Lighting Renovations: Track Lighting in the Kitchen Lighting Renovations: Track Lighting in the Kitchen
by Dave Donovan
Track lighting has come a long way from the days of long tan tracks featuring bulky, hideously bland fixture cans. These days, there are literally hundreds of different varieties and styles of track lights that can add not only an outstanding source of light to a given room, but they can increase the actual design aesthetic of the room itself as well.
One room that fits the use of track lighting exceptionally well is in the kitchen. There are many reasons why track lighting works so well in kitchen.
For starters, the directional fixtures can be pointed virtually anywhere, making it easy to get an abundance of light in a particularly dark corner of the room.
They can also be installed directly over the food preparation area, rather then in the middle of the room, as with traditional ceiling lights. This helps to cut down on shadow areas that can develop when the ceiling light source is blocked by your body as you stand at the counter.
Track lighting can also save you money on your electric bill. If you have more than one track installed, you can wire them independently of each other so you can leave one track off if you don’t need the light during that time.
Because track lighting is lightweight, you can mount them anywhere, even in places where there is no ceiling joist to screw into. You can install track lighting tracks to a hollow section of ceiling using toggle bolts.
Track Lighting Renovation Kits
Simple to elaborate track lighting kits are available in every home improvement store across the nation. Most kits come prepackaged with everything you need install them, including the track, the light fixtures and the mounting hardware.
Choices in styles range from the more traditional straight-edged track lighting to flexible, eye-catching tracks. Some tracks even allow for a multitude of different fixture heads to be able to be used on a single track.
Track Lighting Considerations
Track lights are a wonderful compliment to any kitchen lighting renovation, but there are some things you need to consider before installing them.
- Pay close attention to how much power your track lighting will be drawing. Some tracks cannot handle more than a certain number of light fixtures and remember that with every light fixture you add, you’re adding that much more to the load that’s already on the circuit.
- While installing the track lighting directly over the counter tops may be your intended goal, make sure that the tops of your cabinets will clear the light fixtures before you go through the work of installing them.
- If you are trying to keep renovation costs down, you may not want to choose track lights that use halogen bulbs. While visually more appealing, they do cost a lot more than more conventional light bulbs.