|The time ball marks 2012 in Times Square|
Ban Billboard Blight are opposing this.
The lighting in Times Square isn't limited to giant video screens. The buildings themselves are generally illuminated too from within and without.
|Lights like this one at left shine upward to illuminate buildings.|
All of this light (from the advertising too) adds up to a lot of light going upwards, which makes Manhattan easy to spot from space at night.
|Credit: The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth|
Let's zoom in a bit:
The dark area just left of center is the Hudson River and the one at right is the East River. The dark rectangle near the top is Central Park. The bright area beneath it is Manhattan and Times Square. Compare its brightness to just about everything else in the wide image. Of course, Times Square is all about excess that's why a million people will be there tomorrow night.