Emberlight logo

Do LED Lights Attract Bugs or Insects? 5 Reasons Why and How to Avoid

May 6, 2023

You can easily observe the phenomenon of bugs flying around the LED bulbs in your home in the summer. Many people will wonder, do LED lights attract bugs or insects? The answer to this problem will be in our following article.

We’ll explain to you why bugs love flying around light bulbs. You can find solutions to limit insects in your area from these knowledge bases.

Let’s explore this interesting information right here!

TRUE Or FALSE – Knowledge about LED lights and bugs/insects

Researches indicate LEDs do attract bugs and insects in different ways
Researches indicate LEDs do attract bugs and insects in different ways

That’s right, and LED lights attract insects. When you turn on the lights at night, you will see bugs appear around the light source area. They can circle the bulb, sometimes gathering in large swarms. This phenomenon is widespread in the summer when insects thrive.

Some individuals jumped directly into the light bulb and died due to the heat generated by the device. 

However, death did not slow them down. There are constantly bugs that are attracted to the light and end their lives in this area. As a result, you may have to work hard to clean up the dead insects that have fallen on the ground.

If the lights attract butterflies, the pollen on their wings will disperse in the environment. Families with sensitive people can quickly develop allergies to these organisms. 

In addition, some insect predators can also gather around the light source to hunt. This phenomenon will become a new nightmare for people afraid of spiders as they will come for their rich food resources here.

Find out more at: Do led lights attract spiders ?

Scientists have done many studies on insects being attracted to this light source. 

The Laboratory of Entomology in Pakistan has made a number of publications. They demonstrated that a light source with different color spectrums is more attractive to insects than a single light bulb.

Specifically, the attraction of the blue spectrum to insects is most significant, with 22% of creatures loving the color. 

In contrast, red is the most unattractive spectrum to insects, with only 2% opting for this color. Meanwhile, yellow attracts 10% of insects, and this figure in white is 18%. In green, it is 4.7%.

The results of this study show us that any light bulb attracts insects. No matter what color the light the lamp produces, insects will still gather around it. 

By knowing the favorite spectral colors of insects, scientists have created light traps for agricultural use.

Some other articles, such as “Lighting Research & Technology” have also given results on the attractiveness of household energy-saving lamps to insects.

Bugs or insects attracted by what element of lights or LED light

Bugs may love your lights because it creates a wavelength that attracts them. In addition, the color temperature of the light, heat, CRI, and luminance are also details that make the light that attracts bugs the destination of the organism.

We will learn together about each of these factors shortly.

Wavelength of lights

The wavelength of light refers to the distance between two consecutive peaks

The wavelength of light is one of the important indicators of a light source. The unit of wavelength is a nanometer (nm).

Light comes in many varieties with different wavelengths, ranging from the short wavelength range to the high wavelength range. Ultraviolet light has a shorter wavelength than visible light, while infrared light has a longer wavelength.

In the range of light visible to humans and many other species, short wavelengths consist of rays with excellent blue color. In the visual organs of insects, separate cells are sensitive to this type of light.

As a result, bugs attracted to LED lights are more easily seen and attracted to blue or green rays.

Therefore, lamps that catch mosquitoes and insects often use blue light. Bugs will quickly be attracted and rush toward this light source. Therefore, these short-wave rays will be most effective in attracting insects.

On the contrary, you can use long wave rays to prevent insects from sticking around your bulbs.

Longer wavelengths of yellow and red light will not be visible to insects. The eyes of these types of creatures do not see or perceive very little of the long wavelength rays, so they are not attracted to this light source.

Because of this effect, residential lights will avoid light wavelengths that are good at attracting insects. As a result, your family will be less bothered by these creatures.

400 – 800(nm)

400nm - 800nm are widely used for landscape led lights
400nm – 800nm are widely used for landscape led lights

Humans can see the wavelength range between 380 and 760nm, excluding ultraviolet. The content of the light that humans can see fields from purple, blue, and yellow to red. Meanwhile, insects have a different visible wavelength range than humans.

Many insects cannot see the light with wavelengths between 400-800 nm. Therefore, the light source that emits these rays does not attract them.

