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Track Lighting Buyers' Guide: Design Elements

Track Lighting Buyers' Guide: Design Elements

Track lighting has become a staple of modern home design, and you don’t have to wonder why. It’s an easy way to add a contemporary feel to new or existing homes and versatile enough to light several areas around the house. However, with the large variety of different sizes, track types, and lamp head styles, diving head first into the world of track lighting can seem pretty overwhelming. Instead of driving yourself crazy, let us do the work for you. In part one of this two-part Buyers’ Guide, we’ll be covering tips and tricks for getting the most out of your track lighting in various applications.

Accent Lighting

Probably the most common way to use track lighting is accent lighting. Track lighting got its big start in art galleries and museums, so it’s no surprise that illuminating decor is what its best at doing. The wall washing technique is the way to go when you need a wide, unfocused spread of light to cover a large area, such as for bookshelves or your action figure collection. For narrower beams of light, use adjustable spotlights to bring attention to decorative pieces like paintings and photos.

Quick Tip: Make sure to angle the track heads at about 30 degrees to minimize glare and reflection.

Task Lighting

Track lights can add extra light to work spaces like kitchen islands. Bright and narrow spot lights are an excellent option for task lighting, especially in a cooler color temperature (around 4000-4500 Kelvin). This range usually makes people feel more alert and energized than warmer color temperatures, which is definitely a good thing when handling sharp knives.

Quick Tip: A great way to maximize your task lighting is with customized layouts, like a U-shaped pattern over a kitchen island.

Ambient Lighting

Generally, track lighting shouldn’t be used as a room’s only source of illumination, but there are always exceptions to the rule. Long, narrow hallways and entryways can benefit from using track lights. Mount the track down the middle of the hallway and begin aiming the lamp heads at one of the walls, alternating the direction of each lamp head so the light is even. This illuminates the whole hallway and, as an added bonus, highlights any family photos or artwork.

Quick Tip: Regardless of how you’re using your track lighting, it’s important to note where movable elements on the ceiling of the room are in relation to your track heads. You don’t want doors and cabinets banging into them.

Are you ready to make the leap to track lighting? Tune in next week for part two of our Track Lighting Buyers Guide to learn which type of track is best for your application and don’t forget to follow us at Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or Pinterest for more lighting solutions.

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