LED lights have become a popular choice of lighting due to their energy-saving, cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly features. While you may have opted to put LEDs around your house, you could have also contemplated decorating your exterior. But how does this concern insects in your outdoor space? Do LEDs deter bugs? Or do they attract them? Read on to find out more!
It’s widely known that bugs are attracted to lights – you can always see streetlights surrounded by swarms of insects, being an instinctual pull that aids their navigation of the earth.
You may not be an expert on bugs, but we can offer some insights into the insect life cycle and patterns concerning their attraction to lights within this article.
So, is your LED light attracting bugs? Flying insects usually utilise the light visible to them to navigate their surroundings. Like humans, the light they can see is only a tiny fraction of the whole light spectrum.
Lights can be measured in wavelengths, which are measured in nanometres. Longer wavelengths of light measure warm colours like red, orange, and yellow. These colours are less visible to insects.
In contrast, shorter wavelengths measure colder colours such as green, blue, and violet. The range from red to ultraviolet light measures between 400-and 800 nanometres. Cooler colours measure between 300-and 650 nanometres. Ultraviolet light falls with the cooler tones and registers at 350 nanometres, making it very appealing to your garden’s insects.
Humans versus bugs
Humans can see colours that fall in the 400 to 800 nanometres wavelength range. This spans from red to violet (the standard colours of the rainbow), although we cannot see ultraviolet light.
On the other hand, Insects can see and are attracted to lights that fall within the wavelength of 300 to 650 nanometres. Including ultraviolet light, insects prefer light that falls within 300 to 420 nanometres. This explanation is why many bug lights use ultraviolet light.
To bugs, their three primary colours include ultraviolet, green, and blue, registering the cooler colours on the spectrum of light over the warmer colours. This means that you may want to stay clear from cooler-toned lights if you want to keep flying insects at bay in your exterior space.
Though cooler-coloured lights attract bugs, they are often utilised because they appear brighter than warmer-coloured lights. Traditional incandescent and halogen lightbulbs give out a lot of heat, attracting insects even more. These bulbs give out a whopping 90% of their energy in the form of wasted heat energy, which is incredibly significant to flying insects that navigate their surroundings with heat receptors. For example, insects of the blood-sucking persuasion, such as mosquitos, are drawn to modifications in temperature from one area to another because they see this change as a sign of a potential food source.
Modern LED lighting
The solution to the dilemma of traditional bulbs attracting bugs is to opt for an LED bulb. Whilst emitting a warmer tone with higher wavelengths, this type of light can be just as bright as cooler-coloured lights without attracting flying insects.
While being more efficient and emitting less heat, LEDs don’t significantly change temperature, meaning that bugs aren’t drawn to these types of lights as much as conventional lights. Whilst you can run a more efficient household for less, you can also avoid bugs at the same time by investing in LED lighting!
Bug zappers can attract flying bugs by utilising ultraviolet light. Standard bug zappers glow purple with ultraviolet light, are large, and come with a loud buzzing sound. When the insect draws closer, this device gives out a jolt which electrocutes it. You can expect this type of device to attract numerous bugs.
There are many LED options for bug zappers in this age, drawing insects into the electrocution range by utilising ultraviolet light. It also consists of an LED light section that will not have a swarm of bugs surrounding it since it doesn’t attract bugs as incandescent lights do. However, this type of light will make the bug zapper more efficient and quieter than traditional appliances.
If you don’t like the idea of bug zappers, you could opt for colour lighting as an alternative. As discussed above, you need to choose a warm colour light to attract fewer numbers of flying pests.
A considerate choice
As temperatures get hotter, you need to know how to protect your home against flying pests even more than in the winter season. LED bulbs can help you, utilising no toxic chemicals that may harm your family members, pets, and home.
Using this more environmentally friendly method can help us reduce our overall carbon footprint and work towards a healthier and happier planet. With bulbs lasting for longer, you won’t need to replace LEDs as often as conventional bulbs, meaning that you will use up fewer resources and energy in the long run.
Therefore, if you find yourself sick of pests flying around your outdoor area, it’s time to choose the environmentally responsible option and install efficient LED lighting today!