Written by Larry Cook

The Basics of Cove Lighting

Parts of your home will be perfect for soft, indirect lighting, such as the bedroom, living room, entertainment room, and bar, and there is a wonderful design solution available.

Aptly named, cove lighting uses these perimeter coves to conceal light sources. They reflect light onto ceiling and walls, resulting in beautiful ambient lighting. Installation will create a romantic or relaxed mood in a desired area, and this project can be performed during home construction, remodeling, or renovation with the expert planning, knowledge, and skills of a licensed electrician.

Purpose and Source

Some homeowners utilize cove lighting as the primary light source of a room. Alternatively, others consider it as lighting that provides ambient lighting for dramatic effect. The intended purpose will affect the choice of either a linear or point source and the type of lighting. Some selections available are LED, xenon, fluorescent, and incandescent lighting fixtures, which may come in ropes of light or strips.


Rope Cove Lighting – Least costly and easiest installation because it can be plugged into an outlet.

Fluorescent Cove Lighting – Energy efficient, but needs more time and effort to install than rope fixtures.

Linear Cove Lighting – More expensive than rope and fluorescent fixtures, but provides more beautiful lighting and use low voltage.

LED Cove Lighting – Highest cost, but low electricity usage allows extended use and infrequent replacement.

Ceiling Cove Lighting – Located beneath trim or lip on wall and pointed upwards, shining on the ceiling. Installation can be entire ceiling perimeter or specific accent areas. Brightness of bulbs makes it functional as a primary source of light source.

Wall Cove Lighting – Placed under trim or lip on wall and pointed downwards, shining on a wall. It is chiefly used as accent lighting because the glare of bright bulbs would be uncomfortable to eyes.


Cove lighting radiates indirect light from valances, ledges, cornices, horizontal recesses, or the upper walls of a room. In order to set the mood of the room correctly, cove lighting primarily requirement is proper location. The cove within which the lighting sources are located should be placed somewhere beneath 10 to 14 inches from the ceiling.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

  • Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
  • Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
  • Electrical Service & Repair
  • Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at 410-266-9040. They will be very glad to help you.