Do LED strip lights attract bugs? You have to contend with bugs whenever you turn on your lights.
But nobody wants bugs flying around, not to mention the bug-feeding creatures they can attract.
Also, while most bugs may be harmless, some are pretty dangerous.
This article explains why bugs get attracted by LED strip lights, what bugs you can expect to see flying around your lights, and what you do to reduce their numbers.
Why Are Bugs Attracted to Light?
Interestingly, there’s a significant correlation between light and the presence of bugs.
See, bugs use the natural light from the moon to move around at night.
They’ll either move away from the light, negative phototaxis, or toward the light, positive phototaxis.
And any source of light that resembles the moon will attract.
What Is It About Lights That Attract Bugs?
Two main factors about light attract bugs:
Color Wavelength and Temperature
Bugs can’t resist light with a shorter wavelength of less than 550 nanometers.
And the primary light colors within this wavelength range are ultraviolet, blue, and green.
Interestingly, bugs use infrared and ultraviolet lights to spot food and navigate, so they’re instinctively attracted to such light.
On the other hand, yellow, orange, and red-colored lights don’t attract bugs that much.
That’s because yellow has a longer wavelength.
Undoubtedly, humans like to keep warm, especially during cold nights. Well, so do bugs.
They love heat and have thermo-receptors that help them detect heat.
And while LED lights don’t heat up as much as halogen or CFL bulbs, they still generate some heat which will attract bugs.
Are All LED Strip Lights Attractive to Bugs?
Diverse color spectrums and heat, which LED strip lights have, attract different bugs.
Therefore, it’s a matter of reducing the number of bugs flocking around your house, not getting rid of them all.
For some bugs, it’s colored on the blue spectrum they’re drawn to, while for others, it’s the white spectrum.
Any LED strip light color within these spectrums will attract bugs.
(Caption: Color spectrum)
Also, the temperature of the LED strip lights determines the number of bugs LED lights attract.
If the lights are cooler, they will attract fewer bugs.
Are Bugs Attracted to LED Strip Lights More Than Regular Lights?
No, not at all. Any ultraviolet light or light that resembles the moon will attract bugs.
Along with some IR (infrared) radiation, artificial light emits UV (ultraviolet).
But LED lights don’t emit UV, so they’re less attractive to bugs.
Also, bugs feel attracted to lights based on the type of light wavelength and how much heat the lights produce.
Regular lights, such as incandescent and CFL bulbs, emit much heat.
With their temperature sensitivity, thanks to their thermo-receptors, bugs get drawn to the heat the lights emit.
And the more the heat, the more the bugs, more so if the light color has a shorter wavelength like blue.
In contrast, LED strip lights that produce bright white or yellow colors (longer wavelength) will have a reverse effect.
Otherwise, no kind of light can completely do away with bugs.
What Type of Bugs Do LED Lights Attract?
LED strip lights tend to attract several types of insects. Some get drawn to the type of light and wavelength.
Others come in search of bugs for food. Here are some insects you’re likely to see:
You will notice spiders near your LED strip lights, not because they attract light but because they feed on bugs.
Therefore, they’ll eat bugs and other creatures that follow the LED lights at night.
To help mitigate this situation, spray your LED strip lights with chemicals like DEET.
Alternatively, you can use non-chemical compounds such as peppermint, grapefruit, cinnamon, or sticky traps.
Wasps also feed on bugs. Therefore they’ll fly toward the LED strip lights to trap bugs.
Usually, a chemical spray like DEET is enough to eliminate them.
But alternatively, you can use repellents.
These comprise the active ingredient permethrin, which is highly toxic to insects.
When the insects ingest it, it affects their nervous system, causing muscle spasms, paralysis, and death.
Another effective way to eradicate wasps is to use sticky traps.
Like wasps, hornets feed on bugs. It’s no wonder the area you find wasps is likely the same place you’ll spot hornets.
These insects compete for the same type of food.
Like with the wasps, both chemical and non-chemical means will work in eradicating these bugs.
What Helps Reduce Bugs Attraction to LED Lights
Granted, no light can completely repel bugs because you can’t fully stop them from flying around your lights.
Still, here are some things you can do to reduce their attraction to your LED lights:
Longer Color Wavelength
Installing LED strip lights with longer color wavelengths is the best way of reducing bugs in your house at night.
Many insects, including bugs, love heat, and UV light.
So avoid LED lights that emit short wavelengths, such as white and light blue colors.
Instead, use LED strip lights with longer wavelengths, such as yellow, orange, or red.
Another highly effective way to reduce the bugs’ attraction to LED strip lights is encasing the bulbs with tinted glass or plastic.
That way, the lights don’t shine too much.
In turn, it lowers the number of bugs attracted to your LED strip lights.
Avoid Bright Lights that Produce Blue or Cool White Light
(Caption: Color wavelengths)
Bright lights, especially blue ones or cool white, fall under the short wavelength spectrumMoreoverat, they share features similar to those of the moonlight and thus tend to attract more bugs.
So consider installing LED strip lights that are over 550 nm, as these attract fewer bugs.
Do LED Strip Lights Bring Bugs?
Yes, they do. However, the wavelength of light from your LED strip lights determines the density of the bugs attracted.
For example, cool white and blue colors generally have shorter wavelengths and attract more bugs.
On the contrary, light colors with longer wavelengths, such as yellow, red, and orange, attract fewer bugs.
What LED Strip Lights Don’t Attract Bugs?
LED strip lights with longer wavelengths of more than 550 nanometers don’t attract bugs much.
Such strip lights produce yellow, orange, and red colors.
Do LED Strip Lights Attract Spiders?
Yes, LED strip lights do indirectly attract spiders.
See, lights with shorter wavelengths, such as blue or cool white colors, attract bugs.
And because bugs are a favorite food for spiders, it attracts them.
As a result, you may notice more spiders with increased bugs.
So do LED lights attract bugs?
As we’ve seen, they do, but much less than other lighting systems like Halogen or CFL.
That’s because they emit less heat. Also, bugs get attracted by short light wavelengths such as blue and cool white and heat.
Therefore, installing LED strip lights within the long wavelength is essential.
It’s the best way to regulate the number of bugs the lights will draw.