Monopoint lighting systems are used to suspend and power individual pendants or spotlight heads. Similarly, multipoint
lighting systems suspend and power small clusters of spotlight heads or pendants in close proximity.
Monopoint systems are compatible with essentially all track
and cable lighting
components making them
excellent tools to ensure design continuity across a space.
- TIP: Easily make a monopoint from any fixture by clicking the 'Make it a Kit' button on any fixture detail page.
Monopoint Lighting Basics
Monopoint and multipoint lighting systems are, relatively speaking, straightforward to configure.
Simply pick a fixture style and finish and then choose a canopy matching the finish that supports the
number of fixtures you desire. The only decision to make is whether to use integrated transformer
canopies or remote transformer canopies.
So what is a Canopy Anyway?
A monopoint or multipoint canopy
is a finished component that attaches to the ceiling and a
power source. Monopoint canopies will have a single powered female support jack while multipoint
canopies will have several attachment points designed to accept
the male counterpart from compatible low voltage fixtures. Every manufacturer today offers canopies to power their
respective spotlight heads and pendants. The power source for the canopy will vary depending on whether
integrated or remote transformer canopies are used.
Integrated Transformer Canopies
The vast majority of monopoint and multipoint canopies use integrated transformers. Simply put, these
canopies have a step-down transformer built into their enclosure or, occasionally, mounted on top so that the
small transformer may be tucked into an empty area of the junction box. Integrated transformer canopies
are common for the following reasons:
Remote Transformer Canopies
- integrated transformer canopies are designed to be used as direct 'drop in' replacements to existing fixtures
mounted over any standard four inch junction box
- they use existing wiring, so installation does not require access to the area above the ceiling
- they may be dimmed using standard incandescent dimmers
- they are not susceptible to voltage drop (which can be an issue when using remote transformer canopies)
Remote transformer canopies seperate the transformer from the canopy itself to allow multiple canopies
(and thus fixtures) to be powered from a common transformer. The complexity and wiring requirements of
remote transformer canopies makes them far more rare. These canopies do, however, have some
advantages over the integrated transformer style. Specifically, remote transformer canopies:
- are much smaller than integrated transformer canopies since they need not enclose a transformer.
Some remote mount canopies are less than an inch across which results in very clean installations.
- may have a lower overall cost when installing several monopoint fixtures
- may use magnetic transformers which are preferred by many lighting designers