Designing with Rope Lighting

By Robert Robillard on Design, Interior Repairs

Accent Lighting Basics: Installing Rope Lighting

Rope lights are a super easy way to introduce accent lighting and color into your lighting design. There are many uses for rope lighting and they work so well because of their versatility.  A common use for rope lights is as a cove or accent light.  Rope lights placed behind crown molding can create a warm accent glow.Designing with Rope Lighting

What Are Rope Lights?

Rope light are a plastic flexible tube that is made up of tiny bulbs, either incandescent bulbs or LEDs.  Rope lighting can be bought in pre-determined lengths, I prefer to purchase the exact length needed, by cutting the tube between lights, and splicing together my connections.

Using Crown Molding and Accent Lighting

In this job below we installed the rope lighting behind crown molding and had to make custom mounting blocks with holes drilled in them to allow the rope lighting to pass through.

Without the holes the rope lights would have had to bend over the mounting blocks and have been visible from below. Installing crown molding lighting in any room greatly enhances a homes decor. Using rope lighting in combination with crown moldings is a great way to provide accent lighting and aesthetic beauty.

In the picture below, the crown molding, was used to distinguish the transition for the barrel ceiling and wall as well as help frame the 1/2 round window.

The warm glow draws you in doesn’t it? . . . .

Here’s What I Did:

Once I figured out the Crown molding spring angle, I used 2×4 stock to make the mounting blocks. A hole was drilled through the blocks to feed the rope lighting through.

A laser level determined a level line to follow. The angled mounting blocks were secured to the wall to provide support to the crown molding but not be visible from below.

Crown molding was glued with construction adhesive and nailed with a finish nailer at the top and bottom portion of the mounting blocks.  Extreme care is taken to avoid putting a nail into the pre-drilled rope light  holes.  The rope lighting was installed last.

Designing with Rope Lighting

Because the crown molding does not run the perimeter of the arched room [not connected]  – two sets of rope lighting, and two outlets had to be installed and wired to one switch. During the framing of this barrel vault I drilled through the framing and installed a pair of 1 – 1/2″ pvc pipe as a future wire chase for the rope lighting.

Designing with Rope Lighting

Photos: by ConcordCarpenter

Inside an adjacent utility closet is a switch to control the rope lighting.

Designing with Rope Lighting

Rope lighting effect in daylight.

Designing with Rope Lighting

Photos: by ConcordCarpenter

The rope lighting in the picture below creates an interesting shadow around the 1/2 round window.

Designing with Rope Lighting

Photos: by ConcordCarpenter

The lighting effect is soft and warming. [see above photo]

Designing with Rope Lighting

Photos: by ConcordCarpenter

Rope lighting similar to this can be purchased at any hardware or electrical supply store. Kits are available to create your own custom lengths.

Designing with Rope Lighting

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. He also writes the "Ask the Carpenter" advice column in the Boston Globe, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob <a href="https://profiles.google.com/concordcarpenter"

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