Bay Bridge Lights Show

Every evening the Bay Lights turn the San Francisco Bay Bridge into a shimmering, mesmerizing nighttime LED light sculpture

Permanent monumental light display visible from the Embarcadero covering the entire San Francisco Bay Bridge West span.

6Fun Facts about the Bay Lights

  1. The Bay Lights is a 1.8 mile wide light sculpture, which is the length of 26 football fields!
  2. The lights are spaced 12 inches apart, which makes for a stunning display.
  3. The Bay Lights are 500 feet high, making them taller than the Eiffel Tower!
  4. The installation uses 100,000 feet of cable for power, fiber and Cat 5 wires, that's enough to stretch from San Francisco to Sacramento!
  5. You can even dedicate a light in the Bay Lights to honor a loved one or special occasion, and it will shine for years to come. Plus, it helps support Illuminate in creating new and inspiring works of accessible public art.
  6. The Bay Lights are being redone with a new improved version - Only 11 million needs to be raised! 

 

The Bay Lights, oh my goodness gracious! Have you seen it? If not, you're missing out on one of the most spectacular light shows in all of San Francisco. This monumental light sculpture, created by the one and only artist Leo Villareal, is made up of 25,000 individually programmed white LED lights that create a never-ending, dazzling display across the north side of the Bay Bridge west span. It's so big, it's 1.8 miles wide and 500 feet high, and can be seen from all over the city!

When the Bay Lights first made their debut as a temporary artwork back in 2013, they were only supposed to be up for two years. But, due to their overwhelming popularity and beauty, they were made permanent in February 2016. Now, they shine bright every single night from dusk to dawn as a gift to the people of California. And the best part? It was all made possible by private donors and the nonprofit organization Illuminate. Talk about some generous folks!

But, let's talk about some fun facts about the Bay Lights. Did you know that each individual LED light is spaced 12 inches apart on a strand mounted on each cable? Or that the shortest bridge cable is only 2 feet long, while the longest is a whopping 240 feet? The installation is also 500 feet high, making it one of the tallest light sculptures in the world. And let's not forget about the 100,000 feet of cable for power, fiber, and Cat 5 wires that make this spectacular display possible.

The Bay Lights have dazzled over 50 million people since their debut, and they're not done yet. With each $100 donation to Illuminate, you can dedicate a light in the Bay Lights to honor a friend, family member, or even a pet. Your dedication will become a permanent fixture, shining for years to come, and will also support Illuminate in creating new and inspiring works of accessible public art.

But, the Bay Lights aren't the only spectacular display of art in San Francisco. The Illuminate Festival features over 40 installations in 17 neighborhoods, with over 30 artists. So, grab your friends and family, and make a night of it. Start at the Bay Lights, and make your way around the city to see all the amazing works of art.

In conclusion, the Bay Lights are an absolute must-see in San Francisco. Not only are they a spectacular display of art, but they also represent the generosity and creativity of the community. So, make sure to add them to your bucket list, and while you're at it, check out the rest of the Illuminate Festival. Trust me, you won't regret it!

Update; March 6th, 2023 the Bay Lights will go Dark - then glow again 

If you haven't had the chance to see The Bay Lights yet, you better hurry! These dazzling LED lights that adorn the Bay Bridge are set to be taken down on March 5th. But don't worry, this isn't the end of the road for The Bay Lights. In fact, they're getting an upgrade!

Introducing The Bay Lights 360! This new and improved version of the beloved light sculpture will feature nearly 50,000 LED lights, making it visible from both sides of the bridge and even for drivers entering San Francisco. That's right, you'll be able to see The Bay Lights 360 from all around the city, including Treasure Island, Yerba Buena Island, Oakland and other parts of the East Bay.

But here's the catch, The Bay Lights 360 is going to cost a pretty penny. A whopping $11 million to be exact. But don't let that discourage you, because Illuminate, the non-profit organization responsible for The Bay Lights, is seeking support at all levels. So whether you're a big-time donor or just want to contribute a little something, every bit helps. Plus, your donation is tax-deductible!

So, what are you waiting for? Help bring The Bay Lights 360 to life by making a donation today or for more information contact Illuminate CEO Ben Davis at ben@illuminate.org. And mark your calendars for Labor Day weekend, because that's when The Bay Lights 360 will officially make its debut. Let's light up the Bay Bridge together!

The Bay Lights by the Numbers

  • 1.8 miles: Length of "The Bay Lights" from end to end (approximately 26.4 football fields).
  • 12 inches: Space between individual LED lights in strand mounted on each cable.
  • 2 feet: Length of the shortest bridge cable.
  • 240 feet: Length of the longest bridge cable.
  • 500 feet: Height of the installation to the tallest point.
  • 100,000 feet: Length of cable for power, fiber and Cat 5 wires in the system.
  • 300: Number of vertical cables on the bridge that fitted with LED lights.
  • 728: Number of power and data boxes used in the light sculpture system.
  • 50 million: Estimated number of people dazzled by "The Bay Lights" during its initial two-year presence.
  • $8 million: Total cost of the initial project to make "The Bay Lights" a reality.
  • $1 million: Estimate of dollars "The Bay Lights" will add to the local economy over 10 years after re-installation.

Dedicate a Bay Light at sif.illuminate.org

Currently and until all 25,000 lights are claimed, Illuminate offers the opportunity for anyone to dedicate a light in "The Bay Lights" to honor a friend, family member, pet, special occasion, in memoriam, or simply as a way to connect to art history. With every tax-deductible $100 donation, the words and photo in each dedication will become a permanent fixture like "The Bay Lights", shining for years to come, and will support Illuminate in creating new and inspiring works of accessible public art.  

Information provided by Illuminate SF and SF Travel.  

The Bay Bridge Lights is part of the Illuminate Festival in San Francisco

More Bay Lights Info here:  https://illuminate.org/projects/the-bay-lights/ 

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