correctly, track lighting highlights a roomís best features.
helps homeowners spotlight pieces of art or pieces of furniture. With
an electrical current flowing through the track, this popular product
allows homeowners to change or reposition individual fixtures after
installation. But track lighting, which first received a patent more
than 50 years ago, is just one option for interior lighting.
taking on a complete home remodel or just trying to brighten up a
room, consider these pros and cons before choosing track lighting.
Pro: Itís easy
is no more difficult to install than regular lighting, says Brandon
Hill, director of purchasing and specifications for Kopke Remodeling
& Design in Sterling Heights, Mich. It simply requires more
attention to placement, he adds.
prefer track lighting if they donít want to cut into the ceiling to
run wire and add electrical boxes, says Shelley McNaughton, owner of
Shelley McNaughton Design Associates in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"One of the reasons you want to use it is because you want
lighting in a certain part of a room but you canít get into the
ceiling," she says.
fixtures may cost more
other fixtures, which connect directly to an electrical box, track
lighting isnít the cheapest option, McNaughton says. The type of
fixtures and length of track also impact the cost, she adds.
Many tracks with
directional fixtures cost between $50 and $100 for an almost 4-foot
track. However, longer tracks with more fixtures could cost more than
$500. Any special fixtures will cost more. Also, the project will
require a few hours of labor, and licensed electricians usually charge
$50 to $100 per hour, according to CostHelper.com.
highlights specific features well
lighting would be (useful) when you want to light something
specifically," McNaughton says. Directional fixtures can
spotlight artwork on a gallery wall or a piece of furniture, while
hanging pendants shine downward onto a kitchen island, table or some
other surface, she says.
Con: It provides
poor general lighting
homeowners should consider the type of light source needed, the type
of bulbs they want, what the room is used for and the ambiance they
want. Homeowners should choose lighting based on these needs and use
track lighting only when appropriate.
lighting is the right choice, homeowners should use it to highlight
specific features of a room, not the entire room, Hill says.
lighting works well in kitchens and living rooms, which often have
auxiliary light sources, McNaughton doesnít recommend it for
bathrooms and smaller spaces.
Pro: It comes in
many different styles
With a plethora
of different track and fixture styles, homeowners can easily find
something to fit their dťcor. This rings especially true in
contemporary settings, Hill says.
track has a more modern or eclectic feel," he says.
sometimes looks clunky
settings, the track and additional hardware may make a ceiling too
busy, McNaughton says. She often recommends recessed lighting with
directional heads as an alternative. But in many cases, she adds,
track lighting proves a good option.
on how theyíre used in the room, track lighting usually works,"
McNaughton says. "... Itís just one of those things that you
know when youíre going to use and you know when youíre not."