What are the Best Light Bulbs for Outside to Avoid Bugs? 2020 Guide!

Our fully inclusive 2020 guide on the best outdoor light bulbs to help you to avoid attracting bugs.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Sitting on a warm Summer evening with the garden lights on, and next thing the cast of A Bugs’ Life are hovering around your aesthetic lighting. And then the next day you find them crawling around the inside of your home, and you can’t help but feeling you only have yourself to blame.

But we want to use outdoor lighting, right? So how can we both do that AND avoid attracting bugs?

Well, luckily for you, we’re here today to provide you with information on the best light bulbs for outside to avoid attracting bugs in 2020, so listen up!

Why are Some Bugs Attracted to the Light, Anyway?

It’s only right that we begin to look at why certain bugs are attracted to the light, because only then can we understand what kind of light bulbs will be effective in not enticing them. It’s that simple.

The scientific term for how an organism’s body reacts to the light, is Phototaxis.

In positive phototaxis, an animal is attracted to the light, so of course in negative phototaxis, an animal is repelled from the light. Nocturnal insects, for example earth worms and cockroaches, will have a negative phototaxis.

Many flying insects have positive phototaxis. This is why so many of them have the natural instinct to fly, hover and rest upon a source of light. Whereas some of these insects can ignore the urge to move towards the light, others can’t. The ones that can’t include:

  •         Flies.
  •         Moths.

They quite literally cannot help themselves. They see light, they gravitate towards it, and that’s it.

The truth of the matter is, no one really knows why this is, but it’s been proven that creatures with positive phototaxis are one hundred percent attracted to the light.

What are the Best Kind of Light Bulbs to Use Outside and Avoid Bugs in 2020?

So, we don’t know why certain insects are positive phototaxis, but we know that they certainly are, and that they will continue to be attracted to light. Particularly flies and moths.

And yet, we need outdoor lighting, don’t we? Not only for the aesthetic of it, but for practical reasons too. So what kind of light bulbs can we use outside to avoid attracting bugs in 2020?

Read on for our suggestions!

Yellow Bug Light Bulbs

The first light bulb type on our list, is the humble yellow light bulb, which has been proven time and time again to be non – attractant to insects. Even positive phototaxis ones.

The reason for this, is because yellow light is a form of light that many bugs can’t actually see. Let’s take Larvae for example.

Larvae have very simple eye sight, and can only differentiate between the light and the dark. They therefore can’t see colour, or distinguish it.

However, when they grow into adult bugs, their eye sight actually begins to develop and becoming a little more complex. Their eyes are compound, and go beyond distinguishing light from dark. Once in the adult stage of their lives, insects have one of two kinds of eyesight:

  •         Trichromatic Eye Sight – meaning the insect has three colour receptors.
  •         Bichromatic Eye Sight – meaning the insect has just two colour receptors.

This very simply means that those insects with trichromatic eye sight will be able to see more colours.

Now, colour is seen on a spectrum, and can be seen at different wavelengths. Insects can not see the entire spectrum, unlike most humans, and the lesser the wavelengths of colour, the less likely insects will be to be attracted to them.

The colours with the lesser wavelengths include the colour yellow. This is why yellow bulbs are less likely to attract insects. Even if they are positive phototaxis.

Yellow compact fluorescent lights – or CFL’s – are your best bet in this case. They emit less heat, use less energy, and are less attractive to bugs. What’s not to like?

Warm White LED Light Bulbs

The other kind of light bulb which is useful to use outdoors if you’re hoping not to attract insects, is the warm white LED light bulb.

Insects prefer ultraviolet lighting above all other kinds of lighting. UV light actually has a short wavelength, and beams out further, which makes sense.

Warm LED lights have been proven to attract about half as many insects as the average lighting which has UV in it. The fact is, these LED lights do not actually emit any UV light whatsoever, as well as giving off hardly any heat whatsoever. A warm white colouring is also extremely aesthetic for the front of the home. It’s a win – win.

The lower the Kelvin (or K) temperature of an LED, the more yellow its’ light will be. A light with 3000K will have a yellow light, which is the typical LED. As soon as you start getting up to the measurement of around 6000K, in will come the blue tint to the light that attracts the insects you’re actively seeking to avoid.

Remember, however, that it is actually impossible to keep all of the bugs out of your front yard, because this is where many of them live – light or no light. Sure, bulbs can help, but the only real way of keeping the exterior of your home bug – free is either treating it with pesticide or insecticide, or having this done by a professional. Doing this regularly will help to keep the bugs at bay.

These hiding spots in your porch will attract bugs just as much as any light will. Possibly even more so. Light is without doubt part of the solution, but not all of it. Take the time to do your research on the insects bothering you outside your home, and act accordingly.

Thanks for reading today! We hope we’ve helped!  

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