NEW YORK, Dec 30, 2008 / FW/ — The countdown for 2009 has begun. At 11:59 PM, Dec 31, 2008, the new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball will drop from the top of One Times Square to signal the coming of the New Year.
A global tradition, approximately one million people watch it live at New York’s Times Square, millions more watch on TV nationwide in the U.S. and over a billion watches it worldwide. Anticipation always runs high and for 2009, the expectancy is higher because a BRAND NEW BALL will drop.
A 12-foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds, the 2009 New Year’s Eve ball is covered in 2,668 Waterford Crystals and powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDS. Tthe new Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.
Waterford Crystal created an exclusive “Let There Be Joy” design for the crystal triangles on the new Ball, which was designed and crafted by Waterford artisans in Ireland. “Let There Be Joy” features the design of an angel with arms uplifted welcoming the New Year on each of the 1,728 new crystals. The remaining 960 triangles are last year’s “Let There Be Light” design of a stylized radiating starburst.
PHILIPS LIGHTING provided the new solid state lighting technology for the Ball, resulting in an astounding increase in impact, energy efficiency, and color capabilities. Capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million colors and billions of possible patterns, the 32,256 Philips Luxeon LEDs in this year’s Ball represent more than three times the number of LEDS used last year, to deliver a brighter and more beautiful New Year’s experience than ever before.
And this year’s Ball is 10-20% more energy efficient than last year’s already energy-efficient Ball, consuming only the same amount of energy per hour as it would take to operate two traditional home ovens.
In addition to lighting the Ball, Philips also is lighting the Times Square Numerals (2-0-0-9) using Philips Halogena? Energy Savers – a family of bright and long-lasting halogen bulbs which are 30-47 percent more energy-efficient than equivalent incandescent lamps. These are readily available to consumers through national retail outlets.