How to Install Cove Lighting

Cove lighting is an elegant and refined type of overhead lighting which uses decorative crown molding to hide the light bulbs. Cove lights have a distinct look because the light is softly diffused across the ceiling. This gradient-style lighting adds depth to a room where none existed. Ceilings can be notoriously difficult to illuminate, but cove lighting does the trick exquisitely. Here are basic instructions on how cove lights are installed.

1) Use a laser level or measuring tape to mark a line on the wall where the cove ledger will be installed. The cove ledger is a small panel which supports both the lights and the crown molding which will be placed over it. Cove lighting is generally placed on all walls of a room to form a complete circle. Apply industrial adhesive to the back of the ledgers and stick them to the wall at the marked line. Use hammer or nail gun to further secure the ledger to the wall. Don’t worry about the nails being seen, as they will be hidden by the crown molding.

2) The light bulbs will need a power source. A power transformer will be needed to allow the lights to run. The transformer can be set next to a wall outlet and connected discreetly to the lights overhead by feeding a line through the wall. The transformer should remain in an accessible location.

3) LED cove lighting is recommended because of the efficiency and low power consumption. These lights use long tubes of flexible LED lighting which is placed atop the ledger. You can adhere the tubes to the top of the ledger using double sided tape. If a single LED tube is not long enough, connect multiple tubes end-to-end. Once in place, turn on the power to test the lights before proceeding.

4) Now you may fasten your crown molding to the ledger using nails. Any type, size and style of crown molding may be used. Keep in mind that the molding will likely need to be cut at 45 degree angles at each corner of the room. Custom cuts can be made using a miter saw. If desired, paint the molding to match the color of the walls.

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