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Kitchen Track Lighting: A World of Fixtures to Choose From

by Susanne Clemenz

It's hard to beat kitchen track lighting for illuminating task areas such as the sink, stove, counter tops, kitchen island, wet bar, etc. Don't groan at the idea--there are a lot more choices today than those classic cans, and some may even fit into your existing tracks. Most modern-day track lights have one of two different types of tracks: Line voltage or low voltage tracks.

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Line Voltage Tracks

  • These contain 120 volts in a recessed track, or even two circuits within the same track. The latter lets you connect a fixture on either side of the track.
  • There are three types of line voltage tracks: J (Juno,) H (Halo), and L (Lightolier). They do the same thing, but if you look at a cross section of them, you can see that they are physically configured differently. Whichever type you choose, you must stay with that type in the future unless you change tracks.
  • Lighting fixtures are available to satisfy every decorating taste. Bulb wattage may be higher than low voltage tracks, providing stronger lighting.

Low voltage tracks

  • These tracks are decorative and may have 10, 12, or 24 volts running through them. A transformer on the track converts the 120 voltage that comes from your house wiring into a lower voltage.
  • Sometimes the wattage for each light bulb you use in low voltage tracks cannot exceed 50W, though some tracks accommodate 75 Watts.
  • Choose anything from contemporary to country kitchen lighting styles. Pendants that drop from track lights are a unique way to keep the task lighting from these lower-wattage bulbs close to your work areas.

Lighting plays a big part your kitchen's multifunctional role. Make your work easier with attractive new kitchen track lighting!

About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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