All about track lighting

[] In this article we elaborate on what is track lighting

Track lightSource: Pinterest 

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Track lights are the newest lighting trend to make your home look classier. Not only are they customisable according to the needs of your family, but they also help add an element of depth to various fittings at your house, adding a dash of style wherever they are put up. 

They are usually used to improve lighting over a kitchen island or in the lobby area.

A track light is a kind of fixture where the lighting runs along a rail or a bar. The lights can be used to focus on a specific spot at your house or light up a part of it. There are many variants of track lights available these days. But, it is important that you choose the one that matches the vibe and colour scheme of your place.

Track lights come in a number of variants. Some of the popular finishes over track lights are-

  • Oil-rubbed bronze
  • Brushed nickel
  • Black 
  • White
  • Polished chrome
  • Brass

Track lighting: Why use it?

Here are a few reasons why track lightings are a perfect fit for your home- 

  • Track lights are pretty versatile as they can be moulded as per the need of the house as well as the individuals. They come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes. 
  • Track lights help save space as they can be put up wherever needed and require no additional or special location. 
  • They are aesthetically pleasing as they help your house look classier and more stylish as they add to the beauty of your place and lift the ambience up. 

Track lighting: Why use it?

Source- Pinterest 

Choosing the perfect track light

Choosing the perfect track light

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Source: Pinterest 

A track light that fits with the decor of the house and enhances it is the kind of light that you should go for. Before installing track lights, it is important to know what kind of track light looks better at which location. 

  • If you have a room well lit with natural light, go for soothing track lights to just illuminate the room a bit more and add to the natural lighting trickling from the windows.
  • Accent lighting can be used to focus on the part of a room or a part of the house you would like all eyes on. These are a good option to highlight ornate artworks and antiques.
  • Wall wash lighting or lighting behind paintings etc, helps the room look more illuminated and larger. This helps the room have a soothing ambience as well. 
  • Task lighting is for places where you would need extra light to focus on the job at hand. It can be placed over a desk or kitchen island. These can also help you increase the amount of attention you are devoting to the task while increasing the illumination. 

Sizes of track lighting

  • Heads of the track lighting are available in small, mini, and large variants.
  • Track lighting is manufactured in various lengths like 4 foot or 8 foot but they can be connected via connectors L-shape or T-shape. 
  • Although choosing a track light of the perfect size may be tough, their customisable nature gives you a lot of options

Sizes of track lighting

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Source: Pinterest 

Track lighting: Types

Track lighting: TypesSource: Pinterest 

There are various types of track lighting that are available in the market. Here is a look at the options available:

  • A standard track lighting rail which is a straight track with lights attached is the conventional option.
  • Like a standard lighting fixture, swing arm track lighting mounts only to the centre of the track. 
  • A monorail track lighting hangs down from the ceiling through bars. These bars can come in various shapes and sizes for a more classy feel.
  • A fixed track lighting is attached to the wall instead of the ceiling. This helps make the room look bigger and the ambience more peaceful.

All track lightings are done on an H, J, or L track. The names of these tracks are not derived from the shapes of the fixings. Instead, they are derived from the manufacturers making the product.

Thus, it is of utmost importance that while buying the product, you make sure that you buy them all from the same manufacturer to avoid any problems in the future.

Track lighting: Head types

Track lighting: Head typesSource: Pinterest 

There are various choices available when it comes to track lighting. Some of them are- 

  • Cylinder- these are the most common ones being cylindrical in shape.
  • Round back- these lights are rounded in the back and have a cylinder track
  • Pinhole head- they have an open and rounded back and the bulb shows. 
  • Cube- These have a cube shape enclosing a cylindrical light.
  • Octagonal- This is a variation of the cylindrical shape with angled sides to give a sharper look.
  • Stepped- these are more futuristic with a stepped head, that is, a cylinder fused with a funnel shape.
  • Multistepped- a multi-stepped cylinder will help your rooms look more elegant.
  • Wireback- these are stepped lights with an open back.
  • Gimbal- this has a track head suspended in a horseshoe-shaped bracket and can rotate up to 350 degrees.
  • Clasp-fingered- This design is futuristic, with many prongs curling around the bulb-like fingers of a hand.
  • Barn door- these are lights surrounded by four panels that fan out like flower petals.
  • Pendants- they can be mixed in with your existing track lights and look beautiful.

Power options for track lights

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Track lights usually need to be hardwired into your house for usage. However, now tracks that plus into electrical outlets are also found. Some track lights even work on batteries.

The junction boxes of track lights usually require professional installation. If you need power at the end of the track, use a live-end connector. Cord and plug connectors can also help you connect the lights to a single outlet. The number of track lights installed must be kept in mind the voltage available. Make sure that you do not install excess bulbs overloading the circuit.

Track lighting: Bulb types 

Track lighting: Bulb types Source: Pinterest

Before choosing a bulb, make sure that it will fit into the track lighting of your choice. Not every bulb works with every type of lighting. 

The types of track lighting bulbs can be-

  • Halogen track light bulbs- They radiate a lot of heat and light. The lighting, however, can be matched by LED bulbs without radiation or heat, thus saving energy.
  • LED Bulbs- These bulbs are very bright and require less electricity, thus saving energy as well as resources.
  • Incandescent light bulbs- They are the smaller versions of the traditional light bulbs. They are used relatively less now. 
  • Fluorescent light bulbs- They are better options for industries. They are cheaper than LEDs.

When to not use track lighting

Track lighting: Bulb types Source: Pinterest 

  • Track lighting is not meant to be used as general lighting in a room. The light emitted by the track lights is not enough to actually make up for the lighting of the room. 
  • Rooms with low ceilings or very high ceilings are not a good place to fix track lights. Since track lights hang from the ceiling, the rooms with low ceilings usually don’t benefit from them. 
  • For rooms with high ceilings, the light may not be enough to reach down.
  • For extremely formal settings, track lights may end up giving a very casual look.

Special track lighting features you should know 

Special track lighting features you should know 

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  • Dimmer switches allow you to adjust the brightness of the bulbs in the track lighting. 
  • Track connectors are available in various shapes and help you get the appropriate length and the shape of the track that you are looking for. 
  • Lenses can be installed to alter the colour as well as the shape of the light.
  • Track lighting kits are now used to ensure that you buy all the compatible parts together instead of having to find them later. This ensures that all the parts will fit and you won’t have to worry about working harder than you already need to. 

Thus, knowing the perfect fit for your home or office is very essential before you go out and shop. The various options available in the market can make the choice more challenging than it already is, causing more confusion than you require. Know about the types of track lighting beforehand to make a better choice.

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Category: Rent

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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