Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-03-31 Origin: Site
When it comes to track lighting, it's hard to ignore the popularity of LED magnetic track lights. However, in this article, we'll focus on conventional LED track lights. If you're interested in learning about LED magnetic track lights, you can find more information in other articles.
LED track lights are a type of LED lighting that can be mounted on a track rail, allowing for free movement and adjustable illumination angles. They are commonly used for accent lighting in various settings and are an energy-efficient replacement for traditional tungsten halogen lamps and metal halide lamps.
It's important to install LED track lights on the appropriate track rail that contains voltage input, typically ranging from 110-120V or 220-240VAC, or customizable as low-voltage DC12V-24V. The track also has conductive metal strips on both sides, usually made of copper for high-quality tracks or iron for lower quality ones. The track lights themselves have rotatable conductive copper sheets at their joints, which connect with the metal strips inside the track during installation, providing power to the track light and enabling it to turn on.
LED track lights are versatile lighting fixtures that can be used in various settings, including:
Residential lighting: LED track lights are often used in homes to illuminate kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms. They can provide accent lighting to highlight artwork, architectural features, or other decorative elements.
Commercial lighting: LED track lights are commonly used in commercial settings, such as clothing stores, furniture stores, and other brand stores, to showcase products and create an inviting atmosphere. They are also ideal for lighting car displays, jewelry, and other high-end items in star hotels, museums, and cultural relics exhibition halls.
Industrial lighting: LED track lights are suitable for industrial settings, such as warehouses and factories, where bright and efficient lighting is needed to enhance productivity and ensure worker safety. They can be installed on tracks or rails to provide directional lighting in specific areas.
LED track lights have several advantages over traditional metal halide track lights:
Environmentally friendly: LED track lights are a green and pollution-free lighting solution because they do not contain any heavy metals that can harm the environment. They emit pure colors, are highly efficient, and do not produce any radiation or low-frequency flicker that can be harmful to human health. In contrast, metal halide lamps in traditional track lights generate heat and radiation and contain the heavy metal element mercury, which can be hazardous if mishandled.
Energy-efficient: LED track lights are known for their energy-saving characteristics. They consume only 40%-50% of the power required by metal halide track lights while delivering the same level of brightness.
Longer lifespan: LED track lights have a longer lifespan than traditional metal halide track lights. The lifespan of LED track lights can reach up to 30,000 hours, while metal halide track lights have a lifespan of about 8,000 hours. This means that LED track lights require less frequent replacements, which can save money and reduce waste.
LED track lighting can be categorized into four types based on their light sources: high-power LED track lights, COB track lights, GU10 track lights, and PAR track lights.
High-power track lights use 1W high-power lamp beads and have a maximum power of around 20W. They are the first generation of LED track lights and are known for their large size and high cost. However, they have been largely replaced by COB track lights due to their poor color rendering.
COB track lights use COB LED chips as the light source, providing better brightness, color rendering (CRI>90), and focusing effects. These lights can have a maximum power of 40W-50W, making them suitable for large commercial areas.
GU10 track lights are made up of a track light housing with a GU10 bulb holder and a GU10 LED bulb. They are easy to replace and repair and are commonly used as auxiliary lighting in homes or small areas like kitchens, dining rooms, or hallways.
PAR track lights are similar to GU10 track lights but use E26/E27 base and PAR lights, including PAR30 and PAR38 track lamps. These lights are easy to replace and commonly used in retail stores and clothing stores.
Magnetic track lights are the latest innovation in track lighting systems. They allow for easy installation of various track light fixtures on magnetic track rails, making them popular for residential lighting.
LED track lights can be categorized into single circuit and 2 circuits (3 phases) track lights based on their circuitry or track head. It is essential to understand the track strips and track heads before distinguishing between these types of track lights.
• Track bars are available in 2-line, 3-line, 4-line, and 6-line variations. The number of lines refers to the energized conductor wire inside the track bar, with 2-wire comprising "L, N wire," 3-wire including "L, N and G wire," and 4-wire featuring an added signal line for multi-way control of lamps throughout the track lighting system.
• Track heads are the joints where the track light is installed into the track rail and are classified into 2-wire, 3-wire, and 4-wire rail heads according to the specifications of the rail strip. The rail head must be installed on the corresponding rail strip.
• Single-circuit track lights consist of 2-wire and 3-wire track lights, whereas 4-wire track lights belong to 2 circuits track lights, also known as 3 phases track lights, based on the above track strips and track heads.
• Regarding safety, 3-wire track lights are safer than 2-wire track lights.
• Finally, 4-wire track headers and 4-wire track strips are required for 0-10V or DALI dimmable track lights.
When selecting a LED track light, there are several important factors to consider:
Track head compatibility: Choose a track head that matches the type of track rail you have. For example, if you have a 2-wire track rail, choose a LED track light with a 2-wire track head.
