Ever switched on the lights in your room just for a swarm of insects to dance around the warm light being emitted and irritating you to the ends of the earth and back? Well, the Scientists of the world have heard your silent pleas and have come up with the ultimate solution to this bug, no pun intended.
Scientists have devised a bulb that emits less blue and green wavelengths, which they claim is 20 per cent less appealing to moths and other bugs. The technology could also save lives in the tropical regions of the world, where insects carry a multitude of potentially fatal diseases. Light emitted by conventional bulbs is attractive to a range of insects, drawing them out from the night and straight into your home.
While you may imagine that the brightness of a light bulb may dictate how many insects are drawn towards it, scientists from the University of Southern California say it’s the colour of the light that matters most. Travis Longcore, associate professor of spatial sciences at the university, said future LED bulb designs could be customized to be less attractive to specific insect species.
All insects are attracted to white light, a combination of all colors, but different insects are sensitive to particular combinations of these wavelengths. For example, blue, violet and ultraviolet wavelengths are especially attractive to moths, so these wavelengths were turned down in the experimental light bulb. The light it emitted, still appeared white to humans. Professor Longcore led a team, with help from Philips Research in the Netherlands, with the aim of reducing the number of insects an LED bulb can attract while still maintaining white light for indoor use. The bulbs were tested against off-the-shelf commercial LED bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs and a control with no bulb.
We eagerly await the widespread manufacture and distribution of these life-saving bulbs.