San Francisco’s Innovation Heritage Seen in Flashes of Light Atop Golden Gate Bridge

July 5, 2012

This summer, art and science make for a spectacular sight on top of the Golden Gate Bridge. In commemorating the bridge’s 75th anniversary, UC Berkeley space scientists have installed two heliocasts on the Golden Gate towers, reflecting sunlight around different locations throughout the Bay Area.

The new art installation, called Solar Beacon, is a collaborative effort between Berkeley astrophysicist John Vallerga and London-based artist Liliane Lijn. We at Reset applaud public art that channels both the technologically apt and the physically beautiful. A project like this reflects (literally, with mirrors and light!) the city’s bright and visionary history.

Schedule a Viewing

Another neat aspect of the Solar Beacon is how anyone in viewing distance of the Golden Gate Bridge can schedule a light show of their very own. By going online, Bay Area bridge gazers may program lights to flash towards a location of their choosing, as long as it’s within viewing distance of the bridge. Programmers can select either a steady, four-minute light reflection, or for the mirrors to flicker on and off in a predetermined pattern.

To schedule a “private viewing,” check out Solar Beacon’s website


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Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137