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Designing with Rope Lighting

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.

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.

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.

Photos: by ConcordCarpenter

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

Rope lighting effect in daylight.

Photos: by ConcordCarpenter

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

Photos: by ConcordCarpenter

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

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.

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