• Light according to youLiving rooms can be illuminated with a high voltage string system such as METALSPOT’s Eos
    Light according to youMETALSPOT’s high-voltage Zen string system, unlike similar models, uses one cable of two insulated conductors (neutral and phase)

    Light according to you OLIGO
    Flexible pendants allow you to adjust the height of the lamp and thus the illumination of the bar counter
    Light according to youIf it is necessary to distribute the fixtures over a larger ceiling area in string systems, both crossing and crossing wires can be used
    Light according to youSimilar lamps in the form of unidentified flying objects can be purchased at IKEA and from PAULMANN suppliers
    Light according to you PAULMANN
    In order to avoid sagging, the cables of string systems are pulled with great effort. Because of this, such systems cannot be mounted between two plasterboard walls. Mounting to the ceiling with the help of two rigid suspensions helps to get out of the situation.
    Light according to you SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN
    The suspension of the busbar system simultaneously performs the function of supplying power from a step-down transformer
    Light according to you SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN
    SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN’s CX500 high-voltage busbar trunking system can be crossed in different planes
    Light according to you SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN
    The flexible suspension is combined with a connector (withthe ability to rotate segments from 90 up to 270)
    Light according to you SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN
    Individual busbars can be combined into a common circuit using flexible connectors
    Light according to you SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN
    Sections of current conductors can be joined using connecting elements– connectors. They are both insulated and conductive.
    Light according to youThe rails of the conductive system can be located along the ceiling or wall. The same system serves both general and accent lighting
    Light according to you OLIGO
    The two-rail system consists of a pair of thin metal tubes with a diameter 4-10 mm, located at a distance of 3 to 20see apart
    Light according to you OLIGO
    One of the types of busbars– tape tracks. Their advantage is obvious: the tracks can be easily bent by hand along any radius
    Light according to you OLIGO
    Luminaires are attached to the conductor using adapters unique for each system.
    Light according to youAn interesting design solution: the Filigrano tape system from ZUMTOBEL (Austria) uses transparent plastic as a dielectric and a carrier element
    Light according to you WEVER DUCRE
    In modular systems, general and accent lighting fixtures, both high-voltage and low-voltage, can be used. Luminaires are selected based on the width and depth of the module profile
    Light according to youThe transformer for the low voltage system should be located as close as possible to the conductor. If the device cannot be hidden (for example, behind a false ceiling), it is placed in a decorative casing
    Light according to youYou can purchase a ready-made lighting system, all components of which, down to the mounting screws, are packed in a colorful box. Ready systems like this one– from PAULMANN are cheaper than $300
    Light according to you OLIGO
    Of course, the main contribution to the system is made by the fixtures themselves, which can be made by well-known designers.

    Many lighting systems on the market do not allow the buyer to easily make a choice. The lack of a common terminology makes it very difficult, and one gets the impression that the sellers of lighting equipment speak different languages. To help our readers navigate the sea of ​​market offerings, we have decided to introduce the concept of conductive systems based on an understanding of the design of lighting systems.

    Conductive lighting system– this is an ordered set of unique components inherent only to it (current duct, current duct suspension devices and fixtures, various docking and terminal elements, transformer), where the current duct is a load-bearing element on which luminaires can be mounted at any point. Conductors have a different design and degree of rigidity, they are open or insulated. There are two types of conductive systems for residential interiors: string (cable) and busbar.

    Conductive systems fully prove that lightare as much a decorator’s tool as building materials, and the popularity of these systems is steadily growing. If a few years ago they could only be seen in showrooms, modern offices and shopping malls, today this lighting option has taken root in a private interior. An express analysis of design projects published on the pages of our magazine shows that most often conductive systems are used simultaneously with the central luminaire as additional or local lighting. But in general, the systems are universal– they are suitable for both general and accent lighting of the space. Moreover, the sources suspended on the conductor can be easily rearranged, changing the accents. In place of boring lamps, if desired, others from the system of the same series will appear. It is convenient that the conductors can be mounted in any room, regardless of the height of the ceiling. In addition, they are able to cross in any direction and change direction along the radius (fortracks) or at an acute angle (forstrings).

