San Francisco Bay Bridge lighting set for March 5 with live Webcast

Feb. 28, 2013
The Bay Lights project is set to go live on March 5th, transforming the San Francisco Bay Bridge into the world's largest LED light sculpture created by artist Leo Villareal.

As we first covered last September, the San Francisco Bay bridge will shortly become the world's largest LED light sculpture as The Bay Lights project celebrates the 75th anniversary of the iconic bridge. The lighting will go live at 9:00 pm Pacific time on March 5, and the event will be broadcast via a live Webcast with Leo Villareal – the artist behind the project.

The project includes more than 25,000 LED lights installed on the suspension cables stretching 1.8 miles on the western span of the bridge and reaching heights of 500 ft. San Francisco organization Illuminate the Arts is presenting The Bay Lights project that has been privately funded.

Organizers, however, expect the project to generate money for the local economy through tourism. "It is a gift to the city that will generate much more than it costs," says Ben Davis, the catalyst of The Bay Lights. The Bay Lights could add $97 million to the local economy according to organizer estimates.

In creating the project, Villareal has "synthesized patterns from waves in the San Francisco Bay, traffic, wind and the environment to complete his artistic vision using complex algorithms" according to the organizers. "Being able to create this monumental piece of public art that millions of people will see at no cost is a tremendous honor," said Villareal. "The Bay Lights celebrates light, art and technology in a new way."

The live Webcast will be hosted at It will begin at 8:30 pm Pacific and last one hour. California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom will host the Webcast.

Philips Color Kinetics supplied the lighting and control technology used in the project. And a dedicated solar energy project is being used to offset the energy required to power the lights.