Track Lighting - The Guide to Specification.
Incredibly flexible, versatile and easy to install, track lighting is a force to be reckoned with.
Incredibly flexible, versatile and easy to install, track lighting has been around for a while. It was originally designed for home and retail use. Slightly clunky and always hot, track lighting was a big thing in the ’80s and 90s. It has been redesigned and improved over the decades, but being ever so practical, this staple of interior design has been perhaps deemed as a bit too utilitarian and rather uncool.
With the progress in technology, track lighting is now experiencing a resurgence and we increasingly see it becoming an integral part of commercial specifications for contemporary architectural and office space. With the way how we now light the office space, what is considered a good light and how many different types of lights we use to achieve a best practice in lighting the office space, commercial track lighting is a force to be reckoned with.
In the new era of appearance driven space, it’s no longer acceptable to light a large floor plate to 500 lux. To create a dynamic, motivational and exciting space for people to thrive in, lighting for task areas using task lights and less intense artificial lighting to light the background areas, and cool-down spaces have to be included in a scheme.
Informal meeting areas, breakout spaces, in-house bars or restaurants, showrooms and gallery spaces are a perfect environment for LED track lighting systems or track spotlights. Track lighting is taking the centre stage of the design concept, creating the right look and feel and putting the emphasis on the responsible use of the lighting energy.
A distinct visual statement.
Whether you specify contemporary black track lighting or more subtle white track lighting, a well-designed track lighting system can add drama and dynamic to your interior design and architecture.
Customise your space and design.
Modern track lighting systems can be designed to suit any space. Not only adding, subtracting or simply re-configuring the lighting fixtures is easy, but thanks to a large number of accessories, individual track modules can be connected to each other and create unique shapes and structures.
A Track Lighting System is built of spotlights with built-in track adaptors and track base. The track is the power source to the entire group of fittings attached to it. Most of our track lighting schemes are specified with a Global track lighting system, purely because of the huge popularity and high reliability of the Global track. The modular structure of the system and the huge amount of accessories make it possible to extend and adapt to the exact measurements and create a completely unique structure.
Changing the style altogether? Not a problem!
The built-in track adaptors save the installation time and give the user the freedom to add or remove the LED spotlights (or any lighting equipped with a track adaptor) without having to add an additional fixing point to it, giving the user long-term flexibility no other type of lighting can provide.
There are 3 main mounting types of LED track lighting used in the commercial fit-out.
The most widely used type of track system is the surface-mounted track, commonly called ceiling track lighting. The track base is installed directly on the ceiling surface and the whole system is visible. This is great for creating bold design features or when using industrial track lighting to enhance an industrial style interior design. A vertical track running up and down is also a viable design option.
For a minimalist and sleek design, consider using recessed track lighting, where only the spotlights or pendants are visible to the eye. Recessed track channels are available with a plaster in kit, making the luminaire completely disappear into the ceiling or plaster.
The suspended track system is perhaps the boldest, creating a feature out of something which would otherwise be hidden. Some ceiling types with exposed surfaces would benefit from using suspended track lighting. In 90 High Holborn Street, London, we used a suspended track system to suspend and power the decorative light fittings Globo from Viso.
Versatility is the common thread for all of the applications. Track lighting is a great vehicle for a variety of commercial applications: from office space, retail to hospitality and heritage buildings. Track spotlights can be used for both accent and general lighting. Whilst track spotlights are the most popular light source for use with the track, they are not the only option. The track can be specified with wall-wash optics for use in galleries, libraries or breakout spaces with showcasing some interesting art.
If creating more drama and more intricate layers of light is your objective, use spotlights with narrow to flood beam angles or adjustable beam angles with the Suna Zoom.
Track is essentially a power socket, and the track adaptor is a plug. So if there is something you want to power from a track, it can normally be done! Decorative pendants, small liners and other fittings can all be powered and suspended from track. The only restriction is the weight, so be mindful of the size of the pendants as weight limits apply to track.
The best way of approaching the specification of track lighting is to choose the style and size of the spotlight you like the look of. With several different diameters, sizes and accessories to choose from, the choices are pretty much unlimited. Our range currently offers track lighting ranging from small spotlights with a 55mm diameter all the way to large spotlights with 120 mm diameter.
The smaller spots are perfect for accent lighting, bringing wall art and murals in office and architectural spaces to live. The medium size spotlights are substantial enough to make a presence in breakout spaces or used as display lighting in retail or galleries. Choose the beam angles and specify your accessories.
Accessories: There is a whole range of accessories available with the lighting track, which allows you to create completely customised shapes to fit your space. Straight connectors, corners, adjustable angles, t-pieces, x-pieces - all of these parts allow you to tailor the shapes of track to the room. The track itself comes in 1m and 2m pieces, but can be cut to the perfect size on site.
Choose your colour options: The majority of track lighting is available in white, black and grey finish. It’s considered a good design practice to use the matching colour of track and spotlights in one system. But who sets the rules?
Control: The versatility of track continues onto the control options. Perhaps the most basic of the control options is called ‘3-Circuit Track’. This track has 3 live conductors, that can all be switched independently. The control circuit for the luminaire is easily selected via a dial on the track adaptor. This simple system allows you to ‘zone’ the light fittings on the same piece of track, so you don’t have to have all fittings on at the same time. Most of our track spots are also available with DALI control. This means that they can be incorporated and controlled by an existing or new building management system.
Fantastic in retrofit scenarios, adding CASAMBI to the fitting gives you all the flexibility of a traditional DALI System, without the need to bury new data cables into walls. If we’re supplying the rest of the office with a Philips EasyAir System, simple accessories can allow us to integrate the track into the same system.
Wireless lighting options such as CASAMBI integrated into each fitting, or Philips EasyAir connected to each piece of track, allow for wireless lighting controls where it may not be possible to run physical data cables.
The high demand for flexible office space is making the track lighting a popular choice when specifying commercial lighting and architectural lighting. Schemes using track lighting are not only energy-efficient, but they are also visually attractive and offer comfortable working conditions.