    12 to 220 V

    All current-carrying systems are divided into low-voltage and high-voltage. ATin the first case, alternating current is supplied to the wire from a step-down transformer– voltage12 and rarely 24B (the latter version was not widely used due to the scarcity of appropriate light sources). Light sources in low-voltage systems are relatively inexpensive ($1.7-5) and widely sold 12 volt halogen bulbs. However, they are sensitive to voltage fluctuations, which can significantly reduce their service life. Low-voltage systems are safe for humans, so they are used both in “adult” premises (kitchens, living rooms, hallways, etc.)etc.), as well as in children. Lamps for children’s rooms are supplied with very nice multi-colored lampshades. Also, low-voltage systems are used to illuminate mirrors, bookshelves, paintings and photographs. Such systems are produced by several dozen foreign companies. ATRussia is best known for the products of companies from Germany (PAULMANN, SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN, OLIGO, INGO MAURER, BRUCK, BRILLIANT, BANKAMP), from Italy (TARGETTI, NUOVA MIZAR, ARTEMIDE, METALSPOT) and from Austria (PLANLICHT).

    No step-down transformer required for high voltage models– mains voltage 220 is supplied to the conductorB. The choice of types of light sources for such systems is much wider. Here, lamps with halogen (220C) fluorescent and incandescent lamps. If desired or necessary, you can even use powerful metal halide lamps, which a few years ago made a real revolution in lighting interiors of shops. The leading suppliers of high-voltage conductive systems to the Russian market are SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN, BRUCK, BANKAMPMETALSPOT, PLANLICHT.

    High-voltage lighting systems are recommended for use in rooms with high ceilings (2.7m) so as not to touch the wires with your hands. However, current conductors and all connecting elements are provided with insulation and are electrically safe.

    Conductive systems have current limits. ATlow-voltage systems, the maximum allowable current is usually 25A (respectively power 300W), in high voltage– fifteenA (inIn this case, the electrical power is large– about 3.5kW). If it is necessary to install luminaires whose total power is higher than the maximum (for example, a low-voltage system is enough to power only eight 35 watt halogen lamps), then the system is divided into a series of segments isolated from each other (mini-systems), docked using insulating connectors, and each section is connected to a separate transformer. If the inverse problem is set– the power of the transformer is enough to power the lamps located on several sections of the current duct,– use conductive connectors. Connectors are understood as individual connecting elements for the current duct of each brand, which make it possible to obtain a system that is unified in design. They can carry a mechanical load and either isolate electrical circuits or combine, thus becoming insulating or connecting.

    Practical Tips

    The main requirements for the installation of a lighting system, as well as for the installation of all electrical products, are electrical safety requirements. Neglecting them can lead to the most serious consequences. Unprofessionalism is especially dangerous when working with a high-voltage lighting system. Be sure to invite professional installers to your place. Boxed low-voltage systems also require careful handling.

    Before connecting the transformer, it is necessary to de-energize the input network, and after connecting, check the voltage on the conductor with a voltmeter. There should be no breakdown of high-voltage voltage, that is, the voltmeter should show a voltage of no more than 12V. Voltage 12It is safe, so you can adjust the location of the fixtures, change the light bulbs without disconnecting the system from the network.

    The requirements of aesthetics, of course, are not as absolute as the requirements of safety, but haste and inaccuracy will not allow you to fully enjoy the design of the purchased lighting system later.

    Long gone are the days when the buyer “chased” for beautiful lamps, practically not thinking about the sufficiency of the lighting produced by them. If in high-voltage systems the adjustment of the luminous flux is easy (it is enough to screw in a light bulb of higher power), then for low-voltage conductive systems a detailed calculation is absolutely necessary. It is necessary to accurately select the power of the transformer, the type of dimmer, the number and location of the fixtures, their power. The correct calculation of the system will be made by the lighting engineer of the supplier. This is far from a trivial task, since each lamp has its own luminous intensity curve (luminous flux distribution) and creates illumination at a certain distance. It is measured in lux and is the main input parameter in the calculation (andnot at all the power of light sources, expressed in watts more familiar to us).

