When I first heard about the Bay Lights installation a month ago, I wondered wistfully, "Will make it to San Francisco sometime in the next two years so I can see it?" And then - lucky me! - I got to make an unexpected trip to San Jose this week. There was no doubt in my mind that I would do the 45-minute drive north to see the lights.
It was a great night to see them. A little fog rolled through to give the dynamic show even more movement and a bit of diffusion.
It is not surprising, however, that not everyone loves the lights. Some people make a career out of finding something wrong with everything. (They're called critics.) My Twitter friend and fellow lighting designer, James Bedell wrote a nice blog post earlier this week about some of the criticism of the Bay Lights.
I hate the critic's suggestion that the art was aimed this direction just to provide it for the affluent residents and the tourists. I would love to know Leo Villareal's response to this criticism. What were the design constraints? What went into his decisions about where to locate and direct the LEDs?
Do you think this installation of LED lights is positive, negative, or neutral for the lighting industry? Is it a good way to get the general public talking about and discovering lighting as an important element in the built environment?