Summertime is meant for food and games outdoors with family and friends. But if an infiltration of insects is souring everyone’s mood, you might be forced to bring the party indoors. One way to stay outside is to know what color light is best for deterring bugs.
What Colors Insects Can See
The human eye can see from about 380 to 750 nanometers on the color spectrum, which amounts to about one million different colors. However, unlike insects, we cannot detect ultraviolet (UV) light. Our buzzing pals prefer colors as low as 300 nanometers on the color spectrum, which fall in the prime range for UV light.
The amount of ultraviolet radiation emitted by a light source is perhaps the most crucial component in determining how appealing light is to insects. Because of insects’ strong affinity for UV light, most bug-zappers and traps make use of UV and blacklight bulbs.
That said, bugs have limited color vision, mostly limited to UV, blue, and green, so they are primarily intrigued by very bright white or blue lights. The color of the light is only half the battle because insects also react to a light’s physical warmth and intensity.
Insects are like seniors in the Midwest: they like the heat. People move to Florida to escape the cold, but bugs try to find a heated light source. Old light fixtures with incandescent bulbs or similar wattage are homing devices for bugs.
Fortunately, LED lights don’t have that problem because they give off much less heat than other lighting fixtures. Because of that, some bugs might look for a more alluring option elsewhere. LEDs also don’t produce any UV radiation. Instead of emitting white light, LED lights utilize a spectrum of colors to create a white-like appearance.
Pick the Right Color
Some colors are repellent to many bugs, and trying them out may make your outdoor rendezvous more relaxing for all. The three colors of light you’ll want to decorate your patio with come from the ROY section of our pal ROY G. BIV. Yellow is the best option because it mimics sunlight. Insects aren’t too keen on sunlight, so they should leave your yellow bulbs alone. Orange will elicit a similar reaction. However, while orange and red will keep the insects away, they won’t help you see your surroundings in the dark. Yellowish or pinkish bulbs from the light bulb store should keep the swatting minimal.
Learning what color light is best for deterring bugs is a blessing during those hot, sticky summer days. Nothing can ruin a good night more quickly than flies swarming on your food and mosquitoes treating your body like a freestyle soda machine.
Stylighting wants to keep the good times rolling all summer long with our selection of LED lights, which can fend off these multi-legged annoyances.