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New Year's Eve by the Numbers


Let the countdown begin! With just a few hours to go until the famous New Year's Eve ball drop rings in 2020, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) takes a closer look at the statistics behind the exciting festivities.

The Transformation of the Iconic New Year's Ball

The glittering New Year's ball on display in Times Square is 12 feet in diameter, and weighs nearly 12,000 pounds, with 2,688 Waterford Crystalsa stark contrast from the original 700 pound ball, which made its debut in 1907 and was constructed of iron and wood, and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs.

Through the decades, the ball has seen several transformations, from the 400-pound wrought iron ball in 1920 to the 150-pound aluminum ball that found its home in Times Square from 1955-1980. After a few more changes thanks to the Millennium celebration, Waterford Crystal and Philips Lighting, an ANSI member, completely redesigned the geodesic sphere to achieve the look of the one on view in New York today.

More than 32,000 LED lights illuminate the Times Square Ball. Read about how ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) has published IESNA TM-16-05, Technical Memorandum on Light Emitting Diode (LED) Sources and Systems. The document provides a history of LED development, a description of LED technologies, and an overview of LED product design and thermal management issues.

The Crowds in Times Square

While it's not easy to calculate how many people will join the New Year's Eve gathering in Times Square, as The New York Times reports, city officials and event organizers have indicated upwards of one million people will be in the crowd; other experts say there will be closer to 100,000.

Regardless of the crowd size, there will be more than 1,200 security cameras and at least a few drones in the mix will be surveilling Time Square for security protection for the first time in history.

See how standardization helps expand drone capabilities.

The Festivities

One personal finance website reports that more than 360 million glasses of wine are consumed on New Year's Eve, and whereas 45% of Americans plan to celebrate New Year's Eve with family, only 15% will attend public events or parties.

However you choose to celebrate New Year's Eve, ANSI wishes you a happy and safe new year!

Related articles:

Standards Support Frugal Habits for the New Year

How Standards Help Support Resolutions


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]