Each year hundreds of thousands of New Year’s revelers brave the chilly New York City weather to see the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop at midnight to usher in the New Year. More than a billion more people worldwide watch the Ball Drop via television. Since 2007, the Ball has featured LED lights.
The 2014 Ball, a geodesic sphere, is 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 11,875 pounds. The Times Square 2014 Ball will feature 2,688 of the Waterford Crystal triangles, each including a series of intricate wedge cuts that appear to be endless mirrored reflections of each other to bring a kaleidoscope of colorful patterns on the Ball. The Ball is illuminated by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs (light emitting diodes). Each LED module contains 48 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs – 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white for a total of 8,064 of each color.
Every year, the Ball undergoes improvements to improve the celebratory lighting experience. For the 14th consecutive year, Philips is the official lighting partner for the world-famous Times Square New Year’s Eve – produced by the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment. This year, the Ball was accompanied by the year 2014 with the “1” and “4” in special color-changing, programmable LED light bulbs from Philips’ line of hue bulbs. Each programmable bulb has more than 16 million color options while the “2” and “0” will feature Philips’ outdoor rated BR30 LED bulbs.
Philips compiled trivia questions for the big celebration. How smart are you about the Ball? Here’s the trivia quiz:
1) What year did the first New Year’s Eve festivities in Times Square take place?
The first ever celebration of New Year’s Eve in Times Square took place 109 years ago on Dec 31 1904. The party was organized to commemorate the official opening of the new headquarters of the New York Times. The area known back then as Longacre Square was renamed Times Square in honor of the famous publication.
2) When did the first Times Square Ball drop happen?
“The first Times Square Ball was lowered from the tower flagpole precisely at midnight on December 31 1907, to signal the end of 1907 and the beginning of 1908.”
3) How many people attended the first ever Times Square Ball Ceremony?
A) 50,000 people
B) 200,000 people
C) 500,000 people
D) 1 million people
Considered a big success, “the joyful sound of cheering, rattles and noisemakers from the over 200,000 attendees could be heard thirty miles north along the Hudson River.”
4) How much did the first Times Square Ball weigh?
A) 100 pounds
B) 300 pounds
C) 500 pounds
D) 700 pounds
The first Ball made of iron and wood, weighed 700 pounds.
5) How many lights were installed in the first Times Square Ball?
A) 100 lights
B) 250 lights
C) 500 lights
D) 1000 lights
If you said A you are right. In 1907 the first Time Square Ball was covered with 100 light bulbs.
“In 1920, a 400 pound iron Ball replaced the iron and wood Ball.
In 1955, a 150 pound aluminum Ball with 180 light bulbs replaced the iron Ball.
In 1995, the aluminum Ball was upgraded with aluminum skin, rhinestones, and computer controls.
In 1999, the crystal New Year’s Eve Ball was created and lit by Philips to welcome the new millennium.”
6) What year did LED technology replace the light bulbs in the Times Square Ball?
“To mark the 100th Anniversary of the New Year’s Eve Ball in 2007, modern LED technology replaced the light bulbs of the past. In 2008, the permanent Big Ball was unveiled atop One Times Square where it sparkles above Times Square throughout the year.”
7) How much will the 2014 TS Ball weigh?
A) 99 pounds
B) Over 5,000 pounds
C) Over 11,000 pounds
D) Almost 17,000 pounds
“The Ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 11,875 pounds. For Times Square 2014, all 2,688 of the Waterford Crystal triangles introduce the new design Gift of Imagination – featuring a series of intricate wedge cuts that appear to be endless mirrored reflections of each other inspiring our imagination with a kaleidoscope of colorful patterns on the Ball.”
8 ) How many LED modules are attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball?
A) 333 LED modules
B) 528 LED modules
C) 672 LED modules
D) 980 LED modules
The 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles are bolted to 672 LED modules which are attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball.
9) How many LEDs are required to illuminate this year’s Times Square Ball?
A) Over 11,000 LEDs
B) Over 24,000 LEDs
C) Over 32,000 LEDs
D) Over 53,000 LEDs
“The Ball is illuminated by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs (light emitting diodes). Each LED module contains 48 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs – 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white for a total of 8,064 of each color.”
10) The Ball can create how many vibrant colors?
A) 2 million
B) 7 million
C) 10 million
D) 16 million
“In order to produce a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square, the Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns.”
For Further Reading
Times Square Alliance, http://www.timessquarenyc.org/events/new-years-eve/nye-faq/index.aspx#.Ur2eM_SIwxE
Philips, Philips hue to Mark Colorful Start to 2014 at Times Square, http://www.newscenter.philips.com/us_en/standard/news/press/2013/20131217-Hue-New-Years-Eve.wpd#.Ur2gFfSIwxG