Study

Attraction of nocturnal insects to street lights: A study of municipal lighting systems in a rural area of Rheinhessen (Germany)

  • Published source details Eisenbeis G. & Hassel F. (2000) Zur Anziehung nachtaktiver Insekten durch Straßenlaternen: Eine Studie kommunaler Beleuchtungseinrichtungen in der Agrarlandschaft Rheinhessens. Natur und Landschaft: Zeitschrift fur Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege, 75, 145-156.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use low intensity lighting

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Use ‘warmer’ (red/yellow) lighting rather than other lighting colours

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Use low intensity lighting

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1997 in three sites in a rural built-up area in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (Eisenbeis & Hassel 2000) found that lower intensity yellow lights attracted fewer moths than higher intensity and broader spectrum lights. Under lower intensity yellow lights (high-pressure sodium ellipsoid lamps, HSE), the number of moths caught (2–8 individuals/trap/day) was less than the number caught under higher intensity lights with a broader range of visible and ultra-violet (UV) light (high-pressure mercury-vapour lamp, HME: 8–28 individuals/trap/day; high-pressure sodium-xenon lamp in tube form, HSXT: 8–25 individuals/trap/day), but higher than at a trap with no light (0 individuals/trap/day). At each of three sites, three different light types (HSE: 50–70 W, yellow light with very little UV light; HME: 80 W, visible and UV light; HSXT: 80 W, visible and UV light) were compared to a control without light. From May–September 1997, flying insects (including moths) were sampled for 60 nights using flight eclector traps installed below each lamp.

    (Summarised by: Anne-Christine Mupepele)

  2. Use ‘warmer’ (red/yellow) lighting rather than other lighting colours

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 1997 in three sites in a rural built-up area in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (Eisenbeis & Hassel 2000) found that yellow lights with a lower intensity attracted fewer individual moths than broader spectrum lights with a higher intensity. Under yellow, lower intensity lights (high-pressure sodium ellipsoid lamps, HSE), the number of moths caught (2–8 individuals/trap/day) was less than the number caught under lights with a broader range of visible and ultra-violet (UV) light at a higher intensity (high-pressure mercury-vapour lamp, HME: 8–28 individuals/trap/day; high-pressure sodium-xenon lamp in tube form, HSXT: 8–25 individuals/trap/day), but higher than at the trap with no light (0 individuals/trap/day). At each of three sites, three different light types (HSE: 50–70 W, yellow light with very little UV light; HME: 80 W, visible and UV light; HSXT: 80 W, visible and UV light) were compared to a control without light. From May–September 1997, flying insects (including moths) were sampled for 60 nights using flight eclector traps installed below each lamp.

    (Summarised by: Anne-Christine Mupepele)

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