Track lighting crisis, what can I do??

taeelMarch 28, 2012

Our new place has concrete ceilings with very few existing spaces for fixtures. Contractor suggested track lighting, since the building will not let us drill for new fixtures, and even though I don't love the look of the tracks, I agreed since it seemed like the only option. We have it in the living room, kind of a u-shape, in the bedroom, and were planning on doing some in the kitchen (though I do have the electrics to put in 2 real pendants in the kitchen).

I went there tonight and they had finally hooked up the living room lights, and I HATED it.

- The second you turn it on there's this weird buzzing sound, both near the switch and near the actual lamps, that will drive me crazy. It gets even worse if you actually use the dimmer.

- The light is cold and harsh, like 8 little spotlights, so there are really bright spots and then dark ones. I'm used to diffuse yellow light.

- The ceilings are not super high so I find the glare from the fixtures really disturbing.

I have no idea what else I can do. Is there a way to fix the buzzing noise? Is there a track fixture that will be warmer and more diffuse? Is there a better way to arrange the track than in a u-shape around the sides of the room? Is there another option that does not involve me walking around the room and turning on lamps?

This is really keeping me up at night:(

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badgergal

We bought the lights below from Home Depot and they provide very nice lighting in our basement rec room. They have a halogen bulb which is a whiter, brighter light but the frosted glass shades diffuse it nicely.

If you want a more yellow light you could get some lights with a wheat or amber glass shade such as the one below Since you already have the track up you could just buy new light separately. Of course you need to see if the track size and light plug in size are compatible. Both of the lights I posted are Hampton Bay brand lights. Good luck solving your lighting problem.
    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 1:04AM
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brickeyee

"The second you turn it on there's this weird buzzing sound, both near the switch and near the actual lamps, that will drive me crazy. It gets even worse if you actually use the dimmer. "

Sounds like low voltage lighting on a dimmer switch.

You often need a special dimmer to even attempt to control low voltage lighting.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 12:28PM
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taeel

Thanks. Badgergal- we do have hampton bay, I'll try another track fixture.

Brickeyee- I'm pretty sure the ones we have are low voltage. If we wanted to do a switch with a dimmer, what switch would you suggest? Have a Decora on there now.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 12:52PM
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brickeyee

You need a dimmer tat the lighting manufacturer says will work with their parts.

Even when fully on a conventional dimmer distorts the voltage going through to the load.

So called 'magnetic dimmers' use a different device, but depending on how the120 VAC is being turned into low voltage (and often low voltage DC) you need to ask the light manufacturer what is compatible.

Some 'slid state' transformer designs (actually small power supplies) simply cannot be dimmed.

In the mean time, remove the dimmer and hook up a regular on-off snap switch.

The transformer or other electronics can overheat enough to catch on fore with the wrong dimmer.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 1:51PM
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David

Have you considered cove lighting - light bars hidden from view using crown molding? The light is reflected off the ceiling and there are no spots of light

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 10:46PM
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charliehorse99

You need a Magnetic Low Voltage Dimmer.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 10:53PM
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