Time Square Goes Green with LEDs: New Year’s Eve 2010

Although I didn’t have it in me to brave the Time Square crowds (and cold weather) for New Year’s Eve, I of course saw the hype beforehand and video after the fact – following my participation in the cork-popping, midnight toast tradition (a forbidden affair in Time Square). But as the ball dropped, the super-sized 2010 sign lit up and confetti took flight in Time Square, New York rang in the New Year in energy-efficient style.

LED lights in the Time Square Ball. Lights supplied by Philips.

LED lights, set to last three times longer than the halogen bulbs they replace (and up to 80 percent more efficient), compose the crystal ball, the super-sized “2010″ sign and the seven screens around New York City broadcasting the event. The 100th Birthday Time Square Ball, unveiled last year, is two times the size of the previous one – yet 20% more efficient – consuming roughly the same amount of energy needed to power two consumer ovens through a holiday feast (a thank you to Inhabitat for these statistics). 32,256 LED lights in a rainbow of colors projected through Waterford Crystal triangles. These LEDs were supplied by Philips, who will be introducing an affordable line of consumer LED lighting this year.






Beyond the ball itself, 2010 marked the second year running that Power Rovers were used to light up the giant numerals, letting residents and visitors of the Big Apple literally power the Time Square spectacle. These high-tech stationary bikes generate energy through use the push of a pedal.  The energy is then stored in batteries at the Duracell Battery Center, and on this past Thursday night the stored energy was fed into the New Year’s production.

Following last year’s eco-friendly makeover, the famous glittering ball got new crystals for 2010. Some 288 of the ball’s 2,668 Waterford crystal triangles were replaced with new ones featuring an interlocking ribbon pattern, woven into a Celtic knot, to illustrate the theme for 2010, Let There Be Courage. “New Year’s Eve is about the mixture of tradition and technology, old and new. Wedgwood and Waterford have been around since 1759; the tradition of a time ball has been around since 1833; a ball has been dropping on New Year’s Eve since 1907.” explained Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance.

The Time Square New Year’s scene (a small energy-efficient makeover) will hopefully help pave the way for further sustainable movements within the city.

via inhabitat

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