WHERE STYLE MEETS FUNCTION
Buying track lighting can be tricky as there are several aspects to consider, including length of track, the phase type and how many heads you need for the right amount of lighting.
Track Lighting is a great option for lighting residential and commercial projects, with an ability to be used as ambient or task lighting. They are versatile and functional allowing the user to direct lighting in any shape or form throughout their home or office. With all the options available, buying track lighting can be overwhelming, follow this simple guide to help you pick the perfect track light for your needs.
Benefits of using track lighting
- Cost Effective
- Customisation, adjustable to meet your needs
- LED options ensure energy efficiency, life longevity & no overheating
- Easy to Install, pick your tracks, book your electrician and your ready
- Stylish and functional, easily find a design to compliment your decor
Uses of track lighting
General and Ambient Lighting
- Track lighting can be used as a general light in any room type from living to kitchen and narrow spaces such as hallways or entries. Generally used alongside other lighting elements including table or floor lamps to help provide a more even flow of lighting.
- In commercial spaces track lighting can be used to light dinning spaces in restaurants, office board rooms and retail showrooms.
Accent and Wall Lighting
- Adjustable track heads can be used to highlight artworks, feature pieces, objects or any accents on a wall. Using a narrow beam angle to focus in on key pieces, whilst a wider beam will allow you create a washed wall effect covering the wall with light.
- Track lighting is the perfect choice for task lighting as they are able to illuminate small areas that are dedicated for specific activities such as cooking, crafts or reading.
Types of tracks
There are two styles of tracks that are commonly used both in residential and commercial projects in Australia:
Single Phase: Tracks use 240V (volts) which accounts for a majority of domestic situations. Single phase comes to the home with two wires: active and neutral. The natural wire is more commonly known as "earth" at the switch board. Single Phase tracks are recommended for residential application.
Three Phase: uses 400-415V (volts) and is better suited for industrial and larger commercial use. Three phase fittings have four wires: three active wires, known as "phases" and one neutral. The neutral wire is earthed at the switchboard.
Note: Each component of track lighting including the track head and accessories needs to be matched to its phase type. For example: If you decide to use a track head that is single phase your track and accessories also need to be single phase!
There are several track accessories you can use to customise your track to suit all your needs. This includes the ability to extend your track or adding track adaptors which will allow you to hang pendants!
Below you will find helpful information about selecting the right accessory for the job
(Hint: Always match phase types)
Glossary of Track Components for Single Phase
Single Phase Circuit Diagram:
The diagram on below shows you how your track components will work on a single phase track. An important point is that you can see that the active wire 'live conductor' travels in the same direction and in the same alignment.
Glossary of Track Components for Three Phase
|Mini Joiner||A mini joiner is a low profile connector that is used to join two straight track sections together|
|Live End||A live end is a connector for 3-phase track at the start of the track. The live end is where the junction box is located, this is where the wires feed through to power the light!|
|L-Shape Connector||The L-Shaped joiner allows you to change the direction of the track, making an L shape. this is great for large spaces or for continuing the track into another room.|
|Cross Shape Connector||The Cross Joiner is a great component of track lighting allowing you to create four tracks joining in one place. This is the perfect piece for create large track systems or to cross zones in the house.|
|T-Shaped Joiner||Similar to the L-Shaped joiner, the T-shape allows you to have three tracks joining in place|
|Adjustable Connector||The Adjustable Connector is a great feature in three phase lighting and allows you to step the direction of two tracks coming together. It is adjustable allowing you to do more than just 90 degree|
|3 circuit Adaptor||
The Track Adaptor is used on the track itself as a connection for a pendant or decorative fitting to be suspended from. The Track adaptor slides onto the track from the live end and as many adaptors can be used on the track as necessary.
Glossary of Track Components for Three Phase
|Suspension Kit with Rod||The suspension Kit with Rod allows you suspended your track from surface mounting to handing unit. This kit uses a rod to suspended the unit.|
|Suspension Kit with Wire||The suspension Kit with Wire allows you suspended your track from surface mounting to handing unit. This kit uses a wire to suspended the unit.|
Three Phase Circuit Diagram:
The following diagram shows you how your track components will work on a three phase track.
An important point is that you can see that the active wire 'live conductor' travels in the same direction and in the same alignment.
Track Head Lights
Now that we have worked out how the track and the track components work, selecting the track head will be based on the type of lighting you need in the space.
Choosing the wattage, lumens and beam angle will be key to illuminating the space for the right purpose. For example you would choose a brighter and narrower beam for more focused and intense light that may be used to shine on an artwork or for task lighting in a specific spot. A wider beam angle with lower watts would be used to wash a feature wall with light. Some key features that you should note when selecting your track head:
- Style - There are a few styles of track heads that you can select to match with the decor of your space. the style of the track head will also determine the length of the fitting, the longer the fitting the closer the globe is to object you are shinning on.
- Adjustable - Track heads generally have the ability to gimble and tilt within a certain amount of degrees making the unit adjustable to your desired location.
- Globe Included - Most units are now available with LED globes included, not only is this energy efficient but it is less hassle to run, meaning you won't need to change the bulbs.
- Beam Angle - The beam angle of the fitting will determine how focused or wide the light will be. The narrower the beam angle (under 80 degree ) the more focused the light will be. The wider the beam angle (Over 90 degree) the more dispersed the light will be.
Track Lighting FAQ
Q: How far apart should I space my track heads?
A: The spacing of your track heads will depend on your lighting needs, a rule of thumb is generally approximately 30 cm per head. However, this will change depending on your project, an art gallery for example may have their track heads closer together to light up a larger art work.
Q: How many track heads can I have per 1m of track?
A: Up to 3 track heads can be used per 1meter of track
Q: Can you mix and match fixtures with existing tracks?
A: Generally you would pair your components with the same manufacturer. In some cases you will be able to use a standard single phase track head on an existing single phase track, however there is no guarantee it will work. For example: Use a Elegant joiner on a Elegant track.
Q: Are track heads dimmable?
A: Yes, some track heads are dimmable. This will be stated on our website, in the user manual and on the item itself. Dimming your track heads will allow you to control how much light shines onto the space. Dimming down the light will create a more moody and ambient atmosphere, maximum brightness is best for task lighting.
Q: Is someone available to help me with my decision?
A: Yes! The team is standing by to answer any questions you may have.
Give us a call on (02) 8328 0685, Chat with us through the website or email us your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
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