Illumination SF: 2023 In-Depth Guide

Paging all art lovers! Illuminate SF Festival of Lights returns with more outdoor installations and artworks from celebrated artists, so get ready to witness the city’s captivating glow.

This holiday season, The Golden City will shine brighter than ordinary with over a dozen light public art installations showcased throughout the neighborhood. From beautiful flower pieces to larger-than-life sculptures, the festival dazzles visitors with permanent and temporary fixtures showcasing talented artists. Journey through 17 neighborhoods in the city to visit all the sparkling exhibits.

Follow along as we revel in the festivities of Illuminate SF Festival Festival of Lights, a mesmerizing celebration of creativity, innovation, and the holiday spirit.

SF Illuminate Festival of Lights Tickets

This annual Illumina SF Light Festival features several eco-friendly art installations open to the public and admission-free.

Other Attractions in San Francisco

No matter what season you visit, you’ll never run out of things to explore in San Francisco. Start your remarkable vacation with these other attractions and hotels:

San Francisco Festival of Lights Installations

While we anticipate the grand reveal of this year’s festival installations, why not transport ourselves back in time to admire the dazzling light creations from festivals past? Learn more about these past installations to stoke your excitement for the artistic delights awaiting us for this year’s festival.

Untitled Van Ness Avenue Installations

Jorge Pardo’s luminescent sculpture positioned at the VN-BRT Geary Street Station transcends conventional expectations of public art, offering a brilliant interplay with its surroundings and those who engage with it.

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Helical Trace

LUMA Hotel’s light art gift at Third and Channel streets illuminates the city with its radiant beauty. Local art legend Jim Campbell’s latest site-specific, dynamic light installation in the hotel’s lobby continues to inspire.

The Bay of Lights

San Francisco’s iconic Bay Lights, a permanent light installation, is a true masterpiece brought to life by the brilliant artist Leo Villareal.

Illuminate SF Festival of Lights Date and Time

In its 11th year SF Festival of Light illuminates the longest nights of the year with light art.  From November through the end of January, San Francisco transforms into a citywide gallery of art at night with more than 60 temporary and permanent light art installations.

Illuminate SF Festival of Lights Venue

The entire San Francisco streets come alive with the magic of the SF Light of Festival installations from Wind Baffles to Lucy in the Sky, providing a radiant backdrop to your urban exploration. To delve deeper into the world of creativity, you can also head to San Francisco’s museums and discover the unique array of additional installations.

Illuminate SF Festival of Lights Details

San Francisco Travel Association in collaboration with local civic arts supporters and cultural partners brings you Illuminate SF Light Art designed to captivate your senses and ignite your curiosity.

More information about the festival is just around the corner, and you can be at the forefront by checking out the event’s official website or the San Francisco Business Times. Stay in the loop for all the upcoming announcements.

Experience Illuminate SF Festival of Lights

San Francisco located in the heart of the Bay Area is a city of modernization and creativity, which also has nurtured the world’s most prominent light artists. Immerse yourself in their brilliant works at Illumination SF Festival of Lights this festive season.

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Over a dozen installations featuring LED lights will be scattered throughout the city for Illumination San Francisco, so you’ll have a better chance of witnessing the dazzling lights spectacle and other exhibits. Use this as an excuse to explore the city or make a scavenger hunt with your friends while carrying your Illuminate SF Map.

Even if you can’t make it to Illuminate SF Golden Gate Park or Market Street to see the light features in person, you can still unlock a wealth of resources to enjoy the city’s light art scene. Visit for access to comprehensive maps, meticulously crafted itineraries, and valuable suggestions for experiencing the neighborhood light art.

Get your cameras ready for this picture-perfect annual tradition! While taking in the bay lights, make sure to visit all the Bay Area’s most notable landmarks like 5M, an exciting new addition to San Francisco’s urban landscape that breathes new life into previously barren parking lots and underutilized buildings with a San Francisco package.


Start Date:

November 9, 2023

End Date:

January 31, 2024




Events in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA United States


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Written by Anne Joyce Raymundo

Anne is a Filipino writer who formerly managed and created marketing strategies and materials for numerous websites and eCommerce platforms. Now, her voice...

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