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NEW YEAR'S EVE CELEBRATION IN TIMES SQUARE
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Paul Gregory —Times Square Ball 100th Anniversary ∕ MFA Lighting Design ’92
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The theme for the 100th anniversary of the Times Square Ball was "Let There Be Light" so the goal was obvious - to create a gem with more colorful, dynamic, and earth-friendly than ever before. This was achieved utilizing energy-efficient LEDs with specially designed mirrored baffles and with double faceted crystals - creating incredible sparkle, excellent color mixing, and distinct separation between triangles allowing New Year's revelers to appreciate every facet of this brighter, more colorful Times Square Ball.

“Let there be Light” was the theme for the 100th anniversary of the Times Square Ball. The goal was to create a sparkling gem in the sky over Times Square – one that was much more dynamic, colorful, and energy-efficient than ever before. After analyzing the different audience views the challenge was clear – make the ball look like crystal from 500ft away in Times Square, 50ft away on Television, and 10ft away during press events.

Through experimenting with crystal configurations, cut crystal patterns, and the crystal’s shape – a solution was found in a mirrored baffle which both provided separation between smaller triangles, and greatly increased the number of visual LED points behind each triangle - allowing for better color mixing and a more crystal-like appearance at a distance.

A mirrored baffle was designed to provide separation while greatly enhancing the crystalline look and maximizing the LED light output through reflection.

To maximize flexibility, the 3,228 channels of LED’s needed to be programmed using both conventional theatrical sequencing and modern day video animation.

In the hours before midnight, sitting atop a 70ft flag pole, the ball showed off its dynamic and colorful capabilities with programming inspired by nature, the four seasons, fine art, international celebration, and the spectacle of Times Square. And at 11:59 over a billion people worldwide rang in the New Year by the light of a brighter, more colorful, and more earth-friendly Times Square Ball.

A project is successful when a person walks in and is instantly affected by the space. For this to occur, the architect, interior designer, owner and lighting designer must agree on a single concept that will drive the design. The lighting design must serve and enhance this vision by controlling the light that reflects off the surfaces and forms created by the architectural designer. With light we reveal or paint the image that the viewer sees. This way, we can transform a space into an atmosphere that embraces all the deliberate, well thought-out expressions of the design team.

Philips Lighting, Waterford Crystal

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