32,256 LED lights give Times Square ball its New Year’s glow

LEDs Times Square Ball Drop Blue Shades of Color

LEDs in the Times Square ball can make 16 million colors and use 88% less energy. (Credit: Philips)

LED lighting will again show off its versatility and efficiency as the light source for the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

In a tradition that started in 1907, a glowing ball will drop to mark the passing into the new year in New York City. Inside the geodesic sphere now used, there are 32,256 individual LED lights behind 2,688 triangles made of Waterford crystal, according Philips, which provides the LEDs.

The aluminum ball itself, which made its debut with LEDs in 2008, is 12 feet in diameter and weighs almost 12,000 pounds.

By using LED rather than the halogens of old, the bulb uses 88 percent less energy. They also enable the creation of different designs in 16 million colors across its surface.

Times Square Ball Drop Orange Red Green

32,256 LEDs light the Times Square ball drop

In a press release, Philips touted the LED ball as part of the transition to more energy-efficient lighting set to begin next year. But in the U.S. at least, that may happen a little slower than industry had been led to expect by the government.

Regardless, come next Saturday in Times Square, energy-efficient lighting will help commemorate a step forward.

Credit:  C-Net Green Tech Blog & Martin LaMonica