Project Management

Avoiding Project Delays Associated with Lighting

Sometimes project delays are inevitable, and even the best planning cannot prevent them from happening.

However, there are several steps that you can take to significantly reduce or avoid delays, particularly when it comes to the lighting.

Firstly, by agreeing a lighting design before beginning the tender process, you can remove the issues associated with changing and developing the lighting scheme once construction has begun, as this will always lead to higher costs and delays. You can read more about this in our article: Do I need a lighting design before tender?.

Another important aspect of your project planning is finalising a specification before the start of the build. This ensures you have a detailed schedule of what you need and by when for your lighting scheme, and how this sits within your project. Not all architects, interior designers or lighting designers provide a fully detailed specification. Some will only identify the position of the lights but not the actual light fitting choices, not to mention related equipment such as drivers. Ensuring you have appropriate lights will be important. For an example, see our article on how much does a downlight cost.



“Allowing for order lead times is crucial. These can be up to 10 weeks. In addition to this, you will need to build in time for suppliers to provide quotes, which can take several weeks. You should also ascertain if products need to be on site for the first or second fix, and plan ordering around this so everything is on time. If they are late, this can cause delays; if they are too early, items can go missing on site.” Marcus Steffen, Director, Ember Lighting

Ensure you have safe storage of lighting on site or another accessible location. You do not want to open boxes to find lighting has been broken or damaged as they have been in the middle of a workspace. Having to replace damaged lighting at the point they are needed can cause huge delays, especially when you consider the earlier point about lead time.

It’s also important to check the electrical installer has the knowledge and skillset to install the types of lighting that has been specified. If you know this in advance, you can plan for alternative arrangements, rather than finding out when the lighting is due to be fitted.

Finally, if you will be using smart controls, then make sure the commissioning engineer is booked for at least three visits. You’ll be surprised how time-consuming setting up smart controls can be, and they are often not set how you would like on the first visit. By following this advice, you will be able to remove many of the common delays that occur on projects. You can’t control everything that happens, but a level of forward-planning will help to keep your build on track as much as possible.

Ember is a managed lighting supply company and a lot of the points we discuss above have been built into our processes to ensure our clients have well-run projects. If you need assistance, please get in touch with us on 020 7112 4901 or email us at

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