Many manufacturers have used this knowledge to design lamps less likely to attract insects. They have enhanced light in this wavelength range in outdoor LEDs.

The 400-800nm light spectrum range seems less attractive to bugs. It is why some outdoor LED lights are designed with this in mind and emit light mainly in this range to reduce the attraction of insects.


Insect light trap take use of 350nm light wavelength
Insect light trap take use of 350nm light wavelength

Next, let’s look at UV light at about 350 nm. Humans cannot see these rays, but insects can feel them. Many types of light fixtures can emit light at this wavelength. Examples include incandescent, high-intensity discharge (HID), halogen, or CFL lamps.

In nature, many species of organisms navigate by UV rays from the moon, sun, and other natural light sources.

When seeing UV rays from artificial light sources, bugs will be disoriented and rush toward the lights. This phenomenon explains the attraction of many lamps to insects.

Light insect traps often use UV rays to enhance their attractiveness. On the contrary, residential lights often prevent this type of light to avoid bugs flying around the bulb, causing users discomfort.

300 – 650(nm)

In the 300 to 650nm wavelength range, insects can perceive light.

Lights can produce this form of light that includes ultraviolet rays. Therefore, these devices have great appeal to insects.

In more detail, many studies have shown that bugs and insects prefer light rays with wavelengths ranging from 300 to 420 nm. Light sources that emit this type of light attract the most insects when compared to other lights.

Understanding this fact, the lamp traps will use lights that emit light rays with short wavelengths to improve working efficiency.

In contrast, residential lighting will use light with a wavelength not in the range below 420nm to prevent the inconvenience caused by insects to users.

Light color temperature

Lighting color temperature is another factor to take into consideration
Lighting color temperature is another factor to take into consideration

The color temperature of an LED describes the color of the light it produces, correlated color temperature (CCT) index in degrees Kelvin. The color temperature scale ranges from 1000K to 10000K.

In particular, lights with high CCT will produce bright white light and more blue light. LEDs with a color temperature of 4000K will produce white light. With a higher color temperature threshold, the light produced by the lights will feel cooler due to more blue light.

As we mentioned above, insects are attracted to cold rays of light. Therefore, lamps with CCT higher than 3600K will be more attractive to insects. They produce a white light that resembles natural sunlight, which bugs love.

In contrast, lights will produce red and yellow light if it has a low CCT. Lights with a color temperature of 3000K color temperature to 4000K make warm white light. The lamp emits yellow and red light at a color temperature threshold lower than 3500K.

Bugs often make it challenging to see lamps with lights with CCT lower than 3600K. You can use these lights in your home without worrying about being disturbed by insects.


Bugs may need heat to survive which may lead to this phenomenon
Bugs may need heat to survive which may lead to this phenomenon

Insects cannot generate heat on their own to keep their bodies warm. However, temperature plays a fundamental role in determining their survival.

Basically, insects have separate senses for sensing light and temperature from the environment. Some species have sensory cells on their legs or antennae, which allow the certification to acquire information about ambient temperature.

In higher-temperature regions, bugs can grow and develop in just a short time. In contrast, insects will grow very slowly or stop producing entirely when the ambient temperature is too low. This phenomenon may explain why insects are so common in summer and rare in winter.

But because of that, the bugs tend to find places with high heat sources. Bulbs such as halogen, incandescent, CFL, and HID are heat-producing devices.

These lights convert up to 90% of electricity into heat. These devices are an attractive light source for insects.

Even if many bugs rushed into the light bulb and died due to the high temperature, other creatures could not escape the attraction of the light source. Therefore, you can see a lot of dead animals in the lighted area every night.

Some poor quality LEDs also generate a lot of heat. These devices convert some of the electricity into heat, increasing the temperature in the surrounding area.

This phenomenon not only attracts insects but also wastes electricity for lighting. Therefore, you should avoid using these devices.


CRI is a significant factor for bugs to detect its preys
CRI is a significant factor for bugs to detect its preys

Next, the lamp’s CRI color rendering index is also a factor that attracts bugs.

CRI stands for the Color Rendering Index, a metric that indicates the quality of light a lamp produces. This parameter is one of the most important factors when choosing an LED.

