If you find yourself here, it's likely because you've encountered issues with insects being drawn to LED lights and are seeking solutions. Alternatively, you might be curious about this phenomenon and wish to gain a deeper understanding of it to prevent such occurrences. We've all observed how insects are attracted to porch or street lights during the night, or how opening a window to cool a room can inadvertently invite mosquitoes and other insects inside when the light is switched on. But what is it about LED lights, and lighting in general, that seems to lure these insects?

insects attracted to light

In either case, we will delve into the factors that shed light on why these situations occur and provide insights to help you comprehend the underlying reasons behind insect attraction to LED lights.

Well Does the LED Lights Attract The Bugs? 

Indeed, LED lights do have an attraction for bugs, including insects, spiders, and other creepy crawlies. However, it's important to note that LED lights themselves aren't a magnetic force drawing these creatures in directly. There are various theories that attempt to explain why bugs are drawn to LED lights and artificial lighting in general.

insects led bulb

The most widely accepted explanation is that insects, like many other creatures, are naturally drawn to light sources as a means of navigation and seeking food during the nighttime hours. Typically, they rely on the moonlight for this purpose, but the abundance of artificial lights at night, which are often brighter, can divert their attention towards these alternative light sources.

Another logical reason lies in the heat emitted by bulbs and lights, particularly in colder weather. Insects are cold-blooded creatures, incapable of generating their own body heat. The temperature of their surroundings plays a crucial role in their growth, development, and behavior. As a result, they may be attracted to the warmth emitted by lights.

LED Lights and Spiders?

A commonly asked question pertains to whether LED lights attract spiders. Unlike insects, spiders aren't specifically drawn to lights in the same way. It depends on the type of light being emitted; for instance, LED strips can emit blue-purple UV color ranges, which are more visible to insects. A prime example of this phenomenon is the mosquito lamp.

Spiders are most active during the night when they're on the hunt for food. When insects gather around your outdoor LED lights, spiders are naturally drawn to these insects, which provide an easy meal. This is why you often find an abundance of spiders and webs around your LED lights—it's all part of a natural cycle.

While spiders themselves may not be inherently attracted to light sources indoors, they are opportunistic hunters that seek out the best food sources within their environment.

To Which Colors are Spiders Attracted To? 

When it comes to the colors that attract spiders, it's important to note that most bugs and insects are drawn towards colors on the UV light side of the spectrum. Consequently, these same colors tend to increase the presence of spiders. LED lights that emit shades of blue fall into the UV range and thus attract insects, which in turn, attract more spiders.

Many insects use light for navigation during the night, and they are particularly attracted to colors that resemble the moon or starlight. These insects are generally less interested in warm colors, such as yellow light, which mimics the color of midday sunlight.

Another key factor to consider is the type of bulb being used. In addition to being attracted to UV-like colors, insects are also drawn to warmth. This means that purple LED lights can attract spiders and other insects in a similar way to blue lights because purple light falls on the lower end of the light spectrum, which aligns with the colors insects find appealing.

So, when LED strips are set to emit purple light, they tend to attract more spiders because this color attracts a greater number of potential food sources to the vicinity of the lights.

Tips for Preventing Spiders from Nesting Near Your LED Lights

As previously mentioned, purple LED lights tend to attract insects, and consequently, spiders as well. To mitigate spider presence, it's a wise choice to configure your LED lights or strips to emit warmer colors. Opt for red, orange, yellow, or plain white LED lights. Additionally, maintaining a clean environment around your lights is essential to remove potential bug food sources.

You can also take measures to reduce heat emission. Although LED lights produce minimal heat, in spaces with limited airflow, consider incorporating a heat sink into the setup. This will help keep the lights cooler, making them less attractive to spiders.

Eliminating the bugs that congregate around your strip lights may require the use of a duster or vacuum cleaner. Ensure thorough removal of any remnants of insect life, as even tiny body parts or cobwebs can beckon new six-legged residents.

