You don't want your lights to attract bugs, whether you use LED strip lights or LED bulbs. That's why this article exists.
Exactly what determines your light to attract bugs and insects. Do LED lights attract bugs? How to choose the right fixture to repel bugs?
Here’s what you need to know.
Table Of Contents
- Is There A Light That Doesn't Attract Bugs?
- Why Do Bugs Like Light?
- Why Are Bugs Attracted To Light?
- Light Spectrum and Wavelengths
- Color and Color Temperature
- Do LED Lights Attract Bugs?
- How Do I Make Sure My Light Don't Attract Bugs?
Is There A Light That Doesn't Attract Bugs?
If there is something about your light that bugs like, then naturally the bugs and insects will fly to your light and surround it.
However, not all light sources attract bugs. Not all bugs like light either. Most importantly is to understand the principle.
Simply put, the light attraction of bugs depends on two things. Whether the bugs are phototropic and whether this light is preferred by the bugs.
Why Do Bugs Like Light?
Bugs flock to light sources. This phenomenon is called phototropism.
Phototaxis bugshave a stress response to light stimuli, causing them to instinctively fly to the light, such as spiders, flies, bees, wasps, moths, and mosquitoes these positive phototaxis bugs.
These bugs and insectsuse natural light to help navigate, usually by moonlight or sunlight. Artificial lightcan interfere with theirtravel route and eventually lead them to thelighting fixture.
The phototaxis of nocturnal insectsis particularly pronounced. At night, we can see flying insectsgathering around outdoor street lights. Conversely, negative phototaxis bugslike cockroaches and bed bugs prefer shady places to bright light.
Therefore, the light attraction to different bugs is vary, it dependson the speciesof bugs.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Light sourcesshould be carefully selected in environments where phototropic bugslive.
- Dark and humid environments can also breed bugs, so they should be illuminated and kept dry.
Why Are Bugs Attracted To Light?
Now let's answer the second question. What type of light radiation attracts bugs and insects? What color do they prefer, daylight or warm white? Blue or red?
Here we explain exactly why light attracts bugs and insects.
Light Spectrum and Wavelengths
Ryan S. Zemel and David Houghton from Hillsdale College wrote an article with the title "The Ability of Specific-Wavelength LED Lights to Attract Nightflying Insects".
It articulates the idea that: LED lights are available in many different wavelengths, allowing them to have specific potential as bug and insect collecting devices.
Bugs and insects are generally attracted to 300-650nmwavelengths. Among them, theyprefer wavelengths between 300-420nm.
In other words, bugs and insects are sensitive to a broad spectrum ranging from ultraviolet light (UV light) to red light.
300nmwavelength correspondsto invisible blacklight ultraviolet rays(the wavelengths that people can see are 400-800nm, which is called visible light), and 650nmwavelength correspondsto red light.
In this wavelength band, light attracts insects and bugs in descending order: ultraviolet light > blue light > white light > yellow light > green light > red light.
We can see that the longer the wavelength, the less attractive the LED light is to bugs. And LED lights with shorter wavelengths such as UV lightand blue light are more attractive to bugs.
Let’s take bug lights as an example. Many mosquitoes are attracted to black light UV lights, and a common use case is mosquito killer lamps, which use UV rays to attract mosquitoes and exterminate them by shocking them as they approach.
While bugs vary in their light-sensing abilities, most respond strongly to LED lightsin the blue and ultraviolet spectrums.
Thus, in order to enjoy LED lightingwithout being disturbed by bugs, it is best not to choose blue-purple lights. If you're bathing in blue-violet LED lights, please do mosquito protection.
Color and Color Temperature
We've got this info point:The blue light is deadly attractive to bugs.
In addition to blue LED lights that emit blue light, cooler color temperature white LED lights also emit blue light, which attracts insects and bugs.
The commonly used color temperatures of LED lights can be summarized as 1800K-3200K warm white, 4000K-4500K neutral white, and 6000-7000K cool white. Although they are white light, the color difference is vary.
The Kelvin color temperature of softwhite light shows a warm and comfortable dusk color, belonging to long wavelength light. Cool white is a cool blue-white color due to its short wavelength. And the higher the LED color temperature, the more blue tones.
