Monorail lighting is often referred to as ‘flexible track lighting’,
'curved track lighting', or 'flex track lighting'. Monorail is shapeable, bendable
metallic rail used to both power and suspend light fixtures.
Although often placed in the same category, these systems should not be confused with traditional
track lighting, cable lighting
or twinrail systems as each has unique characteristics.
When to use monorail lighting
The advantages of monorail track lighting over traditional track
lighting are largely aesthetic. Whereas the suspension system for traditional
track (that is, the track itself) is entirely functional…monorail has become
a design element in itself. It may be shaped to form complementing
contours and is commonly available in attractive finishes such as satin nickel,
chrome, gold or antique bronze. Increasingly, these finishes come with
optional accent colors that run along the rail itself to highlight other colors in
the space to be illuminated.
Design considerations aside, monorail lighting advantages
are similar to track lighting advantages. In short, it is a good
solution when adjustable lighting is required. If the focal points in the
target area aren’t fixed, the reconfigurable nature of these rail systems
may offer a good solution. Classic examples of shifting focal points are restaurant tables and art on
walls, but almost any room without built-in furnishings is a candidate.
Use this type of linear lighting primarily for accent and task lighting
rather than general illumination. Rail systems are rarely suitable to
illuminate an entire room. Most spaces
require a balance of general, ambient illumination, task and accent
lighting…low voltage rail systems are best used for task and accent purposes.
Also consider this type of lighting if the space to be
illuminated has few points of power. Another reason linear lighting systems are so practical
is that it allows many fixtures to be powered from a single junction box. When remodeling,
it is often an easy way to add more light to the space without requiring
installation of more ceiling junction boxes by an electrician.