Getting On Track

Lots of Leeway

There was a time, not too long ago, when track lighting meant clumsy tracks and heads. But today's track lighting gives you a lot of leeway in terms of the track as well as in the style, size, and color of the light fixtures. Modern track lighting is also a breeze to install, even during the remodeling or redecoration of a room, because you can work with the existing power infrastructure of the ceiling fixtures.

Moving Elements

Track lights are just right for bringing focused light onto objects you wish to accent, and can also provide additional lighting for specific tasks such as typing or cooking. One caveat: make sure that the track heads can't interfere with doors and other moving elements of your room. If you think track lighting may be just the thing for that special area of your home, here are a few basic tips to keep in mind:

*Lights can be trained on artwork, walls, specific room features, and countertops, but the focus of the light is adjustable and can be changed at any time. This is useful if you often change the position of your furniture or artwork, or if you want to move the light out of sensitive eyes, for instance.

*Track lighting is modern and works for newly constructed homes or for remodeled areas of a preexisting structure.

*Tracks today are versatile and you have a lot of play in deciding the size, placement and style.

*You be subtle and blend the track lighting into the ceiling with white fixtures, or you can make a bold statement with black or silver heads.

*You will find that tracks are a wonderful solution for a room that needs more light and has an existing electrical box in the ceiling. You might replace the overhead light in your old kitchen with a series of track lights and these can be focused on your work spaces, your cabinets, and your pantry—all at the same time.

Here are some of the ways in which you can utilize track lighting to light up your home:

*Lay in a straight track across a hallway ceiling with the heads aimed at your artwork on either wall.

*Create a track system that works with your kitchen space. If you have an island as well as countertops, you might try a U-shaped configuration so that both areas are illuminated.

*In a large room, run a track 20-40 inches away from the outer edges of the walls.

*If you have a large collection of artwork on display over a mantelpiece or on a wall, you may want to think about installing a track to focus more light on the area or on specific points of your art display.

*Closets were made for track lighting and you can focus any number of heads on your clothes and shelves in what was once a dark closet.

*Track units can be hung from cables or stems when ceilings are very high.