A Dropped Ceiling for the Dining Room, part 1

Having got the smart home control stable and happy, we decided it was a good time to decorate the dining and living rooms – two of my most hated decorating jobs because you cannot escape the mess like you can when doing a bedroom etc.

The dining room was first, we wanted to add some modern lighting and liked the look of a dropped ceiling, sometimes called an island ceiling. These are generally lit with LED strips facing up for background light and some LED spots facing down for task lighting. Naturally all the lights will be part of the smart home control, using Zigbee controllers or bulbs.

The LED strips I chose are RGBCCT types, these feature the normal Red, Green and Blue LED’s but also have cool white and warm white LED’s – these allow a good range of white hues to be set and also give a good light level. The strips have 60 LED’s per metre, are 24v and give 1500lm/m at 24w/m.

The room was emptied, stripped and the ceiling marked out to check the chosen size of the dropped part, I went for 1m x 1m as the room is 2.8m square and it seemed about right 🙂

I used steel C & U channel – this is usually used for office partitions but is easy to work with and a similar price to timber. A frame was built and clad with 12mm plasterboard.

The face was added after drilling it for the GU10 spotlights and adding the wiring. The outer edge was built up with some small wood strip to give a nice finish and also to hide the LED strips which sit facing up just inside the lip.

The walls needed a plaster skim as they were too rough to get a good finish – this is being done by a plasterer.


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