The Dallas Cowboys and LED Lighting

1What’s the next big thing in LED Lighting? Would you believe the Dallas Cowboys?

That’s right. The Dallas Cowboys have hired none other than artist Leo Villareal, the same man who brought LED lighting to the San Francisco-Oakland bay Bridge, to deck out their new duds at headquarters in Frisco, Texas.

The new LED creation consists of nearly 20,000 bulbs and 160 rods made of mirrored, stainless steel. Each rod is 40 feet high and is suspended from the ceiling at the $1.5 billion stadium. The new lights can be seen from miles away.

“The most exciting thing about my work is how it brings people together,” said Villareal.

Gene Jones, wife of Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones, and the force behind the Dallas Cowboys Art Collection at AT&T Stadium, said Villareal’s work is “something we have followed and admired for some time now.”

“We know his vision will be a perfect fit for this space because he has such a great understanding of how art can be brought to life through technology,” she said.

“This is a piece that will be enjoyed by those who move around it, and under it, inside the atrium, and it will also be distinctly visible, and able to be experienced, from a great distance.”


Dubbed one of the world’s premier light artists, Villareal uses LEDs and computer-programmed imagery to create monumental sculptures. Most notable of those is, of course, The Bay Lights, which extends for 1.8 miles.

It was up for two years, at a cost of $8 million, then taken down when the permit expired. By popular demand, it was back up Jan. 30, in time for the Super Bowl, at a renewed cost of $4 million. These days, it’s illuminated nightly, from dusk to dawn.

“The important thing is that it doesn’t loop, it doesn’t repeat,” said Villareal, who compared it to the “shuffle” function on a smartphone that plays music. “It’s always a different progression of sequences. It’s very sculptural as well, because there are so many different ways of seeing it.”

He calls the piece at The Star the largest “volumetric” piece he’s created; hence its official title, Volume (Frisco). The New York Times describes his Bay Bridge creation as “the world’s largest LED light sculpture,” whose 25,000 undulating white lights have elevated the bridge, as the newspaper notes, “from drab gray to glowing,” giving it a higher profile these days than even its long-celebrated harbor neighbor, the Golden Gate Bridge.