    In practice, you can still make an approximate calculation yourself. For example, in apartments with low ceilings (2.5-2.7m) for general lighting there will be enough lamps with a total power of10 to 15W per 1m2. If the ceilings are high, either increase the total power of the fixtures, or install the lighting system at a low height.

    Get creative with the design. For example, experts do not recommend installing a lighting system along the midline of a narrow room.– fromthis room seems even narrower. Move the system to one side. There are several methods, which we will discuss below.

    Finally, you need to carefully mark the points of attachment of the hangers to the ceiling (especially in the case of a busbar system) and the points of attachment of the wire system to the wall. Mistake will be costly– you will have to close up holes in the walls and ceiling and drill new ones, not to mention how much effort it will take to achieve the ideal,– the slightest flaws will hurt the soul of the owner.

    String systems

    In string systems, electric current flows through tensioned cables. Woven from thin copper or aluminum wires with a diameter of 0.1mm, they are ordinary electrical products. For low voltage systems, thin cables are used, commonly referred to as strings. Often they are not insulated.

    In high voltage lighting systems, due to the higher power (for the sake of electrical safety) and the heavy weight of the fixtures, thicker and insulated cables are used. Their disadvantage is that at the place of installation of the lamps, the insulation has to be cut off or pierced, and in the case of moving the lamps along the cable, the former places of their attachment remain visible.

    As a rule, string systems use two parallel cables spaced at 3-20cm from each other. One of them– neutral conductor, other– phase. The luminaires are mounted either on flexible suspensions, or are located between the cables in the same plane. Exception– The METALSPOT Zen system, which uses double insulated cables that resemble wiring. Thus, if two such cables are used in the system, it will be possible to create two separate circuits of lamps. FROMwith the help of one lighting can be made muffled, and to create a holiday atmosphere– Turn on all lights.

    ALBUM’s Orbita string system is also an exception to the general rule. ATtwo current-carrying strings can be separated by a distance of up to 5m from each other and fixed along opposite walls. The luminaires of the system have long pendants and can be placed anywhere in the room. Illumination is adjusted using the remote control.

    All conductive systems can be installed horizontally, inclined or vertically if the luminaires allow. The cables are tightened with great effort to avoid sagging. So it is not recommended to mount the string system between two plasterboard walls. ATIn this case, you must either use long anchor bolts for fastening to the main wall, or use ceiling mounting using two rigid racks through which the cable is stretched and then attached to the ceiling or floor.

    The cost of a cable system is entirely determined by the cost of fixtures and a transformer. One meter of copper cable costs the buyer approximately $2. Several tens of firms are engaged in the production of string systems. ATRussia you can buy lighting systems from PAULMANN, BRUCK, OLIGO, SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN, INGO MAURER, NUOVA MIZAR, METALSPOT, BELUX, PLANLICHT, CININILS and others.

    Busbar systems

    In contrast to string lighting systems, the current conductors of which are metal cables, in all other systems the current conductors are unique in each specific case. There are many variations, and this causes confusion in the names. ATRussia will not come up with a new name, except perhaps the lazy one. They are called buses, current leads, modules and tracks. But, interestingly, there is no common terminology abroad. So, in Germany, all conductors, except for cables, are called schienen (tires), and in the English version of the catalogs– tracks (tracks). ATIn the United States, the number of terms is expanded, which allows for some classification.

    Current conductors made of extruded aluminum profile with copper conductors integrated into it are called tracks by the Americans. Systems with “sandwich” conductors, in which two conductor layers are separated by a dielectric layer, are called monorail systems, that is, systems with a single rail. Widespread systems on thin metal tubes are referred to by US sellers as twinrail systems.– we call them rails.

    Since conductors based on aluminum profiles are called busbars (or simply tires) in domestic terminology, the borrowed word “track” turned out to be free. Andsuppliers of lighting systems use it completely freely, more often calling monorail busbars tracks. Let’s try to give more precise names to these systems, based on American terminology, which seemed to us the most developed and reasonable.

    The single point for these structures is rigidity. That is, these conductors retain a given shape and do not require tension. For simplicity, we will further call them busbars (or tires) and divide them into rail and track busbar systems.

