Summer brings the promise of sunny days, long weekends, backyard barbecues, and lots of insects. It doesn't take long for a good time to turn into something miserable when an insect swarm starts heading in your direction.
Several products can provide a measure of assistance when you have this issue. From citronella candles to a potent bug repellent, the tools you use can make life at least a little more comfortable.
The one tool you might not have tried is a yellow bug lamp. These light bulbs aren't meant to act as an extermination tool or draw them to a specific location. Its light wave frequency is less attractive to insects, which means you'll bring fewer of them to your outdoor venues.
Being less visible won't solve the problems that mosquitoes and other bugs bring when they see you as a food source. What they can do is make you less visible when you're outside enjoying some down time.
Color temperature and light wavelength have an inverse relationship. That means as the waves stretch out longer, the colors become warmer. The lowest color temperatures are in the red and yellow spectrum, while the shortest is in the violet and blue range.
When a light bulb gets colored yellow, the product sees an immediate decrease in its color temperature. That makes it harder for insects to see the light.
That's how bug lights work. By creating wavelengths that aren't detectable by their vision, you'll see a lower population around homes and businesses that use this technology.
A bug light won't solve every problem. Some insects are naturally attracted to the yellow light wavelength, which means some will still fly toward the source. It's also important to remember that lamps produce multiple wavelengths, even if a specific color is targeted.
That means insects attracted to those “stray" wavelengths would still be attracted to the bug lamp.
Does a light's color matter to an insect? Some bugs are drawn to the light, while others are repelled.
Some colors have a more significant influence on insect behavior than others. The primary theory is that bugs use the sun or the moon as navigational tools, which means any bright light source becomes a secondary “map." It confuses them to see another light, which causes them to be drawn to it.
Yellow bulbs are less attractive to insects than blue bulbs. The light type that bugs see depends on the eye structure it uses. Adults have bichromatic or trichromatic vision, which means they have two or three color receptors, respectively.
When there's a lower light wavelength available, it's less visible to most insects because of their eye structure. That's why yellow bulbs are less attractive. This fact also applies to orange and red colors.
Since most people want more light than what a red bulb provides, the best option that reduces insect attraction without being overly dark is a yellow bulb.
If you don't have a yellow bug lamp right now, the next best solution is to move the light away from your home. Insects can be attracted to indoor lights, even if you have the outdoor ones disengaged. You're likely to see bugs clustering around your door and window screens, trying to get to the light they see.
High-pressure sodium, incandescent, and yellow CFL light bulbs radiate less blue and UV light, reducing the attraction levels that insects have to the spectrum in that area.
With a bug light, you receive the same outdoor lighting you want without having clouds of insects crowding around the fixture. If you switch to LED lights in the same color temperature range, you can achieve a similar result while reducing heat output and increasing longevity.
You can check the color temperature of LED bulbs to get something within the correct spectrum without necessarily paying for colorization or added manufacturing costs. You'd also use an energy-efficient design compared to CFL or incandescent options.
With these color temperatures, your best solutions for bug lamps are in the amber or warm rating. You'd want to stay at 2,700K or below.
In return, you can reduce the number of bugs that come to your lights at night!