The complete guide to kitchen track lighting
Track lighting can transform your kitchen design, setting the atmosphere across your entire layout, or enhancing a specific area. Whether you want to boost your general lighting scheme or highlight a key feature, track lighting is a contemporary and versatile solution for your kitchen.
What is track lighting?
Track lighting refers to fixtures where a series of lights are held in place by a metal strip or wire, called a 'track'. The track is connected to an electrical outlet (usually in the ceiling) which powers the bulbs.
The track can sit either flush with the ceiling or be suspended below it. A variety of lighting styles may be attached, including spotlights, floodlights, and pendant lights.
If you choose adjustable lights, they can be pointed to cover any dark spots or illuminate particular areas and work as task lighting.
How can track lighting be used in a kitchen?
The main appeal of track lighting is its versatility. There are a range of ways it can be fitted and structured to allow you to showcase the very best of your kitchen layout.
Tracks can be laid out in bespoke shapes to illuminate different areas. Long tracks can light a kitchen walkway or be positioned over a worktop for increased visibility. Popular formations include L-shaped and T-shaped track lighting, ideal for adding light to corners or maximising on an awkward layout.
Alternatively, track lighting can be installed over an island to section it from the rest of the room, creating a welcoming atmosphere for socialising and dining.
Which track lighting is right for me?
Before choosing the style of lighting or the layout of your fixtures, it's important to decide what purpose track lighting will have in your kitchen:
- Ambient lighting provides general illumination to the whole room. If you have a small kitchen, track lighting can be a suitable source of ambient lighting. It may not be sufficient as the sole lighting solution in a large kitchen, but can be used with other lights (such as under cabinet lights) to create a layered lighting scheme.
- Task lighting is designed to highlight a key area. Track lights can be used as task lighting to emphasise specific parts of your kitchen, such as a worktop, dining area or kitchen island. This is a great way to subtly section off zones of your layout to suit your lifestyle.
- Accent lighting lighting is like task lighting in that it focusses on a specific area, but in a more concentrated manner. Track lighting can be used as accent lighting and angled to show off a feature, such as a series of artwork, photographs, or a prized set of dishware.
Once you've decided what you want your track lighting to do, you can work out which fittings will suit the style of your kitchen.
Pendant lights are great for kitchens with a high ceiling, and look elegant when lined up to provide task lighting over a long table or island. Alternatively, LED spotlights are a modern feature that can easily be fitted to contribute to ambient kitchen lighting.
Floodlights are great too, as they can be adjusted and aimed at different areas of the kitchen, depending on what you're doing and where you may need extra light.
When buying track lighting…
There are different kinds of track systems, each of which are slightly different. It's usually best to choose lights from the manufacturer you purchased the track from, to ensure they are compatible with your track system.
Typically, you'll need:
- Track pieces, which are usually 2–8 inches (5–20cm) long each
- Fittings to connect the pieces together
- Lights, such as spotlights, floodlights, or pendant lights
- Additional fittings to attach the lights to the ceiling and connect to the electrical supply
- A power feed (such as a junction box or receptacle)
Please note a licensed electrician must install track lighting – our installation experts will ensure your lighting scheme is fitted seamlessly, to perfectly finish off your dream kitchen.
Track lighting is a dynamic solution that can be customised to suit all kitchens and lifestyles. Decide what sort of lighting your kitchen needs, find the fixtures to suit your style and get ready to bask in the track light.
If you're particularly intrigued by the concept of using spotlights in your kitchen, we've thought of nine spotlight ideas you might be able to use.