Attaching a Ledger Strip for Cove Lighting

Attaching a ledger strip to install cove lighting is a necessary step in the process. This strip, along with the crown molding that you will need to install, will hide the lighting cables, which is the basic definition of cove lighting. This is a very easy project, and depending on the siding materials that you plan to attach it to, can be done in matter of hours.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need:

  • Drill
  • Concrete fasteners
  • Router
  • Vice
  • Jigsaw
  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Carpenters level
  • Chop saw
  • 1-by-4 lumber

Step 1: Cut the Ledger Pieces

Begin by measuring the width of ledger board that you will need for your cove lighting project. Cut pieces of 1-by-4 to length, and secure them tightly into a vice.

Step 2: Design the Ledger Pieces

Use the router and design the ledger pieces, taking care that the entire edge matches. After all the pieces are formed, sand the whole piece of wood until it is smooth, including the edges that you just rounded off. Next, you have to glue and nail small blocks of wood every foot on the ledger board to give the crown molding something to secure into. This is accomplished by cutting a small block out of a 1-by-4 in any design that you like, as long as two of the edges are straight. The piece should be at least 2 inches long and wide, depending on the width of the crown molding that you have chosen to use. Match the block to the width of the molding to ensure that it secures it into place.

Step 3: Attach the Ledger Board

Decide exactly where the cove lighting system is going to be installed, and mark it from edge to edge. Place the carpenters level flat against the surface and move up and down until it rest with the bubble in between the two marking lines. Mark a line with a pencil, or sharpie, and mark all the studs that are running up and down the wall, using a stud finder if you have to.

Step 4: Option of Securing onto Cement or Brick

This is where the project can get a little tricky. If you are securing the ledger boards into cement or brick, you need to pre-drill holes and attach the lumber with concrete fasteners. These fasteners will allow you to tighten the board down without having to frame over the outer surface. If the walls are sheetrock or wood, you can simply attach the ledger boards onto the section of the walls where the studs are located.

The ledger boards have now been installed and the crown molding and lights are ready to be attached. Ledger boards are an easy task that only requires a little time and attention to detail, but it is a step when installing cove lighting that cannot be skipped or hurried. The ledger piece not only helps hide the cable lighting, but it also gives a foundation for the molding that has to be used in order to finish the project.