Track Lighting or Recessed Lighting for the Living Room: A Guide to Help You Decide

Between track lighting and recessed lighting, recessed is the ideal lighting fixture to dominate the living space. It is simple and straightforward compared to the other lighting fixtures we are well-acquainted with. Lighting is one of the most overlooked factors in designing the living room. It may not be the first thing you have in mind but it highlights the entirety of the design of a space. As much as we want to look the living room beautiful and functional, it can be a challenge to know which type of lighting would suit the living space. Track lights and recessed lights are the commonly used lighting fixtures in the living room. They both may seem to be the best option to illuminate the living room but it would be best to know how they are used and their benefits. 

Track Lights

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Track lights are a type of lighting fixture arranged and attached within a track or railing. The electricity is routed towards the entire track rather than each of the lighting fixtures. They are turned on and off all at once compared to being on and off one by one. It is often mounted on the ceiling to illuminate a room. What makes it different from the other lighting fixtures is how the angle can be adjusted depending on where you want to direct the lighting. A single track is wired towards the switch. As a type of task lighting, the light is directed towards a particular space or area to be covered. It is often used in museums to highlight artworks and sculptures. At home, it is the ideal lighting fixture to illuminate different spaces designed for various activities. 

Common Uses

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Transform the Walls into a Gallery 

At home, the living room would be the best gallery where you can illuminate different framed pieces and artworks. It distributes the light towards a surface evenly. It can focus on a single frame or an entire wall. Once mounted, the angle can be adjusted depending on where you want to direct the light. It would be best to set the track lights at a 30-degree angle. If the piece that you are trying to illuminate is on a large scale, it would be best to add five more degrees. To focus on the details, just subtract five degrees. What makes it a suitable light for the gallery is how they are directed towards the wall considering how regular lights are directed on the top of the head.  

Highlight Features and Displays

Track lights come in different colors and intensities. That is what makes it the ideal type of fixture for accent lighting. It is the vibe and drama built that makes it work in the living room. Whether it be white, yellow, or any other color, track lights highlight the most beautiful features of a space. It points out the details and character of the design and elements within the living room. Compared to regular lights, its objective is mainly to highlight the features and displays. What is great about having track lights is how they can work for both accent lighting and direct lighting. They act as a mini spotlight that distributes light evenly. It makes the elements within a living room more interesting. 

Illuminates a Low-Ceilinged Space

If you are given a living room with low ceilings, having track lights is the best way to go. They tend to draw the light downwards making the living room appear bigger. This is a great illusion, especially to those who appear to be claustrophobic. Track lights would be the best lighting fixture to work with because they are subtle and evenly distributes light throughout the room. In addition, they do not add unnecessary depth to the ceiling. It makes a strategic and flexible solution to the plain and boring surface of the ceilings. 


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Aesthetically Pleasing

Track lighting makes the design of the entire room different. It focuses on building a cozy and productive ambiance for the living room. With its design and composition, it can work with any interior design and style. It blends well with the visual aesthetic of the living room whether it be maximalist or minimalist decor. This would work well in highlighting the details and textures of the room without even trying. The beauty of the living room is not only based on the elements it is composed of but as well as the lights that make the space more comfortable and homey. 

Space-Saving Fixture

For those who have limited space for a living room, track lights are the ideal pieces to fill the space with. There is no need to put multiple lighting fixtures because the amount of light they can give will already suffice the space to cover. You can already alleviate the number of lights to use that often takes space. Track lights are not only space-saving but are also a sustainable option to illuminate a space. You can even adjust where the lights will be directed towards the different areas at home. 

Powerful Lighting Option

For a more sustainable option to work with, track lights will suffice. More often than not, sustainability depends on the type of bulb used. But, track lights work on a single track where the switch is just one per railing. Being turned on and off with just one switch makes it sustainable. The ability to adjust the color and intensity of light makes it even more environment-friendly. This means that you get to adjust the intensity depending on the need for light for every activity. It does not compromise quality and productivity within the living room space. 

Versatile Feature

Track lights are often installed in the office, kitchen, and living room making it a flexible type of lighting. It tailors the amount of light to be used according to the needs of a space. Since the living room is a multi-purpose space, you can distribute it within the different zones of the space according to your preferences and comfortability. It is not just limited to lighting up artworks and accent walls. It can also be used as the main source of lighting within a space. The versatility of track lights makes it a perfect lighting fixture to dominate the living room space. 

How Track Lights Work in the Living Room

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Track lights’ main objective is to brighten up the areas of the room that require plenty of light that are beyond the reach of recessed lights. With the living room being a multi-function space, it requires multiple lighting sources that will separate the zones according to the activities that are being hosted. From the mini office, receiving area, entertainment area, and even the reading corner, track lights will allow lights of different settings to illuminate the spaces in need. Being able to set the intensity and the color will enable you to build the ambiance and environment for the entirety of the living room. 

Recessed Lights

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Recessed lights are the ones pre-installed into the ceiling. They are given space before they are even installed. This type of fixture is created and fixed into hollow openings and secured with a metal casing. The light is inserted where none of its parts go beyond the ceiling. During installation, they are required to be done by a professional to organize the wiring and connect it to the source of electricity. It is a challenge to move it around and change the placement considering how the holes are already made. Recessed lights are also called downlights, can lights, or pin lights considering how they look like little pins in the reflected ceiling plan. 

Common Uses

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Task Lighting 

Recessed lighting is often used in the most high-traffic areas housing different activities such as the living room. Whether it be for the reading area, entertainment area, or mini office, it works well in not compromising the productivity of each. It evenly distributes the light directed towards a space. In addition, it can be easily customized according to how you want the space to be divided. It is up to you which ones you can put together into one single switch. 

Highlighting a Path 

Apart from working as a task light, it can also be used to highlight a path. It is not only used for the ceilings but as well as for the floors. They are often placed on the corners or edges of the space to see the path that you are walking on. It can also be used on the steps of the stairs to help illuminate dark places. 

Illuminate the Wall

When used correctly, recessed lighting can also be used to illuminate the walls. Apparently, they are not of the same size as the ones on the ceilings but it works just as much. It can be placed on the accent wall or the wall where the fireplace is located. It can be customized according to your preferred color and intensity too. Accentuating the wall with recessed lights will give the viewer a better perspective of drawing attention to the wall. 


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Ideal for Small Spaces

If you are given a small space to work with for a living room, recessed lights would be the best way to go. They do not cover much space and their distances are decent without compromising the amount of light it provides. In spite of having a small living room, they create an illusion of making the space look bigger. There is no need to worry about floor lamps for reading since you can make use of recessed lighting for all types of activities. 

Easy to Maintain

Since they come with a can or case, they are easier to maintain. The inner portion does not acquire dust. All you need is to wipe the cover clean from dust. A damp cloth would suffice. Common recessed lights come with a cover to diffuse the light to a larger coverage. 

Simple Design

When it comes to lighting, it does not have to be complicated. It has to be simple and direct to save money and energy. Lighting should make the space more functional and beautiful. Recessed lights make the most out of every area of the living room. It makes the spaces be able to cater to a variety of activities. 

Complements the Design

The design of the recessed lights is simple and does not even manage to interfere with your ideal design. Any design interior would complement this light. They are often located and planned as a grid. This allows the even distribution of light throughout the entire room. 

How Recessed Lights Work in the Living Room

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Recessed lighting works well in the living room regardless of whether it is for the ceiling, wall, or even floor. It may look direct and simple but its installation can be quite a challenge because of the need for cutting holes and connecting wires to the power box. It is an ideal lighting fixture, to begin with considering how light distribution is important in the living room.