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Bay Bridge Lights Show

Permanent monumental light display visable from the Embarcadero covering the entire San Francisco Bay Bridge West span.


UPDATE: The Bay Lights will return to the Bay Bridge in March 2025. 

The total number of lights will increase from 25,000 to 50,000 with the display’s latest incarnation, which Illuminate has dubbed “The Bay Lights 360.”  The original “Bay Lights” display was switched on in 2013 and eventually went dark in March 2023 due to harsh conditions along the bridge that caused the lights to fail. For the newest version, the lights will be affixed to the northern edge of the bridge’s western span and display “abstract patterns” like before. This time the lights will wrap around the cables, so the display will also be visible in the Bayview neighborhood and across the bay in Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley.


The Bay Lights is an iconic San Francisco light sculpture by artist Leo Villareal, comprised of 25,000 individually programmed white LED lights to create a never repeating, dazzling display across the north side of the Bay Bridge west span.

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.

The Bay Bridge Lights is part of the Illuminate Festival in San Francisco 40+ Installations · 17 Neighborhoods · 30+ Artists

The Bay Lights by the Numbers

  • 1.8 miles: Length of “The Bay Lights” from end to end (approximately 26.4 football fields).
  • 12 inches: Space between individual LED lights in strand mounted on each cable.
  • 2 feet: Length of the shortest bridge cable.
  • 240 feet: Length of the longest bridge cable.
  • 500 feet: Height of the installation to the tallest point.
  • 100,000 feet: Length of cable for power, fiber and Cat 5 wires in the system.
  • 300: Number of vertical cables on the bridge that fitted with LED lights.
  • 728: Number of power and data boxes used in the light sculpture system.
  • 50 million: Estimated number of people dazzled by “The Bay Lights” during its initial two-year presence.
  • $8 million: Total cost of the initial project to make “The Bay Lights” a reality.
  • $1 million: Estimate of dollars “The Bay Lights” will add to the local economy over 10 years after re-installation.

Dedicate a Bay Light at

Currently and until all 25,000 lights are claimed, Illuminate offers the opportunity for anyone to dedicate a light in “The Bay Lights” to honor a friend, family member, pet, special occasion, in memoriam, or simply as a way to connect to art history. With every tax-deductible $100 donation, the words and photo in each dedication will become a permanent fixture like “The Bay Lights”, shining for years to come, and will support Illuminate in creating new and inspiring works of accessible public art.

Information provided by Illuminate SF and SF Travel.

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