For that reason, when choosing LED light products, it is not that selectingwhite lightscanreduce the chance of attracting insects. You have to choose a warm white light color temperature.
High heat and high temperatures are extremely attractive to insects and bugs with thermoreceptors. Most of the energy of incandescent and halogen lamps is converted into heat and they are well known as high heat dissipation lamps.
Due to the improvement of modern technology, the energy efficiency of LED lights has been greatly improved, most of the energy is converted into light energy, and only a small amount of energy is converted into heat for dissipation.
LED lights emit less heat, so they are far less attractive to temperature-sensitive bugs than traditional lights.
Do LED Lights Attract Bugs?
LED lighting is generally considered less attractive to bugs and insects, compared to other traditional light fixtures.
Andrew Wakefield and Gareth Jones found that light-emitting diodes (LEDs) attracted significantly fewer insects than domestic lights, tungsten filament lights, and compact fluorescent lights.
It's detailed in the article "Experimentally comparing the attractiveness of domestic lights to insects: Do LEDs attract fewer insects than conventional light types?".
Incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights, mercury vapor lamps, and metal halide lamps do a good job of attracting insectsand bugs.
We can know from the table below that these light sources attract bugs because they meet the three conditions mentioned above: ultraviolet radiation, high-brightness cool white light, and high heat.
On the contrary, warm white light and yellow light seem to be the color that bugs do not like.
|Light Sources||Light Color||Color Temperature |
(Yes or No)
|LED Strip Lights||UV||Cool||/||Yes|
|Mercury Vapor Lamp||UV||Cool||/||Yes|
|Metal Halide Lamp||UV||Cool||/||Yes|
|High Pressure Sodium Lights||Yellow||Warm||/||No|
LED strip lights also attract bugs if they have the above qualities, such as UV LED lights that specialize in producing ultraviolet light (LED lights do not produce UV light) and cool white LED strip lights.
- LED lights attract: spiders (indirect attraction), centipedes (indirect attraction), flies, moths, and fleas.
- LED lights do not attract: silverfish, mosquitoes, bed bugs, and cockroaches.
How Do I Make Sure My Light Don't Attract Bugs?
For LED lamps that emit UV radiation, you can reduce their attractiveness to bugs by applying a coating to filter UV and blue light.
When choosing a LED lighting source, try to choose a warm white light of 3000K and below. Most bugs don't like yellow and red light colors.
Choose high color temperature white light carefully for your outdoor lighting. 6000K~6500K color temperature is daylight, and further up the scale is a cool white with bluish tones.
Remember, blue light and purple black light are the bug's favorite colors.
You need to consider what the bugs in your area are attracted to in order to choose the right LED light fixture.
Of course, longer wavelength LED lights are generally less likely to attract bugs. Lower color temperature LED lights are less likely to attract bugs. LED lights that don't emit UV light are less likely to attract bugs. LED lights that emit low heat are less likely to attract bugs.
