Do LED Lights Attract Bugs?

You don't want your LED light fixtures to attract bugs. LED lighting should create a comfortable environment for you, not make the existing situation worse. That's why this article exists.

This blog answers your doubts and keeps you safe from bugs. You may have seen this phenomenon: a large number of bugs surround the street lights on the side of the road.

Exactly what determines light attracts bugs and insects. Do LED lights also attract bugs? How do you choose the right LED light fixture to minimize this risk?

Here’s what you need to know.

Is There A Light That Doesn't Attract Bugs?

The question of whether LED lights attract bugs cannot be answered in a single one-sided way. It requires certain prerequisites.

If there is something about your LED that bugs like, and those bugs like light, then naturally the bugs will fly to your LED and surround it. Not all LED lights attract bugs. Not all bugs like light either.

Why Do Bugs Like Light?

Phototaxis bugs have a stress response to light stimuli, causing them to instinctively fly to the light, such as spiders, flies, bees, wasps, moths, and mosquitoes these positive phototaxis bugs.

These bugs and insects use natural light to help navigate, usually by moonlight or sunlight. Artificial light can interfere with their travel route and eventually lead them to the lighting fixture. 

The phototaxis of nocturnal insects is particularly pronounced. At night, we can see flying insects gathering around the street lights. Conversely, negative phototaxis bugs like cockroaches and bed bugs prefer shady places to bright light.

Therefore, the light attraction to different bugs is vary, it depends on the species of bugs. 

Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Light sources should be carefully selected in environments where phototropic bugs live.
  2. Dark and humid environments can also breed bugs, so they should be illuminated and kept dry.

Why Are Bugs Attracted To Light?

Let’s take bug lights as an example. Many mosquitoes are attracted to black light UV lights, and a common use case is mosquito killer lamps, which use UV rays to attract mosquitoes and exterminate them by shocking them as they approach.

Here we explain exactly why some LED lights attract bugs and insects.

1. Bugs are attracted to the light spectrum.

Bugs and insects are generally attracted to 300-650nm wavelengths. Among them, they prefer wavelengths between 300-420nm. (Source)

We need to know that we measure light in wavelengths in nanometers. Among the light colors corresponding to the spectrum, 300nm wavelength corresponds to invisible blacklight ultraviolet rays (the wavelengths that people can see are 400-800nm, which is called visible light), and 650nm wavelength corresponds to red light.

In this wavelength band, the degree of attracting insects and bugs from large to small is as follows: ultraviolet light > blue light > white light > yellow light > green light > red light.

We can see that the longer the wavelength, the less attractive the LED light is to bugs. And LED lights with shorter wavelengths such as UV light and blue light are more attractive to bugs.

While bugs vary in their light-sensing abilities, most respond strongly to LED lights in the blue and ultraviolet spectrums.

Thus, in order to enjoy the LED lighting without being disturbed by bugs, it is best not to choose blue-purple lights. If you're bathing in blue-violet LED lights, please do mosquito protection.

2. Bugs prefer blue-purple light color.

We've got this info point: The blue light emitted by LED lights is deadly attractive to bugs.

In addition to blue LED lights that emit blue light, cooler color temperature white LED lights also emit blue light, which attracts insects and bugs.

The commonly used color temperatures of LED lights can be summarized as 1800K-3200K warm white, 4000K-4500K neutral white, and 6000-7000K cool white.

The Kelvin color temperature of soft white light shows a warm and comfortable dusk color, belonging to long wavelength light. Cool white is a cool blue-white color due to its short wavelength. And the higher the LED color temperature, the more blue tones.

For that reason, when choosing LED light products, it is not that selecting white lights can reduce the chance of attracting insects. You have to choose a warm white light color temperature.

3. Bugs and insects like heat.

High heat and high temperatures are extremely attractive to insects and bugs with thermoreceptors. Most of the energy of incandescent and halogen lamps is converted into heat and they are well known as high heat dissipation lamps.

Due to the improvement of modern technology, the energy efficiency of LED lights has been greatly improved, most of the energy is converted into light energy, and only a small amount of energy is converted into heat for dissipation.

LED lights emit less heat, so they are far less attractive to temperature-sensitive bugs than traditional lights.

Do LED Lights Attract Bugs?

LED lights are generally considered less attractive to bugs and insects, compared to other traditional light fixtures. (Source)

Incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights, mercury vapor lamps, and metal halide lamps do a good job of attracting insects and bugs.

We can know from the table below that these lighting fixtures attract bugs because they meet the three conditions mentioned above: ultraviolet radiation, high-brightness cool white light, and high heat.

On the contrary, warm white light and yellow light seem to be the color that bugs do not like.

Light FixturesLight ColorColor Temperature
(White Light)
HeatAttract Bugs 
(Yes or No)
LED LightsUVCool/Yes
Incandescent Bulbs//HighYes
Compact Fluorescent LightsUV//Yes
Halogen Lights/Warm/No
Mercury Vapor LampUVCool/Yes
Metal Halide LampUVCool/Yes
High Pressure Sodium LightsYellowWarm/No
Do all the light fixtures attract bugs?

LED lights also attract bugs if they have the above qualities, such as UV LED lights that specialize in producing ultraviolet light (LED lights do not produce UV light) and cool white LED lights.

  • LED lights attract: spiders (indirect attraction), centipedes (indirect attraction), flies, moths, and fleas.
  • LED lights do not attract: silverfish, mosquitoes, bed bugs, and cockroaches.

How Do I Make Sure LED Lights Don't Attract Bugs?

For LED lamps that emit UV radiation, you can reduce their attractiveness to bugs by applying a coating to filter UV and blue light.

When choosing a LED lighting source, try to choose a warm white light of 3000K and below. Most bugs don't like yellow and red light colors.

Choose high color temperature white light carefully for your outdoor lighting. 6000K~6500K color temperature is daylight, and further up the scale is a cool white with bluish tones.

Remember, blue light and purple black light are the bug's favorite colors.

Keep Your Home Pest-Free

The answer to the question “Do LED Lights Attract Bugs” is not that simple. You need to consider what the bugs in your area are attracted to in order to choose the right LED light fixture.

Of course, longer wavelength LED lights are generally less likely to attract bugs. Lower color temperature LED lights are less likely to attract bugs. LED lights that don't emit UV light are less likely to attract bugs. LED lights that emit low heat are less likely to attract bugs.

More related blogs:

What Is LED Color Temperature?

Color Difference Between Warm White, Pure White, And Cool White

Guide To Know LED UV Light Strip And UV Light Fixtures