Cove Lighting – Commercial and Industrial Accents

Cove lightingCoves are types of lighting that direct their light upward. Depending upon the commercial or industrial application, there are certain parameters that should be set as to how far the top of the cove should be from the ceiling and where the base of the cove should start relative to the floor. Cove lighting is an indirect type of lighting usually built into recesses, valences, ledges, etc. These lights can be used as primary luminaires or as an accent especially in places where decorative ceilings are present. Primary benefits of cove lighting are hiding fixtures and providing balanced, warm light in the whole space.

Cove Lighting Best Practices

There are a number of cove light applications for commercial and industrial applications including retail, hotels and other facilities in the hospitality industry, corporate facilities, and many other uses.

There are a few ways to install cove lighting. The most common luminaires used in cove lighting are the T5 and T8 fluorescent bulb. Also, some consumers use LED lamps, mounted on aluminum profiles in order to dissipate the extra heat. It is common to install dimmers, to change the mood in the space with warm white, daylight, or even using different colors. Many different effects can be achieved by using different cove styles: in the center of the ceiling, curvilinear or round coves, vertical coves and other shapes.

Lighting designers recommend certain parameters when you want to install your cove lighting. Cove fixtures need to be at least 18 inches from the ceiling and 6 feet 8 inches from the floor. However, in kitchens in a hotel room for example, these parameters are a bit different. Cove lighting in kitchens can be installed on the top of the cabinets.

One of the aesthetic impacts that cove lighting causes is to make a room look larger and warmer when lighting the walls from a cove at the edge of the ceiling. On the other hand, lighting the ceiling from a cove at the top of a wall transforms the room into a cooler, more formal and quieter place.


Cove lighting fixtures can change the look and feel of a commercial or industrial space to encourage sales or add some aesthetic to an industrial or commercial application. They are discretely placed at the corners of the ceiling or above kitchen cabinets so you don’t see the fixtures but still have a significant impact.