Rated 4.3 out of 5 by 12
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by cruise2 Stunning Lighting At A Fraction of the Cost!
This flex track starter kit and the accessories used with it make a stunning lighting display at a fraction of the cost quoted to me by some of the big lighting stores. I highly recommend it. The installation is pretty straight-forward for anyone who has installed some lights and can use a few tools. It is probably not a good beginner's job, however.
I wanted a track about 23' long so I ordered Hampton Bay parts from the Home Depot web site instead of buying from the store. I recommend talking to a live operator, who can check the availability of parts. For example, the connector is only available on the web site, and many of the light heads that go with this track are out of stock or discontinued.
Model # EC053WH Internet # 100457971
( 2 ea) 120 Volt Standard Flex Track Starter Kit White Finish 12' long
Model # EC0830W Internet # 202051359
(8 ea)-Light White Flexible Track Lighting Fixture with Mesh Shade
Model # EC0180BA Internet # 100435603
(1 ea) Brushed Steel Straight Connector for Flexible Track Lighting (paint it white, being careful not to get paint inside where the electrical connections are) (Never use two connectors to make a solid loop or you will get a short. Each end of the combined cable should have an end cap.)
Here are some tips that will make installation easier and point out some things that were not in the directions:
Make sure that you order the right lights for the right track. See "questions and answers" for Model EC053WH for a list of the light heads that will fit the "fat track" in the starter kit listed above. Have the agent check to make sure that all the parts are in stock and will be shipped at the same time, since many parts are out of stock or discontinued. When you get the parts, test fit a light on the track to make sure it fits, and make sure all parts and tools are available before starting installation.
Tools: tape measure, pencil, more #6 sheet metal screws and sheet rock anchors (not enough are included), small phillips screwdriver, drill and bit sized for pre-drilling #6 screws, zip ties, hacksaw (if cutting the track) a flat "micro" screwdriver for the track ends or the connector.
Track: Note that the track in the starter kit above has two electric channels on one side, and one on the other. Make sure that the power canopy and the light heads are installed the correct way. Don't drag a track on a bare floor or it will pick up dirt and scratches. Lay the tracks flat for a day or two to make them easier to work with.
These flex tracks cannot be made perfectly straight, even if you install the holders in a straight line. I envisioned the track going down my beams (see the pictures) straight as an arrow but between the holders, the track has a mind of its own. Just go with it. The more I looked at it the better I liked the slight wavy "cloud-like" pattern. In fact, I did not cut off the excess track with the idea of using all 24' and making it even wavier.
Do most of the shaping on the ground. Once the track is locked into the holders, don't yank on it or you risk damaging the holders.
Power Canopy: Notice that the mounting bracket has two silver screws. One is in the center and the other is in a "c" shaped groove. Loosen the one in the c groove and you will be able to turn the canopy a little to get the track hole lined up correctly. Take the canopy off the mounting bracket, being VERY careful not to lose the two white screws. Turn off the power at the circuit breaker box. Install the mounting bracket to the outlet box. Make the wiring connections (I always wrap them with electrical tape). Make sure the canopy is oriented the way you want it (I wanted the one channel side facing out) and screw the canopy back onto the mounting bracket using the two white screws. The mounting bracket will allow the canopy to rotate a little to get the track hole lined up.
After the power canopy is hooked up the rest of the installation is pretty straightforward.
Track supports: The track supports have no electrical connectors so just line up the holes to accept the track. Hand tighten them. The ends with the holes turn so you can align them better. I dangled the track loosely below the supports with zip ties until I could get the track properly locked into the supports. This makes the whole job easier, especially if you are working alone or working with a long track like this. Make sure you only pick up one decorative trim for each support. They tend to stick together. Always pre-drill the holes if you go into solid material.
