What’s Going on Inside the New Years Eve Ball in 2017?
There’re more than meets the eye when it comes to dazzling the crowd in Times Square!
The great people at Gizmodo did the research and found what makes the giant lighted New Years Eve ball shine so brightly.
In 2017, the bright ball has been updated with 288 new Waterford Crystal triangles. Each year, a portion of the 2,688 crystals are replaced to represent a new theme.
This year, “The Gift of Kindness” design features a intertwining rosettes to symbolize unity and reaching out in an expression of kindness.
The creators feel that theme is an excellent fit for ending 2016. “(It) was a year of divisiveness and a lot of difficulty… the important thing was to look forward and say ‘how do we work together in 2017?‘”
And although they are exquisitely beautiful, they are also made to withstand the elements. Even if it snows, rains, hails or sleets in New York City, each crystal will drop unscathed.
Building the Ball
It takes an entire year to get crystals ready for the 61-second drop on New Year’s Eve in NYC.
After arriving at One Times Square, each crystal is attached to triangular panels. Each panel has 48 LEDs – 12 each of red, blue, green and white.
The panels are wired into the computer and attached to the frame and it’s ready to go!
The ball has a permanent home at One Times Square, and is one of only a few tenants in the entire building that used to house the New York Times.
The Waterford Crystals
“The panels are cut on both sides to maximize the refraction or light,” Fred Curtis, master sculptor at Waterford, told Gizmodo. “It gives it a huge amount of color. There are 16 million different colors with the LED lights, and, then, if you multiply that again with the rainbow effect of the crystal, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”
Nighttime Images by Adam Clark Estes / Daytime images by Matthew Carasella