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Times Square Gets a Brighter, More Efficient Ball To Drop For 2008.

By Andi Bryant     Oct 5, 2007 in Entertainment
When the ball drops on Times Square this New Years Eve, remember it's doing so with efficiency and the environment in mind. It will mark 100 years of the ball drop tradition.
The annual New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square will mark the 100th anniversary of the tradition with a brighter, more environmentally friendly orb. The new ball is the 5th generation to take the 77 foot decent. The journey downward takes 60 seconds, beginning at 11:59 pm and culminating at midnight, when the New Year rings in.
The ball's skeleton is constructed of aluminum with the outermost portion made of crystal panels that will cover thousands of LEDs. The new light emitting diodes will mean a more energy efficient ball this year, not to mention the brighter lights. While the new ball will use about 15,000 watts, last year's ball used 30,000 watts making the new one much more environmentally friendly.
The ball will sport 25 different colors, the color scheme devised by Focus Lighting. Christine Hope, the project designer from the company is excited about the light scheme and says "people are going to be blown away by the variety and the saturation of colors."
The new ball has 9,576 LEDs, replacing the 600 light bulbs that illuminated last year's ball.
According to the New York Times, this year's ball will weigh about 1200 pounds and contain over 670 Waterford crystal panels to aid in light refraction, as well as pyramid-shaped mirrors to add the greatest level of light reflection.
The ball dropping tradition was begun in 1907 by the New York Times' chief electrician at the request of the publisher. That ball was made of iron and wood. Aluminum skeletons didn't come into play until 1955.
Only twice has the ball not dropped since 1907. In 1942 and 1943 the ball took a rest because of "dimouts" in New York City due to World War II. People who rang in those consecutive New Years did so with a moment of silence, followed by chimes from One Times Square, the same location of the traditional ball drop.
This year's ball, with all its lights, aluminum and crystal, is estimated a worth of $1.1 million dollars.
More about Times square, New years ball, 100 years
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