Do LED Strip light attract bugs? ›
Because LED lights are cooler than other types of lightbulbs (meaning they don't get as warm), bugs aren't as attracted to them in general.How do I make sure LED lights don't attract bugs? ›
LED lights that emit warm-colored illumination, such as yellow strip lights, yellow malibu light bulbs for landscape applications, or gold-tint filament bulbs, are great for creating an area that is less likely to attract bugs.Do LED lights attract spiders? ›
Do spiders like LED lights? The relationship between spiders and LED lights is simple: spiders like to eat bugs and insects. So, if your LED light is of a spectrum that attracts things spiders like to eat, you're going to attract spiders with it.What color LED lights do not attract bugs? ›
What color LED lights do not attract bugs? Bugs can see Ultraviolet (UV), blue and green. That is why they are attracted to white or bluish lights such as mercury vapor, white incandescent, and white fluorescent. On the other hand, yellowish, pinkish, or orange are the least attractive to the bugs.What color lights keep bugs away? ›
Yellowish, pinkish, or orange (sodium vapor, halogen, dichroic yellow) are the least attractive to most insects. When white incandescent bulbs were all that was available, the advice was to change them to yellow incandescent bug bulbs.What indoor lights don't attract bugs? ›
In fact, one study found that incandescent light bulbs attracted the most insects (with fluorescent bulbs coming in second), while LEDs, particularly those with a warm color temperature, attracted the least bugs.Why do bugs go under LED lights? ›
Some lights attract bugs more because of the wavelengths of light they emit and their heat. Talking about wavelengths, insects are usually attracted to shorter wavelengths around 400 to 600 nm. They are also attracted to the lighting temperature or heat that light bulbs emit in the form of ultraviolet radiation.Do LED lights attract cockroaches? ›
The short answer is yes. LED lights attract cockroaches just like any light source, such as incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. However, it is not the light source itself that attracts the roaches, instead, they are drawn towards the other bugs and insects that are attracted to the light.Do bedroom LED lights attract bugs? ›
LED lights do not attract bugs the way incandescent lights do. But they do help make bug lights more efficient. The LED options are also quieter than traditional bug zappers. If bug zappers aren't an option for you, color lighting is an alternative.What Colour LED scares spiders? ›
The color that spiders tend to hate is light blue.
Are LED lights killing insects? ›
Despite being marketed as environmentally friendly, LED lights are even more harmful for insect populations than the traditional yellow sodium bulbs they are replacing.Should I leave the porch light on at night? ›
When you're home at night. This is a good time to leave the porch light on. It alerts burglars to your presence, particularly if indoor lights are on too. The porch light also acts as a spotlight on the front door.What color do bugs hate? ›
Bugs are naturally attracted to bright colors like white, yellow or orange. Colors like green and blue won't register as vividly when seen in the UV spectrum, deterring bugs away from these colored objects.Do blue LEDs attract bugs? ›
Although the blue light attracts the bugs, the over-exposure to such a light spectrum destroys the cells present in an insect's body, making them weak from inside. Whatever the blue light does to the insects, it's not a practical choice to install blue light in our homes as it's quite harmful to us, humans as well.Do bugs hate LED lights? ›
They collected insects in custom-made traps, and found that the worst option for outdoor lighting was traditional incandescent bulbs, which attracted the most bugs. LEDs on the other hand—both “cool‐white” and “warm‐white”—were the least attractive to insects. Yellow-hued light bulbs are worth trying, too.Do LED lights cause silverfish? ›
The short answer is no, LED lights do not attract silverfish any more than other types of light. Silverfish like dark areas and so do not like light of any type. Silverfish aren't attracted to light because they are looking for food.Do yellow LED lights keep bugs away? ›
Are bugs less attracted to yellow light bulbs than blue light bulbs? The simple answer is yes. Insects see a smaller portion of the Visible Light Spectrum than humans.Is there a light bulb that doesn't attract bugs? ›
According to the experiment, all outdoor lights attract bugs regardless of their light bulb. However, as the results show, warm LED lights attract the least bugs. So, if you have a choice, choose a warm yellow-orange LED bulb to avoid a large number of insects in your garden.What bug is most attracted to light? ›
Moths are best known for being drawn to light. However, other insects like flies, crane flies, mayflies, and beetles also fly toward light. Sometimes smaller animals that eat insects, like frogs or spiders, can also be seen near lights looking for food.What kind of small bugs are attracted to light? ›
In additional to rotting food and damp drains, gnats are often drawn to light. Using this to your advantage, you can get rid of a few more gnats using a clever trap.
Is it good to have LED lights in your room? ›
Yes, it is very safe. And that's because the only demerit that LEDs have is that some of them emit blue light. But: You should also consider the fact that you get exposed to blue light from other sources including sunlight, your smartphones/tablets, computers, TVs and so much more.Does LED lights increase electric bill? ›
Lighting accounts for around 15% of an average home's electricity use, and the average household saves about $225 in energy costs per year by using LED lighting. if you are still using incandescent light bulbs, switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills.What color light scares roaches? ›
The results of the investigation on what color will repel the greatest number of cockroaches, indicate that red light repels a greater number of roaches than the other five colored lights and the control group of no light. Green light deterred the second most roaches followed by white, yellow, and blue.What do LED lights attract? ›
LED lights manufactured producing a color temperature above 5,000 kelvins will produce light analogous to the daylight and lots of blue in the 400-500nm range. Bugs will therefore be attracted to these lights because of their nocturnal nature.Do roaches like air conditioning? ›
Roaches and Air Conditioning
Roaches prefer warmer temperatures where there are sources of moisture. If your air conditioner is set below 77°F, they're likely to seek a warmer spot somewhere else. During cockroach season, it's wise to set your air conditioner's thermostat to cool below 77°F.
