Table of Contents
|1. FAQ's||2. Line VS. Low Voltage Systems|
|3. Steps to Buying a Track Lighting System||4. Designing your Layout|
|5. Track System Overview||6. Which system is Right for Me?|
|7. Track Fixture Tips||8. Powering Methods?|
|9. Transformer Details||10. Installation Tips?|
Is there a limit to how many lights I can have on a track system?
Yes. There is a general One-light-per-one-foot of track rule to prevent fixtures from being
to cluttered. Line Voltage systems have a limit of around 1900 watts for a single run.
Low-voltage systems require a transformer and not more than 300 watts (6- to 50-watt
fixtures) can be on any single run of track. Multiple low-voltage systems can be installed
together but must be electrically seperated using an isolating connector and the
systems must have separate power supplies. A Dual Feed transformer can also be
used to increase the total wattage to 600 (300 watts in 2 directions) from a single
Does LightingDirect.com carry outdoor track lighting?
We currently do not carry any track lighting for wet or damp locations. You can achieve
Can you mix and match fixtures on different systems?
Manufacturers typically will only make lights that will fit their systems. For example, a
Tech Monorail pendant will NOT install on a WAC Monorail System or vice versa.
WAC Lighting, however, does make track and fixtures compatible with Halo (H-Track),
Lightolier (L-Track) and Juno (J-Track) Brands*
Line vs Low Voltage
A common misconception is that low voltage lighting is not as bright as standard house voltage (120V) lighting. This is not the case. The purpose of a low voltage system is to allow the use of smaller compact bulbs that are as bright as 120v bulbs but in a smaller fixture. You can always achieve your desired illumination with a low voltage system. In fact, most of the bulbs used in low voltage lighting are more than twice as bright as a regular incandescent bulb of the same wattage.
Steps to buying your track lighting system
- 1Draw a layout of the track system desired in the room it will be installed in.
- 2Depending on your application, choose the track system you will be working with.
- 3Choose your lights and location on the system
- 4Determine the total feet of track in the system and add up the wattage of all fixtures. Write this information down for future reference.
Note for Low Voltage systems: A transformer with a wattage rating equal to or greater than the total watts used on the system is required. Example: Five 50-watt pendants in a system will require no less than a 250-watt transformer.
Low voltage track fixtures can be placed on line voltage track by using a track connector with a transformer installed to drop to voltage of that fixture. The transformer is designed to blend in with the track so it is not as noticeable. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages. This Track Lighting Guide will aid you in design considerations for each track system we offer.
Designing Your Layout
With careful planning, you can eliminate any problems that might arise during the installation process. The first step in designing your system is to find out what you want to light with your track system. Will this be for general illumination using pendants? Or will you be accent lighting pictures on a wall?
Take into consideration any existing lighting in the room, since these areas might not need to be lit. Since all track is easily cut with a hacksaw, it can be custom fitted to virtually any space.
Track System Overview
120V Line Voltage Track Systems
Line And Low Voltage System
|120v Line||12v Low|
|WAC Lighting||Basic Track||Monorail, Linear System|
|Tech Lighting||Tech Track||Monorail, 2-Circuit Monorail, Kable Lite|
Tech Track (Components begin with "700TT"): hand-bendable, suspended rail. Available in White and Satin Nickel
*Build.com is unaffiliated with and does not sell Halo, Lightolier, or Juno brands.
12V Low Voltage Track Systems
Linear System (Components begin with "S"): low-profile rigid flush track (typically used for under cabinet and display purposes), can be suspended with cable suspension kit - SCK and special track carrier (SC4 or SC8).
Which system is right for me?
Basic Track is the most common system and is the most user-friendly. It is installed directly to the ceiling with screws (all mounting hardware is provided), but can be dropped from the ceiling with the use of suspensions. Fixtures are installed by sliding them onto the track. The track is then finished with end caps for a smooth look.
To power a Basic Track system you can use a number of power feeds. A Floating Canopy Connector can be installed anywhere along the track and covers a junction box while providing power to the system. A Live End Connector can be used if you are running wires directly into the track without using a junction box. You can also power the system at any connecting point (straight, angled, T-junction, etc.) where the connector has a Power Feed able entry point. A junction box can also be used at any of these power entry points and can be covered with a Canopy Cover Plate.
Suspended Monorail track systems are hand-bendable and can make many shapes to put light right where you want it. You can make spiraling track, wavy track, a complete circle, or run track along virtually any wall. Sharp turns can still be made with a 90 degree angle connector or Flexible Connectors. End caps will be supplied with the Rail to provide a clean finished look.
