Next month, San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is going to light up with 25,000 LEDs, in what FastCoExist calls “an endless series of sparkling patterns across the structure.” The installation, designed by artist Leo Villareal and called Bay Lights, will last for two years, and during that time, no single pattern will repeat itself. It will be the world’s largest light sculpture.
The idea for the Bay Lights … came from Ben Davis of communications firm Words Pictures Ideas (the firm works with local transit agency Caltrans). Davis wanted to celebrate the bridge’s 75th anniversary back in 2011 with something that would make it shine in comparison to the naturally beautiful Golden Gate Bridge. A friend tipped him off to Villareal’s work with light sculptures — his most famous project is the Multiverse LED light sculpture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington — and Davis was in.
The annual electricity bill for the project will be an estimated $11,000. That’s a lot of electricity — but just imagine how much higher that bill would be if those 25,000 bulbs were incandescents.