Twinkly Waterfall Lights to Drape Bay Bridge Forever
More than 25,000 LEDs make this the largest light sculpture in the world.
For years, the Bay Bridge in California, which connects San Francisco to Oakland, has been overshadowed by its bigger brother, the Golden Gate Bridge.
But now tourists are likely to flock to the Bay Bridge in much the same way.
A light installation created by artist Leo Villareal in 2013 that was originally designed to illuminate the bridge for two years just got the go-ahead to stay permanently.
Thanks to $4 million raised by the nonprofit organization Illuminate the Arts, the bridge lights, which were turned off a year ago, got flipped back on this past weekend.
The Bay Lights sculpture transforms the bridge into a dazzling spectacle and because it has more than 25,000 LEDs, it's technically the largest light sculpture in the world.
The strings of LEDs don't shine statically, either. They swim up and down the supporting cables, creating a mesmerizing display that mimics the traffic patterns underneath.
A state-of-the-art system used advanced algorithms to create the patterns and wireless technology to monitor and maintain the lights.
To see the installation during its original debut, watch the video below.
In the dead of winter, Amsterdam gets about seven-and-a-half hours of low-laying sunlight. But thanks to the city's annual light festival -- which runs from November 28, 2015, until January 17, 2016 -- residents look forward to sunset, to when dozens of gorgeous light sculptures come to life. Here, we take a look at a handful of the pieces illuminating waterways and walking paths this year, all of them dedicated to the theme of friendship.
In Indian rituals, the circular mandala is a symbol for unity. Here, artists Macarena Meza and Daniela Orellana create the top half of a mandala above the water, allowing the reflection to represent the bottom half, making the work complete.
According to artists Victor Engbers and Ina Smits, Strangers in the Light embodies the diversity of residents in Amsterdam, who pass each other every day on the street, but never meet. When one of the tall sculptures lights up, the other one disappears.
A buckyball is a molecule made of 60 carbon atoms. Here, the sides of this giant buckyball contain panels of artwork by Bianca Leusink to highlight innovations from her hometown of Twente, where the highly regarded University of Twente is based.
The sentence written in light, from Massimo Uberti and Marco Pollice, begs the question: what about tomorrow? But according to Uberti and Pollice, because the word is illuminated as a permanent piece of art, the answer is always yes, since ever day is the day you will be loved.
The Uniting Light Star is a dodecahedron, consisting of twelve pentagonal surfaces -- the same number of stars in the European flag. The strings of blue light that connect the points of the star represent the relationships between the European countries and their residents. The piece was designed by Onne Walsmit, Dirk Schlebusch and Joost van Bergen, who make up the collective Venividimultiplex.
A string of lights over one of Amsterdam's many canals is programmed in such a way that it creates an unpredictable pattern of light, just like the aurora borealis. For artist Aleksandra Stratimirovic, who hails from Sweden where curtains of natural light regularly adorn the evening skies, her piece Northern Lights represents the magical experience of friendship.
The playful Run Beyond from Angelo Bonello for KitonB captures the spirit of friends frolicking on a winter's eve. Says Bonello, "To me this work is about the power of imagination, a power so strong that it makes individuals conquer their fears and limitations and causes them to open up to other cultures, new friendships and unknown worlds."
Many children wear friendship bands on their wrists to symbolize a bond to another person or support for a cause. Here, artists Vikas Patil and Santosh Gujar have produced giant versions of friendship bands in nine different colors. When viewed from different angles, the long row of rings takes on different dimensions and different meanings. For example, when viewed straight on, the bands form concentric rings, each one encircling another. But when viewed sidelong, the rings separate. In this way, the art symbolizes how friendships evolve, how people feel close to others and at times, more distant.
These two "friends" communicate with each other from opposite sides of a canal. Designed by Viktor Vicsek, the Talking Heads don't talk, but express emotions and empathy for each other through different colored lights and patterns. To see more images, visit the festival's
page or its