By Malee Oot December 31, 2013
Volunteer pedalers will power the more than 30,000 light emitting diode (LED) bulbs of New York City’s Times Square New Year’s Eve Waterford crystal-encrusted ball this year.
According to a press release from the Times Square Alliance, resident New Yorkers and visitors to the city had the chance to help provide the energy for the ball by means of the Citi Bike Pedal Power Station, located in Midtown on the southeast corner of 7th Avenue and 42nd Street.
Stationary bikes at the Pedal Power Station were connected to 12-volt deep cycle batteries, allowing kinetic energy generated by pedalers to be transferred to the city’s power grid to help offset the energy demands of the New Year’s Eve Ball.
The Pedal Power Station was open from Saturday through Monday evening, and each bike was expected to generate electricity at a rate of about 75 watts.
In 2008, to mark the centennial of the Times Square Ball Drop, the ball shifted from halogen quills to LED bulbs, resulting a New Year’s Eve ball which produced nearly twice the amount of light (in lumens) with half the amount of power, as demand fell from 30,000 watts to 15,000 watts after the transition.