Speaking of track lights, the LED magnetic track lights that have been very popular recently are indispensable, but today, we mainly analyze conventional LED track lights. If you need to know about LED magnetic track lights, then this blog can help you.

What are LED Track Lighting and How Does it Work?

LED track lights are LED lights installed on a track. They can smoothly slide along the track rail and allow for adjustable illumination angles. Generally, they are used as spotlights in places where accent lighting is required. It is an ideal light source to replace traditional tungsten halogen lamps and metal halide lamps.

The LED track lights must be installed on the matching track rail. Inside the rail, there is a voltage input (usually 110-120V or 220-240VAC, but it can also be customized for low-voltage DC12V-24V). The rail contains conductive metals on both sides, with high-quality materials typically made of copper (while inferior ones are made of iron). Additionally, there are rotatable conductive copper sheets at the joints of the track lights. During installation, ensure that the conductive copper sheets on the track lights make contact with the conductive metal strips inside the track rail. This contact enables the rail lights to be powered on and illuminated.

What is Track Lighting Used for?

LED track lights can be used for many different applications.

  • Residential lighting for kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms.
  • Commercial lighting for clothing stores, furniture stores, and other brand stores, car displays, jewelry, star hotels, brand clothing, high-end clubs, museums and cultural relics exhibition halls, chain shopping malls, brand business halls, professional windows, counters, etc.
  • Industrial lighting for warehouses, and factories.

What are the benefits of Track Lighting?

  • Green and pollution-free: LED track light uses LED as a light source, LED light source is a cold light source, with no radiation, no heavy metal pollution, pure color, high luminous efficiency, low-frequency flicker, energy-saving and healthy. Ordinary metal halide track lights use metal halide lamps as light sources. The light-emitting principle of metal halide lamps is that the heavy metal element mercury reacts with the two electrodes after gasification to generate light, which has large heat and radiation and must be handled carefully after it is broken. Otherwise, it may pollute the environment (mercury is a heavy metal element, which is harmful to human health).
  • Energy-saving: A typical feature of LED rail lights is energy-saving. With the same brightness as LED track lights and ordinary metal halide track lights, the power consumption of LED track lights is only 40%-50% of that of ordinary metal halide track lights.
  • Long lifetime: The lifespan of LED track lights can reach at least 30,000 hours, while the lifespan of ordinary metal halide track lights is generally 8,000 hours.

What are the LED Track Lighting Types?

From the light source. LED track lights are divided into high-power LED track lights, COB track lights, GU10 track lights, and PAR track lights.

  1. High-power track lights, as the name suggests, the light source is mainly composed of single-section 1W high-power lamp beads. It is the first generation of LED track lights, the power is generally less than 20W, and the common power is 3W, 5W 7W 9W 12W 15W 18W. The color rendering of this kind of lamp is not good enough, the size of the lamp is generally relatively large, and the cost is relatively high. Currently basically been replaced by COB track lights.
  2. COB track lights mainly use COB LED chips as the light source, which can improve the brightness of the lamps, the color rendering (CRI>90), and the focusing effect is also better. The maximum power can be 40W-50W. It can better meet the lighting needs of some large commercial places.
  3. GU10 track light, mainly composed of track light housing with GU10 bulb holder + GU10 led bulb. Its biggest advantage is that it is easy to repair and replace. The power is generally only 5W 7W, so it cannot be used as the main lighting fixture. It is often used as auxiliary lighting or home lighting in the kitchen, dining room, or aisle.
  4. The PAR track light is the same as the GU10 track principle. It is mainly composed of the track light shell + E26/E27 Base + E26/E27 PAR light, including the PAR30 track light and PAR38 track lamp. It is very easy to repair and replace, and the optional power is generally 9W 12W 15W. It is widely used in some clothing stores and retail stores.
  5. Magnetic track light. This is the latest solution for the track lighting system, there are many different track light fixtures that can be installed on the magnetic track rails. the magnetic track lighting system is the most popular for home lighting or residential lighting.

From the circuit (phases) or track head point of view, LED track lights include single circuits and 2 circuits (3phases) track lights.

