LED light to attract moth

Hello, I am a 4th year college student and I am here to ask some question about my undergraduate thesis.

Is it okay if I only use LED light 20W for my light trap? Will it still attract moths?

1 Like

From my limited experience and conversations with entomologists, you will attract some species but you’ll miss out on a lot of others.
One entomologist I worked with used a combination of low power UV light, a mixed spectrum light and something else I forgot. All low power for portability.
Another bug guy uses a high power (200W) mixed spectrum light and a white blanket. Both tend to attract slightly different species.
The low power version also is probably less effective when having light sources (artificial or natural like the moon) around.

Your success in attracting certain species will also depend on their ecology. If you have species that mostly stay in tree tops, having a light trap on the ground isn’t gonna yield great results. In this case an eclector trap in a tree with an LED light might be a good option. But I think eclectors are mostly for beetles and don’t work well with moths.

As you can see it heavily depends on what your goals with your thesis are to know what’s likely gonna yield the best results


I run both fluorescent tube black lights and LED black lights and have experimented with several types of both. In my experience, the fluorescent tubes are far better than the LEDs in terms of moth numbers and species diversity. I still get some moths at the LEDs but nowhere near as many as at the fluorescent tube kind.


I use a 20W bulb but it’s not LED https://www.angleps.com/shop-all/p/20w-compact-actinic-bulb It works really well for me even with street lights and other houses close by. It’s more the type of light rather than just having any light source.


When you say “light trap” I’m assuming you’re referring to something like a bucket with a funnel and a light on top left out overnight and not a light sheet? I use both methods and personally find the light sheet a lot more fun.

I’ve found white LEDs don’t seem to attract much of anything. Black light LEDs work well, but not quite as well as fluorescent black lights. Light bulbs for bug zappers similar to the one @WildEdges mentioned are even better.
The best lights for attracting moths and other insects are mercury-vapor bulbs, but these usually require a ballast which is difficult to find and expensive.

I use black lights similar to these for my overnight moth traps.
Running off a 50,000mAh power bank they will last almost all night.

If you have any questions about setting up a light sheet let me know, I’d be happy to help.


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.