Connect with us

This Must Be the Place

LEDs feature in fluid and fun signs on a Kansas City-area apartment complex.

mm

Published

on

FINDING THE RIGHT SPACE to call home is a bit like shopping for a car. One can search far and wide for the vehicle that meets your needs and budget, but when it comes to style, you know the one the moment you see it. Perhaps the same is true when potential residents spot signs atop and around THE LOFTS, a luxury apartment building in Lenexa, KS, a hip suburb of Kansas City, KS. The signs are ideally situated for viewing from I-435, the bypass around KC’s metro area. At project design, the owner chose Luminous Neon Art & Sign Systems, a Kansas sign company with locations all over the state, to create distinctive, spirited signs in collaboration with Catherine Kirkland of Lenexa-based Kirkland Creative Art + Design, who designed the building’s art. But first, county regulators would have their say.

Kirkland Art (Lexana, KS) designed two digitally printed, 40-ft. accents that coordinate with the artwork used throughout the building’s interior.

Kirkland Art (Lexana, KS) designed two digitally printed, 40-ft. accents that coordinate with the artwork used throughout the building’s interior.

Not So Lofty

Like adjusting to the weather, it’s not unusual for signshops to change plans based on zoning regulations. “The client wanted digital signage to be custom-designed into their logo, but the city did not approve that,” said Quintin Totta, account manager at Luminous Neon. Pointing out that custom digital displays are significantly more expensive than illuminated channel letters, perhaps the change was fortuitous. Instead, approval came for six signs: two bold, illuminated rooftop signs standing 6 ft. and 8 ft. tall; two illuminated blade signs; and two digitally printed, 40-ft.-tall, non-illuminated signs using Kirkland’s design. The four LED-lit logo signs simultaneously switch colors periodically: blue, purple, green, etc.

In sync with the rooftop signs, two vertical blade signs alternate in color periodically.

In sync with the rooftop signs, two vertical blade signs alternate in color periodically.

“This was probably our greatest challenge – controlling the signs to precisely phase into the next color at exactly the same time.” The effect was achieved with assistance and support from GSG and Principal LED. Another consideration involved engineering the rooftop signs to withstand the high winds that often rip through the Midwest. Luminous Neon used 3 x 6-in. steel tubing kickers anchored to 8 x 8-in.-thick steel plates in the roof to withstand windspeeds up to 110 mph.

The illuminated rooftop signs can be viewed locally or from I-435, a heavily traveled highway around Kansas City, KS.

The illuminated rooftop signs can be viewed locally or from I-435, a heavily traveled highway around Kansas City, KS.

Advertisement

Color Flexibility

Luminous Neon chose Street Fighter RGB LEDs from Principal LED and a Ledenet M6 LED light controller and dimmer for all signage. “RGBs have come so far, and certainly remote control has simplified matters immensely,” Totta said. Nonetheless, extensive wiring goes into connecting multiple signs from LED modules to drivers to controllers to main power. “Given all these connection points and wiring to load, sign installations will likely be [sped] up in the future when some of the connections are simplified,” he said. Installation of the signage was completed in three days. “The Lofts was an excellent project to showcase the full capabilities of our great team and how transformative big, bold signage can be for a city’s skyline,” Totta said.

The glowing rooftop beacons are engineered to withstand 110-mph winds.

The glowing rooftop beacons are engineered to withstand 110-mph winds.

Laura Peters is a full-time freelance writer who specializes in technology topics including LEDs and their many applications. Laura was previously senior technical editor of LEDs Magazine, editor-in-chief of Semiconductor International and has over 20 years of experience working in semiconductor manufacturing. Contact Laura at [email protected].

Advertisement

Sponsored Video

Mactac: Today's Hottest Products In Action

Watch as Amanda and Ross install our most used products of the year at a local bistro. They will discuss tips and tricks for installing and provide COVID - 19 application ideas.

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular