helps you incorporate task lights in hard-to-reach places, as well as highlight some of your home’s best elements. The design of each fixture can be completely customized, from the shape of the track and number of lights to the light bulb brightness.
Because track lighting works with a single ceiling electrical box, you can easily replace a chandelier when needed. If you’re in the market for new track lighting, explore this guide that goes over the following:
- Tracking lighting fixtures
- Types of track lighting
- LED track lighting
- Track lighting by size
- Rail lighting vs. track lighting
- Track lighting considerations
Types of Track Lighting Fixtures
There are different types of track lighting you can choose from. But keep in mind that what works best in a space depends on the location of the track light and what you want it to accent.
Tracks, or rails, can be organized into four different categories. Explore our guide below that goes over each one.
Standard track lighting
, also called linear tracks, features a straight track with moveable fixtures attached. Decorators appreciate the customizable options including the number of lights and the ability to point light accurately.
The monorail track
is typically characterized by the design element of the track. Sometimes the track is straight, but many times it’s curved for a unique presentation. Sometimes the lighting fixtures can move along the track, and sometimes they are stationary.
If pre-made designs aren't working for your space, consider a flexible track
, or swing arm track, that can be bent any way you need it. Sections of the track are joined and swivel around a centered point. You can move or swing sections to create a customized look.
At some hardware stores, they’ll even cut flexible tracks to your desired length. However, keep in mind that more moving parts require more installation time.
It’s important to note that all track lighting is on either H, L, or J tracks. The first letter of each track correlates to the name of its manufacture: H tracks are made by Halo, J tracks by Juno, and L tracks by Lightolier.
L and J tracks come with two wires while H tracks come with three. Keep in mind that the parts of these three tracks aren’t interchangeable. So you’ll want to stick to just one manufacture, brand, and model when buying track heads and other parts. Even the smallest of differences can cause compatibility issues. We have several track head lights to choose from.
LED Track Lighting
LED track lighting
is a popular choice for many home decorators. They are energy efficient and cheaper to run than either incandescent or halogen bulbs. Although LEDs cost more up front, they last far longer than other types of bulbs.
If you’re using LEDs in fixtures designed for halogen or incandescent, make sure to the check the voltage and wattage of the bulbs. The bulb bases need to match to be compatible.
Track Lighting by Size
The last thing you want is to buy a light fixture that doesn’t fit in your space. Start off by finding out the desired length of the track light rail you need and the number of lights it can hold.
Track light fixtures typically range from three to six lights and come in two-feet to eight-foot lengths. Connectors can be used to join track pieces to create a custom look. For example, some can be adjusted to run in straight lines parallel to the walls or connected to corner pieces.
Rail Lighting vs. Track Lighting
Rail and track lighting should not be confused with one another. Although they both use directional fixture heads, the two fixtures have different shapes.
Rail lighting is usually on a track that is curved to accommodate different placement needs. For example, it’s typically found over bathroom vanities. It also allows for greater versatility than track lighting.
Make Track Lighting Work for You
Many homeowners use track lighting fixtures to feature wall art
throughout the home, making the space a mini-museum of your favorite things. They can also be useful in long hallways, where a central light fixture may not spread as much light.
You can also place track lighting strategically over a large sectional sofa
where a reading light would be useful, but lamps cannot fit around the perimeter of the sofa. Many designers also use the fixtures to point out decorative vignettes on a credenza
or buffet table.
However, the most common space to use these fixtures is in the kitchen. Track lighting provides clear task lighting over an island
or workstation where a lamp is not suitable.
Track Lighting Considerations
First of all, designers find that these fixtures function best as spotlights
, not general lighting for a room - So do not rely on them in place of overhead can lights in a large space. Because the bulbs hang lower into the space, you should also consider if your ceilings are high enough to accommodate the track.
If your ceiling has exposed beams, you can camouflage the lighting fixture by mounting it to the beams and running the track along the same length. This method is a great way to incorporate the modern spotlight fixtures
you need while maintaining a traditional décor style throughout your home.
As mentioned before, track lighting utilizes a single ceiling electrical box, just like a chandelier. This makes it easy to replace existing fixtures in the hallway or over your kitchen island if you need more light. You can even hang pendant lights
off of a track, for a more traditional style with easier installation.
Finally, you’ll want to consider the bulbs within the fixture. LED track lighting keeps electrical costs low, using 85% less power than halogen bulbs. They also come in a variety of color temperatures from warm to cool, so you can pick the perfect look for your home.
Bellacor has been a leading track lighting retailer since 2000. We offer dozens of top-of-the-line products that fit any style and budget.