Have you ever pitched up at a store, and known more about their products than the sales consultant? This happened to me when I went to buy the supplies for our DIY caged pendant track light in our kitchen.
I had done my research thoroughly and knew exactly what I needed to buy as I had studied the store’s product catalogue beforehand. The consultant was knowledgeable enough, but I knew more that day. The tracks were easy to find, the end caps and connectors too. But the sales consultant did not know that they had pendant adaptors that allow you to connect any pendant lamp of your choice to a track light. I was happy to teach him something that day, me, an amateur in electrical products.
Easy steps to build your own track light, with the pendant lamp of your choice
Our kitchen light fitting was nothing much to look at before. It was a fluorescent light with no character. This is the only photo I could find of this lamp before, but you get the idea.
From the start, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the light fixture upgrade in the kitchen. I envisioned an L-shaped track light above our island counter, with three caged pendants. I knew that the industrial look of the caged pendants and track light would look great with the dark cabinet handles and black oven.
But track lights aren’t readily available, and I had to do a lot of research. I searched the internet for local electrical goods suppliers that had the parts I needed, and finally, found what I needed.
Please note that I cannot give advice on how to do electrical work in your home. If you do not have experience with electrical work, please find a professional to help. My full disclaimer is available here.
The Parts I used to Build a Caged Pendant Track Light
- Tracks in black. I bought two, 1-meter tracks, they each came with one end cap and one power end cap.
- L-shaped connector
- Three pendant adaptors in black
- Three caged pendants
The L-shaped connector was out of stock in black, but we covered the electrical components with painters tape and spray painted the top black to match.
Assembling the Track
We designed an L-shaped track and had to buy two 1-meter tracks. So we had to cut the one track with a hack saw to the length we needed. We only have one electrical outlet, so only one power end cap (this is where your electricity goes in) is necessary.
We placed the power end cap closest to the electrical outlet. This was on the shorter track. The L-shaped connector connects the two tracks, and the second track only needs a standard end cap.
All the parts slide into one another. Assemble the track on the ground first and then, measure and mark before attaching it to the ceiling. We had to make sure the ceiling and track would carry the weight of the pendant. We cut squares out of plywood which we placed above the ceiling board to distribute the load. Marinus climbed into the ceiling space, holding down the plywood, while I attached the tracks to the ceiling board and plywood with chipboard screws from below. This way making sure that the load is distributed and that the screws won’t pull out of the ceiling due to the weight of the pendant.
Side note: I do not think it will be wise to use very heavy pendants in this application. The ones we used are relatively light.
Another funny story for this project: For some reason, the drill was in reverse, and me not working with power tools that often did not realise this. I put all of my strength into getting that first screw in and managed to get through the ceiling board with the drill in reverse. Marinus realised something was wrong, and he came to investigate. Needless to say that the rest went a lot smoother.
Adding the Caged Pendants
When the track is installed, you can work on the pendants. Remove the ceiling canopy from the fitting. Decide on the length, and make sure you cut all the cords to the same length. Then connect them into the pendant adaptors and add them to the track.
The Finished Caged Pendant Track Light
I could not be happier with the final result. We now have a gorgeous light fixture/feature in our kitchen instead of just an ugly fitting that happened to give light. We use carbon filament globes with the caged pendants.
This project reminded me once again that with some research and a bit of hard work, you can bring your innovative ideas or designs to life. Not everyone believed we could pull this DIY off, but we succeeded, and we are thrilled with the result! Do you have existing track lights in your home but with spotlights that you dislike? Why not add pendants to the track for a new look?
Have you tried building your own light fixtures? What did you use and did you succeed? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.