Did you know that the Times Square Ball to be dropped in New York City on New Years Eve contains 32,256 Philips Luxeon LEDs? The Philips AmbientLEDs bulbs consume up to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. That’s why the Times Square Ball stays lit year round, Philips says. Today´s ball benefits from unmatched investment in LED technology, with each of its 672 modules lasting about 30,000 hours and using just 22 watts of electricity. This represents an 88 percent reduction in energy use and 573 tons less of carbon dioxide than its previous lighting source, which used halogen bulbs. The ball is also capable of producing more than 16 million colors and billions of patterns atop One Times Square. This year, in keeping with the times, there is even a free Times Square Ball App.
With the app, you can watch and participate in the 2012 Live Global Celebration and upload photos to see your face on the Toshiba Vision sign directly beneath the Times Square Ball, from your mobile device. You can also tweet @TimesSquareBall for the chance to see a reply to or a retweet of your greetings for the New Year scroll on the home screen of the 2012 official Times Square Ball App.
Other cool Times Square Ball facts:
The ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter and weighing 11,875 pounds.
The first ball, lowered in 1907, was made of iron and wood, weighed 700 pounds and was covered with 100 light bulbs (we bet there were incandescent). The crystal ball was created for the Millennium celebration in 2000, and in 2007 LED technology was added.
The previous ball, used from 2000 to 2007, had 504 Waterford Crystal triangles and 696 halogen light bulbs. The lights and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors were computer-controlled to display a colorful light show. According to Ed Crawford, CEO of Lamps, Lighting Systems and Controls for Philips Lighting, the halogen-lit ball used 1.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, while the new one uses 140,000 kWh, or about the equivalent of two household ovens.
The current ball is covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles, which are bolted to the 672 LED modules attached to the aluminum frame. Each module contains 48 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs: 12 each of red, blue, green and white for a total of 8,064 of each color.
For Times Square 2012, 288 of the Waterford Crystal triangles dazzle with new Let There Be Friendship engraving of people holding hands around the world; 288 crystal triangles are emblazoned with a romantic Let There Be Love pattern that blends an modern cascade of hearts with diamond cutting; 288 triangles feature the Let There Be Courage ribbon medal design; 864 sparkle with the Let There Be Joy design of an angel with arms uplifted to welcome the New Year; and the remaining 960 show the original Let There be Light stylized radiating sunburst.
Kind of makes one want to get up close, doesn’t it?
Philips stresses that the same technology being used in the Ball is now available to consumers for use in their homes and businesses. Though you probably won’t need 32,000-plus LEDs and 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles to light up your life.