What is Track Lighting?
Track lighting systems involve light fixtures hanging from a continuous track of electrical conductors. Track lighting is a common way to efficiently add several lighting fixtures in small spaces.
But most commonly, track lights are used for their versatility in lighting up different areas in the kitchen, such as Kitchen Islands, countertops, dark corners, etc.
Types of Track Lighting fixtures
Track lighting is versatile. Different lighting combinations, tracks, and heads can make a single-track lighting system.
- Ambient Lighting
- Accent Lighting
- Task Lighting
- Linear Track
- Flexible/Monorail Track
- Cable Track
Head Types vary based on the design. Generally, track heads can be classified into 3 types.
- Cylinder Type
- Gimbal Type
- Pendant Type
Best Kitchen track lighting ideas for your kitchen
So, now that you have some sense of track lighting fixtures let’s dive into the pictures you can use to boost your cooking experience.
We have categorized ideas considering the size of your kitchen. Whether you want to light for a home kitchen or a bigger project like a restaurant or perhaps a coffee shop, we have got you covered.
Small kitchens can be generally categorized as having a width of fewer than 10 feet. However, this isn’t a definitive definition of a small kitchen. Kitchens in most apartments generally fall into this area.
A small kitchen shouldn’t prevent you from achieving your ideal cooking space. On the contrary, small kitchens are just another canvas for expressing yourself. Track lighting is usually restricted to medium-sized kitchens, but it can be highly effective in lighting your kitchen, irrespective of size.
Idea 1: Small Linear Track with 4 Gimbal Heads
Small kitchens are very common in most apartments. And with proper lighting, you can enhance the ambiance of your cooking space. Two particular track lighting options will help you light your small but cozy kitchen properly.
Linear Track Lighting
The first is a small linear track system. Pick the right size lighting track for your kitchen. A track size capable of handling at least 3 lighting heads. Each head can then cover different areas of your kitchen.
If you feel the need to have a lighting track with 5 or more heads. Then you are better off looking at our kitchen track lighting ideas for medium-sized kitchens.
Gimbal Head Lights
The second is a gimbal head, an insanely flexible lighting tool. Gimbal heads can provide excellent task lighting in your kitchen. Each head can be pointed to a specific task area in your kitchen. And if direct lighting is not your cup of tea. Gimbal heads can also be pointed towards walls for indirect lighting.
Idea 2: Flexible Track over the Counter Space
Small kitchens often have irregular shapes, ranging from long and narrow to trapezoidal. As a result, lighting such spaces can be a challenge. Some areas may end up being adequately lit, while others might end up being covered in shadows. This is where a flexible lighting track system comes in to save the day.
Flexible Lighting Tracks
Flexible lighting tracks (or monorail lighting tracks) are close to the typical track lighting systems. The work on the same basic principle with the slight distinction of flexibility. Instead of relying on a single linear track to light all areas of your kitchen. You can use a flexible track to cover your kitchen countertops, even those at an angle.
The point of flexible tracks is to add to your kitchen design. For example, you can match the dark wood of your cupboards to a dark bronze lighting track. A flexible lighting track is just as much of a decoration piece as a lighting fixture.
Each lighting head can then further compliment your kitchen design.
Idea 3: Pendant Light over Dining Area
Kitchen and Dining combos are hardly a rare thing. These designs are highly efficient, reducing the distance between the kitchen and your table. Lighting them isn’t a challenge but an opportunity to add some pizzazz to your dining area.
Pendant lighting heads are an excellent choice for this very situation.
Pendant Lighting Head
Pendant heads are not just a lighting tool; they are a statement. Pendant heads share the same design aesthetic as lamps. Lamps are used as lighting solutions and as decoration pieces for your rooms.
Pendant heads are overhead lighting solutions. They direct light downwards, an excellent option for lighting up a dining table.
For Kitchens with attached dining areas, mood lighting is also a consideration. Pair your pendant heads with warm color light bulbs. Warm food served under comforting warm lights creates a relaxing ambiance for your kitchen.
Idea 4: Accent Track Lighting For Corners
Track lighting doesn’t need to be the primary light source in your kitchen. Generally, kitchens are adjacent to a living room. As such, you may already have good ambient lighting coming in from the said room. You should pair accent track lighting with your pre-existing ambient light to enhance your cooking workspace.
