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Every homeowner wants a well-lit bathroom, and it will take several layers of lighting to achieve this. During bathroom remodeling, many are considering the option of track lighting these days. But what exactly is it?
What Is Track Lighting?
Track lighting is a method of lighting in which the lights are fitted on tracks, allowing one to position the lights at variable positions. This is, in contrast, to directly routing electrical wires to individual light positions within the bathroom as the norm.
To install track lights, a channel is mounted onto a surface (like a ceiling, beam, or dropped from the ceiling on stems or cables) that holds the lighting units (or ‘heads’) in place and brings power to them.
Power is usually fed to the track from a live end but it can be powered from anywhere along the channel with special adapters.
Because it is surface mounted, track lighting then becomes particularly easy to install, especially in bathroom remodels.
Therefore, pick an appropriate lamp or light source for a given application (task, accent, wall wash) and then find a track head that will hold it. Easy peasy!
Additionally, the versatility of track lighting is one of its most appealing features. The track layout can be expanded, the heads moved around, added, changed, pointed in different directions, and so on.
Does Track Lighting Give Good Light?
Track systems, even in the bathroom, perform best as accent lights or task lights because track lighting is usually very directional. Therefore, they do not work well providing general lighting in bathrooms, especially in large ones.
When it comes to placement, track lights should be directed at a close wall or directly down on a work surface like toward the bathroom vanity to reduce glare and shadows.
Since they point towards the ‘tasks’, the tracks should be placed 18 -36 inches out from the wall for most normal bathroom heights. But the higher the ceiling, the farther out.
And depending on how bright your lights are, you’ll receive just enough light required for a particular task.
Can Track Lighting Be Used In The Bathroom?
Yes, track lighting can be used in the bathroom, but mainly as an accent and task light since they only point towards the items of interest like the artwork, vanity mirror, or other architectural details.
The downside of track lighting is that the fixtures are usually visible and can look a bit cluttered, especially in a small bathroom or in one with a low ceiling.
However, in the proper bathroom setting, a well-planned out track system can add much to the decor. Here’s how to use track lighting in the bathroom like a pro:
1. Above the Vanity
If you’ve already installed ambient lighting in your bathroom, consider adding track lighting for your vanity supplement lighting for an easier time while grooming.
With track lighting above the vanity, those hard-to-reach places won’t need to be hard to see, and the adjustability and variable spacing of track lights will allow you to arrange the heads to bring light exactly where you need it.
You May Also Like: The Best Way To Light A Bathroom Vanity Properly
2. Use Multiple Tracks for Ambient Lighting
With track heads, you can easily direct lighting to various spots within the bathroom.
In a large bathroom especially, track lighting can be an adjustable source of ambient light. You can purchase subtle tracks and lighting heads that blend into the design and use them where direct lighting is needed most.
In this bathroom, they not only create a safer environment around the tub, but they also fill in the shadows left by the sconce uplights on either side of the mirror.
Track lights are especially effective in a room such as this, where abundant reflective surfaces bounce and amplify the light, ensuring excellent full-room illumination.
3. Highlight a Bathroom Accent
Track lights can also be used as striking accent lighting, drawing attention to a specific feature or highlighting a specific area to create drama and space. Think the tub!
This is especially effective in large bathrooms, where the ceiling and vanity lights provide adequate general and task lighting but need to be supplemented to provide a more pleasant, attractive atmosphere.
4. Wall Track Lighting
Usually associated with ceiling lighting, track lighting can also be installed on a bathroom wall or dropped down from the ceiling to wash the wall, therefore, a great source of ambient illumination.
On walls, it can also be used to direct focused light on a piece of artwork, and when mounted in an interesting shape, track lighting can create a hybrid piece of functional bathroom artwork.
You will be perfectly fine using track lighting in your bathroom, as long as you ensure the heads are wet-rated and ideal for bathroom conditions.
You can also use glass-covered bulbs to ensure that your track heads do not get moisture in the bulb/socket. Just look at the bulb before you buy it, and if there is glass covering the bulb, then you’re good to go!
TIP: Track lighting is great in scenarios when you need lots more light but you’re not able to add more light fixtures, such as in a rental apartment.