Famous Times Square NYE Ball gets LED Upgrade
The ball which sits atop a brand new 141 foot mast overlooking one of New York's most famous public areas has had some energy-efficient improvements added in the form of updated LED technology, meaning that its descent at the end of 2010 will mark the beginning of a new year as well as the start of a brighter future for the planet.
The ball itself is also a completely new construction and with over 672 LED modules attached to its frame it is twice as big as the one that it is replacing. Despite the fact that there will be well over 32,000 LEDs glowing brightly from the sphere as it makes its journey downwards, it will be between a fifth and a tenth more energy efficient than the previous ball. The impressive energy-saving capabilities of the brand new LEDs is reaffirmed by the fact that there are around 3 times the number when compared to the previous version of the ball.
Its creators estimate that each hour the ball will consume roughly the same amount of energy as two standard electric household cookers, which is impressive for something that will be entertaining thousands of members of the public and should be visible for miles around.
Over 3500 lighting cues have been created to generate complex, shifting patterns in the LED-powered ball and the intention is to keep the ball aloft on the mast all year long, adding one more tourist attraction to the already crowded New York skyline.
This latest version of the ball is the 7th in a long line of celebratory spheres dating back over 100 years, although the modern construction and technology at work differs hugely from the original, which was made of wood and iron.