The Crowning Jewel

When we asked our readers to take a brief survey at the beginning of the year, we asked if you’ve seen something in our house that you would like to know more about.  One reader was wondering how the lighting in our master bedroom worked.  Let’s start at the beginning, the trim.

We decided to install crown moulding over the doors and windows of our master bedroom and adjoining bathroom.  Ben had a great idea, why not install rope lighting on a dimmer switch above each?  I said, “Sure.  You’re the one doing the wiring, so if it’s a pain, you have yourself to blame.”

You see, I have a tendency to come up with tedious projects that Ben has to complete, so this was all him.  Guess what?  It was a pain.  But I already said that.  Why was it a pain you ask?  Well, dear friends, because each window and door has a header above, made of 2 by 4s, to give the structure strength.  So, Ben had to drill through finished sheetrock, through each header, then fish his wiring through his holes.

Once he ran the wiring, it was easy.  Ben wired outlets, all set on a dimmer switch, inside each crown piece.

(Please disregard the dust, its there for moral support, though I did vacuüm inside for you.  Oh yeah, you see the traces of red, that’s not blood, it’s paint.  Yeah, Ben wanted our bedroom burgundy.  So, we painted it, then quickly painted it again).

Then, we bought basic rope lighting from Home Depot.  Home Depot has tons of rope light options, but we chose five 6 foot lengths.  Why 6 feet?  Rope lighting isn’t especially bright, so we decided to double up anything that was shorter than 6 feet.  Next, plug the lights in.  Luckily, the windows and doors don’t look any brighter than the closet.  After tucking the lights down in the crown moulding, Ben used plastic fasteners to keep everything tucked neatly in its place.

Here, you can catch a glimpse of the crown construction.  Ben cut the crown pieces to size, then applied glue to the joints and nailed in place.  Ben always goes a little overboard to make sure things he builds are super strong, so he cut scraps of wood to match the angle of the inside corners.  Then, he nailed the crown into the blocks and they’re like a rock.

The room glows with the lights on at night.

Please note:  If you are not an electrician or comfortable working with electrical systems, please do not attempt this your self.  This post is not a step-by-step tutorial, just a guide on how Ben created our lighting.  We are not liable for any damages or injury.

12 thoughts on “The Crowning Jewel

  1. The crown molding it’s self is great, but the lights bring it to a whole new level. This is not something my hubby or I could ever attempt, We are just not that skilled. Looks great!

  2. I’ve wanted to do variations of this for a while. Are they just regular rope lights (yellow colored light), or LED type lights (white colored light)?

    I saw someone use a string of the LED lights behind a flat screen TV (that wasn’t flush-mounted against a wall, but about 3-4 inches away from it) and it’s amazing how much easier it is on your eyes to watch TV with the light behind the TV than in front of it.

    When I was in college I saw people do this with Christmas lights, athough they just strung them where the wall and ceiling meet. It did a great job of giving an awesome mood without making it too light or too dark.

    (I’m refraining myself from making a snarky comment about “lights,” “moods,” and “bedrooms. It’s taking a lot of self-restraint). 😉

    1. Hey Brandt,

      We used plain old rope lights, we could have gotten LED, but they’re more expensive and I think the white lighting is a little more harsh.

      Using lights behind the TV sounds really cool. And yes, same concept with the Christmas lights, but a little more refined. 🙂 I had a comment in my post, but I deleted it becuase I didn’t want to sound creepy, but now that you’ve said something, I’ll say it. I was going to say it sets the mood…for changing diapers. They work perfectly for middle-of-the-night diaper changings! 🙂


  3. So nice! We have crown molding in all of the common areas of our home and better-than-builder-grade trim around all of the doors & windows. But the few touches of extra ornate molding over a few of the really prominent doorways makes such a statement! Everyone who visits our home is blown away by this.

    Plantation shutters are a really nice architectural complement to this kind of crown molding too!

  4. This looks very cool! Do you want to send Ben over to wire the pendant above our sink to its own outlet? We’ve been putting it off forever because we have to go through to joists and then down the side of the window. Ugh.

    Love the crown molding too, it’s been on our to-do list since we moved in. I may have to fast-track that one just because it looks so great in your house!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, everyone!
      Heather, I don’t know if I’ve seen it anywhere, though I haven’t searched. If you tackle something like this, I’d love to see the outcome!

      Felicity, Good luck with your pendant. It sounds daunting. Can’t wait to see your crown moulding, too.


  5. Hi there. LOVE the lighting – but just wondering, how do you turn them on/off? Where is the switch located? I am so keen to try this in our master bedroom! Thanks, Katie xx

    1. Hi Katie,

      Ben actually hardwired the lights to a dimmer switch right next to the main light switch by our bedroom door.


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