The 1.8-mile led chain installation designed by artist Leo Villareal went dark at 8 p.m. Sunday after a decade illuminating the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. The lights were in need of replacement. 11 million dollars are needed to replace lights and fundraisers requesting public donation were launched. $6 million has been pledged so far , plus an additional $1 million in small donations. WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg contributed one million. The Illuminate nonprofit said it could take months to raise enough money to install a new display.
The technology used to maintain it — an electronic system of 25,000 LED lights that uses a randomized algorithm to display moving patterns — is failing faster than it can be maintained, Illuminate founder Ben Davis previously told media. Possibly the bridge will have the lights back up and running by September, using newly manufactured leds by Iowa-based lighting firm Musco Lighting. The artist’s plan is to install 50,000 custom LEDs which would make the artwork more visible.