How Many Lightbulbs are in the Times Square Ball?



It’s New Year’s Eve! While many will be out partying, visiting friends, or simply treating this day as any other, over one million people will be gathered in Times Square to watch the ball drop at 11:59 pm, and several more million will be watching it live on TV. That got me wondering, what is the ball on Times Square? Is it one giant lightbulb? Here are some interesting facts about the Times Square ball – and in case you are wondering how this fits in with my energy blog . . . it is powered by electricity!

  • The first ball drop was on December 31, 1907 to welcome in 1908 and to draw attention to the New York Time’s new building.
  • The ball has been dropped every year since 1907, except for 1942 and 1943 due to war time blackouts.
  • The ball drops 141 feet in 60 seconds, starting at 11:59 pm and ending at midnight.
  • The original design was made of wood and iron and had 100 incandescent lightbulbs.
  • The ball has changed designs numerous times over the years, and from 1981-1988 it had a stem making it look like a big apple as in “The Big Apple.”
  • Times Square officials say this years ball will be the brightest yet. It is outfitted with 2,688 Waterford Crystals and 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED lights.
  • The ball is over 12 feet wide and weighs 11,000 pounds.
  • In 2013, volunteers rode stationary bikes to generate the electricity used to lower and light the ball.

Have a fun and safe New Year’s Eve, and thanks for making my little blog continue to grow in popularity each week by retweeting and sharing it with your friends. Our goal for 2016 is to inform, enlighten and entertain with information about the energy sector and my role as a public service commissioner.

Happy New Year!

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