Post details: Track Lighting


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Track Lighting

A track system is the most versatile of all ceiling fixtures. You can configure it in many ways, choose from several lamp styles, and position the lamps to suit your needs. To begin installation, remove the existing ceiling fixture to locate the track.

Purchasing A Track System. Work with a Home Depot associate; explain the size and configuration you want. Buy a kit that includes track, mounting plate, end cap, and canopy. You also may have to buy additional track and end caps, as well as L- or T- fittings for the corners. Choose the lights and bulbs when you buy the tracks. You can put different types of lamps on the same track, but be sure to purchase lamps made by the same manufacturer as the track-otherwise the two may be incompatible.



Experienced: 2 hours; Handy:4 hours; Novice:6 hours

Combination tool
Lineman's pliers
Drill with screwdriver bit
Tape measure

Track system with lights
Wire nuts
Plastic anchors

Track LightingInstall the Mounting Plate. Shut off power at the service panel. Use wire nuts to splice the house wires to the plate leads. Connect the ground wire to the plate and to the box if it is metal. Push the wires into the box, and screw the plate to the box so it is snug against the ceiling.




Track LightingMeasure and Mark for the Track. At the mounting plate, measure to see how far the side of the track will be from the nearest wall. Mark the ceiling so the track will be consistently parallel to the wall. Use a framing square to draw lines if the track turns a corner.




Track LightingAttach the Track to the Mounting Plate. Have a helper hold the track in place against the ceiling and centered on the mounting plate. Drive the setscrews to anchor the track to the plate.





Track LightingSecure the Track. Use a stud finder to locate joists. If the track is more than 4 feet long, have a helper hold one end while you work. Snap the track onto the plate, and drive a screw into every available joist. If there are no joists, drill holes every foot or so, insert plastic anchors, and drive screws into the anchors.



Track LightingTwist on the Live-end Connector. Insert the live-end connector and turn it 90 degrees until it snaps into place. Align the connector's two copper tabs with the two copper bars inside the track. Snap the plastic canopy over the track and mounting plate.




Track LightingAttach a Corner. You can buy connectors to make 90-degree turns, T- shapes, or odd-angled turns. Slide the connector into the track that is already installed, slide the next track onto the connector, and attach that track to the ceiling. Cover all open track ends with end caps.




Track LightingTwist on a Light. This type of light twists into place in the same way as the live-end connector (Step 5). Another type has a metal arm that is twisted to tighten. Restore power, turn on the switch, and swivel the lights to position them for the best effect.







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