    With all their diversity, they are equally attached to the ceiling and walls. Bus ducts can be suspended from both the main and decorative ceilings, since on average one meter of the structure, together with the lamp, weighs no more than 3kg. Suspension is carried out using flexible cables or rigid rods with plastic or insulated brackets at the ends. The distance between the pendants varies from 50 to 150see so as to ensure the stability of the system and prevent excessive load on the conductor and connectors. The surface of most busbars has a decorative coating– from chrome plating or painting to 14 carat gilding, since in a residential interior the system must also perform aesthetic functions. ATlow-voltage systems, where current flows through bare busbars, the coating is made conductive– for contact with adapters. Adapters are called brackets, with the help of which the lamps are attached to the busbar and receive electrical energy.

    Rail systems

    All of them are low voltage. This is due to the fact that the current flows through bare, uninsulated conductors, asrails.”

    In monorail systems, the cross-sectional shape of the conductor can be very diverse: round, elliptical, square. The sectional size of a low voltage monorail is usually 6-10mm in width and 15-25mm in height. As a modification, strip busbars are also produced. ATIn this case, between two thin conductive layers (not more than 1mm) there is also a thin layer of insulating material.

    Rails can be bent as you like– in the plane of the ceiling and perpendicular to it. Restrictions on the bending radius, however, exist. Typically, the minimum radius is 50see, but it’s worth checking for your system. With a smaller bending radius, the decorative coating of the track is damaged, and in the worst case, the rail even breaks. Belt monorails, due to the small thickness of the structure, can be bent along the wide side with an even smaller radius. Track bending is carried out at the factory, in the supplier’s workshop or directly on site. ATthe latter case will either require a special bending mechanism provided for rent by the supplier, or, for small and ribbon sections, the bending will be done manually. The rail can be cut to the required size on site, but manufacturers advise doing this at the factory (due to the high likelihood of damage to the insulation and decorative coating). Most manufacturers produce monorails in several fixed lengths based on practical experience. For example, one of the leading companies in the lighting systems market– SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN– makes rails length 1 and 2m. This size is optimal for users, and in most cases, systems can be easily assembled from pieces of factory length.

    In addition to the mentioned lighting systems from SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN, the Russian market offers monorail systems from METALSPOT, BRUCK, OLIGO, BANKAMPPLANLICHT, ARTEMIDE, ZUMTOBEL and others.

    In systems with two rails, thin copper tubes with a diameter of 4-10mm. Toto them, as to cables, lamps are mounted rigidly or on flexible suspensions. The system is assembled, like monorails, from separate sections of the busbar trunking joined to each other (they can be either straight or curved) and fixed to rigid suspensions that provide a given distance between zero and phase to avoid short circuits. Similar solutions are offered by manufacturing companies PAULMANN, OLIGO, METALSPOT, NUOVA MIZAR, PLANLICHT, LUXOL. The advantage of these systems is the combination of string design and aesthetics of monorail systems.


    Both low-voltage and high-voltage tracks are common. ATa plastic or aluminum profile is pressed into a pair of conductors with insulation so that they “look” inside the section of the profile, and it is almost impossible to accidentally touch the bare wire. Most plastic profile tracks bend with a minimum radius of 1m. However, there is an exception– high voltage system BRELONER BL3000 with a bending radius of 25see. Any decorative coating, of any color, can be applied to the surface of the tracks, as long as it does not suffer when installing lamp adapters. Tracks made of aluminum profiles have a rigid section and do not allow bending at the installation site. They can be joined using connectors from pre-bent busbar elements.

    Often, several pairs of conductors with an insulator are pressed into the profile for various electrical circuits. Thus, using only one track system, it is easy to provide power to sockets, lamps and a computer. The main scope of multi-core track systems– commercial premises: offices, shops, catering establishments. If, when designing the interior, a sufficient number of sockets were not laid, it makes sense to use such a system. Stranded tracks are produced exclusively straight, so the systems assembled from them look somewhat angular.

    Two-core track systems are supplied to Russia by the same companies that produce monorail busbars. Stranded modifications are produced by IGUZZINI, OLIGO, NUOVA, MIZAR and others.

