Kitchen Track Lighting

When I finally bought my first home, I didn’t know anything about kitchen track lighting. All I knew was that I loved my house, but couldn’t stand the stark overhead light that left my counters dim. For one of the projects I took on, I researched different lighting options to brighten my kitchen. Hopefully some of my research will help you find the right lighting solution for your kitchen too.

Why Use Track Lighting

  • Kitchen track lighting installs easily into an existing light outlet. Not having to run additional wires for the new lights is a definite perk, lowering the cost of installation considerably.
  • Track lighting makes it possible to direct light towards countertops, the stove, or the sink.
  • It is moveable once installed without messy cleanup - simply covering up screw holes.
  • It is customizable. You can add additional tracks and design the shape to match the shape and size of your kitchen.
  • Low voltage lights make is possible to get a lot of light source from one simple junction box - and helps lower your electricity bill.

Types Of Track Lighting

There are two types of track lighting, available in a variety of price ranges. The straight metal bars have been the standard, and are usually available in lengths from 4-8 feet. Most of these designs have the capacity to extend with each other to a longer run.

The more recent addition of flexible kitchen track lighting makes it possible to truly customize your look. These styles are available in systems that work by installing flexible pieces that can be formed in curved shapes, such as and “S” or “U” shape to provide adequate lighting all the way around.

Quick Tips

Kitchen track lighting is available in a wide range of styles. Make sure to match the look with your kitchen, and decide how much light you need. Heads are available in everything from miniature to large sizes, and often a kitchen needs the larger size.

Make sure that you have enough clearance space for headroom. Track lighting will sometimes come down a little lower than flush lights, so if you have low ceilings do some careful measurements.

Make sure to purchase all your pieces from one manufacturer. Most of the time parts are not interchangeable, and you will end up with useless pieces.

Decide on what kind of bulbs you want to use before you purchase a system. This way you won’t end up having to buy specialized bulbs if you plan ahead. The most versatile bulbs are PAR (halogen lamps) since they are a good all purpose bulb.

Check to make sure you don’t need a building permit or any codes permission. Since it is likely that it will be installed in an existing location, it should be fine, but it’s always best to cover all your bases. If you aren’t competent at installing electrical wires, hire a qualified electrician to wire the lights for you. This project shouldn’t take an experienced electrician more than a couple of hours.

I love my new kitchen track lighting! It has opened up my space, updated my kitchen, and brought that bright look I was looking for. I had tried everything else, including painting, but the track lights are just the final touch for the modern, trendy kitchen I have always wanted.

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