Yellow light bulbs have gained popularity in various outdoor settings, especially in porch lights. You may have wondered why some people opt for these yellow bulbs instead of traditional white ones. In this article, we will explore the purpose and functionality of yellow light bulbs and their impact on insects.
Understanding Yellow Light Bulbs
Yellow light bulbs, often in the form of standard A19 60-watt bulbs with a medium (E26) screw base, emit a warm yellow light when turned on. They can be used in any location where regular bulbs are suitable, with the only difference being the color of light they produce.
Repelling Flying Insects
One of the key benefits associated with yellow light bulbs is their ability to reduce the presence of flying insects around the light source. If you’ve ever noticed an abundance of insects near a regular light bulb in your porch, you’ll appreciate the effectiveness of yellow light bulbs in curbing this issue.
The Science Behind It
Contrary to popular belief, yellow light bulbs do not repel insects, and white light bulbs do not attract them. In fact, neither type of light has the ability to kill insects. The notion that bug zappers effectively eliminate insects is also a misconception. The light from bug zappers attracts insects, but it is the charged mesh in front of the light that ultimately eliminates them.
The science behind why yellow light bulbs deter flying insects is still a topic of debate. Some experts suggest that flying insects are unable to perceive yellow light, similar to how humans cannot see infrared or ultraviolet light without assistance. Others point to the color temperature of the light, explaining that insects mistake white light for the moon, which they use as a navigational aid. However, the proximity of the light bulb prevents insects from utilizing it effectively for navigation.
Preferred Explanation: The Color Factor
One widely accepted explanation revolves around the color or color temperature of the light emitted by yellow bulbs. While insects can perceive yellow light to some extent, the close resemblance between a white light bulb and the moon confuses them. Nocturnal insects, which have evolved to fly and feed at night, rely on the moon for navigation. The similarity between the round, white light bulb and the round, white moon leads to insects mistaking the light bulb for a navigational guide, although it is ineffective at longer distances.
Where to Find Yellow Light Bulbs
Yellow bug lights, also known as “Bug Away” lights, can be readily found in hardware and home improvement stores. Alternatively, they are available for purchase online, providing a convenient option for those seeking to acquire them. Yellow bug lights are available in both fluorescent (CFL) and incandescent variations, allowing consumers to choose the option that best suits their preferences and energy-saving needs.
Yellow light bulbs have proven effective in reducing the presence of flying insects around outdoor lighting fixtures. While the exact mechanism behind their impact on insects is still a subject of discussion, the color and color temperature of the light play crucial roles. By opting for yellow light bulbs, individuals can enjoy the benefits of reduced insect activity while illuminating their outdoor spaces with a warm and inviting glow.