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SF’s Bay Bridge “Bay Lights” to Go Dark Unless $11 Million is Raised

The twinkly lights will sunset on March 5 unless the necessary funds are raised
By - posted 1/10/2023 No Comment

San Francisco’s gorgeous twinkly Bay Lights may be going dark soon. One of the largest light sculptures in the world with 25,000 LEDs has illuminated the 1.8-mile-long bridge since 2016. The installation by artist Leo Villareal was only supposed to be temporary. Originally installed as a temporary two-year artwork, this monumental tour de force was made permanent in February 2016. The Bay Lights is 1.8 miles wide and 500 feet high, and shines nightly from dusk to dawn as a gift to the people of California, thanks to the generosity of private donors and nonprofit presenting organization Illuminate.

But, SFist has shared the unfortunate news, that the lights are in need of some upkeep. Many of the lights have gone out causing dark patches. $11 million is needed to repair the lights and to make some improvements as well. Instead of the lights only sparkling on the north side of the cables, they’ll be added to the south side as well, creating 360-degree visibility. You’d be able to view the lights from Oakland, Alameda, and beyond. However, without the funding, the Bay Lights will go dark on March 5.

Donations are being accepted at Illuminate’s Bay City Lights 360 fundraiser. Thanks to the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, for donating $1 million already.

The Bay Lights is the brainchild of Ben Davis, founder of Words Pictures Ideas, the San Francisco creative agency that branded the build-out of the Bay Bridge East Span – California’s largest public works project – and continues to serve it daily. Inspired by internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal’s exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Art, Davis began a campaign to realize this stunning fine arts experience – starting with a momentous Grand Lighting in 2012 for the Bay Bridge 75th Anniversary and continuing through 2014.