Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Tips for installing track lighting at home

With all the time we spend choosing the furniture, carpets, artwork, and accessories for a room, the one area that sometimes gets overlooked is lighting. Here’s why it shouldn’t: Lights can make a bold decorating statement and can instantly transform the look of a room. One type of lighting, in particular, is a champion of modern design and has been a mainstay of home decorators and DIYers for years — track lighting. 

Track lighting can go a long way in illuminating a space. Here’s why you should consider adding it to your design plan and how to install it in your home!


The 411 on track lighting

For this type of lighting, light fixtures are attached on a continuous track device containing electrical conductors, in contrast to directly routing electrical wiring to individual lights. 

Track lighting can be used in virtually any room. With so many different styles available, you can find a track light style to suit virtually any space. With their ability to provide lighting of varied intensity and at most any angle, track lighting has a unique beauty that rivals the drama of sparkling chandeliers or pendant lights. 

There are two basic types of track lighting: Plug-in and hardwired. Plug-in track lights do not require electrical wiring; however, they must be located near an outlet. Hardwired track lights need to have electrical connections made during installation through a junction box, which is an electrical box in the ceiling or wall. Note: Hardwiring is usually best handled by a professional electrician.

Track lighting is a great option for your home due to its versatility and functionality. Add track lighting and it instantly elevates the ambience of a room. The trick is to install a track and then pair it with the right track heads.

Track lighting doesn’t have to be difficult to install. With a little planning and care, you should be able to install track lights in just a single afternoon. But before shopping for track lights, do the following:

  • Determine where you want the lighting installed
  • Figure out how you will affix to the ceiling
  • Figure out the length of track needed
  • Determine where to connect to your power source

Some track lights come installation ready and include a short track with compatible heads. If you are planning to DIY your track lighting, look for sets with adjustable tracks so you can position the lights to illuminate every corner of the room.


 Tips to make the most of your track lighting

Indoor track lights are meant to be task lighting. When placing track light fixtures, be strategic about where you install them so you can maximize the lighting coverage. Direct beams of light where it is most needed, including directly over sofas or other conversation areas and angled toward entryways or darker corners of a room.  

For rectangular rooms, one dramatic way to incorporate indoor track lights is to set up the tracks along the entire perimeter of the room. After the tracks are in place, you can pop the track lighting heads wherever they are needed — over your favorite reading chair, directed at an array of family photos on a fireplace mantle, or directly over the seating area. By choosing adjustable heads you can rotate them to provide full lighting coverage of the room. 

When installing track lights for a living room, you’ll need to decide if you want a straight or curved track. You’ll also want to make sure the track heads or pendants you select are compatible with your track system.

With the continuation of the open floorpan trend, track lighting offers a way to bring continuity between the spaces while keeping the light and airy design aesthetic. Install ceiling track lights along the entire length of the space, from family room to dining room to kitchen, for maximum light and drama. 

With so many color options for today’s ceiling track lights you can easily blend the lights into your decor by selecting a color palette and design that matches the shade of your walls. This allows the lighting to mix in with the room’s background, rather than becoming the focal point of the room. 

In rooms containing large windows, track lighting provides ample illumination at night without blocking natural light during the day. If your home has high beamed or angled ceilings, you can run the ceiling track lights parallel to the beams, creating a sense of visual harmony. 

With so many different styles, colors, and sizes available, track lighting can add both drama and illumination to virtually any room in your home. Whether you are looking for a quick DIY update or you’re having a professionally installed lighting overhaul, with track lighting the results are always nothing short of dramatic.

Editors' Recommendations

Get a stylish design: 4 key factors when choosing kitchen island lighting
What to look for when lighting for your kitchen island, the busiest spot in your home
White modern kitchen with black pendant lights and black stools

The kitchen is the heart of your home, and at the center of all the action is your kitchen island. It’s where you’ll prep and enjoy delicious meals as well as entertain friends and family. When necessary, it can transform into a home office or homework station for the kids, no matter the time of the day! This multipurpose space deserves its own lighting to not only illuminate your work but also to show off your personal style.

Unlike other rooms in your home where a single ceiling light may suffice, your kitchen island needs its own designated lighting display. The right lights over your kitchen island can create ambiance and style, and pull together the overall design of your kitchen. However, with so many lighting options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine which will work best in your space. So, if you're looking to renovate your kitchen island lighting, here are some bright ideas for an instant upgrade.

Read more
Use these handy kitchen organizers to never misplace a utensil again
Keep your kitchen storage neat with these organizers
Open shelving in kitchen for organization

An organized kitchen can make a world of difference when it comes time to cook a meal. For many of us, cooking is chaotic enough without scrambling for all the pots, pans, and utensils needed to cook dinner. This is where kitchen organizers can come in handy. Whether it’s your pantry, kitchen drawers, cabinets, or counter space, keeping your kitchen storage neatly organized is key to avoiding headaches when cooking. Here are some of the best kitchen organizers to help you never misplace a utensil again.
Bamboo drawer organizer

Drawer organizers for your basic eating utensils are a must for any kitchen. After all, you wouldn’t want a sea of forks, knives, and spoons clanking about in the drawer. This particular bamboo utensil organizer is great because it has many different compartments to sort small utensils by category. This one is 2.6 inches in height and its width is adjustable between 13 and 22.4 inches, making it suitable for most drawer sizes.
Kitchen storage dishes rack

Read more
5 New Year’s cleaning resolutions you can actually keep up all year
These easy ideas will have your home sparkling in the new year
Person cleaning kitchen with gloves and spray bottle

The new year always seems like a good time for new beginnings, including making some changes around your home. Whether you want to save money by using DIY methods for dry-cleaning clothes at home, sprucing up your master bath with a fresh coat of paint, or swapping out all the lightbulbs in your house for energy-saving LEDs, a few small changes can have a big impact on both your wallet and the planet.

If you’ve decided to make getting on top of your house cleaning routine a priority this year, we have five great ways to kick things off right. Let’s get ready for a cleaner, more organized 2023 with these New Year's cleaning resolutions.

Read more