Accordingly, the higher the CRI lights, the brighter the light it produces. When objects are placed under this light, they will display with the most realistic and transparent colors.

Lights with a CRI of zero emit monochromatic light so that they will have the lowest fidelity. These products typically produce only yellow, red, or blue light. Intense colors of light cause objects under them to appear inaccurate.

Lamps with a CRI above 80 are standard household lighting fixtures because of their clarity. You can see objects clearly and realistically when they are under this light. The same is true for bugs.

Insects are more likely to see food, mates, or hazards. Therefore, they prefer these types of light over low CRI lights.

According to some research results, lamps with high CRI will attract more bugs than other devices. In particular, most bugs are the creatures most drawn to because the lights have high color rendering parameters.

Luminance of lights

Careful with the brightness of led lights in use may attract bugs as well
Careful with the brightness of led lights in use may attract bugs as well

Finally, the brightness of the lights can also attract bugs to gather around the device.

Especially at night, insects will quickly gather around this light source when the environment is less bright than the area around the LED lights. They are easier to see the light to fly to.

In addition, many nocturnal bugs use light from the moon and stars to determine direction. The insects will be disoriented when the light bulb is brighter than the natural celestial bodies. This phenomenon leads them to try to fly closer to the light source.

The intensity of the light source also affects the attraction of insects. Brighter lights tend to attract more insects than dimmer ones.

This is because insects use the brightness of the light as a visual cue to find potential mates or food sources. Insects are also more likely to be attracted to lights that flicker or pulse because they resemble the mating signals of some insect species.

However, not all insects are attracted to light. Some species are nocturnal and prefer to stay away from light sources. Insects like moths are repelled by bright light sources because they have evolved to use the moon as their primary navigation source, and bright lights can confuse their internal compass.

In some cases, the attraction of insects to light can be problematic, especially in areas where bugs and insects pose a health risk or nuisance to humans.

For example, mosquitoes are attracted to light and carry diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus.

In these cases, it is essential to use bug zappers or other insect control methods to trap or kill insects without harming humans or the environment.

Choosing LED lights against bugs and insects

Take some useful method to limit the bugs
Take some useful method to limit the bugs

You can find an effective method to limit bugs flying around your light bulb from the abovementioned knowledge.

It is impossible to eliminate light’s attraction to insects. Whichever method you use, bugs will fly around your light bulbs. However, we can completely mitigate this problem in many different ways.

First, you can choose lighting fixtures that don’t emit much UV light. Because UV rays with a wavelength of 350 nm are beautiful to insects. So insects will be less likely to congregate in brighter light areas when you use lights that do not emit UV rays.

Instead, you can buy LEDs that produce long wavelengths above 550nm. Lights that make warm white or yellow and red light will not attract bugs. These products typically have a color temperature below 3000K, which is not a favorite light color for insects.

In addition, to avoid cleaning up dead creatures under the light, you can also use LED lights that reduce heat. These devices neither attract nor kill bugs.

Finally, lights with a unique anti-insect design are also an excellent choice for you. Manufacturers have coated their bulbs with special coatings that repel insects. The types of lights produced are also not in the bugs’ favorite light zones. When using these lighting devices in your home, you can rest assured.

In conclusion

As such, Emberlight hopes this article gives detailed answers to the question, does LED lighting attract bugs?

LED light attracts bugs and insects through many factors. The attraction of different lighting devices to the organism is not identical.

Depending on color temperature, wavelength, CRI, heat, and luminance, some bulbs attract more bugs than others. By understanding the attraction of different types of light to insects, we can limit the phenomenon of insects gathering around light bulbs.

You can use specially designed LED lights to keep pests away. Devices that are warm white or yellow, with wavelengths above 550nm and color temperatures lower than 3000K like 2700k light, are reasonable choices for you.

I hope you don’t experience the annoying situation caused by insects around the light bulbs.

Lexii is a marketing creative with 6 years in Event, Product, and Social media marketing. She has assisted with coordinating and managing marketing campaigns for Procter & Gamble, and assisted with growth of smaller CPG brands on a national level.

Related Posts

Scroll to Top