Accent Track Lighting
For this purpose, you only require a small lighting track. As you are only looking to add to your existing lighting solution. You may only need a couple of lighting heads. Pick a color temperature that will complement your ambient light. And direct the lighting heads towards underlit sections of your kitchen.
A wide variety of kitchens come under the umbrella of medium-sized kitchens. Most houses and large apartments have a medium-sized kitchen. If the kitchen in your home cannot be categorized as a small kitchen. Then it is most likely a medium-sized kitchen. Large kitchens can be classified as anything larger than 20×20 feet.
Idea 5: Suspended Track Lighting with Spotlights
For kitchens with a high ceiling, suspended lighting solutions are the best options by far. In addition, track lighting systems are traditionally installed as ceiling spotlights. However, you don’t have to limit yourself to these typical methods.
Suspended Lighting Tracks
You can suspend a lighting track from your ceiling using sturdy cables. This allows you to place your lighting fixtures at the appropriate height in your kitchen. You want these lighting fixtures to be a part of your kitchen design and not a separate element.
If your kitchen has a white theme with white walls, then contrast that theme with dark colors. Use black cables to suspend your lighting tracks and use black step heads to show off your lighting setup.
On the contrary, you can further reinforce your theme for an all-white lighting setup. For example, going with an all-white track lighting system will give the illusion of floating lights.
Idea 6: Mixing Lighting Styles – Single Track
Choosing between different track lighting tracks can be a hassle. What if you like more than one track lighting style? Well, in that case, you don’t have to choose. Why not both?
The track lighting system is flexible enough to allow for such modifications. For example, you can add 2 different lighting heads on the same lighting track. Just make sure the two lighting heads you chose are compatible with your track.
The key benefit of this idea is the simple execution. You use exactly the same track but with different heads.
The best way to implement such a design idea is to use alternating heads. A popular combination is step heads and pendant heads. Use the step heads for accent lighting and pendant heads for your mood lighting.
Go for a pendant head with a diffusion cover. A warm color lighting surrounded by a diffusion layer is reminiscent of paper lanterns. Giving you a fusion of modern and classic styles.
Idea 7: Mixing Lighting Styles – Multiple Tracks
If you loved our “mixed lighting styles” idea. Then you will also love this revision of the idea. Use two different lighting tracks. Now, this is a more complex application of track lighting. Mainly because you need to wire your kitchen to allow for two separate and independent lighting tracks. But Let’s not fret over the small stuff.
The main reason you would need two separate tracks is for more area coverage. So you can have a track over the countertops and a track over the dining area. And, of course, you can and should be using different lighting heads for each track.
Be Careful when using two different track lighting setups. You want the two tracks to coexist in a unified design. Having tracks that don’t compliment each other looks odd and out of place in an otherwise well-designed kitchen.
Idea 8: Minimalist Track Lighting
What about kitchens with an already well-designed aesthetic? Will track lighting ruin your pre-existing theme? The simple answer is, No.
Track lighting comes in a lot of contemporary designs. Track lightings can be prominent in your kitchen setup. But they can just as easily be hidden away. If your priority is good lighting and not a design issue. You can select a minimalist lighting track with small lighting heads for your workspace.
If your goal is minimalism, try blending your lighting track and walls together. For example, use slim lighting tracks with rounded bottom lighting heads for your cooking space.
Large kitchens are pretty rare in houses unless your house is also a mansion. But they are prevalent in the restaurant industry. Regardless of whether your kitchen is in the house of a restaurant, proper lighting is just as important.
The styles between houses and restaurants may change, but luckily track lighting is capable in both situations.
Idea 9: Large Tracks to cover the Entire Kitchen Ceiling
The primary issue with a large kitchen is the sheer amount of floor area. All of this area needs to be adequately lit. The best way to accomplish this is to use track lighting. The tracks can cover the ceiling evenly. And the lighting heads can be placed at appropriate distances to provide uniform lighting.
For large kitchens, using combinations of different lighting heads is encouraged. Such as using indirect lighting tracks on the outer edges of the ceiling. And direct lighting towards the center.