Track lighting rail and head types

In order to distinguish these types of track lights, you need to figure out the track rails and track heads first.

  • Track rails are divided into 2-line track bars, 3-line track bars, 4-line track bars, and 6-line track bars. The first three are the mainstream products in the LED lighting market. The “wire” mentioned here refers to the energized conductor wire inside the track bar, the 2-wire refers to the “L, N wire”, the 3-wire refers to the “L, N, and G wire”, and the four-wire is based on the A signal line has been added to facilitate multi-way control of lamps throughout the track lighting system.
  • Track head. The track head generally refers to the joint where the track light is installed into the track rail. It is mainly divided into 2-wire rail heads, 3-wire track heads, and 4-wire rail heads according to the specifications of the rail strip. The rail head can only be installed on the corresponding rail strip.

Based on the above track strips and track heads, track lamps can be divided into single-circuit track lights and dual-circuit track lights. Among them, single-circuit track lights include 2-wire and 3-wire track lights, while 4-wire track lights belong to 2 circuits track lights, also called 3 phases track lights

In terms of safety, 3-wire track lights will be better than 2-wire track lights. And if you need 0-10V or DALI dimmable track lights, you can only use 4-wire track headers and 4-wire track strips.

Many customers ask me if your lights are suitable for my track rail. Now you know the answer? Track heads are not interchangeable, so before you buy led track lights for your existing rail, get a detailed information datasheet from the manufacturer. Mixing incompatible track heads with a track system can lead to improper function, damage, or safety hazards.

Track Light Wattages and Voltage

There are 110/220V and low voltage 12V 24V and 48V LED track lights, the wattage of track lights depends on the housing/style, some styles of track lights can be made up to 50w, but others may not.

Track light typesGU10 Track lightsMR16 led track lightsCOB LED Track lightsMagnetic track lights
Wattages3W 5W 7W3W 5W 7W7W 10W 15W 20W 25W 30W 40W 50W6W 12W 18W 20W 30W
Input voltage110/220-240VAC 50/60Hz12VDC or 24VDC110/220V-240VAC 50/60Hz48Vdc or 24VDC

How do you choose an LED track light?

A high-quality LED track light usually has the following characteristics. When choosing LED track lights, you can pay attention to these aspects.

  • Selection of suitable track heads for led track lights. As mentioned above, there are 2 wires, 3 wires, and 4 wires track lights. If your existing track rail is 2 wires, you have to only purchase the led track light with 2 wires track head.
  • Famous Isolated driver. Common high-quality track light drivers include LIFUD, OSRAM, PHILIPS, DONE, etc. These isolated drivers can guarantee the life of track lights in commercial environments for at least 5 years or more, and even up to 10 years.
  • High brightness. A good LED track light should come with top-quality LED chips with high lumens, it will save much energy, and provide more brightness.
  • High CRI. Track lights are used as accent lighting fixtures in clothing stores, retail stores, museums, and other places. They are usually used to highlight the characteristics of objects and restore the real situation of objects. Color rendering is particularly important. The higher the display index, the higher the ability to restore the real situation of the object. The CRI of the track light is generally above 90, and it is best to reach 97.
  • Beam angle. for led track lighting, the led light beam angle includes 15°,24°, 36° and 50°. For accent lighting, opt for beam angles of 15°, 24°, and 36°. If you need basic illumination, a 50° beam angle is a preferable choice
  • Free flicker. When you use your mobile phone to take photos or videos with the LED track light at close range, there is no ripple on the screen, and the light tube will not flicker. Such track lights can best create a lighting environment and reduce the damage to eyesight.
  • Low glare value. The best-led track lights generally are with an anti-glare design and a special low-glare value lens. The track light housing should be a deep reflector. The UGR<19 is standard and best to less than 15.

How to do the installation of LED track lights?

As mentioned above, LED track lights include 2-wire, 3-wire, and 4-wire track lights, which correspond to the corresponding track bars. Different track lights have different points to pay attention to when installing them. Usually, the installation of LED track lights is the installation of a lighting system, including the installation of track rails, the installation of track lights, and the installation of corresponding accessories such as L shape, shape, and T shape connector adapters. For details, you can watch the following video, or download the installation instructions for LED track lights here.

