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Let There Be (LED) Light on New Year’s Eve!

December 28, 2012

We’re a New York, NY company, so it isn’t a surprise that we’re huge fans of the New Year’s Eve Ball drop in Times Square. We aren’t alone: time and again, the annual event draws a standing crowd of roughly one million, with over a billion watching worldwide. New Years Eve Ball 2013It’s a spectacle for the ages that’s happened every single year, since 1904. Back then, the ball that dropped used incandescent bulbs for its lighting, a technology that had been recently patented and developed by Thomas Edison. But times change, even if traditions remain the same. Today, 32,000 LED lights are used in the Times Square NYE Ball.

LED lights were patented and developed by Nick Holonyak, Jr. Nick was the son of a hard-working coalminer from the Ukraine. While very intelligent and imaginative, he joined his parents in America working in a labor intensive job on the Southern Illinois Railroad. After one 30-hour straight workday, Holonyak decided that a life spent creatively inventing was a life far better lived, so he entered college. Graduating with top honors, he soon landed work as a researcher for General Electric. Then in 1962, Holonyak invented something that eventually would change our very source of light: the LED (light-emitting diode) light bulb. Immediately, Holonyak proclaimed that the days of incandescent bulbs were numbered.

Indeed, today, the LED bulb is prized for its much lower level electric consumption than a standard incandescent. While the average “Edison” bulb can burn a maximum of 20,000 hours, the standard “Holonyak” LED bulb will only burn on average 50,000-60,000 hours. LED technology is now heralded worldwide as a cheaper, more efficient means of keeping the lights on at your factory, your office, or… your annual New Year’s Eve Times Square ball drop.

It is funny how the son of coalminers went on to invent one of the cleanest most efficient lighting sources of the modern era. Keystone fabricates a wide range of materials that go into today’s LED lighting, such as LED lens caps, LED spacer mounts, and LED holders. And just think, it took a coalminer’s son’s imagination to launch a new way to see through the dark. He always had the talent and imagination in him from the start, he just needed a catalyst to bring it out. Because you know, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.