Does anyone have suggestions for specific rail or track systems/
fixtures for lighting a kitchen?
I am interested in replacing my current fluorescent fixture and
installing a curved rail/track system (mainly for esthetic reasons),
but I am concerned that it won't provide enough general light. I have
seen some kitchens with track systems that look dark. It has been
suggested that I use wall washer fixtures and fixtures with a metal
interior to redirect light. The kitchen is 9-10 ft long and I do not
Also, I thought that a fixture with transformer that could be mounted
anywhere would be best because the hole for the wiring is off-center
in a concrete ceiling. That way, the track could be centered and the
transformer could be placed slightly off to the side. I can't think
of any other type of fixture that would address that irregularity with
the wiring and still be centered in the room.
Low voltage or line voltage? Halogen bulbs?
Any suggestions on brands, types of systems, heads are greatly
Take a look at the Halo brand of track. It is line voltage, but you can get
low voltage heads for it. They have plenty of fittings and accessories to
accommodate any configuration. The brand has been around for many years and
many electrical supply companies and lighting showrooms sell it. They have
other brands owned by the same company that are less expensive and are
compatible with the Halo track. You may find that everything that you need
is not in stock and will take about a month to receive after ordering.
Thanks to the price of gas the company (As others) raised their minimum
purchase for free shipping to the supplier.
I'm not a big fan of low voltage only because some of my past customers have
told me that the transformer hum annoys them. There are however some low
voltage heads with solid state transformers. Also dimmers can be a problem
with low voltage. I do like the look of the MR-16 halogen bulbs.
I haven't seen every track lighting installation on earth (yet), but most of
what I've seen leaves me unimpressed. The lighting is uneven, and depending
on how they're located, people see the light bulbs, which at least to me is
a sin. I want to see light, not bulbs. I'd rather have light reflected onto
surfaces by closely mounted pendants or wall sconces.
For what it's worth:
I too am not a big fan of track lighting. Depending on how high your
ceilings are, halogen track lighting might be too bright and blinding
for you. Some track lighting relies on odd bulbs that end up costing a
lot, or put off too much heat for smaller kitchens. (Some halogen
bulbs realllllly heat up) In my kitchen I have counter top lighting
which use par halogen bulbs (they can be dimmed and don't use much
wattage while still giving me good light), and a ceiling fan with a
dome in the middle of the kitchen that use the energy type, but can't
be dimmed) Go into your kitchen and figure out where you need to see
what you're doing and where that light needs to come from. If you have
very bright lights that are slightly behind you, you will end up
casting a shadow on what you really need to see. The wall lights
might give off too many shadows or not provide you with enough light
if the ceilings are high and the light doesn't bounce around very
well. Most people I know have gone with layered lighting to address
each area they need lighting in, and then general/mood lighting. Keep
in mind that some bulbs do not allow for dimming devices, and find out
how easy it is to replace bulbs in your fixtures as some really are a
pain in the ass. If you have lower ceilings, get multi-light fixtures
that bounce the light up and if possible, you can put them on dimmers
so they become general/mood lighting as well. When getting a multi-
light fixture, or fixtures with smaller glass shades, try to pick up
an extra shade just in case you ever break one.
Great suggests. I am planning to also install a few recessed light
fixtures and undercabinet lights over work areas. A friend has the
halogen lights under the cabinets and says that she rarely turns them
on because it makes the area so hot. I am thinking about going with
the Xenon lights under the cabinets for that reason.
Nobody here can tell you what options are available from all track light
As far as the off-center problem, you could use surface mounted wire channel
to bring power to the center of the ceiling, where you'd install a surface
mounted box to hang a fixture.
Obviously I don't expect information on all options from all
manufacturers. That is what you ask expensive lighting designers that
I can't afford. Was simply wondering if anyone had suggestions about
products that had worked for them.
I had thought about the surface wiring, but that has esthetic issues.
If the fixture was large enough, though, it might hide it. I have
seen others do that with ceiling fans in the bedroom and it never
Good idea. Plus the distance between the hole for the wiring and the
center of the ceiling is not that great. A big enough fixture might
also hide it. I may try that if I can't find a suitable track system.
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