Quality driver: Look for a high-quality isolated driver, such as LIFUD, OSRAM, PHILIPS, or DONE. A good driver can ensure the life of the track light for at least 5 years or more.
High brightness: Choose a LED track light with top-quality LED chips that provide high lumens to save energy and provide ample brightness.
High CRI: Select a track light with a high color rendering index (CRI) to ensure the colors of objects are accurately represented. Look for a CRI above 90, with 97 being the ideal.
Flicker-free: Choose a LED track light that is flicker-free to reduce the potential damage to eyesight caused by lamps. Test the light by taking photos or videos with your mobile phone to check for any ripples or flickering.
Low glare value: Look for a track light with an anti-glare design and a deep reflector to reduce glare. The Unified Glare Rating (UGR) should be less than 19, with less than 15 being the best. This will help create a comfortable lighting environment.
Before starting the installation of LED track lights, make sure that the power supply is off and the voltage has been tested with a voltmeter to avoid electrical hazards.
Install the track rails: First, measure the length of the track rail that needs to be installed, and then connect the track rail according to the required length using the corresponding connectors such as L shape, I shape, or T shape. Finally, install the track rail onto the ceiling using screws and anchors.
Install the track lights: Insert the track light head into the track rail, and then rotate it clockwise to fix it in place. Make sure that the connection between the track light head and the track rail is firm and secure.
Connect the wires: For 2-wire and 3-wire track lights, connect the black wire to the "L" wire, the white wire to the "N" wire, and the green wire to the "G" wire. For 4-wire track lights, connect the wires according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Install accessories: If necessary, install accessories such as spot covers, filters, or shades to customize the lighting effect.
Turn on the power: After completing the installation, turn on the power and test the LED track lights to ensure that they are working properly.
LED track lights often experience quality issues in commercial settings like supermarkets and clothing stores, as well as in home environments such as kitchens and dining rooms. Despite careful selection, these problems are common due to manufacturers cutting costs to offer low prices. However, these low prices are achieved through the use of subpar materials and techniques rather than technological advances, which negatively impacts the quality of the LED track lights. Below, we discuss some of the most prevalent issues.
The following are the most common causes of LED track light flickering:
• The LED light board and LED driver are incompatible. A single 1W lamp bead has a current of 280300ma and a voltage of 3.0 to 3.4V under typical conditions. If the lamp bead chip is not fully charged, the light source will flicker and the current will be too high. If the lamp bead cannot take the pressure, it will turn on and off, and in severe circumstances, the lamp beads will be burnt. In this instance, you must replace the led driver to match the led chips.
• The power source for the drive has been damaged. Just swap out a power supply with the same specifications.
• The lamp's casing does not effectively dissipate heat, causing the driving power supply to activate its over-temperature protection function. However, if the heat dissipation performance of the lamp material is inadequate, the light source will flicker and flash. If the LED track light has poor heat performance, it is challenging to replace. It is recommended to choose an LED track light with an aluminum body for better heat dissipation.
The following are the most common causes and remedies for LED track lights not working.
• The polarity is reversed. When installing the track, improper connection of the positive and negative poles on the track bar can cause a circuit malfunction. To resolve this, simply re-connect the L and N wires for the track rails.
• The LED driver is damaged. Inexpensive LED power supplies often use subpar materials, resulting in a shorter lifespan. When used in an unstable voltage environment, the power supply is prone to burnout. Choose a reputable brand of indoor LED power supply to avoid this issue. High-quality drivers from PHILIPS, OSRAM, LiFud, DONE, Eaglerise, Boke, and GS have a lifespan of at least 5 years.
• The LED chips are defective. Mismatched power supply and lamp bead parameters can cause the lamp beads to burn out or not light up. Poor quality LED chips also have a short lifespan and are easily damaged. Reputable LED chips include Philips, Bridgelux, Citizen, CREE, Epistar, and Osram in China.
The energy-saving performance of an LED light depends on its brightness. A lamp with the same brightness but lower power has a lower purchase cost and energy consumption. However, low-end LED track lights may suffer from insufficient brightness.
• If you have purchased a new LED track light and its brightness is noticeably low, it could be due to false power and brightness claims made by the supplier. Some inexpensive LED track lights available in the market have misleading information printed on their body or packaging. For instance, a lamp that actually consumes only 10W may be advertised as having 15W or 20W power.
• In case you observe that the brightness of your LED track light has reduced suddenly, it could be due to excessive light decay caused by poor quality LED beads used in low-cost track lights. These beads usually have small chips and poor heat dissipation capability, causing the temperature to rise sharply, resulting in a significant reduction in the initial luminous flux of LED lamp beads. Although the lamp may have an actual output of 100lm/W during installation, the actual output can drop down to 70lm/w or 50Lm/W after one month or half a year of use.