Which Light Bulb to Repel Insects?

Want to enjoy your terrace or garden on warm summer evenings without being bothered by mosquitos or other insects? We may have found the ideal solution.

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The American association for the advancement of science conference (AAAS) has been exploring for long means to repel insects, which role in ecosystems may be impacted by their attraction to artificial lights. Previous research has focused on streetlights, but they recently considered more widely used lights. Their conclusion is unambiguous: the LED technology wins it all. Models with a warm color temperature are the ones that attract the fewest insects.

Reducing light pollution

Researchers have focused on the most insect-friendly products, which would not have a negative impact on ecosystems. They have studied the six most commonly used types of light bulbs: incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL), halogen, “warm” LED, blue LED and bug lights. The insects capture rate was significantly lower when using the warm LED, even in comparison with the bug light. The incandescent lamp was the one with the highest capture rate, followed by the CFL, the halogen and the blue LED. 

The author of the study concludes: “A widespread shift to LED lamps could greatly reduce the impact of light pollution on insects. From an ecological perspective, LEDs with a warm color temperature should be favored because they attract the fewest insects, their lower emission in the blue spectrum should reduce their contribution to light pollution, their directional technology allows for more precise lighting, and they have favorable energy conversions and life cycle assessments.”

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