If you need to remove your LED strip lights for more effective cleaning, employ a non-abrasive scrubbing brush, such as a nail brush or a baby hairbrush, to gently wipe away residual adhesive. You can also use a hairdryer or a similar source of warm air that won't harm the underlying paintwork to warm the glue, aiding its removal.

Interestingly, citrus-based adhesive removers prove highly effective for dissolving glue and discouraging bugs. These scents are known to deter many bugs and insects. Follow a comprehensive procedure for removing LED strips from a wall.

Consider incorporating cedar chips or oils as natural insect repellents.

While the presence of spiders can be disconcerting, it's worth noting that they can serve as valuable tools for pest control. If a spider is tucked away and not causing any disturbance, you may choose to allow it to remain, as it can help manage other flies and bugs.

Choosing Between LED and Incandescent Light Bulbs

If you've been pondering a switch back to incandescent light bulbs to combat your bug issues, we have some insights to share that might steer your decision. It turns out that the type of bulb you choose may not be the decisive factor in keeping bugs at bay; instead, it's all about how the light appears and feels to these tiny critters.

In the ongoing battle against bugs, your selection between LED and incandescent light bulbs can indeed make a difference. However, pinning your hopes on incandescent bulbs for bug control may not yield the results you desire. The key lies in grasping how insects view and react to light.

Insects, by their very nature, are drawn to sources of light. Yet, LED lights possess unique characteristics that set them apart. They emit minimal heat and produce light in shades that don't quite match insects' preferences. These factors collectively make LED lights a less attractive option for our six-legged companions. Notably, most LED lights do not emit UV light, a spectrum that particularly entices insects.

However, it's worth noting that some LED lights are intentionally designed to emit UV light, which serves various purposes, including insect traps, plant growth lighting, disinfection, and sterilization systems. While humans perceive light wavelengths spanning from violet to red, insects operate within a narrower range of 300-650 nanometers (nm), with a penchant for wavelengths between 300-420 nm, including UV light. Consequently, a light's UV output plays a pivotal role in luring insects. This explains why insect light traps often rely on UV/blacklight bulbs to entice insects.

In the insect realm, there are three primary colors of light: Ultraviolet (UV), blue, and green. Bright white or bluish lights, typical of mercury vapor, white incandescent, and white fluorescent bulbs, rank as the most attractive to insects. Conversely, yellowish, pinkish, or orange-hued lights, including sodium vapor, halogen, and dichroic yellow bulbs, tend to hold the least appeal for the majority of insects.

Beyond the color or wavelength of light, insects are also influenced by brightness and the heat emanating from light sources.

Bulb wattage plays a crucial role in this regard. The higher the wattage rating, the brighter the light and the more it can attract insects. Additionally, bulbs with higher wattages, especially those with glowing filaments like incandescent and halogen bulbs, produce increasing levels of heat. On the contrary, cooler lighting options that generate illumination through gas flow, such as LED, sodium vapor, mercury vapor, and fluorescent lights, emit less heat.

Natural Methods To Prevent And Repel Insects From Your Lights

Water Bowl Attraction: Place a bowl of water near the light source. Insects are drawn to the light's reflection in the water. While this method may result in the demise of the insects, it can be an effective approach if you don't mind this outcome.

Soapy Sugar Trap: Create a soapy solution and put it in a small basin mixed with sugar. Position it in areas where insects tend to gather, such as around your indoor plants and outdoor lights. Once trapped, the bugs will struggle to escape due to the sticky nature of the soap.

Essential Oil Repellent Spray: Craft a repellent spray using essential oils like rosemary, mint, thyme, lavender, or clove oil, and mix it with a small amount of soapy water. Apply this solution to out-of-the-way spots while being cautious around electrical installations and lights. Spritz the area around the light once or twice a day during the insect-heavy summer season.

These natural methods offer effective ways to deter insects from congregating around your lights while avoiding the use of harmful chemicals.