Artist Leo Villareal Shines a Permanent Light on San Francisco with LED Lighting from Philips

    January 28, 2016

    • The Bay Lights, a Dynamic installation featuring 25,000 Philips connected LEDs, returns to Bay Bridge
    • New system employs Philips ActiveSite technology for efficient monitoring and maintenance

    Somerset, NJ – This Saturday, the non-profit arts organization, ILLUMINATE, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and world-renowned artist Leo Villareal will officially re-light The Bay Lights, an iconic LED lighting installation on the San Francisco Bay Bridge, using equipment developed by Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting. The artwork, which originally appeared in March 2013 as a two-year installation, will now permanently illuminate the San Francisco Bay’s night sky with 25,000 Philips connected light points and an advanced cloud-based connected lighting platform to remotely monitor and maintain the lighting system.

    The new installation uses eW Flex Compact lighting from Philips Color Kinetics, featuring individually controllable white light LED nodes in a durable, flexible form factor, which are four times brighter than those in the original installation. The unique attributes of eW Flex Compact allow low-profile, low-power, intelligent points of white light to be installed across nearly any interior or exterior surface, making it an ideal choice for The Bay Lights project. Dynamic capabilities of The Bay Lights project are enabled by an underlying Ethernet-based data network, in which each of the 25,000 controllable light points are linked for simultaneous control. The installation is further enhanced by Philips ActiveSite System, a cloud-based connected lighting platform that affords remote diagnostics, reporting, data analytics and control for efficient installations management.

    “The re-lighting of the Bay Bridge is a testament to the impact of Leo Villareal’s magnificent design on the San Francisco community,” said Amy Huntington, President of Philips Lighting Americas. “Philips is proud to be a part of the work by ILLUMINATE, Caltrans and Metropolitan Transportation Commission to make this one-of-a-kind light structure a permanent fixture over the San Francisco Bay.”

    Overall, the project uses roughly 4.5 miles of cable and 25,000 LEDs to create a monumental light canvas for Leo Villareal’s complex algorithms and patterns, which dynamically recombine, transforming the bridge into a living work of art.

    “The original Bay Lights installation served as a major source of pride in San Francisco and helped to increase tourism in the area,” said Saeed Shahmirzai of Zoon Engineering, the Bay Bridge MEP Integrator. “Thanks to advanced LED and system monitoring technology from Philips, we are able to build on those benefits and install an energy-efficient work of art that makes the Bay Bridge a true beacon of the San Francisco Bay Area.”


    San Francisco Bay Bridge

    San Francisco Bay Bridge

    San Francisco Bay Bridge

    San Francisco Bay Bridge

    For further information, please contact:

    Melissa Kanter
    Philips Lighting
    Tel: 732-563-3994


    About Royal Philips

    Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2014 sales of EUR 21.4 billion and employs approximately 106,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at


    About Leo Villareal

    Leo Villareal is known internationally for his light sculptures and site-specific architectural works. His work focuses on stripping systems down to their essence to better understand the underlying structures governing how they work. He is interested in lowest common denominators such as pixels, or the zeros and ones, in binary code. The visual manifestation of the code in light is at the core of the artist's interest.

    Villareal’s recent exhibitions include a traveling survey organized by the San Jose Museum of Art as well as a presentation of Cylinder II at the Hayward Gallery in London, which is currently traveling to Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia, and Sharjah, UAE. Recent works include The Light Matrix at 1306 Market Street in Philadelphia, Buckyball, Dallas at Northpark Center in Dallas and Volume (Renwick) at Renwick Gallery in the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

    His work is in the permanent collections of museums such as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Kagawa, Japan; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.



    ILLUMINATE aims to alter the arc of human history through the creation of transformational works of public art. Its mission is to produce contemporary art with civic impact, social activation and global reach to stimulate a culture of generosity and collaboration. Illuminate raised funds and produced both the original installation of The Bay Lights in 2013 and the permanent reinstallation in 2016. It is gifting The Bay Lights to the people of California so they will be maintained by Caltrans and will lift the gaze and spirits of Bay Area residents and visitors for generations to come.