Giraffe House re-illuminated at the Maryland Zoo with LED lighting system

Officials at the Maryland Zoo are looking at a brighter future for their Giraffe House exhibit now that it has been retrofitted with a new, energy efficient LED lighting system.

The lighting overhaul was funded through a partnership with local media outlet WJZ, CBS EcoMedia and Baltimore-based Elephant Insurance, CBS Baltimore reports.

The zoo is the third oldest in the country according to the National Association of Zoo's and Aquariums, having been opened in 1876, and has seen numerous renovations in its over 200 year history. The Giraffe House, however, which was built in 1966, has not seen a renovation of this scale since its construction.

"The [new LED system] changes the whole lighting in this barn. It benefits the animals, the visitors and particularly benefits the keepers who take care of the animals. It’s a nice initiative, a nice grant for us to receive and it’s a good partnership," said Maryland Zoo CEO Don Huthinson in the story.

The source reported that the zoo invested more than $150,000 into the Giraffe House annually, and that the use of energy efficient lighting will help the zoo lower habitat costs in the long run.

The zoo had faced financial setbacks in 2008, when it was forced to cut several programs, including its lizard exhibits, and reduce its animal collection by lending out some of the zoo's most prized creatures in order to stay in the black financially. WBAL TV, a local NBC affiliate, reported that the zoo was able to rebuild its reputation and recently announced plans to further expand facilities.

Maryland Zoo management predicted the upgrades to the facilities will save the zoo 2191 KWh of electricity, as well as reduce Co2 emissions by more than 17,000 lbs in the first year.

LED lighting can be used to save money in many different environments. To take advantage of the cost-cutting benefits of installing LEDs in your house, as well as explore other ways to lower your monthly utility bills, contact a home inspector for an energy audit of your property.