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ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Survey Shows Lighting Ranks Highest

Sep 10, 2018

The latest survey of the nation’s electrical contractors shows that lighting work now earns the highest revenue at 30 percent—outranking traditional electrical power transmission/distribution at 25 percent, plummeting from 69 percent in 2004.

ecprofileELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine’s biennial 2018 Profile of the Electrical Contractor also shows an upswing in nontraditional electrical work including communications/data systems, building automation and control systems and building systems integration.

“Our survey demonstrates electrical contractors’ fast-changing roles in design and specification, their high influence in brand selection and growth outside of traditional electrical work,” said ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Publisher Andrea Klee.

The Profile attributes the rise in lighting work to the rapid growth of LEDs and related control systems, and LED technology becoming the standard option for new and replacement lighting installations.

Indicative of the findings, the 2018 NECA Show will launch its first Lighting and Controls Theater. September 29-October 2 in Philadelphia.

Additional key findings in types of work performed and sources of revenue include:

Across residential and CII, 93 percent of firms worked on traditional power and lighting, 91 percent on lighting and 86 percent on traditional power

LED lighting and ballasts/LED drivers showed significant increases as lamps and lighting controls declined

Just 33 percent of firms’ revenue came from new construction, as the industry faces a critical skilled labor shortage

Low-voltage work remains high: with integrated systems, 63 percent both specify and install lighting—more than twice who just install equipment

Communications systems/connectivity: data centers increased, as fiber optics or networking decreased

74 percent report a high or medium influence on electrical designs and specifications

73 percent report receiving incomplete plans and specifications in 2017

Availability is still the No. 1 reason for original brand selections and substitutions, followed by price

Sustainability: electrical vehicle charging increased, while cogeneration and geothermal posted small but significant declines

Automation/control systems: 72 percent work on some aspect, and HVAC controls declined

Growing work areas: pre-assembly/prefabrication of electrical components, HVAC mechanical, water utilities/waste water treatment plants, electrical maintenance/service/repair.

The full report with a highlights video is available at profile.ecmag.com.


The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), is the voice of the $160 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light and communication technology to buildings and communities across the U.S.

Learn more at www.necanet.org/About.