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Elegant crown molding LED lighting is commonly used in upscale hotels, clubs, and restaurants. However, they can also be used by homeowners wishing to take the decor to another level at an affordable cost. Moreover, using crown molding for LED lights will add elegance and breathe life into any living space in your home.
If you’re a beginner though, you probably don’t know how to install crown molding for LED lights. Well, worry not! In this guide, I’ll show you how you can do that as it’s a relatively simple task.
Benefits of using LED lights for Cove lighting
For starters, crown molding/ cove lighting refers to the upward lighting of the ceiling from below. While soffit lighting refers to the downward lighting of a vertical surface/ wall from the ceiling.
That said, modern design trends seem to be moving away from fluorescent lights and recessed incandescent bulbs. Instead, they’re leaning more towards LED lights, thanks to their cost-effectiveness, practicality, and sustainability. Plus, LED lights are highly customizable and easy to work with. For those reasons, DIYers and design firms are preferring them over traditional lighting systems for residential projects.
Even better, LED lights are suitable for creating a dramatic effect and incredible variation from the ordinary decor. This allows light to uplight the ceiling or washes down the wall (soffit lighting), thus illuminating the entire room. The uplighting effect (cove lighting) is usually accomplished by putting linear LED lights in a horizontal plane or crown molding below the ceiling!
Is cove lighting right for your home?
Your ceiling might be looking good before you install cove lighting. But once you install the LED lights on crown molding, the light rakes across the surface, exposing nail pops and seams you had no idea existed. As a result, your ceiling will end up looking uglier than it was before.
To determine if you should install cove lighting in your home is a good idea, stand on a ladder and shine a flashlight across the ceiling’s surface. If it’s damaged or ugly, go with soffit lighting instead to wash the light down the walls. However, if your ceiling looks good, go ahead and install the crown molding for LED lights following the steps below.
Step-by-step guide on how to install crown molding for LED lights
Step 1: Paint & Cut crown molding
Painting crown molding and the adjacent wall can be a time-consuming task. For that, it’s good and easier to paint all the parts of the crown before you install them to save time. Moreover, this eliminates the need to tape off the entire wall, since you only need to touch up a few nail holes after installation.
With that in mind, prime and paint a top coat on one side of the 6 x 2 lumber you will use for the nailing strips. Apply the same finish to the back of your crown molding. Also, paint the part of the wall that will be seen above the cove, using either the color of the crown or the ceiling. If possible, use lighter colors as they reflect more light.
Next, tilt your miter/ table saw blade to match your crown molding spring angle. For 52/38 crown molding, tilt the miter saw blade to 52 deg and cut the painted side of the board against the saw table. Set the blade to a vertical position and cut off the angled nailing strips.
Step 2: Mark where to install crown molding
Cut a 24” long nailing strip and crown molding, and tack-nail them together to form the light trough. Hold the end of the strip light and place it against the wall at different heights until you’re satisfied with the lighting effect. Mark the bottom of the nailing strip at about 4.5” from the ceiling. Don’t put it too close to the ceiling to ensure you have adequate space for the outlet box.
Step 3: Mark the level line
After determining where you’ll install your crown molding for LED lights, mark that measurement at every corner of the room. Draw a chalk line to connect these lines, ensuring that it’s parallel to the ceiling.
Step 4: Attach Nailer strips
Use a stud finder and strips of masking tape to mark the position of wall studs. Screw or nail the nailer strip around the perimeter of the room, ensuring that the white-painted edge faces upwards. End each nailer strip 4” away from insider corners to allow but-fitted molding ends to extend up to the wall.
Step 5: Install a power outlet
Look for a convenient place to install an electrical outlet box. Place the box close to the edge of the nailer strip, but leave adequate space to install the cover plate. Use a separate outlet to wire the circuit for the trough outlet. This will allow you to control the crown molding lighting independently of the existing overhead light. Plus, it will give you the flexibility to set the mood and lighting level.
Step 6: Install Crown molding
Butt the backside of the crown molding against the nailing strip and use a nail gun to attach it in place.
Coped corners require a special technique to ensure that the rope lighting can make a turn. So, hold the coped piece against the crown molding piece butted the wall and mark a cutline by running a pencil along the side of the coping cut. Next, use a chisel and fine-tooth saw to remove the waste from the butt-fitted piece to create clearance for the LED light strip.
Step 7: Choose & Install LED lights
A low-voltage LED lighting system consists of a transformer, dimmer switch, and strip lighting. When choosing an LED light strip for crown molding, you’ve to ensure that it’s compatible with the transformer and dimmer switch. In addition, you have to consider the amount of lighting you need. For instance, if you’re installing the LED lights in a large room, you might need 2 transformers. That’s because each unit can only provide power for a specific length of LED strip lighting. Connecting the LED light strip to an undersized transformer makes the lights at the end of the strip to be dimmer than the rest.
It’s also worth mentioning that warmer LED colors are preferred for homes, while white light is commonly used outdoors and in commercial settings. Alternatively, you can use brighter strip lighting, although it costs more. So, choose an LED strip lighting that runs at less power since it will last longer.
After selecting the best crown molding LED lights for your home, gently lay the light strip lighting into the trough and turn on the power!
Installing LED crown molding lighting is a great way to transform any ordinary space into an extraordinary retreat. Besides, using crown molding for LED lights helps you to avoid obstructive light fixtures without compromising the light quality in your home. Best of all, the long life of LEDs eliminates the need to regularly replace the crown molding lights once you install them!