Installing Track Lights


Track lighting offers plenty of options. You can install the track in various configurations. Lamps, available in many styles, can go anywhere on the track and point in any direction. You can mix types of lights, some for general illumination and others to highlight work areas or spotlight art.

The track usually takes power from a light fixture box via a mounting plate. Sketch your planned installation and show the drawing to a salesperson, who can help you gather the track, mounting plate, lamps, and other fittings. A starter kit includes everything needed for a basic installation.


About 4 hours to remove an old fixture and install about 8 feet of track with one or two turns, as well as several lamps

Screwdriver, tape measure, strippers, drill, side cutters, voltage tester, lineman's pliers, hacksaw, stud finder, nonconducting ladder

Measuring accurately, driving screws into joists, stripping wire, splicing stranded wire to solid wire

Spread a drop cloth on the floor and set up one or two ladders. A helper comes in handy when installing long pieces of track.

Parts for the track system, plastic anchors, screws, wire nuts, electrician's tape

Step 1

Shut off power to the circuit and remove the existing light fixture. Splice the mounting plate leads to the house wires -- green to ground, white to white, and black to black. Fold the wires up into the box. Screw the mounting plate snugly to the box.

Step 2

If necessary, cut pieces of track to length. To cut a track, hold it firmly. If you use a vice, take care not to bend the metal. Cut with a hacksaw. Support the waste side of the piece when nearing the end of a cut so it does not fall and bend the track.

Step 3

With a helper holding one end of the track, push the track up against the mounting plate. Secure it by tightening the setscrews.

Step 4

With a helper holding one end of the track, measure at two points along the track so it runs parallel to the nearest wall. If the track configuration includes any 90-degree angles, use a framing square to mark a guideline.

Step 5

Locate joists with a stud finder. Drive a screw into every joist the track crosses. If the track parallels the joists, drill holes every 16 inches, tap in plastic anchors, and drive screws into the anchors.

Step 6

If the track turns a corner, slide the fitting onto the installed track. Slide the next piece onto the connector, measure to see that it runs parallel to the nearest wall, and anchor it to the ceiling.

Step 7

Once all the track is installed, attach the end caps. Push the live-end connector plug into the track; twist it to make contact with both contacts in the track. Attach the canopy cover.

Step 8

Insert the plug of a lamp into the track and twist to tighten. To move a lamp along the track, loosen it first -- do not force it while it is still attached.

Step 9

Restore power and test. If a lamp does not function, remove it and twist it back on again. Once it functions, adjust the lamp to direct the light where needed.

Fittings: Any Shape You Need

Track fittings allow you to form different shapes. A flexible fitting turns to most any angle. With each fitting you use, make sure the exposed ends of all the tracks have end caps, or the track will not energize.

Track Lighting System

The live-end connector supplies power to the track, which carries power to the lamps. Another type of mounting plate has a plug, which inserts into the track to supply power.

Track Configurations

With various lamp directions and types of bulbs, track lighting can supply general illumination, task lighting, or accent lighting.

Available Lamps

Cylinder and bell lamps partially hide the bulb, while gimbal rings let them hang out. Low-voltage halogen lamps use less energy but are expensive and become hot when they're on.

Comments (1)
bill1634 wrote:

Nice doing. Our LED Track can doing like this.

7/8/2012 03:11:25 AM Report Abuse
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