25K LEDs To Turn New Bay Bridge Into Light Sculpture

World's biggest light sculpture is our bridge

By Chris Roberts
|  Friday, Dec 28, 2012  |  Updated 12:56 PM PDT
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Treasure Island Begins Its Transformation

Courtesy of Lucas Saugen Photography, saugenphotography.com

The Bay Bridge will one day be with with 25,000 LED lights.

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It is a bridge, and it is art. And it will be awfully bright.

A "coat of 25,000 white LED lights" will transform the "gray workhorse" of the Bay Bridge into a "shimmering, undulating light sculpture," according to the Contra Costa Times.

Private donors shelled out $8 million to turn the new Bay Bridge into the "largest sculpture of its kind in the world," the newspaper reported. The switch is flipped March 5.

The lights do not merely go on or off, either: they will "flicker... dim and brighten in waves and pulses" along the 1.8-mile span.

Leo Villareal is the New York light sculptor who is writing the algorithms to control the lights. He says he hopes to "capture the energy and flow of cars, ships, tides, winds, fog, fish, water and birds," according to the newspaper.

A group called Illuminate the Arts has raised $5.7 million out of the total $8 million needed for the project, and will sell naming rights for each of the lights for $50 apiece.

Visit baylights.org to see a computer simulation of the computer-controlled lights. To see more photos of the bridge under construction, check out saugenphotography.com

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