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08/30/2014
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Bay Bridge celebrates belated 75th birthday with largest light sculpture ever created

Posted on December 12, 2012 Category: Landscape Lighting Articles

The Bay Bridge is belatedly celebrating its 75th birthday with the largest light sculpture ever created, according to The Huffington Post. The Bay Bridge, south of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco will be illuminated by more than 30,000 LED lights.

The $7 million project will span 1.7 miles wide and 500 feet high across the structure of the bridge, the news source reports. Designed by New York-based artist Leo Villareal, the Bay Lights project will be seven times the size of the Eiffel Tower's recent 100th anniversary lighting.

"What you will see are sequences that are orchestrated but will never repeat," Villareal told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It will be very subtle and elegant. You could think of it almost as music, but mapped to the visual sense. It is not going to be overwhelming in any way. It will be very pure and clean. Undulating. Not jarring."

The Bay Lights were originally conceived to celebrate the Bay Bridge's 75th birthday in 2011. However, the news source reports that slow permit approval and fundraising processes pushed the project back. Most of the costs for the project are now being funded by private sources, with organizers admitting to experiencing a current $2.5 million shortfall. However, the deficit was not enough to delay the project any longer. Additionally, experts have estimated that the project, which will remain on the bridge for two years, could bring in more than $97 million for the local economy.

Experts have also projected the annual electricity bill for the project will be approximately $11,000 each year. However, since energy-efficient LED lights were used instead of traditional bulbs, project officials will save a substantial amount in the long term.