What are the common quality problems for LED track lights?

In commercial places such as supermarkets, clothing stores, or home environments like kitchens, and dining rooms, we can often see some LED track lights appear quality issues. Even after our careful selection, some common quality problems will inevitably arise. Because many manufacturers will cut costs to attract customers with low prices. But these low prices are achieved through the use of inferior materials and craftsmanship, rather than technological innovation, so this has a great impact on the quality of LED track lights. Here, we list a few of those issues.

The problem of the LED track light flickering

The flickering of LED track lights generally has the following reasons

  1. The LED light board and LED driver do not match. Under normal circumstances, the current of a single 1W lamp bead is 280~300mA, and the voltage is 3.0 to 3.4V. If the lamp bead chip is not fully powered, it will cause the light source to flicker, and the current is too high. The lamp bead cannot withstand, it will turn on and off, and in severe cases, the lamp beads will be burned. In this case, you need to change a new LED driver to match with LED chips.
  2. The drive power supply is damaged. Just replace a power supply with the same specification.
  3. The shell of the lamp does not dissipate heat. The driving power supply has an over-temperature protection function, but the heat dissipation performance of the material of the lamp cannot meet the requirements, and the phenomenon of flashing and flashing will occur when the driving over-temperature protection starts to work. It is hard to do a replacement if the LED track light is bad heat performance. So just choose the aluminum body-led track light.

LED Track lights not working.

The common reasons and solutions for LED track lights not working are as follows.

  • Positive and negative are reversed. When installing the track, the positive and negative poles on the track bar are not connected correctly, causing the circuit to fail. In this case, just re-connection of L, and N wires for track rails.
  • The LED driver burned out. Some low-quality LED power supplies often use cheap raw materials and have a short lifespan. When the ambient voltage used is unstable, it is easy to burn out the power supply. Please choose a brand of indoor LED power supply. Common high-quality drivers include PHILIPS, OSRAM, LiFud, DONE, Eaglerise, Boke, and GS. The life of these drivers is at least 5 years.
  • The LED chips are broken. If the parameters of the power supply do not match the parameters of the lamp bead, the lamp bead will be burned out, and it may not light up. Another possibility is that the LED chips are of poor quality, have a short service life, and are easily damaged. Common well-known LED chips include Philips, Bridgelux, Citizen, CREE, Epistar, and Osram in China.

The problem of low brightness

The brightness of an LED lamp determines its energy-saving capability. The lower the power of the lamp with the same brightness, the lower the purchase price and the lower the energy consumption. And some low-end LED track lights often have low brightness problems.

  • For a newly purchased LED track light, if its brightness is very low, it may be that the supplier has falsely reported the power of the lamp. Some low-cost LED track lights on the market usually have false reports of power and brightness. For example, the actual power is only 10W, but it is marked as 15W or 20W on the lamp body and packaging.
  • If you find that the brightness of the LED track light you are using suddenly decreases, it may be caused by the light decay of the light fixture too much. Some cheap track lights usually use low-quality LED beads with small chips and insufficient heat dissipation. Excessive temperature will greatly reduce the initial luminous flux of LED lamp beads. When installed, the actual output of the lamp is 100lm/W, but when the lamp is used for one month or half a year, the actual output of the lamp will be reduced to 70lm/w, or 50Lm/W.

How many track lights on one circuit/meter?

Typically, track rails are available in lengths of 1m, 2m, and 3m each. Following the track lighting guidelines, each track bar’s conductor can handle a 10A, 220V (or 15A, 120V) lighting circuit, supporting around 2000W. However, to prevent circuit overload, it’s advisable to reserve 20% of the total load power. As a result, the safe capacity of the lighting circuit is approximately 1600W. Based on our practical experience, it’s best to install no more than two track lights for one meter of track strip.

Hello, customers

My name is Ricky Wang, I’m the business manager of GRNLED. I have been in LED lights industry for more than 10 year. Feel free to contact us. I’m happy to provide you the best service and products.

Email:  info@grnled.com | WeChat: ledfixture

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