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Track Lighting

7 replies [Last post]
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Joined: May 20 2004

We're contemplating doing something to add lighting overhead in our
Greenmeadow Eichler.

We are not redoing the roof at this time.

I've liked suggestions to add track or low voltage lighting...but when my electrical guy and I looked, we either seem to have to run them perpendicular to the beams or else have hordes of wire mold if we go parallel to the beams.

So,
1. do I go perpendicular (even though it might look odd)
2. run the mold all over the place.
3. come up with some other type of overhead lighting that might work better or
4. forget teh whole idea until we redo the roof some years out....
Sally

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Joined: Aug 30 2003

Sally, we just added track lighting to one room of our 1959 Eichler. It's one of the front bedrooms that we connected directly to the adjacent front bedroom to make a home office "suite" with a client conference room and office. We ran the track the full length along one side of a beam. Look great, but of course the majority of the light goes to one half of the room. In the other half we put a floor lamp. We think it works well.

I'm interested in learning more about your concrete floor experience that you related in an earlier thread. I can call you direct if you email me at admin at totheweb dot com.

Thanks,
Barry Brisco
San Mateo

1959 A. Quincy Jones atrium model in The Highlands, San Mateo http://www.totheweb.com/eichler

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Hi Sally:

One of the first things we did after buying our Willow Glen Eichler 10 years ago, was to put in low voltage track lighting and we absolutely love it. We have it in the entry, LR, dining room, kitchen/all purpose room, master bedroom, hallway, and one of the back bedrooms. Our only regret is that we did not do the other two bedrooms - and that is slated for sometime later this year.

Ours runs parallel to the beams, but not near them. It is generally centered between the beams, although this varies, depending on the situation. We do not have stuff running all over the place at all - it is a very clean installation, done by a contractor/neighbor who is also an Eichler owner. (Too bad he retired...) He also suggested that we run them wall-to-wall in the larger rooms, to make them even look larger, and he was right. It looks terrific.

Feel free to send me an e-mail at cathyelynn at earthlink dot net and I will provide photos. If you want to see them in person, I'd be happy to show you.

Cathye

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Joined: Jun 3 2004

Sally,

We put in new wires on the roof (in metal tubes) and drilled down through the roof directly to each of the tracks. Worked fine - we had our roofer (T&G) work with the electrician to make sure the 'operation' was watertight. He also fixed the wall connections to the new light-switches.

Not the cheapest of ways that's for sure, but you get rid of interior wires.

/Ben

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Joined: Mar 31 2003

We used Lightolier tracks running parallel to the beams, and centered in the middle of each. We were able to use the existing fixtures put in for the globes, and then hung the globes from the tracks using pendant adapters. The trick is to run the track for the legnth of the room, so it is consistent with the beams. It looks very good. In the one place that we needed a light where there was no fixture, we ran the end fo the track fairly close to the wall to minimize the hide-a-cord molding, and then painted the molding to match the ceiling/trim/wall that is was next to. Worked well.

Good luck,

John Dark

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Joined: Aug 13 2005

Hi Cathye,

I've seen your postings on the Eichler Network and think that you have very sound advice on Eichler remodelling :)))

We are planning a kitchen remodel in our Sunnyvale Eichler this spring and would love to have your list of contractors you've used for your Willow Glen home.

We are looking for a good electrician, flooring installer (slate/tile), lighting specialist or retailer, skylight installer, general contractor. Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

You can e-mail directly to susan_leveille AT comcast DOT net

Regards, Susan
(408) 736-4592

cathye wrote:
Hi Sally:

One of the first things we did after buying our Willow Glen Eichler 10 years ago, was to put in low voltage track lighting and we absolutely love it. We have it in the entry, LR, dining room, kitchen/all purpose room, master bedroom, hallway, and one of the back bedrooms. Our only regret is that we did not do the other two bedrooms - and that is slated for sometime later this year.

Ours runs parallel to the beams, but not near them. It is generally centered between the beams, although this varies, depending on the situation. We do not have stuff running all over the place at all - it is a very clean installation, done by a contractor/neighbor who is also an Eichler owner. (Too bad he retired...) He also suggested that we run them wall-to-wall in the larger rooms, to make them even look larger, and he was right. It looks terrific.

Feel free to send me an e-mail at cathyelynn at earthlink dot net and I will provide photos. If you want to see them in person, I'd be happy to show you.

Cathye

Offline
Joined: Jun 28 2003

Have you looked into the Rail Track system?

Rail Track is a flexible track either silver or bronze. The track can be mounted on extensions or with aircraft cable so you can actually run the track below the beams. You can even bend this track into a circle.

The one manufactured by NORA Lighting is 120 volt and you can mount several types of fixtures, low voltage, line voltage, Metal Halide, and Fluorescent. Because the track is 120 volt you don't have to worry about voltage drop on the low voltage fixtures.

http://www.noralighting.com

I scanned a couple of pictures from their catalog so you can get some ideas

Available from lcal Electrical Suppliers, CED, Royal, Bell Electric

Offline
Joined: Jan 4 2004

Hello,
There are numerous surface mounted systems such as Cable, monorail, flexble track, mico track, and eurorail (or duorail) to name a few. All these systems work with Mid century modern, modern, contemporary, and euro modern design. the chief advantage is that they offer more freedom from wiremold.
They are low voltage, which provides a much higher quality of light, and most of these systems allow for a variety of different fixtures, such as floods, spots, pendants etc.
As an electrical contractor, we (my employees and I) have discovered these systems to provide most needs in the somewhat deficient original Eichler lighting scheme, and the transformers and rails (or cables) have a sleek, modern look that complements the Eichler design.
Another lighting solution invovles removal of wall panels (or drywall, as applicable) and running a track fixture perpendicular to a wall, feeding the track directly with romex through a UL approved connector. the romex (or NM cable feeds off of any available power, is switched, and terminates in to the end of the track "live end" connector. I have discovered this design is most popular in bedrooms that otherwise lack overhead lighting, or in living rooms that do not have overhead lighting.
It is fairly inexpensive (asa far as labor costs), and track systems tend to cost quite a bit less than the other low voltage systems that I mentioned earlier.
Of course if you do a roof retrofit, any type of lighting is possible (yes, even recessed, we have installed over 150 recessed lights in Eichlers) but it is generally best to address this when it becomes necessary to re-roof or re coat foam roofs. I hope this info helps.

renman

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