Which light bulb attracts the fewest bugs? Study reveals surprises

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brad
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Which light bulb attracts the fewest bugs? Study reveals surprises

WASHINGTON, D.C.—If you’re trying to keep flying pests away from your veranda lights on summer evenings, your choice of light bulb matters. A poster presented here today at the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science) describes a new study comparing insect traps outfitted with the six major types of commercially available lights, including traditional incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs that emit cold and warm colored light, and the yellow tinted “bug lights” marketed as being less attractive to insects.

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http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/which-light-bulb-attracts-fewest-...

pilotdog68
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I’ll save you all the click, it’s a very short article.

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Although the factors that influence a light’s attractiveness remain mysterious, the study revealed some clear winner and losers. Incandescent bulbs brought in the largest insect haul, averaging about eight per hour. The “bug lights” and warm-colored LEDs were roughly tied for least attractive, at about 4.5. But the bug lights had a downside: They were more enticing than the warm LED to two insect orders that many people consider pesky: Hemiptera, which includes so-called “stink bugs,” and pincer-clad Dermaptera, better known by the heebie-jeebies–inducing name “earwigs.” Caveat emptor.

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will34
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I always thought it was UV like used in those bug-zapping lamps?

fixed it
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will34 wrote:
I always thought it was UV like used in those bug-zapping lamps?

Funny, I thought it was more on the IR end. Or just plain heat output. My experience has been that both a low power CFL and a LED bulb are a vast improvement over an incandescent with similar output. I suppose it might be different for people dealing with other species of bugs.
The Miller
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we have warm white LEDs fitted everywhere in our outside lights.
And well, maybe less attrative, but when it is the only light source a warm whte LED wil attract bugs, and half way through the summer the hornets learn that light means bugs.
We had a nest of those at the end of the yard, the big friendly European ones, halfway up inside a tree. (I will fell that tree this month) Minding their own and not aggresive, we have a place where we make campfires close to that tree and they did not mind the smoke or people.
But the line of sight from that nest let them spot a lower placed outside light.
From August they were here in less then a minute after switching the lights on outside, first 1 or 2 bt soon 5 to 10 and those really big buzzing wasps at the terras are not relaxed, let alone inside.
A little cover on the lower placed light helped that.
And a UV light inside turned on when 1 did enter fixed that up really fast as well.

freeme
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Big Smile Maybe those “bug lights” have low CRI and PWM.

djozz
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freeme wrote:
Big Smile Maybe those “bug lights” have low CRI and PWM.

I’m not an insect then..
djozzzzzzzzzzzzz…

keltex78
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I spent a night camping by a lake last year. The campsite had AC power, so I took along a Halogen worklight and several smaller (CW IIRC) LED lights. I used an extension cord to set the halogen light away from my camp, pointing the opposite direction. I set the LED lights on the picnic table, and used them to illuminate my campsite. The halogen decoy light attracted a lot of flying insects, while VERY FEW were intruding on my campsite.


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Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

Tumbleweed48
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I have an LED bulb (3200 k) in a photo sensitive switch next to the walk-in door of my garage – it doesn’t seem to attract many flying insects, but the spiders seem to be crazy for it! I’m having to broom off clumps of spider webs every couple of days, even up inside the glass cylinder that encloses the bulb.
The lights next to the drive-in door are still incandescent, and the spiders seem much less interested in them while the flying insects flock to them.

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I Wish there would be a table or something showing the results in detail…

brad
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Werner wrote:
I Wish there would be a table or something showing the results in detail…

Can you find anything useful here?
https://www.google.com/search?q=pdf+Light+Pollution+and+Insects%3A+Insec...

Streamer
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Interesting that this article comes out of WA., D.C. There is another “Pest” out of WASHINGTON, D.C.— No form of repellent, be it Ruby Laser or Photon Torpedo, has yet to be developed to deter them. Nor shall it likely be, to keep these insects from eroding life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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Quote:
Background: The widespread use of electric lamps has created artificial light ecologies and light pollution. The crucial roles played by insects in ecosystems and agriculture may be impacted by their attraction to artificial lights. Previous research has focused on streetlights; little attention has been paid to the more widely used and lower-wattage “area” lights designed for porches, paths, façades, and yards. For such purposes, the basic types of lamps in common use are incandescent, CFL, halogen, LED, and yellow “bug” lights, the latter marketed as reducing insect attraction. The purpose of this study was to compare the potential impact of these various lamps on insect ecologies. Methods: Each night for a summer, one of six types of light bulb was used in a baffle/funnel insect trap. Bulbs were scheduled so that the moon’s irradiance was equalized across treatments. Meteorological variables were somewhat equalized by bulb scheduling and otherwise partialled out as covariates. Mean capture rates of total insects and several insect Orders were compared between the bulb types using ANOVA. Results: A total of n = 8887 insects and spiders were captured. The incandescent bulb had the highest capture rate, followed by CFL, halogen, LED with a cool color temperature, and the “bug” light. An LED with a warm color temperature had the lowest capture rate. Similar patterns held for individual Orders. A notable exception was the “bug” light captured significantly more Dermaptera (earwigs) than all other bulbs and significantly more Hemiptera (true bugs) than the warm LED bulb. Conclusions: This is the first study to directly compare all the major types of bulbs designed for exterior residential use. 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.

http://www.aaas.org/abstract/light-pollution-and-insects-insect-attracti...

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SawMaster
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“Bug light?” I thought you said “Bud Light”!

The rednecks around here seem to take great pleasure in combining those two for a summer evening’s humor. When you see a bug light on a porch next to a pile of empty beer cans you don’t have to ask to know what kind of people live there!

Phil

brad
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Don’t make me get off of my porch couch.

MaxBeam
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“Bud Light”? I’ll drink to that!