Digital art master Leo Villareal testing The Bay Lights on the Bay Bridge
Last night, with a flip of a switch, the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge morphed into the world’s largest LED light sculpture. The Bay Lights, an art project two years in the making, illuminates the western span of the bridge with 25,000 white LED lights attached to 300 of the bridge’s suspension cables. The brilliant display stretches nearly two miles, is 500 feet high and each light is individually controlled to create moving patterns across the span. The project’s designer, prominent artist Leo Villareal, drew inspiration for the light sequences from the bridge’s surroundings such as movement of water and the flow of traffic. The end result is an ever-changing fixture of fine art, viewable for miles from land and along the waterways. It’s expected that 50 million people will witness the lighted sculpture during the course of its two year run.
The Bay Lights will sparkle each night from dusk until 2 a.m. until March 5, 2015. At a cost of $8 million – organizers have already raised $6 million from private funding – it’s estimated to generate up to $100 million in increased revenue for the San Francisco area.