For proper and consistent lighting in your kitchen, you need proper coverage. Therefore, use multiple lighting tracks arranged in parallel to one another. You can use any lighting heads you want in this setup.
Take caution when selecting your track lighting system. For large setups, you need to be mindful of power requirements.
Idea 10: Cable Track Lighting
Cables are an unfortunate side effect of good lighting. Cables are often ugly and ruin your nice and clean kitchen aesthetic. But what if you used the cables to your advantage?
Cable track lighting replaces the solid track of your light fixtures with a sturdy cable. These cables provide a unique look to your kitchen workspace. And can be paired with old-school rustic light heads to give an exciting ambiance to your kitchen.
Cables are flexible and can be arranged in several ways. The most common type of cable run is parallel cables along the ceiling. But you can also go for specific shapes or even cross-weave the cables for a unique style.
Alternately don’t bother trying to clean up the cables. Let them hang naturally along with your pendant head lighting fixtures. Typically a high ceiling is needed for this aesthetic. If the cables are hanging too low, they become a hindrance.
Idea 11: Minimal Cables with Pendant Lighting
Let’s say you’re still not sold on the cable track lighting system. Instead, you can simply use thinner cables with a muted color to blend into the background. Another critical advantage of cables is their smaller footprint. As a result, cable-based track lighting is less noticeable and doesn’t clash with your kitchen aesthetic.
Pendant heads pair exceptionally with cable lighting as the pendants are already hanging from the cables themselves.
Floating lights bring a magical touch to your cooking area. To create the illusion of lights floating above your heads. First, you need to use thin cable tracks across the ceiling. Then, suspend pendant heads from the tracks using similarly thin cables.
Idea 12: Recessed Ceiling Lighting
Recessed lighting is the close brother to minimal lighting. For a fresh look to your workspace, try recessed lighting.
Recessed lighting is when the light fixtures are placed in a small cavity in the wall or ceiling. All the tracks, wirings, and heads are hidden away. Additionally, you can use a border around the recessed lighting to create a unique look. This is to create the illusion of ultra-thin light fixtures.
The major drawback of recessed track lighting is the cost. It requires cavities to be made into the ceiling before installing a lighting system. This can also make replacing lighting heads difficult as well.
Idea 0: Mixing and Matching Ideas
Ideas are a general guideline to help you create your ideal kitchen environment. The ideas themselves can be mixed and matched to create unique lighting styles. Recessed lighting in small kitchens or multiple short linear tracks in large kitchens. Adapt designs to your kitchen.
Some Kitchens end up being somewhere between small and medium. Other kitchens are clearly large but not large enough for certain lighting styles. The kitchen doesn’t come in standard sizes and thus should not be limited to specific lighting systems. The best track lighting system for your kitchen often depends on the kitchen itself.
Why do you need Track Lighting for Kitchen?
Track lighting is helpful in any situation. But for kitchens, different criteria need to be considered before installation.
Advantages of Track Lighting
Following are a few key benefits of using track lighting for your kitchen:
Track lights can be installed quickly and with little hassle.
Track lighting offers various aesthetic styles for your kitchen.
Track Lighting can be easily scaled to different sized kitchens.
Space and Energy Efficient
Less spaced is used to install a large number of lighting heads
Lighting heads can be easily replaced for different styles.
Lighting heads can be moved around to accommodate changes in your kitchen space.
Disadvantages of Track Lighting
There are only two disadvantages of using track lighting. And only one disadvantage of using it in your kitchen.
Environmental Wear – Track lighting is prone to environmental damage; specific environments can corrode the tracks quickly. This isn’t a significant issue for indoor kitchens and usually, have exhaust setups.
Cost – Track lighting is considerably more expensive than other lighting solutions. In addition, since aesthetics are a significant element of track lighting, they also add additional costs.
Setting up your ideal kitchen lighting is not difficult with the right guide. Know your kitchen size and know your design aesthetics. Choose track lighting ideas that best suit your kitchen.
We hope the above ideas and tips we shared help you in your quest for track lighting ideas. Also, be sure to incorporate some of the ideas we shared with you.
If you’re still uncertain about some ideas. We suggest you reach out to us at RC lighting for more information. We have a long history of providing quality LED lighting solutions. Mention your specific needs, and we will deliver the best product as per your specifications.