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Ideas and Inspiration

Aug 9, 2018


What You Need to Know About Track Lighting

Check Out This Essential Track Lighting Guide.

Track lighting is an extremely popular way homeowners add lighting flair and function to their homes. Track lighting offers easy-to-install convenience to work in many areas and provides a stylish appeal for virtually any room in your home. If you are looking for an all-encompassing overview of flexible track lighting, you’re in the right place! We have all the information you need to get started on your new lighting project. We hope you ready to learn what track lighting is, how it works, and what kinds of track lighting you can use, and we even have some cool ideas that you may want to borrow, and don’t worry we will let you call them your own!

Track Lighting Overview

It’s always a good idea to start at the beginning. In this case, it’s important to understand what track lighting is and how it works. Track lighting can basically be defined as a system of light fixtures that are connected to a track. Fixtures that hold the track light bulbs and fixtures using metal tabs are placed on the track to connect that light to its power source. The flexible track can be adjusted to fit your unique space as well as to create unique designs.

Easy-to-install (yes please!)

Ease of installation is one of the key attractions of track lighting. It offers homeowners easy installation that does not require that they cut into walls or ceilings, run wires and add electrical boxes. Flexible track lighting also offers the ability to easily reposition and adjust each head to customize the lighting for your unique room. With certain kinds of track lighting, you will be allowed to choose the points along the track where you would like to position your track light bulbs. And, for the fickle homeowner who likes to change things up on a regular basis, moving your flexible track lighting from area to area is super easy.

Where track lighting works best

Track lighting works best, well, just about anywhere in your home. It can easily be installed on both ceilings and walls. It all just depends on your goals for your unique space! Whether it’s illuminating artwork, calling attention to a fireplace, or illuminating a kitchen or bedroom with a versatile fixture, track lighting works well nearly anywhere. Many track lighting systems can even be used on sloped ceilings, or on a flat wall surface. As you explore the different kinds of track lighting, you’ll soon learn that there are options for all areas of your home.

  • Spacing your track lights – A common question for track lighting users is how to space your track lights. As a general rule of thumb, the lights should be situated every 12 to 24 inches. You may opt to keep the lights closer in instances where you are attempting to create a focused light source, though, such as on a piece of art or your work area. In this case, they should be at least four inches apart.

No matter your style, you’ve got options!

There is a seemingly endless choice when it comes to the kinds of track lighting available. Name your lighting criteria, and you’re sure to find a track lighting kit to meet it.

    • Voltage Options – You will find a multitude of track lighting kits offering voltage choices of line or low voltage as well as single or two-circuit configurations. Depending on your unique track lighting project, you’ll surely find the versatility in this type of lighting to fit your specific needs. Line voltage systems connect to the standard 110-120 volt feed in your home like any other light fixture would, while low voltage systems use transformers that convert your home’s regular current to a lower voltage. The lower voltage is typically 12 volts, allowing for a more focused beam of light.
    • Track Lighting Layout Options – Track lighting kits are an extremely popular choice for homeowners because they provide all the components needed to install your flexible track lighting in one complete package. There are many types of track lighting kits including linear track kits that come in specific lengths. They are offered as two, four, six or eight feet of track lighting and allow you to move the lights, also known as heads, back and forth along the track. This allows you to create a look customized to what you are seeking. One of the most popular types of track lighting is the monorail track system that can be curved to create rounded, curvy shapes. Unlike the linear track lighting option that lays flat on your home’s ceiling, the monorail track lighting hangs down offering a sleek modern look and feel.
    • Track lighting for all your lighting goals – Track lighting is a truly versatile option for your lighting needs, whatever they may be. Serving a variety of purposes, your track lighting can offer a bit of décor flair, achieve wide beams of light, or create focused beams of light that accentuate home features.
  • Customizable configurations, an added plus – Track lighting kits offer an out-of-the-box solution that’s simple to install, but for homeowners that have a unique vision for their home’s lighting scheme, flexible track lighting offers complete customization. Most flexible track lighting systems work together and can be adjusted to create the look and configuration that will accent your home’s interior.

Ideas for your flexible track lighting projects

Now for the fun part! Knowing all that you can do with these versatile fixtures, it’s sometimes hard to get started. Check out our list of practical and creative applications for your track lighting projects to help get your creative juices flowing.

    • Set the mood – While dimmers add function and control to the brightness your light source offers, the easy-to-install additions can also set the mood for entertaining or quiet time at home. If you are using LED track lighting, be sure to choose an LED compatible dimmer.
    • Spruce up your hallway – An overlooked part of your home that is frequently traveled by guests is the hallway. Add some subtle flair with techniques such as wall washing or wall grazing. Wall washing is best used for a non-textured wall and creates a downward gradient to your maybe boring hall area. Wall grazing is a technique that places the track lighting against the wall to call attention something like a piece of art or a photo wall.
  • Design your dream kitchen – Your dream kitchen is accomplished through many factors, and one of the most important is your choice of lighting. Flexible track lighting in the kitchen allows you to accomplish both form and function goals. Consider track pendants which are low hanging lights attached to your rail system. This could be used to add light to your task areas, such as islands or chopping blocks. Adjustable track heads are directional light sources that don’t hang down and can be combined with your track pendants for lighting up features such as cabinetry or breakfast nooks.

We would like to think it is clear that track lighting is hands down, one of the most versatile and universally applicable lighting choices you’ll find. Whether you need to set the mood, highlight your prized art collection or put the finishing touches on your dream kitchen, flexible track lighting is an excellent choice to explore.

– The Capitol Lighting Team

Browse our complete collection of flexible track lighting here.