While human food is not in their natural food chain, spiders are easily attracted to human food scents. Also, the insects that spiders eat seek out your crumbs.Do spiders like cold rooms? ›
Most spiders prefer temperatures hovering around 70 degrees.What smell do spiders hate? ›
Cinnamon, tea tree, lavender, rose, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils: Add 20 drops of any of these oils to water in a spray bottle, and spritz it around the house where you see spiders.What light should you avoid at night? ›
Blue light has the strongest impact. Exposure to blue light (and white light, which contains blue light) during the sensitive period can make it difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.Why should you turn off the lights when you leave a room? ›
Turning off the lights when you leave your room can help save energy. It can also help reduce carbon emission and other harmful greenhouse gases. Hence, turning off your lights is a simple way to help protect the environment and save the planet.
When should I turn off my front porch light? ›
While you're home at night, it's a good idea to keep your lights on. However, as soon as you're ready to go to bed for the evening, you should be mindful and turn your lights off. You should treat your porch light the same as you would any other room in the house.What scares away bugs? ›
Campfires, citronella, and incense are all great bug repellents that we've been using for years. But there are some herbs that you can add to your campfires, such as sage and mint, that will increase the fire's bug repellent capabilities.What smell bugs hate? ›
Those most closely associated with repellency are citronella oil, eucalyptus oil, and catnip oil, but others include clove oil, patchouli, peppermint, and geranium.Do bugs like clean or dirty? ›
While it's true that some pests are drawn to less-than-sanitary conditions, many others will make themselves at home in even the tidiest of places. Therefore, you shouldn't take an infestation as a sign that your housekeeping skills need honing.What porch light doesn't attract bugs? ›
The best option is going to be a yellow compact fluorescent light (CFL). Yellow is the point where the wavelengths start getting longer. CFLs offer the best energy efficiency and emit less heat. Other yellow-tinted light bulb options that go unnoticed by insects include sodium vapor and halogen bulbs.What are the best outdoor lights to keep bugs away? ›
Change the light bulb
Using yellow or red LED lights will repel bugs even more because these colors make it hard for bugs to see. However, cool-white and warm-white LED lights will also repel bugs.
LED lights do not attract bugs because they don't produce ultraviolet light.Do LED lights attract mosquitoes and bugs? ›
Mosquitoes are not attracted to ultraviolet or LED light any more than they are to normal lights. LEDs in particular put off less warmth than other bulbs, making them even less attractive.What is the best light to not attract bugs? ›
The best option is going to be a yellow compact fluorescent light (CFL). Yellow is the point where the wavelengths start getting longer. CFLs offer the best energy efficiency and emit less heat. Other yellow-tinted light bulb options that go unnoticed by insects include sodium vapor and halogen bulbs.How do LED lights affect insects? ›
The researchers found that the LEDs negatively affected insects more than the sodium lights in the hedgerow surveys. Caterpillar numbers were 52% lower in the hedgerow surveys under LED lights than unlit areas. Sodium-based lights had 41% lower caterpillar numbers than unlit areas.
What color light keeps roaches away? ›
The results of the investigation on what color will repel the greatest number of cockroaches, indicate that red light repels a greater number of roaches than the other five colored lights and the control group of no light. Green light deterred the second most roaches followed by white, yellow, and blue.What color light do mosquitoes hate? ›
Mosquito Prevention & Control
Although mosquitoes are attracted to light, many people find that yellow bulbs are the best choice. Since light at this wavelength is less visible to the pests, they are less successful in using it to locate a meal.