Philips LEDs Light the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball

When the glittering Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball descends to mark the beginning of 2012, it will also usher in one of the most important eras in lighting since Thomas Edison unveiled his incandescent electric light.

On January 1, 2012, new US energy and lighting standards under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) go into effect, and Philips Lighting – whose light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) light the Times Square Ball – is ready. Consumers may purchase a wide range of Philips LED bulbs for home use, online, and at thousands of retail outlets.

New Year’s 2012 marks the 12th consecutive year that Philips Lighting has served as the official Lighting Partner to the world-famous Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball. The same technology used in the Ball is also used in the Philips AmbientLED line of consumer light bulbs, which includes such innovations as the Philips 12.5-watt AmbientLED A19, the world’s first commercially available LED to replace the 60-watt incandescent bulb and the only to be Energy Star–qualified.

“We are proud that our award-winning Philips LEDs will again light the spectacular Times Square Ball,” said Ed Crawford, CEO of Lamps, Lighting Systems and Controls for Philips Lighting. “But we are equally proud that our line of Philips AmbientLED bulbs continues to expand, enabling consumers to use energy-efficient, cost-friendly, long-lasting and aesthetically-pleasing lighting throughout their homes.”

A geodesic sphere created by Waterford Crystal, 2,688 crystal triangles are bolted to 672 LED modules which are attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball. The Ball is illuminated by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs (light emitting diodes).

Each LED module contains 48 Philips LEDs – 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white for a total of 8064 of each color. The new solid state lighting technology for the Ball results 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.

Focus Lighting created a spectacular and unique lighting design that utilizes over 3500 lighting cues to orchestrate the colorful moving patterns of light radiating from the Ball.  Theatrical techniques were used to show the beauty of each facet of each individual crystal, making the sparkle visible whether viewed from 5 feet away (as members of the press have seen it) or from 500 feet when viewed from the streets of Times Square.

We tried to create a beacon of light in the sky over Times Square,” says Paul Gregory, Principal Lighting Designer for Focus Lighting.

The companies listed below also provided essential contributions to the development of the new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball:

  • Lighting design: Focus Lighting
  • Technology integration and fixture manufacturer: Lighting Science Design Works
  • Thermal and optical engineering: Lighting Science Design Works
  • Lighting control systems supplier: E:Cue
  • LED manufacturer: Philips Lighting
  • Structural engineering design and development: Hudson Scenic Studio
  • Ball operator: Landmark Signs
  • Power & control cables: Lapp Group