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Track lighting explained

Author: Glenn Harper
Published: July 23, 2012

When you’re looking to shine light on precise areas of a room, there are several options open to you. In the kitchen, or bathroom, where the position of furniture and units is less likely to be casually rearranged, plate spotlights can be perfectly angled to illuminate surfaces and features. Similarly, a light bar allows you to shed light exactly where you need it, and is sometimes adjustable in length or angle.

Versatile lighting

Neither of these solutions, however, is quite as versatile as track lighting, the reason being that a track lighting system can be customised to travel around a room, or along the full length of a room, and delivers power to any position along its course without the need for individual wiring. This is especially good for rooms that you may want to rearrange from time to time—remembering that a change is as good as a rest!

In a living room, for example, maybe you want to illuminate bookcases or shelves, ornaments or pictures, a fireplace, or your favourite reading chair. If you have a large kitchen, perhaps with an island, a track lighting system can deliver all the fuss-free flexibility you need to perfectly illuminate all necessary areas. Long, straight lengths of track lighting are perfect for spaces such as hallways, which you might like to line with artwork. Using a track lighting set-up, simply click lights into place to suit your gallery!

Office lights

If you have an existing home office, or are planning one, track lighting is the ideal means of illumination. You can direct light onto work areas, and reduce the chances of eye strain associated with fluorescent lights. You’ll also be able to avoid the glare of an overall light on the surface of your monitor or in your line of vision, which is particularly useful for anyone working in graphic design or photography; controlling surrounding light allows you to better discern the full tonal range of your monitor and helps you to produce your best work.

Easy to install

Track lighting is versatile, affordable, and typically easy to install using the wiring from an existing fixture. Lighting Direct offer track lighting systems in a choice of finishes: take a look at the Madison Satin Chrome 3 Light Track Light Kit or the Madison White 3 Light Track Light Kit, which you can extend if desired with our 1 and 2 metre lengths of track and in-line connectors. Up to 30 metres of track can be linked together! The IP20 rating makes the recessed track inaccessible to fingers, assuming a measurement greater than 12mm, so your safety is assured.

Bear in mind the nature of track lighting, which is a linear series of spotlights designed mostly for task and accent purposes. While it may be suitable for lighting small or narrow spaces or highlighting features and creating atmosphere, it’s not necessarily a replacement for diffused, general light that casts light across a wide space. So you might want to consider how best to blend different types of light, particularly in larger rooms.

Lights on a wire

There are alternatives to traditional track lighting, too, that offer slightly differing advantages. One such possibility is cable lighting, or lights on a wire, such as the Scope Wire Light System available from Lighting Direct. A wire lighting system has an extremely contemporary look, which is one reason for choosing it over other, often cheaper systems, but it really comes into its own where no easy mounting surface exists. Install a cable or wire light system across beamed or uneven ceilings with ease! Wire lighting can span distances of up to five or six metres without vertical support.

Lighting-Direct offers a solution to your lighting requirements, whatever they may be, and with our readily available expert advice you can be assured you’re on the right track!

Check out our full range of Track Lighting.

Need more inspiration? Try our Lighting Ideas section