By Lori Powell
Photographs courtesy of Tech Lighting
In a monthly column, Lori Powell, of Fogg Lighting in Portland, offers her expert tips on illuminating your home.
Q: When does track lighting make sense — and can it be attractive?
Track lighting has come a long way since the giant can-like fixtures affixed to ceiling-mounted tracks that were popular in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Now we have fixtures with smaller, sleeker heads and more delicate, decorative styling. Today’s track lighting offers a versatile way to add task, ambient, or accent lighting to your home.
Another major benefit tracks offer is flexibility. A single light source can illuminate a kitchen sink, island, and stove, for example, or multiple pieces of art in a living room. When you renovate or redecorate, you can change the lighting scheme by simply adjusting the position and angle of the track heads. Avoid making tracks the only lighting in a room, however, as they can cause glare and discomfort.
Low-voltage track lighting systems can be mounted near the track, or remotely.
A lighting designer can help you understand the dynamics of the space you want to light, how much and what type of light you need, the realities of installation, and which track system will best meet your needs.