The Oregon Zoo’s holiday lights festival, ZooLights, has switched more than a million of its 1,365,000 twinkling lights to energy efficient LED (light-emitting diodes).
ZooLights includes life-size animal silhouettes, moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and a colorfully lighted train. With LED lights, the display is now using a fraction of the electricity required for conventional incandescent lights. LEDs use about 75 to 90 percent less power than traditional lights, and they last a lot longer, too.
“The sparkling LEDs that kids are enjoying this year could still be glowing when they bring their own kids to enjoy ZooLights years from now,” said ZooLights coordinator Russell Guinn.
The Zoo is encouraging people to switch to LED lights to save money and protect the environment, and to bring their old Christmas lights to the zoo for recycling.
The money the zoo gets from selling the copper wire inside the old strings of lights goes to the American Association of Zoo Keepers programs for advancing animal care and conservation. Since 2008, sale of salvaged copper from nearly 3,000 pounds of old Christmas lights has generated $3,500 for the cause.