Trapeze track lighting [and Monorail] rev 2015

All connections on 12V cable and rail systems, including fixture connections, need to be re-tightened every year or so. They expand and contract with heat and also get loose when people change bulbs and wiggle a system... Loose connections cause heat build-up and ... you end up with melted and fried parts.

We have seen a lot of this over the years, and it comes down to a deferred maintenance/negligence problem.

"Trapeze" suspension lighting systems can have many troubles, even when installed correctly if they are not occasionally maintained. Basically, when you put in new lamps, you should check that nothing is loose.

Loose connections, xfmr "hum", short lamp longevity, expansion contraction, socket burnout are some findings even at correctly installed installations over time

Many troubling issues revolve around incompatible dimmers and loose mechanically bolted connections.

The price driven practice of installing the wrong dimmer creates the fairly common scenario: arcing failures with suspension systems. See the attached photo showing incandescent switch controlling magnetic low voltage trapeze system. Instead of a $140 switch the original installer often uses a $45 switch which works well for a few years until it smokes both the switch and the xfmr.

Remedies include:

  • tighten up connections
  • replace loose sockets / fixtures
  • ensure compatible xfmr / dimmer pairing 
  • replace magnetic xfmr w electronic or magnetic DC
  • swap halogen lamps for LED

Mismatched incandescent dimmer [cheap] to low voltage load - usually smokes the switch and the light - but it take s a couple of years.  The mismatch switch is $45 / the correct switch is $140.