This wooden rail has two functions:

 1. Allow to hang paintings without the need of hammering a nail into the wall; and
 2. Provide light indirectly illuminating the ceiling: atmospheric lighting.

The rail has been fixed to the wall at approximately 50 cm (20 in) from the ceiling. With a thin and colorless cord paintings can be hung easily from it, without the hassle of nailing every painting. Moreover, it allows to adjust the location of the paintings once they have been attached.

The indirect light is being provided by a rope light, which has been countersunk in a slit. The depth of the groove is enough to make the rope itself invisible when looking at it from the room in a standing position. In order to reduce electricity consumption, preferably use an LED rope or an LED strip. Using LED is safer, since it doesn't heat as much as conventional filament rope light (see Step 1: Safety and risks).

The rail described in this instructable is the second product released by openproducts that involves indirect lighting, and considerably less work than the Giant Ceiling Light with Multiple Functionality a.k.a. the UFO, which has been released (under CC-BY) on September 13th 2012: http://www.instructables.com/id/Giant-ceiling-light-with-multiple-functionality-a.

The design, the making, and the installation of this rail light has taken a few hours. The effect is fabulous. 

The next steps discuss safety and risk issues (Step 1), detailed design features of the wooden rail (Step 2), tying a cord to the rail (easy way, Step 3), tying a cord to the rail (more elaborate way, Step 4) and licensing (Step 5).

Step 1: Safety and risks

The following issues are important with respect to safety and risks:

 1. Risk of fire: use low-power LED rope or LED strip to avoid heating the wooden rail. Pay special attention to the accumulation of dust in the rail, which might catch fire. Preferably use LEDs that are covered with a transparent sheet (see picture).

 2. Risk of electrical shock: make sure that wiring is not accessible to the users. Ensure that the installation is shut off when no people are in the room.

 3. Risk of damage to your paintings: the quality of the workmanship will determine whether the paintings are safe. Preferably use strong rope and light (and not so valuable) paintings. 

 4. Environment: for purchasing the wood be sure to opt for certified and labeled products ensuring socially and environmentally responsible forestry.

In case you don't opt for LED but decide to use conventional filament rope light (which I advise against as explained above, but also because conventional rope has an excessive electricity consumption) only do this in combination with a dimmer-switch to reduce the heat production.

The next step discusses detailed design features.

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Bio: Openproducts' focus is on design of new products and on innovative approaches towards improving existing products. Also, quick fixes and on-the-fly repairs are documented here ... More »
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