SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Just in time for Super Bowl 50, the Bay Area is welcoming back a sparkling addition to its skyline. The Bay Lights have been dark for nearly a year, but now they’re ready to shine once again Saturday night.

“Yeah, you know the Bay Lights had a terrific 2-year initial run – that was part of the plan all along,” said Ben Davis of Illuminate the Arts.

If you fell in love with the lights during their limited engagement run, get ready for something a little more permanent.

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“So two years is one thing,” said Bay Lights artist Leo Villareal. “The idea of longer, more permanent, is another.”

So keeping the lights on actually meant removing two miles of art, rebuilding and reinstalling 25,000 lights.

“The improvements to the installation really have to do with durability,” Davis said. “The bay is a very harsh environment for electronics.”

“You know when we launched the Bay Lights originally it was in the middle of a giant tempest and rainstorm,” Villareal said.

The artist behind the project has even re-programed the lights. Come Saturday, we’ll have what amounts to a new piece of art, kicking off a giant week of football.

“It’s a cultural moment, the Super Bowl, and it’s a big thing for the Bay Area,” Villareal said.

But while the Super Bowl will come and go, The Bay Lights will be here to stay.


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