As soon as you have the track locked into the power canopy, put one light on the track, then turn on the power and test to see if the light works, (even with the track hanging on the zip ties). If you have to troubleshoot, you don't want to have to take everything apart. If the light works, great! You can keep the light on the track and use it to indicate if the light switch has accidentally been turned on. Turn off the light switch and proceed to lock the track in the supports, being careful not to yank on the cable so you don't damage any supports. Connect the lights, paying attention to the one channel two channel direction of the connectors.
If the light does not turn on, the most likely problem is that the track is not properly seated in the power canopy. Turn the power off, reseat the track in the holder, making sure all three prongs are straight and go right into their proper channels. The two jaws should fit easily around the wire and squeeze together with little effort. The cap should screw on without any forcing. If not, it is an indication that you are not getting the prongs into the grooves. Also, the track might be rotating a little as you try to clamp it in. Try putting extra zip ties on each side of the cable to hold the weight better.
If it still does not work, get your multi-meter out. Here is where it gets tricky. The nice thing about this system is that it is line voltage. There is no finicky transformer to blow out. Turn off the power . Take the track out of the holder. Open the "jaws" of the holder. Turn on the power. The prongs of the canopy are now potentially "live" and you can get a jolt if you do not do this right. Set your multimeter to "AC" and 250 (you are using the 250 scale to read 120V ac) On the side with the double prongs (the "one prong" side is ground-disregard it) carefully put one probe on one prong, and the other probe on the other prong (making sure they don't touch.) If you read 120V, you have power to the canopy and it definitely means that you are not seating the track in the holder properly.
If you don't read 120v, you will have to go backwards and take the canopy apart. Either you did not make good wiring connections, or you do not have power to that lighting box for some reason. At this point you either have enough experience to fix the problem or you don't. If you don't, cap off the wires and rap them with electrician's tape to make sure the cap does not fall off. Call someone with more experience than you have.
Mine did not work the first time I tried to test the light. I did the above procedure and did read 120V across the two pins, so I knew it was a "seating" problem. Reseating the track in the power canopy holder turned the light on.
Light heads and bulbs
Putting the light heads together was pretty easy. There is not enough room to turn the washer locking the shade to the body, however. The trick is to hold the washer down with your fingers and rotate the whole light body, and the washer will tighten up.
I tried the equivalent LED bulb to the GU10 halogen provided, but did not like it. The halogen bulbs show a nice pattern out the mesh sides of the light heads, and is a warmer light. The LED bulbs, with shielding all the way to the top, did not. Worse yet, the LED light is so concentrated, white and brilliant, that it burns an image on your retina if you look directly at it. For ten minutes after looking at it, you see light and dark flashes floating in front of your eyes. Too bad. The LED is more efficient and runs cooler, but it is just unpleasant to look at. Limited to the halogen light bulbs provided, I would only use about 8 lights or less on one circuit. Eight lights is more than enough for an island. I had to install a dimmer. My stove was lit up like an operating table!
I thought about using some pendants. Hampton Bay adapters are available on the web site, which will allow many (but not all) pendants to be adapted to the track in this starter kit. I'm glad I kept it simple, however and just used the mesh light heads.
February 8, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by angeltod Everything I asked for and more!
I purchased this product to replace two small, highly inadequate, ceiling fans which lit up my office (if you call it that). The ceiling in this room is highly sloped and is of two different angles creating a serious lighting issue. The ceiling fans were originally installed when we bought the house and I tried nearly every bulb and attachment I could think of or use within the limits of the sloping with no real solution. Two years ago I had a career change and took the summer off to overhaul my office (unfortunately I had to do it myself as my husband was deployed). Let's just say I learned a lot about A/C heating/cooling, ductwork, electricity, flooring, drywall, etc over those 8 weeks. I chose these as my light fixtures. Wow oh wow! They made a HUGE difference in lighting and virtually eliminate all shadows from my work areas. My room is arranged so I have 3 distinct areas I work at (allowing me to mix work and play) and I hate my work to be in shadow. I'll be honest - I like light and lots of it. These fit the bill perfectly. I installed them myself with a little wiring help from Google and they went up fine within a few hours. The worst part was screwing the caps on the light track heads (you have to squeeze the sides together perfectly and screw the top on - problem is your arms are above your head and you can't see if they are aligned right...it takes time and patience before they are all done). I put my two tracks up mirroring each other and once up you cannot tell my ceilings are of different lengths/angles. As the tracks were shipped curled and they like being curled (as well as being long and heavy) I know they aren't up there perfectly but just stayed within basic measurements for each (distance from ceiling apex and side walls, etc.) - worked like a charm.
