2017 Lighting and Lighting Controls Report

Changes to lighting technologies are affecting specifications and earnings, according to this report.


Respondents to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2017 Lighting and Lighting Controls Study identified six high-level findings:

  1. Since 2015, the total annual dollar amount of lighting fixtures and controls being specified into new and existing buildings has decreased 24%, dropping the average amount earned by these projects from $744,758 to $566,863. Source: Consulting-Specifying EngineerTotal annual revenue: During the most recently completed fiscal year, the average engineering firm earned $6.1 million in mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection revenue, 9.3% of which was generated through lighting and lighting control products specified for new and existing buildings.

  2. Lighting technologies: Since 2013, Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s data has shown the consistent specification of LEDs, lighting controls, and any size T5, T8, or T12 fixture—averaging 96%, 87%, and 87%, respectively; however the 2017 report shows a decline in usage of lighting controls and T5, T8, and T12 fixtures. LEDs remain the top lighting product specified at 93%.

  3. Recent changes: More than 80% of respondents indicated that recent changes to LEDs (i.e. new technologies, specifications, OLEDs) and energy-efficient designs have affected their work in the past 12 to 18 months.

  4. Current challenges: Seven in 10 respondents indicated that having an inadequate budget is the biggest challenge when trying to create a quality design. The difficulty of designing for interoperability and complementing systems, as well as lighting controls sequence design, has decreased by more than 10% in 2 years.

  5. Writing specifications: Three-quarters of engineering firms are always or frequently writing prescriptive or performance lighting specifications; the usage of performance specifications has increased 19% since 2015.

  6. Design factors: When asked to identify important features considered when selecting one lighting product over another, 73% of respondents said the overall quality of the product is highly important, and 61% said the same of the product’s energy efficiency capabilities. Other valuable factors include the manufacturer’s reputation and the initial product cost.

Access the full 2017 Lighting and Lighting Controls Report to view additional findings. 

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