Five Easy Steps to Selecting the Right Besa Monorail System for Your Home
At any point during your planning process, please feel free to call 1-800-MY-LAMPS during regular business hours to consult with a lighting expert.
Step 1: Kit or System?
Besa monorails can be ordered in a ready-to-go "kit" form, or in a customizable "system" that can be matched to your unique needs. Simple monorail installations can often be achieved with a pre-made kit, which includes all the necessary components for a proper installation. Determining which setup is best for your home is the first step.
A kit is perfect if:
- Your ceiling is only 8-10' high
- Your ceiling is level and not sloped
- You want to add no more than six 50W or eight 35W pendants or spotlights
- Your ceiling box is located where you plan to install the system, so you don't require a remote transformer
If that sounds like what you're looking for, consider picking up Besa's 8-foot 150W Kit, the 8-foot 300W Kit, or the 12-foot 300W Kit, all available in either bronze or satin nickel finish.
Step 2: Planning Your Layout
If a kit is too simplistic for the lighting masterpiece you're looking to create on your ceiling, a customizable Besa Lighting monorail system might be exactly what you need. First, you should begin by sketching your basic floorplan on a sheet of graph paper. Draw circles where you want to place light fixtures, then connect the dots with a smooth line, representing the Besa monorail. When you determine how many lights you need, you'll be able to determine your total load by simply adding all the wattage of your desired fixtures together. For example: if you want two 50W spotlights and 4 35W pendants, your total load would be 50+50+35+35+35+35 watts or 240 watts total load.
Next up, you'll have to determine if you want a local power supply (surface mounted), or a remote power supply. To determine the number of local power supplies you'll need for your system, simply divide your total load (watts) by 150 to determine the number of Electronic Surface Transformers (R12-SA150) you'll need, or divide your total load (watts) by 300 to determine the number of Magnetic Surface Transformers (R12-SM300) you'll need, rounded up. So in the 240W example above, you would need two R12-SA150's, or just one R12-SM300. Note that it's best to locate the feed as near as possible to the center rail. If you want a Magnetic Remote Power Supply (usually one that can be hidden away in your ceiling), they are available in both 300W (R12-RM300) or 600W (R12-RM600) varieties. Don't forget that you'll also need a Remote Feed Canopy (R12-REMFC) for each 300W remote power supply!
Step 3: Select Your Rail and Fittings
Now that you've got the power issue all sorted out, you need to pick your rails. They're available in 8-foot sections (R12-RAIL8) and 4-foot sections (R12-RAIL4) for when you need just a little extra, in a bronze or satin nickel finish. Make sure you round up, and curves require extra rail, so Besa suggests adding 20% to your required total. To attach the rails to each other, you'll need Connectors. A Live Rail Connector (R12-ICONN) physically and electronically connects two rails on the same transformer, while an Isolating Rail Connector (R12-DCONN) physically connects the rails that are on separate transformers. To determine the number of Live Rail Connectors you'll need, count the number of rail sections you ordered, and subtract the number of power supplies. To determine the number of Isolating Rail Connectors you'll need, count the number of power supplies on your monorail, and subtract 1. For one power supply, you'd need exactly zero Isolating Rail Connectors. Simple! Oh, and don't forget End Caps (R12-NDCAP) - you'll need enough for each end of each system ordered.
Step 4: Select the Right Support Hardware
What kind of ceiling do you have? A standard flat ceiling? A sloped ceiling? A high ceiling? The type of ceiling you have will determine the support your Besa monorail system needs.
- For a standard flat ceiling, you'll need rigid standoffs (R12-STAN1). Divide the total length by 2 to determine how many you'll need. Note that a surface transformer often acts as a support, which may reduce the required quantity of rigid standoffs you'll need by one.
- For a sloped ceiling, swivel standoffs (R12-STAN2) are the answer. Divide the total length of your system by 2 to determine the number of swivel standoffs you'll need. On sloped ceilings, the height of the standoffs will often vary, so be wary that you may also require extension ports. Extension ports are available in 6-inch (R12-EXT06), 12-inch (R12-EXT12), or 18-inch (R12-EXT18) varieties.
- For high ceilings, you'll need some adjustable cable supports (R12-CBL60). Divide the total length of your system by 2 to determine how many, and you'll also need some Flexible Feed Cable (R12-FLX60) - as many Cables as you have Power Supplies in your system. The Adjustable Cable Supports include 5 feet of cable and are recommended with systems with minimal curves.
- If none of those appeal to you, there is also a variety of canopies available for a more focused concentration of light fixtures.
Step 5: Select Your Fixtures!
If you still haven't determined exactly what fixtures you want to hang from your monorail system, now would be a good time. The Besa line features a variety of pendants and spotlights in an even wider variety of color options, so you're sure to find SOMETHING that will give your home the look you want.
And that's about all you need to know to start building your dream Besa lighting monorail configuration! Remember: if you have any questions, feel free to call us at 1-800-MY-LAMPS during regular business hours and a lighting expert will be more than happy to assist you.