgrading to LED lighting so that you can see how much you will save, normally aiming for a 40% saving.

LED installation services

If you are undertaking a new installation, we can help you create a lighting design suitable for your loft layout and intended usage. We provide professional LED installation services guaranteed to meet the current wiring regulations.

In addition to this, we also provide electrical testing and maintenance services undertaken by our NICEIC-certified electricians to make sure all your electrical installations meet the current regulations and that all the notifiable work is signed off by the local authorities.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 to talk to our leading experts right away!

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash