Online Fundraiser Starts to Keep “Bay Lights” Display Shining

June 19, 2014 12:36 pm · 14 comments

An online fundraising campaign kicked off today to help keep the nightly Bay Lights art installation on the western span of the Bay Bridge shining until 2026.

The crowdfunding initiative through Crowdtilt aims to raise $1.2 million to go toward keeping the 25,000 white LED bulbs illuminated with an abstract pattern gliding across the cables from sundown to dawn.

The Bay Lights display was made by artist Leo Villareal and was first lit in March 2013 on the 1.8-mile span.

The project is slated to end in March 2015 unless Illuminate the Arts, the nonprofit behind the nightly light show, can raise $12 million to preserve the public artwork.

If the goal is not reached, there is only enough funding to keep the project operating until March 2016.

According to fundraiser organizers, it costs $30 a day to power the light display.

Illuminate the Arts raised $8.7 million to turn on the display in 2013.

The fundraising campaign launched today will run for 45 days.

As of late this morning, donors had already given more than $185,200 to the “Keep ‘Em Lit” campaign.

NOTE: If you have extra money that you can spare, you can also donate it to Katie Grace, the little Clayton girl who just received a new heart & lungs. You can click HERE to read more about her story.

{ 14 comments }

1 Going Green? June 19, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Even with LED lights, doesn’t this use a significant amount of energy? These seem like the same type of people who want to micromanage my life and energy usage, but they’re OK with leaving 25,000 extra LED lights on just because they think its trendy.

2 Grumpy Old Man June 19, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Put your money on lighting up the world by donating to Katie.

3 Wasteful June 19, 2014 at 2:15 PM

There are millions of other more important ways and causes and uses for millions of dollars. This is a shame. The bridge is beautiful enough with the lights required on it just to see at night. No need for a light show for the very few who have the time and or ability to even see the display. Seriously, donate your money to a worthy cause, for example the one mentioned by the Mayor in the article…

4 Charles June 19, 2014 at 2:18 PM

They should ask all the residents of SF that get to enjoy this display from their vantage point – after all, they have all the $$

5 Pyrrhus June 19, 2014 at 2:41 PM

@1
Hopefully someone can correct me if my math is wrong.

25,000 LEDs running at 4 watts per led per hour gives 100,000 watts. Multiply that by 8 hours and you have 800,000 watts a night. That’s assuming every light was on for the entire 8 hours. I suspect it is quite a bit less. Regardless, the article says it costs $30 a night to run the lights, and upon further research it turns out that the energy being used is offset by solar credits.

The Bay Bridge lights are a tourist attraction which brings in money for tourism for San Francisco. All you have to do is go to Coit tower and see the people that gather there to check it out.

Also, out of curiosity, what are you doing that requires so much energy that you are being limited?

6 The important things June 19, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but are there not more worthy causes for our donations. Say… I don’t know maybe starving children, education or the homeless. I think the lights are pretty just like everyone else, but I don’t think this is a cause I would be inclined to give my hard earned money to.

7 Don P - N. Concord June 19, 2014 at 4:08 PM

A perfect example of SF’s stupidity

8 Jody June 19, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Thank you for suggesting donations also to Katie Grace, she is an awesome girl!

9 @#5 June 19, 2014 at 5:28 PM

By your own math, that’s 800 kWh a night. Most households don’t use that a month. Solar credits, give me a break, it’s the same power everyone else is using, they’re just paying to ease their conscience. In the new power agenda that’s being pushed who is to decide what a gratuitous waste of power is? I use very little power and water to comply with the utilities moaning about conservation, then I have to hear about some artist burning up 800kwh a night? Go for it, but don’t lecture me about pinching watts then.

10 AnotherAnon-----How does this differ from spending $25000 June 19, 2014 at 7:04 PM

on a fireworks display for 4th of July, where the money will be “burned” in one night, whereas the Bridge money goes ’till 2026?

11 Really June 19, 2014 at 7:05 PM

I find the lights vey distracting when driving over the bridge at night. I can’t watch the news when the have the lights in the background. An eyesore that should be removed.

12 AnotherAnon---money would be better spent June 19, 2014 at 7:07 PM

providing benefits for those in need. Food, housing, medical/dental care.

13 Pyrrhus June 20, 2014 at 8:51 AM

@12 that could be said about any project. Why donate to spend money on parks, parades, fireworks, festivals, etc. Why not divert all money used in the enjoyment of the public to those in need?

There is nobody forcing you to donate to any of these type of projects. If somebody feels the money is better spent elsewhere then spend it there. However, why disparage something that many people enjoy?

@9 It’s your opinion that it is a waste of energy. Tourists, many San Franciscans like myself enjoy it. To me, it’s just another reason why San Francisco is considered such an attractive city to visit and live in. (If you can afford it)

14 Climate Change June 20, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Get rid of the lights…they contribute to “Climate Change”.

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