Where To Use Spotlights & Track Lighting

21 February 2024
Different types of lighting have differing uses and suit different kinds of spaces but how do you know which lighting to choose? In this blog, we’re looking at where to use spotlights and track lighting both in residential and commercial spaces and highlighting the benefits of both.

What Are Spotlights and What Are the Benefits?

As their name suggests, spotlights provide a spot or strong beam of light, which can be adjusted to a required angle. This means they can illuminate a small area in a focused, controllable way.

Spotlights are a great way to layer lighting in a space or to provide task lighting. They’re also an excellent way to accentuate specific areas and objects, whether that’s an architectural feature or a piece of artwork or furniture.

Are Spotlights the Same as Downlights?

The short answer to this is, “no”! People often get confused between spotlights and downlights and may use the terms interchangeably but they’re not the same.

Downlights are a type of recessed lighting. This means that their fixtures and fittings are entirely hidden in the ceiling. Spotlights, on the other hand, are surface mounted onto a ceiling or wall, which means the direction of their light can be adjusted to any direction rather than shining straight down in a fixed beam.

Using Spotlights in Commercial Settings

Spotlights suit a variety of commercial sightings thanks to their versatility.

Spotlights in Retail

LED spotlights can be used to highlight sections of your store to direct your customers’ attention in that direction. It can also be used to showcase specific products for optimum visual merchandising.

Contrasting the direction and intensity of spotlights from the rest of your lighting enables your chosen area to really shine, which is perfect for launching new products or highlighting sale items.

Spotlights For Highlighting

Spotlights can be used in galleries to highlight specific pieces of art, whether that’s paintings, sculptures or installations. They can also be used to highlight unique or historically significant architectural features to transform a space and draw people’s eye.

Spotlights in Workspaces

Spotlights also make excellent task lighting for a range of practical purposes, whether in an office or the hospitality sector. The fact that a light beam can be specifically adjusted and focused onto a small space makes it easier to get the required level of light for a specific area without over-lighting an entire space.

Exterior Spotlights

Spotlighting can be used to illuminate outdoor spaces as well as indoor, such as pathways, entryways and dark spots around your building’s exterior to enhance visibility and improve safety and security.

Where to place Spotlights in Residential Spaces

The adjustable arms of a spotlight mean it can be angled in any direction to illuminate dark corners in a room, bringing a more balanced ambience and creating an overall brighter space. Spotlights come in a range of styles, materials and designs, making it easy to fit them into your existing home décor.

Spotlights in Kitchens

Spotlights are commonly found in residential kitchens and they are ideal for this kind of space as they can be used to improve light levels in specific areas by illuminating sinks, countertops and kitchen islands.

Bathroom Spotlighting

Spotlights can be used to highlight key features in bathrooms such as a bathtub or ornate mirror.

Spotlights in Living Spaces

Spotlights work well in both bedrooms and living rooms where they can be used to highlight a general area or special feature. This might be a piece of artwork, a plant or an architectural feature of your home or perhaps a specific area such as a dressing table or reading nook.

Rather than depending on a single overhead fixed light fixture in the centre of a room to provide all the light a room needs, spotlights allow you to layer lighting and showcase every angle.

Spotlights For Home Working Spaces

As we’ve said, spotlights are ideal for task lighting and as such, can be used to illuminate worktops or desks in home offices, studies, workshops and studios.

What is Track Lighting and Why Is It Used?

Track lighting is similar to spot lighting but with an added level of versatility. Track lighting is a system that consists of a track and a series of spotlights. The lights can be moved anywhere along the track and lights can be added or taken away as required. Track lights typically involve a straight or curved track and tracks can be fitted together in patterns for larger spaces.

Track lighting is fully customisable, meaning it can be used in any size or shape of room and because it can easily be reconfigured at any time it offers optimum flexibility for the long term.

Track Lighting For Commercial Spaces

Track lighting is ideal for commercial spaces because of the possibilities and adaptability it offers.

Commercial spaces can future-proof their lighting needs with the addition of track lighting, knowing that they can alter their light levels at any time. Track lighting can also be refreshed or upgraded easily as the spotlight heads can typically be interchanged providing they are compatible with the track used (i.e. from the same manufacturer).

Track Lighting in Offices

Track lighting suits all the spaces where spotlighting might be used, including offices, where it can be used for task lighting and customised to suit different lighting needs at different times.

Track Lighting in Shops

In retail, track lighting can be used to pinpoint directional light to accentuate products, direct customers and increase sales.

Track Lighting For Exhibitions and Galleries

Track lighting is also perfect for creative spaces, such as art galleries and exhibition spaces as it can be quickly and easily adjusted to match changes in artwork or layout.

Track Lighting in Hospitality

In the hospitality sector, track lighting provides layered lighting to alter the ambience and vibe of spaces such as restaurants, cafés and bars.

The Best Places For Track Lighting in the Home

Track lights are suitable for most residential spaces and are often used alongside other lighting options, such as wall lights, floor lamps, table lamps and other ceiling lights to provide additional lighting in a space and highlight certain features.

Kitchen Track Lights

The great thing about track lighting in a kitchen is that it can be easily moved and adjusted to suit different activities, so you can highlight work areas for preparing food then sit and enjoy your meal without glaring light before easily clearing away thanks to directed spotlights above areas such as hobs and sinks.

Track Lighting For Home Offices

Track lights in your home office illuminate work areas while helping to prevent eye strain. Track lights can also be positioned to avoid glare on computer screens and can be easily adjusted if you decide to rearrange your home office or if you share the space or use it for another purpose.

Track Lighting to Accentuate Your Home

Track lighting can be used to highlight any features in your home that you’d particularly like to showcase or that you feel don’t get enough appreciation, whether it’s a bookshelf, photo wall or cosy corner in a living space.

Track Lights in Small Spaces

In small, narrow spaces such as a hallway or landing, track lighting can be used as the main source of ambient light. This can be done by running a track light strip along a narrow hall and directing the individual lights wherever they’re needed, whether that’s a staircase, entryway, coat rack or decorative feature, giving a welcoming touch while still being safe and practical.

Spotlights & Track Lighting at Searchlight Electric

Hopefully, this has explained where to use spotlights and track lighting both in the home and commercial spaces.
Here at Searchlight Electric, we supply a wide range of spotlights and track lighting options to lighting retailers around the world. Feel free to browse our extensive lighting collection for inspiration or get in touch to learn more.