Track lighting is back again. This throwback from the 70s is making a big splash on businesses, galleries, restaurants, and homes across the globe. But this is not your garden variety track lighting from way back when that went out of style for good reason. This new spin on an old idea is stylish, subtle, effective, and definitely the best way to light your home.
That Old Stuff
If you’re too young to remember or you’re one of those people who has been lucky enough to forget, track lighting in the 70s was about the most obnoxious, unwieldy, huge mess of lighting that has ever come on the scene. The main problem with these lights was that they were never able to be very small, out-of-the-way lights. Perhaps this was never the goal, but they were intended to light different areas of a room from one particular spot. With no other choice but standard light bulb sizes, track lighting became the most awful attraction on the ceiling. You couldn’t help but look at it.
The New Stuff
The new age of track lighting is small and powerful. The light bulbs themselves are barely a whisper, hardly bigger around than a bottle top. But they can beam light into several different areas.
Other key features about the new breed of track lights are the fact that they can hang down by very thin wires, they can be fixed to walls and ceilings alike, and they can come in any color you can imagine. Those old tracks only came in standard white, black, and tan (they didn’t even call it khaki back then).
Many restaurants are using this type of lighting over the cash register and above the cook stations because the lighting is not obtrusive, but it has pinpoint accuracy. Also, the bulbs in these things are ultra-durable and they last forever. So even if you’ve heard that replacement bulbs are expensive or hard to find, this is not something that you will have to bother with very often.
Another interesting use is in the halls of homes. Many homeowners hang pictures of their families all down the hall, and by positioning this lighting either just above the photos or on the opposite wall is a great way to show off your family anytime someone needs a little light in the hall.
Of course, there are hundreds of different uses for these hot little items. The best thing to do is to look around and see what others have done. See what you like, what you don’t, and if that doesn’t work, hire a lighting designer who can come in and illuminate you on illumination. But tell her you don’t want that old 70s stuff. Even if retro is in.