LEDs – Lighting the Way to the New Year and Big Savings!

The lighting test of the Times Square ball with Philips LED lights, in Times Square, New York, NY on December 30, 2013.
The lighting test of the Times Square ball with Philips LED lights, in Times Square, New York, NY on December 30, 2013.

Another year has passed, and we look to 2016 with great anticipation. So many changes and so many advances, but tradition remains, with a bit of added sparkle.

The eyes of New Yorkers and over a billion citizens of the world watched live and via media as the newest generation of LED lights descended upon Times Square, marking the end of 2015 and the ringing in of the New Year.

The same technology and benefits of lighting at home and in the workplace were center stage for THE New Year’s Eve celebration—LEDs!

Cost-effective, environmentally friendly and great in the chilly temps. According to Philips, in 2011, “if everyone in the U.S. transitioned to energy-efficient lighting in their homes, consumers would eliminate 87.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and generate energy savings of $15.8 billion.”

shutterstock_121084381_w1024Times Square festivities entertained viewers via seven dynamic LED video screens, but the showstopper, as always, was THE Ball. With the first ball drop in 1907, New Year’s was forever changed. That year, they rang in the new year with a ball covered in 100 25-watt incandescent lamps over an iron and wood frame at a diameter of 5 feet and weighing in at 700 pounds. The ball has been lowered every year since 1907, with only two exceptions, 1942 and 1943 during wartime dimouts.

Over the years, the materials changed, but the technology remained relatively the same. It was not until 1995 that the Times Square Ball received a tech upgrade and a bit more sparkle—computer controls and rhinestones! In 1999, they moved to the crystal ball to ring in the new millennium.

We would have to wait until 2007, the 100th anniversary of the ball drop, for the reign of the LED technology to begin. Since 2008, New Yorkers and visitors alike have enjoyed the site of the “Big Ball” atop One Times Square, where it dazzles throughout the year. “In a New Year’s first, revelers at home were able to experience the iconic Times Square Ball Drop by syncing their at home HUE lighting systems to the ball as it counted down to 2016.”

Interested in MORE fun facts about the Big Ball? Well, here you go!

  • 12-foot diameter.
  • 11,875 pounds – nearly 6 tons.
  • Aluminum frame.
  • 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles.
  • 672 LED modules.
  • 48 LED lights per module.
  • 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green and 12 white lights per module.
  • 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED lights.
  • The LEDs are capable of displaying over 16 million colors and billions of patterns.
  • The 2016 numerals used 516 9-watt energy efficient Philips BR30 LED bulbs.
  • Travel time for the ball drop? 141 feet in 60 seconds!