Electrician, Meyer Electrical Services Inc.
Written by Walt Meyer

Essentials of Cove Lighting for Your Home

Cove lighting is aptly named because it uses perimeter coves to conceal light sources. They are designed to reflect light onto ceiling and walls, creating beautiful ambient lighting. Your bar, bedroom, entertainment center, and living room are perfect areas for this type of illumination.

Cove lighting 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 & Source

Some homeowners utilize cove lighting as a room’s primary light source. Alternatively, others use it as 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 light ropes or strips.


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

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 uses low voltage.

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

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

Wall Cove Lighting – Placed under the trim or lip on a wall then pointed downwards to shine on a wall. It is chiefly accent lighting because the glare of bright bulbs can 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, the primary requirement for cove lighting 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 Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.