To simplify - are they worth it? YES, every single penny.
Can they be installed by beginners? Yup. I had never installed a light fixture before this project. They worked the first time and 2 years later my house still hasn't burned down.
How about single person install? Yes again, although the adage of "many hands make light work" holds true...with nearly everything.
Can you use LED bulbs? Yes, just purchased 11 GU10 LED bulbs today and replaced my halogen with LED to lower my consumption of energy (8W vs 50W with more actual lumens) and reduce unwanted heat output.
How good are they at lighting up areas?
Very good. Depending on what track heads you purchase, most simply flex in place. I can get a broom handle and adjust it lightly (or you could always climb back on the ladder). They aren't too "spot light-y" so a little goes a long way. I have few shadows in my office anymore (other than those under furniture) so I am quite happy. Nice broad coverage and flexibility with the track. I also don't have any issues with a light shining directly in my eyes in order to achieve the light density I desire. My room is long and narrow (22x13 at widest part) but did not allow running lights on the long/narrow due to ceiling design. Two of the flexible tracks near 3/4 of the way to the apex of each ceiling slope were adequate enough to light up the entire space completely (I used the existing spots where the fans were originally).
If I had the option of replacing lighting anywhere else, I'd chose these again and again. I can't recommend them enough.
April 7, 2015
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by CO19 looks great, but be careful
The positives - looks great and lights the stove and counter area perfectly. Relatively easy to install.
The negatives - minimal printed instructions included- went to the web for backup on spacing fixtures, cutting track, how close support needs to be to the track end. Included ceiling drywall anchors are barely adequate - used quality stuff from our own stock. Ceiling supports won't take much torque and care must be taken to line up the track slots when the support is screwed into its base, as supports have minimal adjustment capability.
September 6, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by JackO Kitchen track lighting
It has added much needed light to our kitchen. Using less power than our last fixture.
August 25, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Verified Reviewer Excellent way to add light to a room!
Lights which come attached to ceiling fans always seem to be insufficient to light up a room, especially if there's a globe/dome over them. Adding curved track lighting to our daughter's bedroom using these lights was a huge improvement!!! You do need in-ceiling access--and/or you need to plan the installation as you're building--but if that's not an issue, put two of these tracks on a circular 8' diameter path around a ceiling fan in a 12'x12' room. They look fantastic, and the added light is incredible! Best yet, you can aim the added light wherever you want, and you can add more heads to the track if you desire! Love it!!!
January 5, 2012
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by fun4u Did the Job
I used the track to hang three pendant lights on a vaulted ceiling, so getting the lengths to match was a challenge! I used the track in a straight 6' piece, so the 12' was much more than I needed, but it cut easily.
December 10, 2014
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by glad2bdad No good matching track heads
Be warned that if you are looking for a matching Amber Murrano glass track head to match this track (Brush Steel finish), then there isn't one.
Your options are to either of the following -
1) go with the Oil Bronze line voltage track which has Amber Murrano glass track head.
2) go with a low voltage brush steel track which then has a matching amber murrano glass track head. The number of fixtures on your low voltage track can consume only 300w of total power.
We found the Amber Murrano glass track heads to be simply beautiful. The rest are okay.
March 7, 2007
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Dick4001 Very good product
The track is fine, but attaching fixtures is a bit challenging because aligning and squeezing the two halves of the top takes a little time and strength. The track bends into nice curves easily, without tools! We used the white version which helps reduce its visual impact since our ceiling is also white. I used four in tandem, as the description said would work and they did!
March 4, 2014