We love our graffiti sightings—walls covered in beautiful colors but when night falls, the lights go up and San Francisco’s light art scene shines.
We’re here to highlight (pun intended) some of our favorites below—did we miss any? You should email us a few of the ones you love.
This shipyard art piece by Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, overlooks the vast shipping field with gorgeous revolving lights onto the hot air balloon mural. If you’re ever near Pier 92, make sure to get a snap of it. Bayview Rise has been up since February 2014 and will remain until 2019. // 500 Amador St
Breathing life back into the “troubled” Jane Warner Plaza in the heart of the Castro, a $150,000 grant to the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District (CBD) comes from the city’s Invest in Neighborhoods program and soon will be on LED display. A target for homeless youth (and nudists) alike, the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit will be installing an LED art display stationed at multiple corners of the seating areas. “The biggest items: daytime “stewards” who will monitor the plaza and keep it clean 50 hours a week, and a LED lighting installation that will brighten it up and add some public art to the space” said the committee of Castro’s CBD. The art is constructed and made by Aphidoidea, a Los Angeles-based arts collective. // Jane Warner Plaza
This fractal sculpture is a 50-foot-tall steel and light installation that was originally commissioned for and by Coachella / 2SQUARED. According to artist Charles Gadeken, the cubic form and fractal arrangement of 3D light pixels are supposed to represent the “evolution of organic matter and its amalgamation with digital technology.” In all, the piece includes 786 white plastic cubes arrayed in fractal clusters. // Patricia’s Green, Hayes Valley.
One that is highly overlooked and is often mistaken is the Bay Bridges “Bay Lights” installation by Leo Villareal. The Bay Lights is a site-specific monumental light sculpture and generative art installation on the western span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, designed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of its opening. // San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge
Like a tide of molten lava making it’s way down itself, Zuckerberg General Hospital has got a beautiful piece of art that goes unnoticed to the general public. This sculpture is by Cliff Garten and is honestly best seen at night, Ethereal Bodies consists of nine undulating stainless steel sculptures lit by multicolored LED lights. // 1001 Potrero Ave
The Salesforce Tower
And for kicks and giggles. The Salesforce Tower constantly has light installations going through the work week but a “Turn Salesforce Tower into Eye Of Sauron on Hallowe’en night” petition that has over 3,000 signatures last Halloween. It even yielded a response from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff himself. The LED display atop San Francisco’s tallest tower—which according to SF-based artist Jim Campell projects light inward toward the building cap so that the display visible to the city is a reflection—displays a series of recorded scenes each night, ranging from SF street montages to silhouetted dancers. // 415 Mission St, FiDi; salesforcetower.com.