The modern system of monorail lighting provides a useful and versatile lighting solution that can be used in almost any space. Combining a wide variety of techy lighting choices with beautiful pendants suspended from a thin rail, this is the right choice for even the most difficult of spaces to light.
However, despite their simplicity in looks there are of course considerations to make and choosing the right kit can be a little daunting. We’ve put together reviews of our favourite models plus an in-depth buying guide with everything you need to look for when purchasing a monorail lighting system.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
If you are in a hurry for a quick solution, check out our best buy recommendation for a great entry level monorail lighting starter kit. If you are looking for Monorail Lighting Kits keep scrolling down.
This short drop monorail track light is the entry level kit from the quality George Kovacs brand. Scroll down for the complete review.
Monorail lighting is a highly adaptable sophisticated linear suspension system that can be run in straight lines, hand shaped into curves to create a decorative feature or assist the integration of lighting into a room by following architectural details. A customized shape of lighting support rail can be adapted during installation by field cutting and joining lengths to create your unique tailor made solution.
Monorail is a flexible track lighting system that supports a wide variety of lighting heads and pendants to provide accent, ambient and decorative lighting to create a comprehensive lighting solution to illuminate even the trickiest of spaces. The monorail is an excellent choice for rooms where lighting is difficult to locate, particularly for rooms with high ceilings or when other services or structural details inhibit your choices.
Whether a traditional, classic, functional or contemporary interior style, monorail can be included with a variety of finish choices and lighting fixtures to choose from.
The adoption of monorail lighting by Architects & Designers as an updated choice of versatile track lighting has been for good reason. This is why monorail lighting is so useful:
Style: Firstly the style of a simple thin monorail system that supports lamps and lighting heads is a pro lighting solution that looks sophisticated. They are a great statement of lighting intent that can elevate the design of any room, so use monorail lights as a design tool.
Practicality: The potential to suspend lighting over areas that would otherwise be too difficult or impossible to do so, makes monorail lighting the lighting choice for awkward spaces without compromising on style.
Pitched Roof Spaces: Slanting ceilings have always been difficult to light from as the glare from a recessed light in a sloping ceiling is uncomfortable when it cannot be directed downwards. Monorail lights reduce glare by allowing light to illuminate a room as if the ceiling were flat even with pitched ceilings.
High Ceilings: A monorail light system is great for spaces with ceilings high enough to give at least 20″ of clearance between the lowest hanging lamp and someone’s head. The light source can be lowered allowing you to have a greater degree of control over the illumination of the room.
Pre-chosen combinations of Monorail lighting are packaged as kits for general use. They can be the most cost effective and simplest starting point to get going and added to later with individual fittings from the same manufacturer.
The full potential of monorail lights can only be realised by tailoring your choices and building a bespoke solution to suit your taste and the requirements of the space. Each system is assembled to your requirements by building it in component form. There is a huge array of choices of hardware to install your system into virtually any space, complemented by many choices of lighting fixture.
A kit is a good place to start, giving you the items you need to install a run without further supports and sometimes a number of lighting fixtures too. You will be able to add light fixtures to your kit as long as you buy the accessories from the same manufacturer. Rail lengths can be cut or joined to make long runs and interesting shapes.
A comprehensive component build will offer opportunities to create a system that can turn corners, choose your own system heights from the ceiling, allow the power to enter in different methods and much more.
We have taken the stress out of choosing your own monorail lighting system’s component parts with our easy to follow step by step guide: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Monorail Lighting in 2021
Even if you are just providing the parts for an installer you obviously need to know what it will look like once up, so it’s always beneficial to understand the choices that are on offer.
Always have a qualified electrician to install your lighting, connect the power and certify the system to your local code’s standards.
Monorail lighting can run with LED sources of light.
The power in the system is running at a low voltage which can accommodate these lamps types:
MR16 LED Lamps: for the heads and pendants that take your choice of lamp. You can choose 2700K extra warm white or maybe 3000K for a clean warm white color temperature. This is the lamp with 2 tiny pins at the base.
Dedicated LED: Many heads and pendants will have an LED source of light built inside of them. It is not usually a changeable LED source but it will last a VERY long time!
An economical and helpful place to start with monorail lighting is with a kit. Packed with a monorail, anchor points, transformer and sometimes the light fittings too, check out our best rated models.
Whether a hand shaped curve or straight run can be extended by joining rails with a conductive connector that joins the rail and power from one length to another.
The transformer that powers a monorail system has it’s limits. Usually rated for a 300 watts load at 12 volts. When using LED light sources this is a huge capacity however, voltage drops occur after 30′, meaning the systems with a single power feed of over that length will run with light sources that are not running at their full output. Long runs should isolate individually powered sections, i.e. split a long run into 2 circuits and use a transformer on each.
Pendants and heads that have the Freejack Connection System are designed to mount fixtures to 12V low voltage systems, including monorail lighting. A light with a freejack connector can be changed between a rail system and freejack monopoint with ease.
For lots more on suspended lighting choices check out: The Best Track, Monorail, Freejack & Cable-Lighting