    An important role in creating the design of conductive lighting systems is played by auxiliary parts: suspensions of conductors and lamps, connecting and terminal elements of systems.

    Connecting elements-connectors are of two types– insulating and conductive. The first ones serve to connect the isolated segments of the conductor, the conductive ones provide the supply of current to its individual sections. Connectors are individual, they are used only with conductors of one company and almost never fit systems of other manufacturers.

    The simplest type of connector– straight, but they are also produced in the form of lettersL, T orX. These elements join sections of systems at a fixed angle of 60, 90 or 135. Connectors of developed (“advanced”) lighting systems, for example, from SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN, OLIGO, BRUCK, allow you to connect sections of tracks at an arbitrary angle (from90 to270). For other systems, if you want to change the angle in the plane of the ceiling or go to another level, use flexible connectors– tubes with contacts at the ends.

    Connectors types T and X for crossed wires are available as insulating and connecting them in a common circuit. BUTWith the Traverso connectors of the Concetto system (SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN) it is possible to create the intersection of several insulated conductors arranged one above the other.

    Conductors are attached to the ceiling with the help of special suspensions, which are both flexible and rigid. Usually the length of rigid hangers does not exceed 2m, while flexible cable hangers sometimes reach 5m. You can choose the required length of a rigid suspension made of thin metal tubes from a range offered by the manufacturer of the lighting system. The main thing is that the lamps located on the conductor should not be in close proximity to the ceiling. Frequently used halogen lamps heat up during operation, so they should be located at a distance of at least 50cm from combustible and thermally unstable materials, that is, stretch and some suspended ceilings. This distance can be achieved either due to the remoteness of the conductor from the plane, or by lengthening the luminaire suspension. ATin the form of suspensions, power inputs from remote transformers hidden in the false ceiling are also produced. You can also purchase a transformer in a decorative casing with a suspension for the busbar. Luminaires are suspended from the conductor using adapters unique for each system. For fastening, snap-in crab connectors or various threaded connections are used. The ends of the conductor are closed with decorative lugs made in the same style as the system. They mask the unaesthetic cross-section of the conductor.

    Each accessory of a custom lighting system– hangers, adapters, connectors– sold separately. The cost of one product– a few dollars. ATboxed systems are all included in advance, and according to the catalog, you can even choose forks of current ducts with a certain divergence angle.

    Close relatives

    A relative of busbar lighting systems are modular systems. They are based on profile boxes, which are hollow plastic casings with a section in the form of a parallelepiped, ellipse or circle. The width of the profiles depends on the size of the mounted luminaires and ranges from35 to 200mm. Profiles can be joined to each other at different angles. ATIn modular systems, both low-voltage and high-voltage lamps are installed, and at the same time. At the same time, electrical wiring and transformers are hidden inside the profiles. The entire system is either suspended from the ceiling by flexible cables or built into a suspended structure.

    Modular systems are manufactured according to the designer’s specifications at the factory, i.e. they require a separate project. Delivery time can reach 30-90 days. The cost of one running meter of the system, depending on the fixtures, is $300-1000. Modular systems manufactured by Belgian companies MODULAR LIGHTING INSTRUMENTS, WEVER are presented on the Russian marketDUCRE and Italian DELTALIGHT and IGUZZINI.

    Mini-Cove, Fastube and Linear guidelite from TARGETTI (Italy) are among the unusual conductive systems. These track models for lighting niches, pool perimeters, walls consist of a chain of durable xenon bulbs with a power of 5Tue The lighting bar can be cut to the required length and bent without the aid of a special tool.

    Transformers, dimmers and remote control

    According to experts, the first step in the calculation of the required low-voltage conductive system is the selection of a step-down transformer. It can be induction (winding) or electronic. Electronic transformers are much lighter than induction transformers, but their power does not exceed 300Tue The undoubted advantage of electronic models– transformation of mains current with a frequency of 50Hz to high frequency. This allows you to completely suppress the flickering of the bulbs.– improve lighting comfort. In addition, when using such transformers, the service life of low-voltage lamps is approximately doubled.– inunlike induction, electronic models reduce inrush currents. However, electronic transformers are not as durable as induction transformers, although today they are protected from short circuits and voltage surges. AndFinally, the main advantage of electronics– noiselessness. Due to the effect of changing physical dimensions under the influence of an electric current, inductive windings are noisy. Andthe more power output, the louder.

