Track lighting vs recessed lighting: tips for choosing

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Track lighting offers a modern and versatile solution for illuminating various indoor spaces, from commercial areas to private homes. Its flexibility, combined with high light output and a wide range of available spotlights and lamps, makes it an ideal choice for designers seeking customised and efficient lighting solutions.

How does track lighting work?

The track lighting system is based on an electrified track that serves as a support for various types of spotlights and lamps. It consists mainly of three elements: the electrified track, the connectors, and the lighting fixtures. The track, available in different lengths and configurations, acts as both an electrical conductor and a physical support for the lights. The connectors are the points where the lighting fixtures attach to the track, ensuring the distribution of electrical current.

The track can be installed on the ceiling, on the wall, using three different installation types:

  • surface or exposed installation: the track is directly fixed to the ceiling or wall surface. This is the simplest and most versatile solution, suitable for any environment.

  • recessed installation in the ceiling: the track is recessed into the ceiling, which can be made of plasterboard or walls, creating a cleaner and more elegant effect. This solution is ideal for environments with high or irregular ceilings or with a minimalist design.

  • suspended installation: the track is suspended from the ceiling using cables or metal wires. This solution is particularly suitable for creating a dramatic atmosphere and illuminating kitchen islands, tables, or other specific areas of the space.

The type of installation clearly depends on the characteristics of the ceiling and the desired lighting effect. If the ceiling is high, suspended lighting can create an interesting scenic effect. If the ceiling is low, however, recessed or surface installation is preferable to avoid further lowering the ceiling.

If the ceiling is made of plasterboard, recessed lighting is the ideal solution. If the ceiling is masonry, any type of installation can be chosen. The track lighting system can easily adapt to the presence of beams or other architectural elements, thanks to its flexibility.

In general, we recommend always consulting a professional to choose the most suitable installation type for your needs.

Recessed lighting vs exposed track lighting: key differences

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the main differences lie in the installation. While recessed lighting has the light source incorporated within a hidden structure, making the lighting fixture almost invisible, exposed track lighting has the track mounted on the ceiling or wall. Along the track, individual lighting fixtures (heads) can be positioned and directed. In this case, the track serves as both a structural support and an electrical conductor.

Unlike recessed lights, track lighting has visible components, including the track and fixtures. This type of lighting has a more noticeable look and can be used to create an industrial or contemporary style at home.

One advantage of track lighting is the ability to create directional and adjustable lighting to highlight specific areas or objects. Thanks to the ability to easily move the lights, you can reposition and reconfigure the lighting fixtures as needed. While recessed LED lighting is limited to fixed positions, only allowing for variation in light intensity and colour.

Both recessed and track lighting offer unique advantages, meeting different lighting needs and design preferences. Recessed profiles are ideal for those seeking a minimalist look and uniform lighting, while track lighting offers flexibility and directional capabilities for dynamic and versatile lighting designs. To learn more about installing recessed profiles, see our guide.

9010novantadieci recessed LED track lighting: our solutions

Among the various installation types, recessed track lighting in plasterboard is particularly appreciated by architects and lighting designers. This installation type offers numerous aesthetic and functional advantages:

  • clean and elegant effect: the track becomes invisible, leaving only a thin slit that illuminates the space uniformly. This creates a minimalist and refined aesthetic, perfect for modern and contemporary environments.

  • greater positioning freedom: the track can be recessed at any point in the plasterboard, allowing for various lighting configurations and customising the lighting according to your needs. This makes recessed track lighting in plasterboard an extremely versatile solution, suitable for any type of environment.

  • uniform lighting: recessed track lighting in plasterboard ensures diffused and uniform lighting, avoiding shadow zones and creating a comfortable atmosphere. This is particularly important in work or study environments, where good lighting is essential for productivity and well-being.

    9010novantadieci designs LED profiles that can be installed on plasterboard, masonry, and concrete without the need for a counterbox. Our corner, recessed, wall, and ceiling profiles feature a disappearing design to create linear, homogeneous, and customised lighting. 9010novantadieci profiles are made of Cristaly and Alumite, high-quality materials that ensure high energy efficiency, long life, and excellent colour rendering.

    In addition to profiles, 9010novantadieci also creates suspension lamps with high-quality materials and advanced LED technologies. Ideal for modern and refined environments,


    Track lighting, with its flexibility, adaptability, and sophisticated design, represents a versatile and modern solution for illuminating various indoor environments. Recessed installation in plasterboard offers additional aesthetic and functional advantages, making this type of lighting ideal for modern and minimalist spaces. 9010, with its wide range of design suspension lamps and cutting-edge LED technology, provides high-quality lighting solutions to meet diverse needs. If you are a designer looking for a high-quality track lighting solution, contact 9010novantadieci.

    Our experts will help you choose the most suitable solution for your needs and provide you with all the necessary information to complete your lighting project.