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Philips LEDs light iconic Bay Bridge

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of iconic Bay Bridge at the city of San Francisco, CA, Philips Color Kinetics supplied the 25,000 programmable white LED lights to illuminate the west span of the bridge in the solid-state lighting (SSL) art project created by artist Leo Villareal.

Villareal is renowned for his LED-based, light-art projects that combine networked LEDs and computer control. Examples include the Mulitverse sculpture that links the East and West Buildings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

The San Francisco white-light project features a variety of artistic effects and animations. The Bay Lights organization said Villareal "synthesized patterns from waves in the San Francisco Bay, traffic, wind and the environment to complete his artistic vision using complex algorithms."

The installation utilizes Philips Color Kinetics eW Flex SLX product in a 4200K CCT. That product consists of a flexible string of individually controllable white LED nodes that were attached at 1-ft intervals on the suspension cables. Workers have toiled for months manually installing the lights on each cable between the hours of 11:00 pm and 5:00 am so that the project would minimally impact traffic on the bridge.

The project will be live for at least two years. It was conceived by Ben Davis who created The Bay Lights organization, and the group has raised the money to pay for the project privately.

By relying on LEDs, The Bay Lights project will consume only $11,000 in energy per year. "The Bay Lights is a prime example of how LED technology can create meaningful value for a community in an environmentally friendly way," said Biasiotta. The energy used is being offset by a dedicated solar facility in Davis, CA. The organization, meanwhile, believes that the project will bring upwards of $100 million to San Francisco in tourism revenue