Monorail track must be suspended by standoffs and the height must be uniform for the entire system. Standoffs should be used every 30-36 inches. A ceiling-mounted power feed canopy will also count as a standoff. Our Adjustable and Rigid Standoffs will allow up to eight feet of custom track height adjustment. Power extenders are used with longer ceiling drops to extend power to the system at the desired height and are installed on the power feed canopy.
Two-Circuit Monorail is literally two track systems in one. You can separate fixtures onto separate switches by installing a set screw to terminal No. 1 or 2, depending on the circuit you'd like the fixture on. For example, a track system with pendants and spot lights can be assigned to separate circuits to switch on either the pendants, the spot lights or both by using two switches.
Tech Track has a look and design similar to those of Monorail, but uses larger 120v fixtures. It is a hand-bendable line voltage system so you'll need a power feed standoff. Low-voltage fixtures can be installed to the system using a Transformer Track Adaptor. Tech Track can not be mounted flush to the ceiling.
Kable Lite is a unique system featuring parallel low-voltage cables designed to disappear, creating the feeling of "floating lights." Cables are tightened between two rigid surfaces using anchors and turnbuckles. Kable Lite can span a distance of up to 20 feet without additional support. You can also create turns and change directions at virtually any angle. Wall to wall or suspended on any ceiling, Kable Lite can work for you.
Track fixture Tips
Track Heads are best for spot lighting. Par bulbs and MR16 low-voltage halogen bulbs come in a
variety of beam spreads to focus the light as narrow or as wide as you'd like it. For general illumination,
use wide angle bulbs, and for spot lighting of specific items, use a narrow angle or spot. There are many
Track Head Accessories that can add style or beam control to your light. You can also add
a lens to most fixtures to direct the light or add color.
Pendants are typically made up of 3 components: the connector to the track;
the socket set which includes the stem, socket and bulb; and the shade which
is attached to the socket set. Pendants can also be adapted to a single pendant or
cluster of pendants by connecting the Socket Set directly into a Ceiling Canopy.
In this case no track connector is required.
Note: WAC Lighting track pendants are sold as 2 or 3 separate items due to
the universal application of their shades. For example: G515 + QP-601 +
LM-QADP is a full pendant for WAC Monorail Track. For Basic Track,
a PD-G301+G301+PD-HHT48 is a full pendant for WAC H-Track
Tech Lighting pendant and track head configuration is chosen at the product page and is then packaged together for your application.
Flexible Track Heads are perfect when you frequently move the
light source. Also note that most track heads have vertical
and horizontal adjustment.
Flourescent Wall Washers
Fluorescent wall washers are typically used to Illuminate
an entire wall. They are perfect for murals or large pictures
where light is needed to spread out. Since these are larger
fixtures, a higher ceiling might be required so the fixtures do not block the artwork.
Note: If Fluorescent wall washers are placed to close to the wall, the baffles
(that help direct the light) will show as black lines on the wall/painting.
You will want to choose the location of your Power Feed somewhere near the system's installation site. This will typically cover a junction box installed in the ceiling. Most systems can be adapted to plug into an outlet if a junction box or power supply is not available. If your junction box is not directly over the track system, you can use a flexible cable power feed flexible cable power feed to bring the power where you need it.
Low-voltage tip: Remote transformers provide a cleaner look since they are not enclosed in a larger canopy. They can also reduce an audible dimming him by allowing the transformer to be placed in an in-audible location. We recommend using a remote transformer for track installations, whenever possible.
Transformers are limited to 300 watts for each track run, but this does not limit the length of track or amount of fixtures you can have. Longer tracks can be connected together but electrically separated to allow multiple systems to look like one. Just connect track with isolating connectors and separate power supplies on each system. You can also use a dual feed transformer (two transformers into one canopy) that provides up to 300 watts in two directions away from a single power source.
After you have chosen your lights and your layout, add the total watts of all fixtures. Each track system must have a transformer with a wattage that's equal to or higher than the total watts. If you think you may add fixtures to your track in the future, a higher wattage transformer is recommended.
Note on Voltage Drop: Voltage drop will occur on any low-voltage system with longer lengths of track. On longer track runs, you may notice a decrease in brightness for the light farthest from the transformer. Voltage drop depends on the few factors:
- Number of fixtures on a system
- Length of track
- Length and gauge of wire from the transformer to the power feed on remote transformers.
We highly recommend that a qualified electrician with track installation experience install your system. Before you consult with an electrician, be sure you have:
- 1a design and desired powering method mapped out.
- 2all necessary components you'll need to complete the track installation. Any missing or incorrect part can potentially delay the installation of an entire system.
If you have any questions regarding a custom track system, please call our customer service center at 1-800-375-3410 and one of our Track Lighting Experts can assist you.