Bay Lights, a giant installation on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge by Leo Villareal

Bay Lights, a giant installation on San Francisco's Bay Bridge by Leo Villareal

Growing up in the suburbs outside of Sacramento, the capitol of California, you learn that San Francisco is a refuge. It’s a real city with heaps of culture, great places to eat, and a bunch of great weirdos to stare at. In order to get to San Francisco you need to drive down the 80, eventually crossing the Bay Bridge, which acts essentially as the gateway to the city. I’m sure most people think that the Golden Gate bridge is the main way into the city, but I can tell you that I’ve only been over Golden Gate maybe three times in the 30 years I’ve been alive.

Now artist Leo Villareal is celebrating the bridge with a brand new installation simply called Bay Lights.

The Bay Lights is the world’s largest LED light sculpture, 1.8 miles wide and 500 feet high. Inspired by the Bay Bridge’s 75th Anniversary, its 25,000 white LED lights are individually programmed by artist Leo Villareal to create a never-repeating, dazzling display across the Bay Bridge West Span through 2015.

As you can see in the video below the effect is rather beautiful. It seems to me that this is the first large scale piece like this done on the west coast in a long time, most of them end up in New York. I also appreciate the subtlety that the project has, it doesn’t look like Skrillex hsa taken over the bridge, more life waves of water. If you’re interesting in reading more about the project, like the fact that it only takes $11,000 to power the project for a year, you should download this PDF.

I can’t wait to head up to San Francisco soon to see it for myself.

Bay Lights, a giant installation on San Francisco's Bay Bridge by Leo Villareal

March 18, 2013 / By