“The Bay Lights,” The World’s Largest LED Light Sculpture, Debuts in San Francisco

On Tues­day night, the San Fran­cis­co-Oak­land Bay Bridge out­shined The Gold­en Gate Bridge for the first time in 75 years. That hap­pened when artist Leo Vil­lare­al flipped a switch and illu­mi­nat­ed 25,000 lights, turn­ing the 1.8‑mile expanse into the world’s largest L.E.D. light sculp­ture. Accord­ing to The New York Times, the pri­vate­ly-fund­ed project, esti­mat­ed to cost $8 mil­lion, “has become a dar­ling of mon­eyed Sil­i­con Val­ley types.” And, it’s not hard to see why. As Vil­lare­al explains in the video above, “The Bay Lights” instal­la­tion runs on cus­tom-designed soft­ware (writ­ten in C) that cap­tures the kinet­ic activ­i­ty around the bridge and then uses the data to sequence the lights, cre­at­ing pat­terns that nev­er occur twice. You can vis­it the instal­la­tion through 2015. Learn more here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Pi in the Sky: The World’s Largest Ephemer­al Art Instal­la­tion over Beau­ti­ful San Fran­cis­co

Cap­ti­vat­ing Col­lab­o­ra­tion: Artist Hubert Duprat Uses Insects to Cre­ate Gold­en Sculp­tures

MIT LED Heli­copters: The Ear­ly Smart Pix­els

Build­ing the Gold­en Gate Bridge: A Retro Film Fea­tur­ing Orig­i­nal Archival Footage

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