It is an large-scale civic art installation created by internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal, with over 25,000 white energy-efficient LEDs installed on the vertical cables of the West Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
Proposed by artist Leo Villareal, The Bay Lights project will be a grid of 25,000 white LEDs spaced every foot on the suspension cables. “Each node will be individually addressable…each single pixel is controllable but working as a group to create an overall effect,” says Villareal.
Villareal has developed custom software and utilized Max/MSP/Jitter to get to a place of nuanced, three-layer control of the grid — something akin to video mixing. “It’s a long a process of making these discoveries, layering, refining; it becomes kind of like painting.
A graduate of ITP at NYIU, Villareal used to make his own LED boards and sequencers — when he was working with a microcontroller and 16 lights. Now Villareal leverages commercially available Phillips hardware, but is deep into designing custom enclosures that could secure and protect the Bay Lights grid over its two-year lifespan.
Come meet members of the team behind this idea-gone-real, the makers behind making the largest light sculpture in the world. The LARGEST LIGHT SCULPTURE IN THE WORLD! In our backyard. Next year.