Pendant track lighting is yet another option to help obtain the perfect balance of light, form and function in your well-designed kitchen.
The structure or shape of the tracks are almost limitless which provides unlimited possibilities for lighting options. The most important element of lighting is to be sure that you have light where you need it. Be sure the configuration matches up with the areas below.
The most common use for track lighting in a kitchen is over an island, peninsula, bar or dining table. The actual light fixtures clip into the system, then hang down from it at a variety of distances from the surface, depending on what you need and prefer. Most of the lights, whether they are a hand blown glass globe or a fabric for a softer feel, hang from 3 to 25 inches from the ceiling. They hang from either a wire system, retractable stem or a cord which is attached to the electrical component that snaps into the track. This is where the versatility comes in. They can be moved by sliding the mechanism along the track to any spot on the system. If you like more light when you have parties, have an extra light or two in storage that can be clipped in before the guests arrive to light up your buffet area.
The amount and type of light emitted from any given fixture varies greatly depending on what wattage the fixture is, the color and shape of the shade and the type of light bulb used. As a general rule, most people will use pendants for task or flood lighting. Task lighting-also known as spot light-is used to put intense light directly over an area where tasks are performed, such as food prep and dish washing, but a directional fixture can also be used to light art work or to flood a wall with light for a dramatic effect. I prefer a halogen bulb for task lighting. It's warm, clear and crisp. Over a bar area, you may be able to use a much softer kind of fixture (maybe frosted glass or a fabric shade) and bulb which will provide a more subtle pooling of light. It will provide ample light without the intensity of task lighting, which is more conducive to conversation areas.
Assess the lighting need(s)
1. Get measurements of room: ceiling height, length of countertop or table
2. Based on room dimensions, choose track layout:
Grid-provides patterned pockets of light
90 degree flex connector-great for vaulted ceilings
Cross layout sectional-covers large ceilings well
Straight run-linear track
As you can see, pendant track lighting is a very versatile and functional way to light your kitchen. With good planning, illuminating your kitchen properly will dramatically affect the functionality, design and over-all feel of the space.