As demand for cove lighting has increased over the years so have the available fixture options. There are four primary types of cove lighting fixtures and each one has its distinct advantages and disadvantages.
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1. Rope Lighting
Of the 4 types of available cove lighting fixtures, rope lighting is the most commonly used type largely because of its affordable cost and ease of installation. Rope lighting can be purchased in pre-cut lengths that simply plug in, all you need is an electrical receptacle controlled with a dimmer switch.
There are 2 types of rope lighting. They are LED rope lighting and incandescent rope lighting and although they a similar in many ways each has its advantages and disadvantages.
LED Rope Lights:
Individuals wanting all of the benefits of LED lighting incorporated into their cove lighting often turn to LED rope lighting because of its flexibility, ease of installation and cost effectiveness.
|Advantages of LED Rope Lighting:
||Disadvantages of LED Rope Lighting:
Incandescent Rope Lights:
This is the most cost effective and basic type of all indirect lighting fixtures.
|Advantages of Incandescent Rope Lighting:
||Disadvantages of Incandescent Rope Lighting:
While incandescent rope light delivers a noticeable glow, achieving an acceptable amount of light may require a second row. Be careful to follow the manufacturer’s spacing recommendations and never cross or cover the ropes due to fire hazards.
Rope Lighting Conclusion:
Both types of rope lighting are economical solutions for effective indirect lighting. Each requires a switched power outlet for control. Individuals wanting advanced LED lighting features like flashing and chasing require additional components increasing cost accordingly. Overall rope lighting remains a top choice amongst the 4 types of lighting fixtures for cost effectiveness, ease of installation and flexibility in any cove lighting design. Works well in coves of all sizes and configurations.
2. LED Cove Lighting
LED is an abbreviation for light emitting diode. LED’s do not use conventional light bulbs but rather semiconductor chips that generate light through a process call electroluminescence. When compared to the 4 types of lighting fixtures, LED cove lighting is the most energy efficient type of lighting that offers the greatest number of features.
Note: Because LED lighting fixtures use semiconductor chips, similar to those in your computer, we always recommend adding a whole house surge protector to safeguard your investment against damaging power surges and electrical power spikes.
There are 3 types of LED cove lights available. They are LED strip lights, LED bar lights and LED rope lights which were discussed above. Each one has its respective strong points and weak points.
LED Lighting Strips
LED strip lights are sometimes referred to as tape lights or ribbon lights. They are small, thin and flexible fixtures covered with a clear silicone coating making them ideal for cove lighting projects. Some are rated for indoor use only so exterior projects will require outdoor rated fixtures. Strip lights are another form of low voltage lighting so a transformer, also called a driver, will be required too.
Strip lights can be purchased by the foot or in spools. They are flexible and can be cut to custom lengths making them highly adaptable to any cove lighting design.
LED Lighting Bars
LED lighting bars are ridged low profile lighting modules that are available in pre-assembled lengths. They are linkable which means that one can be easily connected to the next. Light is directional making it very focused, a good choice for individuals wanting very bold and pronounced lighting with crisp edges.
Light output can vary greatly from one manufacture to the next so take your time when selecting the best light bars for your lighting project.
LED Cove Lighting Summary
While LED lighting remains a rapidly advancing technology the current benefits of energy efficiency and product life expectancy already far supersede those of both incandescent and fluorescent lighting. Add to this a vibrant selection of colors coupled with the convenience of dimming and LED lighting is the clear-cut winning solution to consider for your cove lighting installation.
3. Fluorescent Cove Lights
Not the general lighting fixtures you may be thinking of, but specially designed fluorescent fixtures for cove lighting. Proper placement is an important factor to achieve desired illumination making layout and installation more cumbersome. Fixture cost is somewhat reasonable and lamps have a long lifespan.
Dimming is available only with dimmable ballasts increasing cost and light quality is not as soft or a bit commercial in nature.
4. Low Voltage Incandescent Lights
More expensive than fluorescent lighting but for most applications low voltage incandescent lighting delivers a better quality of light. Dimming is available (with appropriate dimmer switch), so light output can be adjusted. Bulbs have a long lifespan and are replaceable.
Available in operating voltages of 12 volt and 24 volt, a transformer is required which can be difficult to conceal depending on the application.
What’s My Next Step?
While the perfect solution for you remains a personal choice, our local Mesa AZ electricians hope that having a greater understanding of each type of cove lighting has assisted you in making the choice that best fulfills your needs and budget.
If you have questions regarding the best type of light fixture to use for your project, give our in-office electricians a call. Voted best electricians Mesa AZ, they will answer all of your questions and provide you with a free estimate for your cove lighting installation. All electrical installations come with our lifetime parts and labor guarantee. Give our experts a call today during normal office hours; you will be happy you did!