How to Buy Track Lighting on eBay

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How to Buy Track Lighting on eBay

Track lighting is an arrangement of multiple lights along a rigid or flexible track. Instead of the lights being wired separately, the track contains electrical conductors. More than one circuit can be incorporated so that lights can be controlled individually or in groups. Track lighting typically utilises spot lights which can be angled to provide accent light to wherever it is desired. Sometimes pendant lights are used. Accent light is a type of light which highlights specific objects and features for aesthetic purposes. In contrast to ambient, or background, light, it has the potential to create interesting contrasts and effects. When directed towards walls, it can imbue them with a warm glow. Track lighting can be used to create ambient lighting, the preferred type of lighting for general purposes, but additional light sources are usually required for this. Track lighting can also provide task lighting for specific purposes. Track lighting can be used in any room of the house. It can be wall or ceiling mounted, or mounted on beams or from rafters. Tracks can be suspended on short or long rods from high ceilings. Track lighting is very versatile and available in various forms including short sections, or sections that can be put together to make larger tracks.

Choosing Track Lighting

Before buying track lighting, there are a few points that need to be considered.

Where to Use Track Lighting

Track lighting can be used in different rooms for various types of lighting and purposes.

Accent

Living room, dining room, study, bedroom

Highlights interesting features and walls. Provides more intense light. Creates contrast. Makes rooms appear larger. Lights should be angled at about 30 degrees to cut down on glare

Ambient

Porch, hallways, kitchen, cloakroom, bathroom, bedroom

Provides lighting for general purposes in smaller rooms. Needs to be used in conjunction with other light sources to provide ambient light for larger rooms

Task

Study, kitchen, living room

Provides illumination for specific areas such as a chair, desk, and kitchen island for specific purposes such as reading, writing, sewing, and preparing food. Usually used in conjunction with ambient light. Adding track lighting in these situations is more energy efficient

Types of Track

Different types of track are available to suit the space and lighting requirements.

Free

Track itself carries voltage. Several lights can be fitted to it using a connector. Lights can be easily repositioned. Available in mains and low voltage

Fixed

The usual type of track. Track has light fittings already attached. Lights cannot be repositioned but can usually be angled. Available in mains and low voltage

Barewire

Also known as cable. Two cables of conducting wire carry fixtures to which lights are attached. Ideal for rooms where track cannot be ceiling mounted. Lights can be repositioned. Available in low voltage

Tracks are available in various forms. These include straight rigid tracks that can be combined and configured into various shapes such as square, L, X, H, and T. Some rigid tracks are in shapes such as spirals or curves. Other tracks are flexible, but should not be bent more than 30 degrees.

Special Features of Track Lighting

Track lighting has various features which enhance its operation and the light it provides.

Dimmer switches

Provide the option to customise light levels as required. For example, low light levels can be used to highlight features or provide soft light, while higher light levels can be used for task lighting.

Track suspension kit

This enables track lighting to be suspended from high ceilings, providing more useful light where it is needed

Connectors

These enable straight sections of track to be connected to each other and a single power source. Flexible connectors are also available

Lenses

These are fitted over lights to change the colour and form of illumination. They can create interesting effects

Types of Light

Spot lights

The usual type of light. Can be directed to where light is required. Ideal for task lighting and for accent lighting where specific features are highlighted

Pendants

Pendants hang down from the track. More decorative than spot lights. Provide ambient lighting and downwards directed accent lighting (down lighting)

Type of Voltage

Track lighting can be run with mains voltage or low voltage systems.

Mains

Cheaper and easier to install. Can hold more fixtures. Does not require a transformer. Energy saving fluorescent bulbs require mains voltage

Low voltage

More expensive and difficult to install. Require a transformer. More energy efficient. Usually used with halogen bulbs

Style

Track lighting generally works best in contemporary settings. Fixtures are often sleek and minimalist, often incorporating metals such as chrome and monochromatic colours such as black and white. Pendants often allow for more variety and decorative effect and are available in various colours. The addition of lenses and coloured LED bulbs also allow for a range of colours. In more traditional settings pendants may work better than spot lights and a curved or spiral track may be preferable to a straight track. <32>Installing Track Lighting

Bear in mind that there are different track standards. The various components (e.g. track, connectors) are not interchangeable so buy all the components from the same manufacturer. Where there is an existing ceiling light fixture, installation is relatively simple. The ceiling fixture is removed and wiring unwound. Then the floating canopy connector is attached to the centre of the track and the wires are attached to the ceiling fixture wires. They should be attached by the same colours that the original light fixture used. The wires are then pushed back up and the track and floating canopy connector screwed to the ceiling. If there isn’t an existing light fixture, the track lighting may require professional installation.

Conclusion

Track lighting is the ideal solution for lighting in many circumstances. It provides accent light to highlight features, task lighting for work areas and ambient light, usually in conjunction with other light sources, for general purposes. It is ideal for creating intimate light and interesting contrast effects. It is perfect for contemporary settings and fixtures often utilise materials such as chrome and steel, and white, black, grey, and silver colour fittings. Track lighting is inherently versatile and tracks are available in different lengths and shapes, including straight, curved, and spirals. Shorter sections can be connected to each other in various configurations. Flexible tracks can be slightly shaped. Light sources can be repositioned and angled to provide light where required. The addition of special features such as lenses can create stunning effects. The design of track lighting means that it offers an energy efficient and economic solution to lighting in many areas. It is relatively simple to install and the series of lights can be run from one power source. There are many listings of track lighting on eBay and these can be browsed to gain inspiration. Research product descriptions before buying and purchase all the components from the same manufacturer.

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