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Wednesday 13 March 2013

Watch: San Francisco's fab giant light sculpture

San Francisco has gained a new attraction in a vast light sculpture covering two miles of the Bay Bridge.

The work, by artist Leo Villareal, mimics the rhythms of traffic, wind and the bay's waters. Watch video of it in action after the jump.

According to the Bridge authority:
The new East Span will feature a cutting-edge lighting system that was designed and fabricated specifically for the Bay Bridge. High-performance LED lights will spread a bright, uniform glow across the roadway. The fixtures are positioned to project light in the direction of travel, much like headlights on a car, thereby protecting motorists from glare. While the quality and distribution of light on the road will create a safer driving experience for motorists, the longevity of the lighting system will also increase safety of maintenance workers.

The state-of-the-art lights use half the energy of standard lights but will last five to seven times longer. Lights will only need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years, so crews will spend less time working beside traffic during maintenance operations and fewer lane closures will be required to provide the access.

The East Span lighting system includes more than 48,000 individual LEDs. Using a large number of individual LEDs, with individual optic control, allows for greater control over the direction of the light, creating the ability to place more light where it is needed and remove light from where it is not. The design of the light fixtures gives more control over the direction of each bulb and the overall light that is produced, which means that light pollution is reduced almost completely. Lighting on the westbound deck will not spill over to the eastbound deck and vice versa. This creates a much safer driving experience for motorists. Each fixture is adjustable and will be set into a position that faces away from oncoming traffic and focuses light directly onto the roadway. This makes for a better lit road and protects oncoming motorists from glare, which increases safety.
The work brings attention to one of the city's neglected engineering masterpieces, finished just months before the Golden Gate Bridge.

Made me think of similar, similarly overlooked, structures in Britain which would gain from something like this. The Humber Bridge?

Watch New York Times report after the jump:

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