How to build cove or valance lighting

Written by misty barton
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Cove lighting illuminates a section of the ceiling from a selected location on the wall, usually located no more than a quarter of the way down the wall's height. The light emitted from within the cove is softer than lighting from traditional ceiling fixtures. Cove lighting, hidden behind a valance, is relatively easy to install, and can be added to a room in a single day. Lights can be hard-wired into the homes electrical system, or soft wired with a plug-end so that it can be plugged into an outlet.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 1-by-4 foot boards the perimeter of your room
  • 1-by-1 board, 6-feet long
  • Finishing nails
  • Nail gun
  • Wood glue
  • Rope lights

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  1. 1

    Select a height for your lighting and mark it all the way around the room on the walls. Lights should be installed between 10 and 14 inches from the ceiling.

  2. 2

    Run a ledger strip along the line sketched on the wall. Use a level at multiple points to insure the ledger strip is even around the room, running parallel to the floor. Ledger strips are 1-by-4 boards cut to length. Ledger strips should be screwed to the wall using 2-inch screws appropriate to the wall material.

  3. 3

    Make small corner blocks from a one-by-one board. Corner blocks should be cut from the end of the 1-by-1 board, at a 45-degree angle. Cut enough corner blocks to place one every 12 inches around the room.

  4. 4

    Glue the corner blocks to the ledger strip. Make sure that the blocks are positioned so that the wider end is facing up, and the blocks length is centred in the ledger strip's height.

  5. 5

    Nail the corner blocks to the ledger strip Using finishing nails to further secure their position.

  6. 6

    Attach crown moulding to the ledger strips. Nail finishing nails down through the crown moulding and into the corner blocks.

  7. 7

    Run rope lights around the room, inside the cove. Lights should lay on top of the corner blocks, between the crown moulding and ledger strip.

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