Too many lights, and in the wrong places, only became problem when British architects decided that ambient light should be provided by grids of ceiling-mounted spot lights. There are so many reasons why this is wrong, wrong, wrong, but what concerns us here is the waste of money. Each one of these downlighters has to be paid for, along with the related wiring and switching. Yet, in spite of this excess of lights, bad placing means that extra lighting may still be required for specific functions. One example: a spot light over the basin in the bathroom is pointless. Two lights at eye height will still be required to light the face of the person using the mirror.
Then, when considering value, labour costs must be included: electrician's labour and BWIC. From an installation point of view, a backlit mirror represents better value than two appliques -- one electrical item to install, rather than two.
There are other ways in which too many lights are poor value for money:
1. energy consumption is relevant to value. Unnecessary lights unnecessarily consume energy.
2. they may make necessary a lighting control system, which is costly to buy and install, yet not understood by staff or guests.
3. poor location can increase waste. For example, the ceiling is the most energy-inefficient location for a light. Why? Light obeys the inverse square law. This means that a luminaire lighting a surface from above, if moved three times further away from that surface, will require nine times as much energy to light it to the same level as before. So, however "low energy" the lamp may be (a CFLi, or a LED, for example), prima facie, energy is still being wasted unnecessarily if it is in the ceiling.
Remember our motto: fewer lights means better lights! Or in this context, better value!
Note: this series of posts builds up into a single Briefing, a PDF of which is downloadable here: A Briefing on Value for Money when Purchasing for Hotels.