Saturday, April 24, 2010

Decision Time: Track Lights

We bought track lights today.  We had to choose between two brands: Lightolier & Banvil (Rio). Based on the cost differential, we decided to go with Banvil. 

Lightolier seems to be the gold standard for lighting, but the Rio system has a earned a decent reputation of its own.

Both companies have a version of the track head we want (low voltage gimbal ring), that use the exact same light bulb and looks exactly the same. Mind you in order to compare, we had to stare up into bright track bulbs on the ceiling of a tall store, but who is going to inspect them any closer than that?

The price differential between the two track heads is staggering: $16.45 for Rio vs $64.95 for Lightolier1 (we need about 42 of these things). The only explanation that made any sense is that Lightolier's products are manufactured in North America, while Banvil's are made in China.  There must be other reasons as well, but we weren't able to uncover them.2  

We bought MR16 bulbs that have flood light (60 degrees).  This should be adequate for general lighting (not to mention we are going to have over 40 lights, so it better be bright). We are using 1 track head for every 2 feet of track, more or less.  

Oh and it appears that Peter Fallico is stalking me (I love Peter Fallico, whenever I have some sort of design dilemma I think, "What would Peter Fallico do?")...we saw Peter Fallico at Sescolite AND Union lighting.  I pretended like I didn't recognize him, if, I mean ...he's Peter Fallico!!!!  (This was my second Peter Fallico Peter Fallico could very well be stalking me...oh and I also saw that red head from Earth Inc at Home Depot the other day...those HGTV guys are everywhere)...Anyways, the sales person who was helping Peter Fallico fill out some order asks Peter Fallico "what is your last name" .."Its Peter Fallico"..."And how do you spell that?"...I almost shouted it out for him...Can you imagine? I mean who doesn't know who Peter Fallico is? 

1. These are Union Lighting prices.  We went with Union lighting (vs Sescolite) because the Rio system was significantly cheaper there.
2. Couple reasons we don't care about:  Lightolier makes a left/right corner thingy, whereas Banvil does a left OR right (making Lightolier easier to install).  Lightolier has 2' tracks, therefore you can make your lengths more 'custom'.  Lightolier has more options of track heads...although Banvil has quite a few options as well. 

1 comment:

  1. I knew I could count on you to do the pros and cons of your choices. Thanks so much for writing these out as I"m in the process of looking for track light myself :) Hope you're doing well post blogging.