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What Are the Different Types of Track Lighting Fixtures?

Track lighting fixtures often use multiple spotlights.
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  • Written By: Norma Jean Howland
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2014
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Track lighting fixtures are usually spotlights, that can be angled or moved to suit lighting needs, that fit into a metal track. Although most track lights operate on the same principle, many variations on the theme exist. Monorail track lighting uses a track that is similar in shape to a monorail track. Pendant track lighting fixtures hang well below a standard track at selected intervals. Track lighting fixtures come in an assortment of styles and colors, such as standard white or black track lights, small globes, and colored glass shades in hues of red, gold, or blue.

Monorail track lighting is sometimes used to illuminate artwork, since it can be custom designed to focus on different areas of the room. These tracks are made from flexible aluminum rods, which allow the tracks to be molded into shapes adjusting the lighting as needed. This kind of track lighting can be used for precision accent lighting since the track can curve and loop, allowing the light to be directed more precisely. These fixtures may have standard track heads in chrome, brushed nickel, or dark bronze finishes. They are also sometimes found with glass globes or track heads made of colored steel.

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Pendant style track lighting fixtures still use the track, but have a different kind of track light. The lights may have shades that are cylindrical with amber colors or offer fluted, delicately carved glass that appears almost antique. Usually, these fixtures provide a softer, more filtered kind of light than more traditional track lighting. Some pendant track lighting fixtures are made with multi-layered glass with a darker shade of glass on the outer layer, contrasting with a lighter hue inside. Other shades may be frosted white or tan, which can make the fixture less conspicuous as it blends in with ceiling colors.

Of course, traditional track lighting fixtures remain popular since they tend to be an affordable way to light up large areas. They also appeal to do-it-yourself homeowners, since they can be installed without an electrician, if the consumer installs cord covers. The track heads can also be moved around on the track until the lighting is right for the room. These lights are often found in rooms, such as those with high ceilings, that can be a challenge to illuminate properly. Some fixtures also offer swivel head track lights that add to the flexibility of this type of light.

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