Shedding Light on a Dark Ceiling { The Devine Home }

Shedding Light on a Dark Ceiling { The Devine Home }

Shedding Light on a Dark Ceiling

by Diana @ The Devine Home on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 6 comments

So, heres Part II of the dark hallway makeover :  The addition of crown molding with concealed rope lighting along the ceiling. We dropped the crown molding about 1.50 inches from the ceiling the end result has created a lovely glow that adds wonderful ambiance to our formerly dark hallway (I think it will also most likely serve as a nightlight for visiting guests).

We ordered 50 feet of rope lighting (the electrician said that you have to order UL approved for interior rope lighting. Apparently you cant just go to the big box stores and roll off as much as you need from the rope lighting they carry because its not approved for interior use. I have not confirmed this but thats what he told us.) The electrician installed two light switches (one at either end of the hall) along with an oulet along the ceiling for the rope lighting to plug into. Heres a photo below:

This is a closeup of the rough opening for the outlet where the rope light will be plugged in and primed quarter round (which would serve as both the nailer [crown molding gets nailed to it] and the ledge/shelf for supporting the rope light.) The purple line you see below the quarter round marks where the bottom of the crown molding goes.

You can see in the picture to the right how the crown will be attached to the quarter round. Simpe but clever. They used a laser that attached to the wall which shot a level beam down the walls and around corners. They snapped the chalk line for both the quarter round and the crown molding.

The photo to the left shows a closeup of the glowing rope light behind the newly-installed crown. I immediately loved it and knew wed be kissing the use of the overhead pot lights goodbye since they rob the space of any ambiance. The rope lighting is soft and wonderful.

Of course, my picture cant capture just how cozy and glowing the hall looks with the new ceiling lighting install, but this will give you an idea.

I think this is a terrific idea for adding a touch of the unexpected to an otherwise forgettable space. If youre a do-it-yourselfer, the project really isnt all that complicated (except for the electrical. There, Id bring in a pro.)

Now for all the finishing touches (filling nail holes for paint prep, painting and then caulking along the bottom for a clean, smooth line.)

I like the first pic above where you can see a small light. The 2nd picture looks a little too bright and glowing which I am sure it is not. Look forward to getting to see it in person. I am sure it is cozy!!

Question. How hard would the lights be to replace if/when they burn out??

RE: replacing rope lighting. Rope light bulbs are usually rated for 25,000 hours of use before they fail if you had them on for an average of 4 hours every day, that would be about 17 years of life. IF and when we have to replace it, the rope is held in place with little plastic snaps. Youd unsnap, so to speak, the plastic clips and pull the rope lighting out and snap new stuff into place.

Also, I have done some research about the UL listing. Heres one places opinion:

Is it necessary to buy UL approved rope light?

Not necessarily. The UL (Underwriter Laboratories) rating on rope light effects the ability to field cut rope light (cutting done at the sight of installation). Underwriters Laboratories published a new set rules known as UL 2388-Flexible Lighting Products which eliminates field cutting and states: The cutting and splicing of rope light at the site of installation is NO longer permitted. All rope light must be pre-cut at the factory and have molded ends that can be easily connected. Installers will now only be able to connect and disconnect molded ends of pre-cut lengths.

Premium commercial grade non UL rated rope light is the same quality and price as UL rope light but our rope light can be cut at the place of installation.

Thanks for the informationthey should last into your golden years. LOL. They sound easy enough to replace anyway.

What is the width of your hallway? Mine is only about 32 inches. Very narrow. We were going to do wainscotting. I was wondering if our hallway would be wide enough for the little shelf. Our hallway is like a bowling alley after we added on. It too is very dark but we were thinking about putting in skylights.

Yours looks great. With the pictures your taking away from the look of being narrow and long and giving it visual interest. Wonderful ideas.

Our hallway is 45 wide. Yours is much narrower so I think you would need to have a cut down the size of your shelf. If you use the Wal-Mart floating frames I think you can get away with 1.5 shelf with a bit of room to spare. I would recommend using a router to cut in a groove to keep the pics from slipping off. Thats what we did. Our shelf is 3 deep and can seem a little thick where corners come together. If I were to do it again, Id keep it to 2 because even with floating frames that have a wider frame, 2 would work. ;o)


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