Which type of bulbs attract bugs and insects?

You probably know from experience, that if you leave your front porch light or room lights on at night-time then you WILL attract bugs, just as the saying goes, like a moth to a flame. Insects have evolved to navigate by the moonlight, and because bright artificial lighting outshines the moon insects are drawn towards it. And because your porch lamp radiates light in every direction, the creepy crawlies get confused by it and are unable to navigate a straight path. Instead they get trapped in an endless circular dance with the light source.

Although you probably won’t be able to shake off these teeming hordes entirely, there are a couple of thing you can do.

You can start, by choosing the right sort of bulb, that will minimize your exposure to annoying flies, beetles, moths and other airborne pests.

Mercury vapor lights attract night-flying insects the best, incandescent bulbs as well as compact fluorescent bulbs do that pretty well also. But if you want to prevent an insect infestation on your front porch, or in your room, choose either warm-colored LED lamps or compact fluorescent light (also known as CFL) bulbs. Or, if you don’t like LED or CFL bulbs, alternatively you can opt for the yellow colored so called bug light bulbs, because these lamps are specifically designed to ward off fling insects and pests.

Other yellow-toned lighting options that also might work are halogen and sodium vapor bulbs. The reason behind this is that most insects can only sense light that falls within a certain range of wavelengths. And those ‘warm’ colors like red, orange and yellow that correspond to higher wavelengths of light are beyond their range of detection. Meaning that, they aren’t attracted to this type of light. On the other hand, those bulbs that emit a lot of UV wavelength light, corresponding to a cooler, blue hued tint, will attract a much larger cloud of insects, which can result in your home being filled with sleep-bothering insects.

Two other factors to consider in how well a light will attract insects are the BRIGHTNESS of the emitted illumination and HEAT of the light bulb.

Simply put, the brighter and hotter a light is, the more it will draw bugs to it. Even if they emit a yellow-tinted light, high wattage lights (wattage determines the amount of heat emitted by a light), and incandescent and halogen bulbs that have very bright-glowing filaments that tend to radiate a lot of heat, are still not the best option for minimizing the number of insects buzzing around your house at night.

Luckily, numerous light bulbs that are specifically designed to ward off bugs and insects are available on the market right now, and most of them are warm white LED bulbs or CFL lamps that emit a slightly yellow-colored white light, but at a much lower wattage. We particularly recommend the LED light bulb option. Not only will they reduce the number of insects milling around your porch during the night-time, they are also a lot more energy efficient and better for the environment. So it will be a win-win situation for you. Less insects, smaller energy bills, simpler life.


Blogger, editor, developer who loves green living. Interested in photovoltaics and solar lighting. Reviewing solar products since 2013.

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