Value Engineering the Right Way

Anyone familiar with construction or remodeling projects knows to start by gathering bids. As the bids come in, most will be right around your proposed budget, with one exception. The bid for your lighting can be more than you want to spend. Even if you get an acceptable bid, it’s not uncommon for unexpected delays to appear during the project.

A delay on your lighting project can throw off your whole schedule, potentially costing you even more.

There is a solution!

Value engineering your lighting project can still save you money, as long as it’s done the right way.

Why Lighting Projects Can Cause Delays and Added Costs

Why do lighting projects often cause project delays or added costs? It’s a question with a few possible answers.

  • Your custom or high-end fixtures are taking longer to produce, meaning the manufacturer’s lead time is too long.
  • Sometimes commercial-grade lighting fixtures are enough, but the project calls for architectural-grade products that come at a higher cost.
  • Instead of comparing lighting prices from a wide range of manufacturers, only a few are looked at. You may be missing out on lower cost deals.

These scenarios have one aspect in common, they are using lighting as part of the project’s aesthetics. It shows that value engineering isn’t always the best solution. Sometimes, you don’t want to find the cheapest lighting products. Instead, you want to look for fixtures that best fit the project.


light switchAction Services Group is a Product Neutral company. This means we do not rep one or two specific brands, we instead base our product selections on what is best suited for our clients. If you need products fast or need a specific brand that integrates with your building controls, we match your needs with the appropriate products. To speak with an Action Services Group lighting specialist, schedule a call that fits your need by clicking the button below.

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Potential Problems with Value Engineering in Lighting

Lighting value engineering is simply finding comparable products when lighting fixtures are unavailable or too expensive.

Substituting products can become challenging when you haven’t carefully reviewed the change in plans or considered the fixture’s light levels. Here are a few examples of potential problems when value engineering in lighting is not done properly.

1. Differences in Product Specifications

An example of differences in product specifications can apply to recessed cans. Maybe the current fixture is too bright for the space, so the contractor substitutes a commercial-grade recessed can. It has a similar wattage to the original fixture, only at a noticeably lower cost.

Unfortunately, value engineering did not resolve the problem. You want to use a warmer color tone, around 3000K for aesthetics, but the substitute fixture has a low color rendering score. You are not meeting your project’s aesthetic goals.

2. You Aren’t Considering Light Levels

In this scenario, exterior lighting is affected by lighting value engineering. By value engineering your exterior lighting project, you are seeing noticeable savings.

The problem occurs after finishing the project. You are noticing dark areas in the parking lot or walkway. The fixtures are not emitting enough light, and the glare from the lights is resulting in complaints.

You don’t want to redo an exterior lighting project due to mistakes in the value engineering process.

6 Tips for a Successful Value Engineering Project

Sometimes, value engineering can create problems instead of resolving them at a lower cost. To ensure your lighting project stays on budget and is finished on time, here are six tips for a successful value engineering project.

1. Find out if your value engineering partner understands lighting

Lighting terms and specs can get confusing. You want to work with a value engineering partner who understands lighting. When you work with a partner that knows lighting, your value engineering project is more likely to go smoothly.


light pt 2Action Services Group is a national lighting services and LED retrofit company with over 30 years of experience value engineering lighting projects. We have one of the fastest project ramp up times of any commercial lighting company in the U.S. To learn more check out our LED retrofit and project management services as well as our Lighting and LED Product Education Center.


2. Know your light levels

Light levels are critical in some lighting value engineering projects. For example, exterior lighting in parking lots should spread the beam without any annoying glare. A light fixture can look great on paper, but if the lumens are wrong it can increase the project’s overall costs.

3. Ensure your lighting controls are compatible with the fixtures

Lighting controls are a requirement for many fixtures, but you don’t want to install random products. Making sure the controls work with the light fixtures will save you time and money in the long run.

For example, problems with lights flashing or strobing due to improper controls are less likely to be an issue on your project.

4. Know your local lighting codes

A few lighting codes that can jeopardize a project include wind ratings, BUG requirements, and Title 24. When you are value engineering a lighting project, make sure you are meeting all federal, state, and local codes. It will help ensure you easily pass your building inspections.

5. Don’t forget to account for lead times

Usually, value engineering a lighting project reduces lead times, but it’s still a good idea to double check with your lighting partners. Make sure you have precise lead times to ensure your project continues to run smoothly.

6. Sometimes custom fixtures are necessary

While you can value engineer most lighting projects, some fixtures you may want to keep. A high-end, custom light fixture can easily become a statement piece in a space.

To keep or improve the ambiance and aesthetics in the area, you want to make sure value engineering doesn’t reduce the space’s quality or character.

Start Your Value Engineering Project Today!

Whether you are considering value engineering for your lighting project or are having problems with lead times, Action Services Group can help!

Contact us today and by calling 610-558-9773, emailing [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.

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