In 2017, more than 1 billion people worldwide watched a massive illuminated ball drop 75 feet in 60 seconds. They tuned in to the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration in New York City, a tradition that dates back to 1907. The first ball weighed 700 pounds, had a 5-foot diameter, and was covered in 100 state-of-the-art 25-watt light bulbs. Today’s ball is bigger, brighter, and visible in New York City year-round. “The ball is truly a global obsession,” says Jeff Straus, one of the event’s co-producers. “It’s always been a beacon of lighting technology.”