Posted on December 19, 2009
New Year’s Eve in New York City has gone green. This year, the numbers in the giant “2010” sign in Times Square will be lit by light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) instead of halogen bulbs. The one and the zero for the sign arrived by pedicab--also green, thank you very much--this past week. The new bulbs are nine watts instead of 40 watts, as they were in the past; they will use about 80 percent less energy. The 2010 sign is on display at the Duracell Smart Power Lab for one week, through next Wednesday, December 23. (It’s at 1540 Broadway, in Times Square; check out their website, powerlab.com, for more information.) Visitors can have a wow-look-at-that experience while they’re there; they can push pedals that will create energy that’s converted to battery power that will light the numbers as the ball drops. (Yes, it sounds like a nursery rhyme.) The lab is open Sunday-Wednesday from 10 am to 9 pm; and Thursday-Saturday, from 10 am to 11 pm, with special hours on holidays, so be sure to check. Got all that? What it means is that the energy created by people pedaling a series of “Rovers” will be stored in the batteries to power the sign--approximately 32,000-watt hours are needed. When you’re done, you can have your picture taken with a replica of the 2010 numbers. The real numbers will be placed atop the ball at One Times Square to await the massive New Year’s Eve celebration. Considering the rush in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, this may be a better alternative than waiting in the cold for hours--and you can go green at the same time.