User login

Simply Capital

(April 2017) posted on Mon Apr 10, 2017

Capital One’s LED lighting enhances the banking experience

By Louis M. Brill

click an image below to view slideshow

In establishing the LED design for the Capital One Union Square branch, several banking operation and design considerations were taken into account. Placement of the LED wall behind the ATMs was critical because the machines are one of the first things customers see upon approaching a bank, and the LED wall is now a great differentiator for the branch. With its varied colors, interior LED lighting acts as a brand signature, creating a dynamic background for on-site customers. “One concern we had with the LEDs was that their lighting could become overbearing and somewhat garish as different colors might change skin tones and create unflattering looks to people under that lighting,” said Lombardi. “That concern was unwarranted; once installed and tested with people in the room, it became a negligible effect and [was] not unpleasant at all.”

The LED wall and ceiling were created by D3 LED (New York City) with a variety of their LED products including a 2.6mm surface-mounted device (SMD) module used for the ATM wall display and the mezzanine wall. To enhance the mezzanine’s visual presence, its ceiling was transformed into continuing rows of LED slats that incorporated a 4mm SMD. The exterior sunshade/canopy was designed with a 16mm pitch.

American Signcrafters Inc. (Islip, NY) installed Capital One’s LED displays, and also designed and fabricated the custom ATM wall vestibule, including its two fully customized LED wall displays, the second floor LED mezzanine wall, the LED ceiling and the custom fabricated protruding sun shade.

“We began by building a base structure for the ATM LED displays, which was an aluminum subframe that allowed us to mount all the LED modules (NTECH-NT 2.6mm SMD) on an even horizontal plane,” said Tom Garatina, business development manager. “The D3 LED modules were attached to the subframe on a plug-and-play basis in which each succeeding LED panel was interconnected to each other with data and power from panel to panel. Once assembled, the ATM walls were covered with a series of Polycast SAR [super abrasion resistant] Acrylic Sheets to protect its LED surface in high-contact areas.”

On the second floor mezzanine, American Signcrafters mounted the NT 2.6 SMD LED panels directly to the mezzanine wall and connected to the subframe in a similar way to the ATM wall assembly. As the LED wall curved towards the ceiling, its display was separated into a series of horizontal (NCORE-NC4-SMD) LED strips mounted across the ceiling, according to Garatina. Initially, horizontal raceways were anchored into the ceiling with Unistruts and threaded rods, with the LED modules then attached to the raceways.

The team also extended LEDs beyond the building façade to create the exterior illuminated canopy. “One of the challenges of the project was that both the developer and the landlord’s architect had felt the building didn’t need an exterior canopy,” said Lombardi. “We countered that the placement of the illuminated canopy would be a benefit to the bank’s success, draw more eyes onto the building and increase the brand value of the property. Inevitably, the landlord agreed and the final design was accepted.” And the ultimate test? Lombardi knew the design worked when his 10-year-old son remarked “how cool it looked.”

Louis M. Brill is a journalist and consultant for high-tech entertainment and media communications. He can be reached at


Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.