Crown molding is beautiful. LEDs are beautiful. What if we put them both together!
But wait. Crown molding is expensive, and can be hard to install. Maybe there’s a cheaper, simpler way to get the same result.
Crown molding LEDs on a budget.
These are 12v plain white, non-waterproof, 5050 LEDs are about as cheap as a string of LEDs can get. They aren’t “smart”, there’s no changing colors, just apply power and they’re on. These are 5 meter strings with 30 LEDs per meter. I got these for $10 a string (I’ve seen them down to $8).
For molding I got the least expensive corner molding I could find. It’s about 3/4” x 3/4” and costs $3.50 for 8 foot length (last check it was up to $5.50).
Some finishing nails, and a punch to protect your molding. A mitre box, and some white caulking to finish it off.
The lights come in 5 meter strings, and the molding in 8 ft lengths, so figure out how much of each you need. The room I’m starting with requires about 40 ft, so I bought 3 strings of lights, and 6 pieces of molding.
For power I’m going to use my converted PC power supply from the last video. If you missed it, here you go. I’m using 20mA per LED to figure out how much power I need. 450 LEDs, 20mA each = 9 amps. That would be a big power supply. If you think you can just plug these into a common 12v power supply you are wrong. I almost melted one when I was testing these.
For now I’m going to use a regular boring switch. Someday I’ll figure out some cool Home Assistant connected switch.
I wasn’t sure how far from the ceiling to mount them so we turned some on and put them at different distances. We settled on 3” from the ceiling to the bottom of the molding. Being closer to the ceiling highlighted the white ceiling more than the yellow walls. And we liked that.
Install the molding first. Before you stick the lights to the molding, plan where you’re going to supply power from. I tried running power from just one end but I could definitely see a dimming about ¾ of the way around the room. I’d say you probably should plan on tapping in power about every 2 stings. Managing the corners wasn’t bad. The strings are easy to bend. You can buy fancy corner connectors, or you can get up there and try soldering them. But the name of the game here is cheap and easy, so neither of those was gonna work.
When your molding is up you can start sticking down the lights. The strips have an adhesive back that sticks pretty well. Make sure you start the strip where you plan to attach power. Joining the strips is easy with these little connectors they included. Double check that your +’s and -’s match up.
Figure out how you want to hide your power wires. If you can poke through the wall and feed them down to a less visible outlet that would be best. I used some wiremold.
Connect your switch and your 12v power and you’re done.
Crown molding LEDs on a budget. Comes out to about $1 a foot, but still looks amazing.
LEDs – http://a.co/d4t9QQN
Inside Corner Molding – https://www.lowes.com/pd/0-6693-in-x-8-ft-Composite-Inside-Corner-Wall-Panel-Moulding/3401982
Finishing nails – https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hillman-16-Gauge-1-in-White-Finish-Panel-Nail/3036065
Nail punch – http://a.co/iyVOfPv
Caulking – http://a.co/3cJaB3S
Mitre Box – http://a.co/2gCIWTM
20 awg wire – http://a.co/d17Epx6
Power supply – http://a.co/jcAkyex
- Plan and measure where you want the lights. Decide how far from the ceiling you want to put the molding. 3” to the bottom of the molding (lights about 2 ½” from the ceiling) looked best for my room.
- Mount the molding. Mitre the corners. Tap in the finishing nails with the punch so you don’t bang up your molding. Caulk the bottom edge and the corners
- Peel the backing off the lights and lay them on the molding. Add connectors wherever strings join together. Match +’s and -’s.
- Run power wire to strips. Add power every 2 strings, or about every 30’.
- Decide where you want your switch. Wire it and mount it.
- Enjoy your beautiful, elegant, cheap new lights!