A Railroad with Relevance

Lighting Panel Grid

Written By: Alan - Jan• 08•12

The grid to hold the ceiling lighting panels is installed. Laying out the locations of the cross tees was far more difficult and time consuming than actually installing the cross tees.




Armed with a framing square, tape measure, mason’s string, and a pencil I measured and marked the locations on the wall brackets where the cross tees would be positioned.

Knowing that acrylic light panels are 23-3/4″ x 47-3/4″ designed to fit a grid 24″ x 48″ the measurements were made so the panel size was never exceeded. I wanted the panels to follow the layout in a flowing manner so as to compliment the flowing curves of the upper valance. A lot of trial and err was involved but eventually the positioning started to gel. The framing square was used to keep the tees at right angles to the backdrops. The resulting angle at the valance panel was cut on the end of the tees so they sat squarely and full depth in the wall track. This was especially important on the vinyl sections of wall track since the flexible vinyl part cannot support any weight. Mason’s string was stretched across at tee locations so I could visualize the arrangement before actually cutting any tees. The string made it very easy to reposition as many times as necessary to achieve the right spacing, look, etc.

Installing the cross tees was simple and straightforward. Measure, cut, debur, fit, drill, install with pop rivets. I did have to buy a new rivet tool. My old one hadn’t been used in a long time and somewhere must have gotten wet because the mechanism was rusted to the point where it would not work any longer. After messing with it for a half hour it finally hit the trash can. $9 later I was snapping rivets.

I especially like how the curved and corner areas came out. It really adds that flowing look I want. Lots of measuring to get them right but the time spent was worthwhile in the final results.

Next on the agenda – install the CFL lighting string in the valance.


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  1. Greg Amer says:

    That is top notch. I’d considered acrylic diffusor panels before, but never thought about custom cutting them to fit the tracks, or even modifying the tracks to fit a custom curve. I didn’t know they sold vinyl tracks.

    Great idea.

  2. Derek says:

    I’m inspired by your layout lighting! Do you remember where you got the flexible vinyl wall track? I’m having a devil of a time locating it. Thx!

  3. alan says:


    I used the dealer locator on the Trim-Tex web site. It gave me two dealers in my area. I called both. One had the molding in stock.

  4. Derek says:

    Thanks Alan, I’ve found there’s only one TrimTex distributor in Canada, and my local dealer doesn’t know if they can get it from the Canadian distributor. Fingers crossed…


  5. Derek says:

    Just to confirm, did you use the 9/16″ size flex grid angle or the 7/8″ size? Thank you.

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