Friday, September 6, 2013

Does LED Lighting Attract Bugs?

Have you heard that LED lighting does not attract bugs?

bugs in light

I had indeed heard this, and boy was I surprised! Especially since I have LED lighting all around my home and I still have some bugs! One person came very close to calling me a liar until I explained what I do for a living, that I’ve been installing outdoor LED lighting exclusively for over five years now, and I have the spider webs at my house to prove it. My disclaimer, however, is that my home is my “test facility” and I have a LOT of lights in my yard from the most reputable manufacturers.

But now that we know that LED lighting is not a new bug repellent, let’s take little deeper look at this issue. Bugs are attracted to a lot of things: UV and infrared are just a couple of those things. LED does not emit UV or infrared, but since LED does emit light, it will still attracts bugs - just not as many.  You will see this even more when comparing LED lights with different color light output.  Cooler color light will attract more bugs than warmer color light.  This means that if you use LED lights that are comparable to halogen light color you will see less bugs than if you use the whiter moon light color of LED.

You generally won’t see big moths flying near the LED light fixtures, but you are likely to see some very small bugs buzzing around. You’ll find that some small spiders will notice these bugs as well, and try to catch those little “buggers.”  Once again, you will not see this nearly as much as you do with halogen or incandescent lighting.

In summary, when you hear the claim that LED lighting does not attract bugs, please don’t buy it. I would say that the LED lights attract about 90% less bugs than the other options. While LED sure doesn’t attract anywhere near as many bugs as other outdoor lighting options, it remains a light source that some bugs will still find mighty attractive.

Of course, we always welcome comments and questions below or drop us a line at with your outdoor lighting questions.  You can also visit our website at


  1. Living in the 'land of bugs' (Muskoka, Ontario) and having some unique expertise in the development and use of LED light in outdoor applications I will concur that LED light does in fact attract bugs. I could get all technical and talk about wavelengths and spectrum and how a modern LED creates the warm white light that we enjoy, but that would just be boring to most. I will say that in my experience LED light attracts slightly fewer types of bugs than incandescent but I have not noticed anywhere near a 90% reduction in numbers or species. I would peg it at about 15 to 20% less... Bottom line if you add light to the night you will be attracting bugs.

  2. Thank you for the comment James. I decided not to go into the whole light spectrum thing myself, way too boring.
    It would be interesting to get some feedback from others in different parts of the world. I'm sure your climate in Canada is more "bug friendly" than my area here in central Texas, USA. Maybe our bugs have different vision abilities? I thought I was being conservative with my 90% because the difference here is so big compared to halogen or incandescent light.
    OK everyone who has LED experiences, let's hear from you.

  3. Guys, the bugs are already there. They don't email or text their bug buddies to move locations just because someone has lighting. You are just noticing them because you can see them. Here is a very scientific test you can do. Night 1 go outside without the lighting on and then count how many bites you get. Night 2 do the same with the lights on. I bet it will be basically the same.

    1. That's a thought but you do notice that a boathouse that does not have lighting at night stays much cleaner that one that has lights on. Spider webs are very visible to catch the bugs that like to "play" in the light.