Energy-Efficient Track Lights

Track lights provide directable beams of high-quality light for use in retail displays, galleries, museums, and residences. They are useful in locations where lights need to be aimed at different angles and where the position of the light may be changed frequently. Until recently, the only light sources that could provide the right kind of illumination for track lighting were inefficient halogen lamps. However, newer light sources now provide a wider array of options.

Low-wattage metal halide (MH) lamps introduced in the mid-1990s gave designers and specifiers the first energy-efficient alternative. Today, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are available for some types of track lighting, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are also becoming a viable light source for many applications. These lamps reduce energy use and last several times longer than halogen lamps, leading to reduced lamp-replacement costs. However, the costs for energy-efficient lamps and fixtures are significantly higher than those for halogen units, so these newer technologies are most likely to be cost-effective in applications with long burn hours and where changing lamps is difficult. Advanced halogen lamps that will meet new federal regulations are also now available and will keep halogens in the game for a while longer.

What Are the Options?
How to Make the Best Choice
What’s on the Horizon?
Who Are the Manufacturers?