- Title: USA: New light bulbs bring splash of color to Times Square's number "14"
- Date: 17th December 2013
- Summary: NUMBER 14 LIGHTS AND GIANT MOET & CHANDON BOTTLE
- Embargoed: 1st January 2014 12:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVACH4TCQX8NK5IVRFOUNTWOPPKV
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: A seven-foot tall number "14" arrives in Times Square exactly 14 days ahead of New York City's New Year's Eve celebrations.
A countdown launched the new number "14" in Times Square on Tuesday (December 17).
As a string quartet of high school seniors played Mozart, the seven-foot tall numerals were introduced exactly 14 days before New York City's New Year's Eve celebrations, which is expected to draw well over a million spectators.
For the first time, the numbers are fitted with energy-efficient LED bulbs, which are capable of lighting up the numbers in various changing colors and patterns.
For more than a century, white lights were used in the year's numerals so that they can be seen from a distance. But Tim Tompkins of the Times Square Alliance says that LED technology is now allowing colors to look just as bright as white light.
"Only in the last couple of years have you gotten LED technology that can be as bright and as intense as what had been in white, you know, the color white before," said Tompkins.
The new numbers comprise 207 Philips hue BR30 LED bulbs that are capable of 16 million colors. The numbers "2" and "0" will still boast traditional white bulbs on New Year's Eve.
Jeffrey Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment explains the sequence of events on December 31.
"So, at midnight we're going to have that final 60-second countdown, the mayor will push the Waterford crystal button, we'll all count down together and as the ball gets halfway behind the numerals the ball goes out and the numerals behind me will light up for the year 2014 in brilliant color," said Straus.
Moet & Chandon champagne will provide the bubbly toast at midnight in Times Square. But Tompkins says the evening is about much more than just colorful lights and celebration.
"Even though it's just kind of a crazy party and there're some lights that go on that are beautiful and confetti flies, it's really I think the deeper themes that make it a pilgrimage for people, why they come here, because it taps into this turning point - really a celestial turning point, it's derivative of the winter solstice - that resonates with people," said Tompkins.
The numerals will be on display at the Times Square Museum and Visitor Center until December 26 before being installed atop One Times Square in preparation for the New Year's Eve festivities.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Audio restrictions: This clip's Audio includes copyrighted material. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing the audio contained in this clip.