Light it up

Posted on November 10th, 2008 – 10:19 PM
By Jason Hammond

Drilling some holes in the MDF.

Once we created our pattern we painted the panels white.
With the panels set in place we were pleased felt that it needed another length of rope light to complete the effect before we tack it in place for good.
The area under our bar has sat relatively untouched since we have moved in a little less than a year ago. This was more a result of having too many ideas to choose from and not being able to commit t one in particular. We looked at some relatively expensive but very cool solutions but in the end we decided that it was probably something we would rather invest a little ingenuity and hard work into rather than cash in order to get the affect we wanted. As a result we decided to go another one of our “modest modern” design solutions.

When our electrician was wiring the wall located underneath our bar, I had a thought that it would be good idea to put an outlet up high with a switch to turn it off, so that we could potentially add some under bar LED lighting later on. As we weighed our various options, the ability to add this  light to the surface area really played heavily into our final decision of what material to use and how to apply it. Using a couple of sheets of MDF we cut them down to divide the space under the bar in half. We then drilled a series of varying sized holes into the substrate in a random pattern. After painting the panels a hi-gloss white, we mounted a length of LED rope light to the back of the panels, before mounting them to the wall using 3/4″ spacers. The panels were cut a bit short of the overall height so that they could float about 3/4 of an inch off the floor, creating a reverse toe-kick. The effect was a  random pattern of light coming through the holes, and a line of light running along the floor the length of the bar. The subtle nature of the pattern allows it to feel elegant in the space, while at the same time giving the room an added sense of dimension. We’ve decided thayt to optimize the effect we need to add one additional section of LED rope light, but outside of that it turner out great and has already garnered the attention of the neighbor kids and a few visiting friends.

2 Responses to "Light it up"

Diane says:

November 16th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Dude, keep that up and I’m calling you when I get my project started:> Seriously, I love the ingenuity and style quotients of both the bedroom and bar projects.

I’ve been trying to figure out a similar puzzle, but in a potential bathroom wall cabinent design….was thinking of using blue or green LED Christmas light strings mounted behind a “punched” design in the doors as a sort of nightlight/glow…for those inevitable middle of the night trips where you HATe to turn on the bright lights. LED seems to pack more/brighter light and has a couple more color choices. Either has such a low energy demand as to be barely measurable on the elec. bill. The indoor/outdoor factor makes either rope or LED strings a great choice for locations that might get wet and/or abused plus forget about having to reach a burn-out. Just remember to use a GFI outlet as a fail-safe.

Jason Hammond says:

November 18th, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Hi Diane,

Thanks, I’m glad you like it as well. The LED rope lite is really pretty easy to work with and like you said, last for just about forever while supplying nice bright light.

I’d love to see what you come up with on your project.