    The electronic transformer should be located as close as possible to the connection point, otherwise the voltage loss in the conductors will be significant, and this has a bad effect on the stability of its operation. Many manufacturers regulate the distance 50see from the conductor to the electronic transformer. If the transformer cannot be hidden behind a false ceiling, it is placed in a decorative casing. The supply of electricity from the transformer to the track system is carried out using special input devices, often unique for each system, or a pair of suspensions that implement this possibility. ATcable system, electricity from the transformer is supplied directly to the current-carrying conductors.

    The intensity of the luminous flux of the system can be easily adjusted using dimmers– devices that allow you to smoothly change the brightness of any light sources, except for fluorescent ones. It should be borne in mind that when overloaded, dimmers begin to make noise. Toonly an electronic dimmer is suitable for an electronic transformer, and for an induction– inductive.

    Experts advise installing dimmers and transformers designed for power, which by 10-20% exceeds the actual power of the system, or, conversely, reduce the number of fixtures.

    Some manufacturers, such as METALSPOT, SCHMITZ LEUCHTEN and others, offer to equip conductive systems with a remote control device. Using the remote control, the user can select one of eight or even sixteen room lighting modes. Setting the modes is also done independently and without much difficulty. The only “but”: equipping the system with a remote control will cost you $300-400.

    Sale schemes

    To conductive systems, as well as to all lighting fixtures, methods of mass and exclusive sales can be applied. A striking example of mass, so-called boxed systems is the products of the German company PAULMANN. Her models are sold packed in cardboard boxes with a transformer matched to power and a set of inexpensive halogen lamps. The cost of systems from PAULMANN– less than $300– determined by the configuration and design. The instruction enclosed in the box gives a detailed script for assembling the system. ATcables or metal tube-rails are used as a conductor. The buyer can choose lighting systems that are different in design and number of fixtures, length, appearance of the conductor and transformer casing.

    Similar models are offered by the company BRILLIANTAG, however, they are rarely found on the market. Much more often in stores and construction markets, lamps are sold that imitate conductive systems. They consist of a curved rod with a length 0.5-2m, in which the installation locations are already provided 4-6 lampshades with light bulbs. Towall or ceiling, these lamps are mounted at one point. ATa decorative casing is installed in the place of attachment, in which the transformer is located. The cost of such lamps$80-250.

    But if you want to have a more expressive design at home, we advise you to think about buying an exclusive with designer lamps. The exclusive conductive system consists of many elements, each of which has its own small price. The maximum “weight” in the total cost is made by lamps. The price of one luminaire for an exclusive system is $40-200. ATAs a result, it turns out that one linear meter of the track system will cost $250-700, a meter modular system– before$1000.

    The delivery time of systems from the manufacturing plant is 60-90 days from the time of order. Most of the time is “eaten up” by the transportation of equipment to Russia, and this is the main disadvantage of expensive systems. If you have a shortage of time and money, we advise you to use ready-made offers. Tobesides, their diversity is so great that there is not always a need for an exclusive order.

    We offer you nine tricks with which you can influence the visual perception of a separate room of the apartment as a whole.

    1. Direct light fixtures allow you to maintain the proportions of a large room.
    2. Reflected or diffused light will increase the volume of space.
    3. You can adjust the proportions of the room as a whole without rearranging the fixtures by changing the brightness of the light reflected from the floor, walls and ceiling.
    4. To reduce the height of the ceiling, the light flux must be directed from the ceiling to the wall.
    5. To increase the height of the ceiling on the walls, you should install lamps and direct the light to the ceiling, making it light before that.
    6. To expand a narrow room, the lighting system must be placed along one of the walls in a straight line.
    7. To narrow a wide room, it is better to place the fixtures in the middle line of the ceiling.
    8. To reduce the length of the room, a chain of transverse lamps is used.
    9. To stretch the space, a longitudinal chain of lamps is used.

    • Source: Ideas for Your Home Magazine#57