Finding outdoor lights that don’t attract bugs is easier than you might think. Once you understand a bit of the science behind bugs and lights, you should be able to make informed picks.
So, if you want a bug-free outdoor space, here are 6 outdoor lights that don’t attract bugs.
The relationship between bugs and lights is pretty simple, providing you understand the basics of wavelengths. Light exists on the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes infrared, ultraviolet, and visible light.
Of course, visible light is only the term we use for the part that humans can see, which basically sits somewhere in the middle. Bugs, however, have a different spectrum of visible light. They can see blue, green and ultraviolet (UV).
Insects can see UV light because it helps them navigate. Bees, for example, see UV light reflected off flowers so they know what to pollinate. Luckily, we can use this information to effectively create outdoor lights that don’t attract bugs.
It comes down to 3 simple facts:
- Cool bulbs – with a blue tinge – are the favorite of insects because they can actually see them.
- Warm bulbs, which have a yellow tone, are less attractive to bugs because they simulate sunlight. Look for bulbs with a Kelvin color rating of 2000-3000.
- LEDs will almost always be a better choice than halogen or traditional incandescent bulbs.
Of course, if you want to truly put off bugs, use completely red bulbs. However, this might put off people, too.
Outdoor Lights that Don’t Attract Bugs
When choosing outdoor lights that don’t attract bugs, we simply need to opt for the correct color bulbs. Even so, here are some recommendations for the type of products you should look for if you want a bug-free outdoor space.
Best for Bulb Replacement: Bluex LED Bulbs
These LED bulbs are about as yellow as you can get. While this might not be your favorite ambient color, it’ll certainly mean there are no bugs present on your balcony or patio!
The bulbs have an automatic light sensor that switches them on and off. Of course, you can still control them with the light switch (just leave it turned on if you want them to be automatic).
These bulbs are 40W but the company make plenty of other bulbs with different brightness and fittings.
Best for String Lights: Ohlux String Lights
These string lights have a color rating of 2200K, meaning they’re firmly in the yellow light scale. The bulbs themselves are plastic and rated at IP45, meaning they’re rainproof.
A single string is 55ft. long, but you can connect up to 20 strings! As such, they’re ideal for lighting a patio or even a whole backyard! They’re mains powered, but the plug is waterproof rated, and you could always plug them in indoors if you’re concerned.
Best for Wall Lights: Grenula Solar LED Lamps
These lamps have a base color of warm amber, although there isn’t any Kelvin rating given. However, as it’s the LEDs that are colored, it’s fair to assume they’re yellow-toned with a name like warm amber.
They’re solar-powered, meaning you can install them on walls, around doors, or on decking. Each light is IP45 waterproof rated, so there shouldn’t be any risk of the solar panel breaking (as is common).
You’ll also find a color-changing feature. Granted, it’s not as bright as the base lights, but it’s a nice setting for ambience in the evening.
Best for Hanging Lanterns: Andefine Solar Hanging Lanterns
If you’re looking for something a bit different, these lanterns might fit the bill. They’re designed to look like candles, which gives extra ambience to your outdoor space. At 3,500K, they’re moving more towards white light, but they still have enough yellow tone that they won’t be interesting to bugs.
They’re solar-powered, so will need to be in direct sunlight during the day. However, once they’re charged, you can hang them wherever you want. Each lantern has a clip, but the ring is strong enough to support the lantern if you want to hang it from a hook instead.
Best for Floor Lamps: Visflair Metal Solar Floor Lamps
These solar lamps stand around 36” tall when fully assembled. A nice feature is that they have a plant stand at the bottom, which can fit pots up to 8” in diameter. However, you can remove this if you want, but it makes the lamp shorter.
The bulbs are LEDs rated as warm white, which is still yellow enough to keep bugs away. If you want a more yellow-toned bulb, this lamp will be a better choice. However, the floor lamps discussed here should be fine.
They’re IP65 rated and can last 10 hours on a single charge. As with other solar-powered lamps, they automatically turn on, too.
Best for Tiki Torches: TomCare Solar Flickering Tiki Torches
Like the lanterns above, these LED torches are designed to simulate flickering candles. As such, they produce a very yellow-toned light that’s perfect for keeping the bugs away. They’re solar-powered and can last up to 10 hours on a single charge, although this is less in the winter.
You’re meant to stake them into the ground, but nothing is stopping you from zip-tying them to a railing or fence. Doing so at least gives you some flexibility on placement rather than just jamming them into the ground.
However, if you’re in the market for a real tiki torch, these are a great option. Of course, you don’t have the same light considerations because they produce real flames. On top of this, you can add citronella oil to oil burners, which helps repel bugs anyway.
So, there you have it, our top 6 picks for outdoor lights that don’t attract bugs. There are obviously plenty more products out there, but this should give you enough inspiration for the type of lighting to look for.
The most important rule is to choose warm yellow lights to keep bugs away. On the other hand, set up a UV bug zapper if you want them permanently removed!