Maintaining & Managing Edinburgh Stair Lighting

Maintain & Managing Stair Lighting

Stair Light

People are asking me what is the best way to maintain common stair lighting. Edinburgh council gave it up 5 years ago. Having spent over 35 years in the property maintenance sector. So, here is my views on maintaining and managing stair lighting.

City of Edinburgh Council

The main reason why Edinburgh council gave up maintaining common stair lighting was down to cost savings. The equipment is getting old and past its service life. On the upside the Council specified the same solid built light fitting for all properties.

DIY Approach

If you’re thinking of tackling this yourself then be advised other residents will not be pleased if you make it worse. I know this as I have had to rectify a few DIY jobs. I have also had turn some of these jobs down. “Anybody can do this task”. People who do not realise that they may not be insured to work on utility equipment If they get hurt. In this “Where there is blame there is a claim” society. AEW cannot give advise on how to work on stair lighting.

Property Maintenance companies and costs

faulty light fitting

Property maintenance and handyman companies are providing a service to fill the void where the Council moved out. Some offer a low weekly cost maintenance contract. The residents pay 50p-£1 a week each to replace any tubes that go out. That ok but if a light fitting goes faulty then the stair could be left with an extra bill. A case study in one of my stairs was they got it relamped after it was first done just over 3 years ago. The cost was then £16 each to £20 each today. They also had a faulty light fitting and a broken shade replaced free of charge as part of the relamp cost. This works out at £6.67p each a year or 13p a week.


Getting stair lights fixed is easy right. ? Well no not really, I have found after more than 3 years it can be difficult for some organisers . Here is a list of the issues I have found.

The Organiser:- This is usually the nominated person in the stair. In some cases the state of the stair lighting is poor and one of the residents decide to try and get it sorted.

Communications:- The first task for an organiser is to collate the contact information from each flat to find out who is an owner occupier or tenant. AEW has developed a Notification form that you can download for this task.

Landlords & Letting Agents:- The feedback I get from the organisers is there is no problem with them as they are just glad someone is managing the work for the safety of their tenants.

Legal obligation:- Residents can be unaware that they have a legal responsibility to ensure good light levels and the sytem is operational.

Relamp or LED the stair

There are 2 cost effective option as follows:-

Relamp :- This consists of replacing all the tubes , starter unit, clean wash the shade and reset the astro timer clock (if required) . Repair any faulty light fitting or shade free of charge.

LED :- This consists of converting the light fittings to LED as per CEC stair lighting specification


  • Why not change the tubes as and when required
  • This sounds good but is not cost effective as the best way is to relamp the whole stair every 2-3 years.
  • What benefit does converting to LED give me
  • If you follow CEC specification for stair lighting then the stair will use 60% less electricity . Be a lot brighter plus AEW also fits a new Astro timer clock so, your good to go for the next 10-12 years. Also remember the existing equipment is past its service life . Plus you have to look at it the same as having a new car or keeping an old car on the road.

AEW Strategy

No shade

AEW understands that stairs need to work to a budget and abide by the democratic decission on the options they chose. The feedback I get is the organiser wanst a fixed price solution so they can collect the monies required without having to worry about extra or hidden costs. So, AEW decided to include fixed price costs as part of the services provided. Say on a relamp 2 light fittings and 1 shade is found to be faulty then AEW will repair or replace them free of charge. Simple peace of mind for the organiser and the stair.

Get a free survey condition report that includes costs and options for the stair.