What are Track Lights? Everything you need to know - Lighting Design NZ
What are Track Lights? Everything you need to know

What are Track Lights? Everything you need to know

What are track lights? Track lights are quickly becoming one of the most popular home lighting options. Here is everything you need to know about choosing and placing track lights.

Words by Editorial ArchiPro

Contemporary, modern, and sophisticated are the words many people use to describe track lighting. Visit your favourite gallery, art studio, or boutique shop, and you’re certain to come across elegant track lighting.

If you’re unfamiliar with this form of lighting, track lights are ceiling lights that have the ability to independently swivel and pivot to highlight different focal points. They are customisable when in place and they attach to the ceiling. Their design blends industrial with an elegant aesthetic to create a sophisticated and adaptable light source.

Track lights highlight important features in a home. They’re the perfect way to illuminate artwork, photos, or unique architectural elements. You can also position them to illuminate a dark corner of a room.

There’s a nearly endless number of ways to customise and use track lighting to transform a space. Are you looking for a creative way to illuminate your home? Here’s everything you need to know about track lights and why people love them.

Inlite Tuba II

What Are Track Lights?

Track lighting first made its mark back in 1961. The light fixtures used in track lighting attach to a continuous track consisting of electrical conductors. This allows the user to move the lights (called the track heads) along the track and position them as needed.

The most common track lights use a straight track that mounts directly to the ceiling. They’re great for a variety of spaces, particularly narrow spaces. This is a linear track light style and it's the easiest to use and install.

The second type of track light uses a curved or custom-designed track. This flexible track light offers a truly unique lighting experience. It has greater flexibility and can illuminate a larger area, depending on the track design.

Most track light rails attach to the ceiling but some can be wall-mounted. Homeowners with very high ceilings prefer the wall option as they can place the lights lower.

Related: What are LED Linear Lights? And Why You Should Consider Them

Inlite Minigrid Delta Light

What are the different types of track lights?

Track light fixtures come in a range of styles from decorative accents to industrial designs. The four main types of lighting heads include:

  • Round black head: has a rounded back and works great with modern design
  • Step head: a simple and common design that works with most tracks and designs
  • Pinhole head: industrial appearance with an exposed back, making it ideal for art galleries and other functional needs
  • Gimbal head: has a camera light appearance that’s functional, sleek, and can swivel 180 degrees.

Not all track light fixtures and tracks are compatible with one another. There are three main types of track rails known as Halo (HT), Lightolier (LT), and Juno (JT). Make sure you check the acronyms on both the rail and the light fixture to ensure they’re compatible.

Lighting kits are a great option for those who are new to track lighting or want a ready-to-install option with compatible components. These components include the railing, track heads, and adjustable or fixed swing arms. You can find these kits in a variety of styles, finishes, and colours to fit both your functional needs and home decor.

Related: The Complete Guide to Ceiling Lights

Halcyon Lighting - Three Circuit Dimmable Track Spot Light

Track lighting finishes and styles

Like with other ceiling lights, there are many materials, colours, styles, and finishes of track lighting for you to choose from. You can find track railings and fixtures designed to match one another. Common materials for light fixtures include:

  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Clear glass
  • Frosted glass
  • Fabric

Popular track fixture and railing finishes include:

  • Black powder-coated
  • Brushed nickel
  • White powder-coated
  • Oil-rubbed bronze
  • Polished chrome
  • Brass

Bespoke options and custom styles also exist. For best results, try to have your track lighting fixtures and rails complement your home’s current finishes, such as the trim and cabinet hardware. This will ensure the lighting hardware matches your style.

Do you prefer your lighting to blend in? White is a great option for blending into the ceiling, while black offers a modern, unassuming look that matches contemporary interior design.

Lightplan - Move It Trimless Low-Voltage Lighting Track

Why people love track lights

Most homeowners with track lightning in their homes love it. This lighting style offers many great functional and design benefits.


Track lighting gives you the flexibility to move and attach your track lighting anywhere in your home. You can adjust the light fixtures to focus light on different places in a room. You can also tailor your lighting to your needs when the day is dark or cloudy.

Track lighting works well in almost any room. You can place kitchen track lighting above the breakfast bar in your kitchen, near your desk in the office, or on the ceiling in your home gym.

Aesthetically pleasing

Track lighting is a great way to add a unique and functional accent to any room. Industrial light designs work great with minimalistic and contemporary interior design. Elegant track lighting styles pair well with lighter interior design styles.

Space saving

Adding moveable lights to your ceiling or walls removes the need for lamps or other lighting options in your home. This helps make a room feel more spacious and open.

Have a small space that can’t fit traditional lighting options? Track lighting is a great lighting option as they can come in small narrow sizes, ideal for hallways and other small spaces.

Fourth Dimension Lighting io Micro 24V Tracklight

Plenty of powerful lighting options

Whether you prefer subtle ambient lighting or a powerful light source, you’ll be happy to learn there are plenty of lighting options available.

You can add more fixtures to the track to flood a space with bright light. Some fixtures use LED bulbs to save on electricity costs. You can also use warmer or cooler light temperature bulbs to set the ambiance in a room.

Easy to install

Track lighting is easy to install, saving you money on installation costs or making it a doable DIY project. You can install them just about anywhere, as long as there’s an outlet or wiring available.

Halcyon Lighting - Three Circuit Dimmable Track Spot Light

Enjoy modern track lighting in your home

Track lights are the perfect lighting solution for your home. You’ll love the flexibility to illuminate any feature in any space, no matter the size or style.

Want to see what designs and options are available? Check out our great selection of track lighting to find the perfect style for your home, today!

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