Earth Day 2009 NYC: Iconic Times Square New Years Eve Ball Now Lit by LEDs

earth day 2009 times square the ball image
Though frankly I try to stay as far away from Times Square as I can on New Years Eve, and have always found the tradition of watching the ball drop to be singularly anti-climactic, this Earth Day I got to climb to the top of One Times Square to view "The Ball." Why? Because it's now be kitted out with brand new LED lights that make it about 20% more energy efficient than before.

32,000 LEDs Use Same Amount of Power as Two Home Ovens
Though it looks small on television The Ball is really a 12' diameter geodesic Waterford crystal sphere. And now it's power by 32,256 LEDs from Philips which can create a palette of more than 16 million colors—blue and green in honor of Earth Day—consuming a similar amount of energy every hour as about two home ovens. A big improvement over halogen lighting used in years past.

As you can see in the photo credit (below), it was a bit of green celebrity event:The Green Generation
The talk of the day from Denis Hayes and the Earth Day Network wasn't actually so much about this year's happenings, but looking forward to next years—which will be the 40th Earth Day.

Though Hayes was a bit thin on details of what will be on tap for Earth Day 40 other than plugging The Green Generation campaign, he said that more info will be available in about two months.

Earth Day is Only Global Secular Holiday
On the notion of how "every day really should be Earth day," Hayes pointed out that there are numerous global problems which need attention and have days or months to raise awareness. The environment is no different. It doesn't mean that they aren't important other days of the year, or you don't think about them throughout the year, but it's still important and relevant to take a day out to do so.

Earth Day, Hayes said, is essentially the only global secular holiday—except if you consider Christmas to have become entirely secular—it remains a wonderful opportunity to highlight environmental issues and build networks around them for the rest of the year.

More: Earth Day Network
Earth Day founder Denis Hayes, Kaj den Daas Chairman of Philips Lighting North America, Earth Day Network president Kathleen Rogers, and Bicycle For a Day founder (& actor) Matthew Modine in front to the Times Square Ball, lit up green and blue for Earth Day. Photo: Matthew McDermott
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