The new 6ft (1.8m) ball, weighing about 1,100lbs (500kg), is covered with 9,576 light-emitting diodes, Philips Lighting, which created the light-emitting diodes, or LED bulbs, specifically for the event, says they are smaller but more than twice as bright as last year's lights, which were a mix of more than 600 incandescent and halogen bulbs. And the new lights can create more than 16 million colors for a kaleidoscope of hues against the 672 Waterford Crystal triangles.
More than a million revelers were expected to crowd the streets for the annual New Year's Eve celebration tonight, the $1.1m (£550,000) New Year's Eve Ball will descend creating a kaleidoscope of colours and patterns on each of its 672 crystal triangular panels, emitting a brightness of more than 625,000 lumens.
Whilst I don't want to be a party pooper, again, I have already been nagged for targeting Christmas, I thought I would look at a positive to the NYE ball in Times Square, and that is highlighting LEDs, the news coverage will certainly ensure that this technology is firmly in the minds of individuals as the real alternative for lighting their homes and businesses and not just a big ball.
LEDs last about 100 times longer than incandescents, 10 times longer than CFLs, and use about 1-3w per light fixture depending on the brightness you require. The technology is becoming more mainstream, and prices are decreasing. I have seen bulbs for as low as $10/£5, so in terms of value compared to incandescents they are value for money.
Typical home energy bill savings by implementing LED lighting in your home is about 18% (from incandescents) and 5% (from CFLs). Offices adopting the technology could save 37% off their energy bills (from incandescents) and 10% (from CFLs.
Don't forget if you do replace your old bulbs, please recycle, especially if you are replacing CFLs which contain mercury.