How To Configure A Track Lighting System

If you are planning to install a track lighting system in your house, you should take into account four basic aspects: the type of track lighting, components and layout, light fixtures, and accessories.

Types of Tracks

Track lights come in a wide range of styles and designs. However, it's often enough to choose between the most popular types listed below:

Standard Track Lighting System

standard track lights standard track lights

This type of track is made in a form of a straight line and is attached directly to the ceiling via bolts or screws. It is the easiest system to install.

Monorail Track Lighting System

monorail track lighting monorail track lighting

It is designed in a form of a polished rail hanging from the ceiling via one or several connectors (usually stem, chain or wire). Monorail track lighting system may have a custom-made design, it can be bent to follow the form of an object you need to highlight or just for aesthetic reasons. You can bend some tracks by yourself, only remember to make a minimum one foot step between flexures. the angle should not exceed 30 degrees.

Two-Circuit Monorail Track Lighting

monorail track lighting monorail track lighting

This track design allows the user turn on and off different groups of lights affixed to one rail separately via two switches. This will help you to combine different styles of lighting in one track lighting system and easily create different lighting schemes. Important: lighting fixtures made for one-circuit tracks are usually not suitable for two-circuit systems, so be attentive and make sure that you choose the right components.

Cable Track Lighting Systems

monorail track lighting monorail track lighting

In this case light fixtures hang between two conductive wires attached to the walls or ceiling with stretching screws. As you can see, this type of lighting can be used in rooms where track system cannot be attached to the ceiling. Important: if the wire is longer than 20 feet or light fixtures are oversized and heavy, additional supporting standoffs are required.


Components and Layout

Most of track lights come with a straight track for standard systems and flexible track for monorail alternatives. Varying track length and the types of connectors you will be able to create almost any lighting scheme you want. As we have mentioned above, track can be attached directly to the ceiling by screws or hang from it with the help of various connectors. Cable track lights can be affixed to the walls or ceiling via stretching screws.

After you choose the type and design of a track lighting system, you should determine how to connect the lights to your home electrical system. Depending on a place where the electric power will be supplied, you may need a canopy or an end connector with a power feeder.

The Light Fixtures

The light fixtures used in a track lighting are available in a huge range of styles and shapes. However there are two main types of lamps - track pendants and track heads.

Track Pendants
Track Pendants

Track Pendants

Track pendants are commonly used to illuminate the whole room with ambient light. They also are good to light up work surfaces, sinks, bar counters, kitchen islands and so forth. Track pendants are highly customizable, as the components like shades, connectors or socket sets may be easily changed.

Track Heads
Track Heads

Track Heads

Track heads are usually used as spotlights to highlight the particular areas in the interior. They can be easily changed, which helps to vary the lighting design in a room.

It is very important to pay attention to the lighting fixture voltage. You will need an inline transformer if there is a low voltage element in your lighting system. The transformer is usually a small box connected to the power system of your house. It converts the standard line voltage (120V in the USA and Japan and 220-240V in Europe and the most of the other world) into the low voltage feed required by the particular light fixture (usually 12V).

Track Lighting Accessories

There are a lot of accessories available for the track light fixtures now. The color and shape of light can be easily changed with different color and dichroic color lenses, glass shades, beam elongators, clip-on barn doors and baffles, prismatic and sand lenses, spread and frosted lenses and honey comb louvers, and many more.

With the wide range of track lights and accessories available on the market today, you'll need only a bit of fantasy to create an absolutely unique lighting design and amaze your friends and visitors!



Track Lighting Buying Guide

Track Lighting Buying Guide

If you have already decided to install a track lighting in your house, a good idea is to learn more about such systems. Let's take a look at the very basics