1School of Biological Sciences, Life Sciences Building University of Bristol Bristol UK.
lighting is predicted to constitute 70% of the outdoor and residential
lighting markets by 2020. While the use of LEDs promotes energy and cost
savings relative to traditional lighting technologies, little is known
about the effects these broad-spectrum "white" lights will have on
wildlife, human health, animal welfare,
and disease transmission. We conducted field experiments to compare the
relative attractiveness of four commercially available "domestic"
lights, one traditional (tungsten filament) and three modern (compact
fluorescent, "cool-white" LED and "warm-white" LED), to aerial insects,
particularly Diptera. We found that LEDs attracted significantly fewer
insects than other light sources, but found no significant difference in
attraction between the "cool-" and "warm-white" LEDs. Fewer flies were
attracted to LEDs than alternate light sources, including fewer Culicoides
midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Use of LEDs has the potential to
mitigate disturbances to wildlife and occurrences of insect-borne
diseases relative to competing lighting technologies. However, we
discuss the risks associated with broad-spectrum lighting and net
increases in lighting resulting from reduced costs of LED technology.