LED lights are an excellent substitute for incandescent lights. They are very efficient in comparison and can be customized for your ambiance. People install led lights under their false ceilings to create a nice atmosphere with changing colorful lights.
They also have the benefit to be modifiable to be used with and without a remote, and even used through smartphones using a smart home application.
A small but quite significant upgrade of an LED bulb or strip over past alternatives is that the led lights are less prone to attracting bugs. An LED light rarely attracts bugs. In comparison, incandescent lights are hotbeds for flies, little bugs, and even moths. Therefore, the question arises, do LED lights attract bugs?
Reasons Why Bugs Attract Lights?
Bugs are naturally attracted to light sources. You noticed the bugs hovering around your light bulb or attached to the ceiling beside it. There are a few reasons why bugs are naturally inclined to be attracted to sources of light.
Lights in the visible spectrum emit different colors due to their wavelengths. The visible spectrum ranges from 400nm to 800 nm with all the colors being a representation of these values. Insects are particularly attracted to colors of a certain wavelength. Insects and bugs only see a limited part of the spectrum as well.
Wavelengths between 300-650 nanometers register cooler tones that we perceive as blue or close to green in color. This range also includes UV or Ultraviolet light. Insects and bugs are particularly attracted to this emitted UV light. This is why many bug traps use a cooler color tone to entice and eradicate bugs.
Light bulbs in the past were very inefficient. Close to 80% of the energy consumed by incandescent light is emitted as heat instead of light. Bugs are easily attracted to such heat and therefore can swarm around such bulbs. LED bulbs, on the other hand, don’t emit this much heat. So, Do LED Lights Attract Bugs? At least it doesn’t attract bugs with its heat.
Most insects have an arrangement of compound eyes in contrast to humans. This means that there are a lot of smaller eyes of a bug that combine and make up a blurry image or clear image depending on the light levels around them. So, when bugs notice a brighter source of light, it gets attracted to it more as more light means more vision for the bug and a possibility of more food
Certain color spectrums are emitted in certain wavelengths. The bugs can perceive their spectrum just like humans. So, they are attracted to the light sources we emit so that they can see themselves. Most commonly, wavelengths of 600nm or higher cannot be seen by insects. So, lights like yellow and red cannot attract bugs while lower ranges that emit blue light can attract bugs.
Colors That Attract Bugs
Do LED Lights Attract Bugs? Certain colors that are emitted by led lights can be considered hotspots for bugs. As mentioned previously, there are a few ways a bug is attracted to a light source. In essence, there are a few specific colors that more often than not, attract the bugs.
UV (Ultraviolet): UV lights are within the 100nm – 400nm range. Therefore, humans cannot see this range but insects can and they are attracted to this kind of light. This can be exploited by setting up bug traps that emit UV lights. The insect is attracted and is electrocuted using electric shock when it comes into contact with the hotwired grill.
Blue: Blue is commonly categorized within the range of 440-490 nanometers. As such, it is still within the visible range of an insect and can be attractive to bugs.
Green: Within the range of 490-570 nanometers, it lies on the extremity of what color a bug can perceive. A green-colored LED will not be as attractive compared to blue or cooler colors. It still might attract some insects though, just not as much.
Colors Don’t Attract Bugs
Conversely, some ranges emit lights that won’t attract bugs at all. You might want to adjust your led lights to emit the following colors so that you can avoid the hassle of dealing with bugs completely.
1. Non-UV Lights: Some variants of light bulbs do not emit any UV light. These kinds of light are safe to use and will not have that many bugs if used with cooler light temperatures.
2. Color Temperatures Under 3600K: Lights under this range of temperature are warm or ultra-warm white lights. These lights are not easily seen by bugs or insects and they will steer towards sources they usually see and will be clear of your setup
3. Wavelength Over 600 nm: Lights over the wavelength of 600nm are usually colors like Yellow, Orange, and Red. Such colors are invisible to bugs and therefore, will not attract bugs at all.
Do LED Lights Attract Bugs?
Bugs are naturally drawn toward certain wavelengths of light. They also move towards heated environments that are produced from the heat of light bulbs. Led lights are comparatively cooler than incandescent lights.
Because of being more efficient, led lights are not as attractive to bugs in comparison. However, different bugs see different wavelengths. Your led light can attract certain types of bugs.
LED lights are much cooler than their incandescent or ultraviolet counterparts. So, bugs that decide to hang around the light aren’t likely to get burned up. It is possible that it could attract a lot more bugs over time. However, this would only occur if you left the LED light exposed to the outdoor elements
It is safer to use led lights because they can produce little to no UV light and you can change the color to emit lights of a higher wavelength. So, Do LED Lights Attract Bugs? In comparison, they attract little to no bugs.
Do LED Light Strips Attract Bugs?
LED strips are great for preventing bugs. LED strip lights do not produce as much light as other bulbs, rather they use numbers to increase their brightness. A lot of lights set up nicely can produce a lot of light.
Still, the individual bulbs are not producing too much heat. So, bugs aren’t that attracted to led strip lights. A bug will prefer a smaller area with relatively more heat rather than a larger surface with less heat.
Moreover, led strip lights can be programmed or customized to emit different colored lights. Even in combinations of strobing and fading. So, a bug is less likely to be near led strip lights. They are a great choice if you have a bug or insect problem.
How LED Lights Can Help to Get Rid of Bugs?
Changing your bulb configuration to led bulbs will undoubtedly help you to reduce bugs in your house. Previously, most households used incandescent or halogen lights. While halogen lights produce little UV rays, the color temperature will matter in the case of attracting bugs.
They also produce a lot of heat. Incandescent lights are a mix of both. They produce a lot of heat and can be detected by bugs as well. Moreover, they are quite inefficient with power consumption as well.
Led lights have some very distinct advantages over these kinds of lights.
1. LED lights produce less heat overall and cannot be warm enough for a lot of bugs to perch nearby
2. LED lights produce little to no UV rays. Bugs aren’t attracted by the little emission that the led lights give out.
3. A lot of programmable led lights can emit lights of different wavelengths. This can prevent bugs from detecting the light source and avoid your setup completely.
Things to Consider When using LED Lights
1. Natural White light is visible to bugs in and out. Therefore, you have to be careful because white led to having a higher chance to attract bugs
2. Color temperatures of 3600K move towards cooler lights. This bluish-white led light is another sweet spot for bugs, and they will move towards the source of the light more often than not
3. Bugs are attracted to cooler lights. Right after UV lights, it is seen that bugs prefer blue lights and then white lights. So, white led lights may attract some bugs and insects as feeding grounds.
4. Bugs can see Ultraviolet (UV), blue and green. They are drawn to white or bluish lights because of this. For example, mercury vapor, white incandescent, and white fluorescent lights.
5. Research has shown that Bugs and insects were attracted to white light more than yellow and only second to blue. A bug’s vision is limited, and only bright blue lights and white lights are that much attractive to bugs. Red and other colors are close to invisible for them
Do LED Lights Attract Bugs? A short answer would be yes, but it is a lot more complicated than that. While some led lights might attract more bugs than others, overall, the comparison must be made with other variants of lights. In this regard, led lights are not that attractive for bugs.
Sure, LEDs also emit a bit of UV light and can display bluer colors. However, the intensity of these lights is nothing compared to other alternatives. This means a bug is more likely to drift towards those streetlamps of other alternatives than come near your led setup.
I am a fellow LED light enthusiast who has completed his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and now has been doing my Master’s on the same subject. Born in 1994, I am a big fan of shiny things since I was just four years old!