Cove lighting is a form of indirect lighting that emanates from ledges, valances, or horizontal recesses on the upper wall or in the ceiling of a room. Installing cove lighting is relatively easy compared to other forms of lighting because it requires no special tools or hardware and many manufacturers design their lighting so it can be either hard wired into your electrical system, or soft wired (via a plug) into an available outlet.
Lighting from cove lighting is designed to be directed upwards and distributed over the ceiling or cabinet space to produce a warm, soft glow without any harsh direct lighting effects.
Installing of cove lighting should be at least 10-14 inches from the ceiling so that it can wash as much of the ceiling with light as possible. Most cove lighting comes in rope form and is sold as a complete kit in various lengths, typically 30 to 50 feet. Several lengths can be combined together if you need longer distances.
Cove lighting is installed by the use of a clip fastener type system. The clips simply attach via small nails or strong adhesive and the rope of lights is then secured inside the clips. Clips are typically spaced every 3 to 4 inches to prevent sagging. Special adapters go on the ends of the lighting to allow multiple sections to be chained together for a continuous lighting effect.
It is important to do a bit of planning before installing the lighting. You want to layout your design so that you are near an outlet for electrical power. If the cove lighting are installing has a hard-wire install make sure that you are near a junction box or other electrical source so that you can install the necessary wiring.
You will probably want to also install a wall switch or dimmer as well. There are several in-line switches you can purchase at most home improvement stores that will work well with cove lighting.
That is all there is to it! You can have your cove lighting installed in as a little as an hour for basic installations, and within a day for applications where you need to hard-wire. For best results make sure that you hide the rope behind counters, moldings or coves along the top of the wall so that you get the reflected light but the source is obstructed.