The Light Choice: CFL or LED?

Bug Zapper

Bug Zapper

Consumers can choose among several lighting options including tradtional incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL) and light emitting diode (LED). What is the best choice for your insect trap? What is the best for your porch? A group of Dutch Scientists* compared light trap catches using white LED and white CFL lights of similar quality. The CFL trap caught 3 times more insects than the LED. The conclusions: Use CFLs in your light trap. Use an LED for your porch light or other light when the goal is avoiding nocturnal insects.

Q. Why did the moth go to the psychiatrist’s office?
A. The porch light was on.

*Effects of residential energy-saving lamps on the attraction of nocturnal insects. S Poiani, C Dietrich, A Barroso and AM Costa-Leonardo. Lighting Research and Technology. published online 14 March 2014
DOI: 10.1177/1477153514526880 

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Pest Management. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Light Choice: CFL or LED?

  1. anastaciast says:

    Hello, Been trying to find out an answer to a question that may involve insects. In the Midwest, why is yellow the dominant flower color in the prairie? Checked with Chris Helzer and he doesn’t know. I was wondering if it was insect-related. Thanks!

  2. jjneal says:

    What appears to us as yellow may appear differently or even patterned to insects that see UV.
    Ornamentals have more color variety because plant breeders select for color.

  3. anastaciast says:

    Back to the lighting question, then. Should we use white LEDs in the porch light?

    I try to avoid odd colors when planting annuals. I like to plant marigolds and petunias. This year, the FFA classes planted a community garden next door. They planted very large Zinnias in orange and yellow. These Zinnias were constantly feeding butterflies, bees, wasps, etc. I’ve never planted Zinnias, but now I’ve decided it would be a good idea. The Marigolds and Petunias don’t attract spit.

  4. anastaciast says:

    Hi! I just read this article and if you hadn’t seen it, I thought you and your readers would appreciate it. Sadly, I am not tech-savvy enough to know how to share a link, but here is the title and first paragraph, which may help.

    How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

    Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?

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