-hack saw or jig saw (if making cuts)
-drill or screw driver
-dry wall screws
-square (if making cuts)
Before you begin your installation, make sure to turn off the circuit breaker. Once thatís done, you can start by removing the old light.
Then youíll need to attach the cross bar, which is the mounting bracket that goes over the electrical outlet on the ceiling. Make sure the ground wire thatís attached to the cross bar is face down. Pull all three of the existing electrical wires through the center of the cross bar and then screw the cross bar to the outlet box.
Now, youíre ready to mark the ceiling for placement of the track. You can put the track anywhere you want. But if youíre using it to light up a picture, or if you want to direct the light against different walls, make sure the track is away from the wall. We put ours 16 inches from the wall. But again, all applications are different.
If you are using several tracks or if they will be lighting up a really long wall, you may have to make some cuts to the track. We used tracks made by Lightolier and each track was eight feet long.
If you do have to make cuts, clamp the piece of track to a work bench, mark the track with a square to make sure itís straight and cut it with a hack saw or jig saw.
Before you mount the track you need to mark the ceiling for the drywall anchors. The track already has holes in it for the screws, so all you have to do is hold the track in place on the ceiling, and put a mark where the holes are. Youíll put your dry wall anchors right over those marks.
Once the dry wall anchors are in place, you can put the track up against the ceiling and screw it into the dry wall anchors. If for some reason one of the dry wall anchors wonít go into the ceiling itís probably because thereís a ceiling joist in that spot. If this happens, just leave out the drywall anchor and put a screw there instead.
If you are using more that one piece of track you will most likely need to add a T-connector or an L-connector. These connectors allow you to connect two pieces of track. But theyíre also wired so a constant flow of electricity will run through your track. Itís best to attach the connector to one piece of the track before mounting it to the wall. You may also want to leave the screw loose that nearest the T or L connector. That way, youíll have more room to attach it to the second piece of track. You can go back and tighten the screw up later.
Before hooking up the power, itís important to put end caps on all of the open ends of track. These will close any contacts you have open. They simply slide right into the track just like the L and L connector.
Now youíre ready to hook up the power supply. It attaches to the track, and once you turn it, itíll lock into place. Then you can hook up the wires. Black connects to black. Those are your hot wires. The white wires are neutral and the connect to one another. The copper wires are the ground wires. Most of the time, this is not a tricky procedure. But if you are concerned in anyway about handling electrical wires.... donít. You can always call a certified electrician to do the job.
After youíve made your connections, tuck all of your wires into the outlet box. Then you can screw your cover into place.
Last but not least, you are ready to put up your lights. They go in just like the connectors. You simply snap them into the track and then turn them so they can lock into place.
For most do it yourselfers, itíll take about a half a day to install track lighting. The track lighting we installed was made by Lightolier and it cost around $650. But there are many track lighting systems to choose from... in all different price ranges. And regardless of the price, once the job is done, the homeowner will have a lighting system in place that will give them a lot of flexibility.