Welcome to Unitcare

Maintenance: Lighting

In this chapter we look at body corporate lighting as well as common problems faced by unit groups. We also look at saving energy.

Legislation – Strata Titles Act

Click on Legislation above, to view strata title legislation and hints.

Legislation – Community Titles Act

Click on Legislation above, to view community title legislation and hints.

The picture below is a view of lighting at the entrance to a group of units.

The picture below is a meter box at a unit group. It contains the meters for each unit, along with a common supply meter, lighting timer and circuit breaker.

Some group’s have no meter and the public lighting is attached to a unit. The common practice is to pay the owner (who pays tenant if rented) an annual fee to adequately cover the estimated use.


Adjust the timer to ensure the common lighting comes on at dusk. A resident who is willing to adjust the clock will help save on electrician’s fees.

Some groups have a ‘sunset’ switch installed. This turns the common lighting on at dusk and off at dawn.


To test the common lighting during the day place a small cardboard box over the sunset switch. After a few minutes the common lights should come on. If all remain off we suggest an electrician be called.

Common Problems

  • Lights in gardens are obscured by the adjacent shrubs & bushes

  • Lights above common stairways and balconies fail and are not replaced, which puts residents and visitors at risk of injury.

  • Vandalised or broken light fittings, which puts residents and visitors at risk of injury.
  • Vandalism may be claimable from the group’s insurance policy.

Best Practice

Consider replacing vulnerable lights with ‘Vandalite’ (or similar) lamps – see Tools at the bottom of this page.

Check all common lighting once a month. If lighting failure can be shown to have contributed to an assault, theft or vandalism the affected person may have grounds to sue the Corporation.

Emergency lighting may require a compulsory check by an electrician.

Low energy option

Many unit groups are replacing the incandescent lights with energy saving compact fluorescent lamps.

The following is an extract from the South Australian Government’s online publication easy ways to save energy:

  • The most significant opportunity for reducing lighting energy use is the replacement of incandescent globes with compact fluorescent globes and fluorescent tubes. The initial higher capital costs are recouped through substantial energy savings, approx 75%, and the longer life of compact fluoro globes and tubes 8 – 10, 000 hours compared with 1000 hours of incandescent light.
  • For general lighting use fluorescent lighting in the kitchen, lounge, family room and other areas where lights are on for more than 4 hours a day.
  • Regularly clean light fittings and lampshades.
  • Compact fluorescent globes are available from most supermarkets.


Packs of inexpensive compact fluros are generally available from supermarkets.


The following tools may assist in the maintenance of your group’s lighting.

Vandalite Brochure

Click on picture for printable version

Choosing the right globe

Click on picture for printable version

Easy ways to save energy

Click on picture for printable version