We noticed that our living area is very dark at night. This could just be the contrast with how light it is during the day, or it is because the clerestory is so high that light gets lost in the large space. A table lamp and even a clamp on lamp seemed to get swallowed up with darkness.
So knowing we needed more light above, I noticed some track light for sale on Craigslist in Westminster–one town over. It was on the site for a long time for a price that I didn’t want to spend on used lighting, but I decided to email an offer after several weeks and it was accepted! The lighting had been used in a conference room and came with 48 heads and 24 “full size” 44″ tracks with 8 shorter ~30″ tracks. Each track had a flexible connector attached and there were several end pieces on the shorter tracks.
The system came with one power head but the cap was missing so after unpacking, I realized I would want to add some components. The system was made by Prescolite which is now owned by Hubbell Lighting. The site has tons of information about their lighting systems and the track system I purchased seems to have evolved into the Architrak line. The heads are similar to these:
And the track is the nominal 48″ length–or would be with a power head added to the 44″ basic track.
The track can carry two circuits if a two circuit head is installed but most heads are single circuit and that is all we need for each string of lights.
Most sites will tell you that you have to buy all components from one manufacturer for them to work together but that is an exaggeration. There are actually some third party systems that say they are compatible with certain other systems and Prescolite publishes a compatibility chart for their system.
I scoured ebay for new Prescolite adaptors and power heads but I found the prices rather high. Then I thought of using a compatible brand but I was seeing several that didn’t match those in the chart so I did more research about track compatibility.
Turns out there are basically three types of standard tracks (not including all in one systems that are popular now.)
Both Juno and Prescolite are J track systems. And Juno connectors were easier and cheaper to purchase. I found a power head for an electrical box on Amazon and short connectors (as opposed to the long flexible connectors that came with the track) and another power head for conduit at Home Depot online–so I had to wait for them to be delivered. But this week the track lights went up in the living room/kitchen! We used 1 power head, 6 full size tracks and 2 shorter tracks. I put up 7 heads after looking at some lighting design information. To get started I just used some incandescent bulbs we had on hand–since we stopped using them for most of our lighting some time ago. It is quite a bit brighter in the room when these are on!