Moth Sheet - Portable Power recommendations

G’day everyone!

My dad and I have been setting up the moth sheet for around a year and have only been setting up our sheet at locations which have power (Friends houses, etc). We have recently decided that we would like to put our moth sheet in more remote locations but that means we need portable power. We were wondering if any fellow moth sheet lovers could give us some advice on purchasing a power bank or even a generator that can power our setup. Currently we are only using two 50W UV bulbs. Any help would be much appreciated.


I use a rechargeable Black+Decker Portable Power Station in locations without an electrical power source. I’m pretty happy with it, perfectly quiet (unlike a fuel-powered generator), but I only get 4-6 hours with the light that I use.


PM @vicfazio3, he’ll have an answer for sure


I use either a twelve volt light or a power inverter plugged in to my cig lighter for my 110 unit.


I’ve had some entomologist friends rave about the Lepiled, which can run off a mobile phone powerbank, but it is pretty pricey and you’ll want to have your bulbs as a backup if something breaks, otherwise you’re looking at a long turnaround time from overseas to replace it. Currently I use a 240v ‘Powertech’ power bank from Jaycar with either a single 50W bulb or a wall-mounted insect zapper with the electrified grid removed. This option can pack into a large backpack with plenty of room to spare for specimen jars and bushwalking gear, and carried into rough terrain.

Would something like this be good to power two 50 watt UV bulbs?

You could try a setup like this:

The link for the UV led strips is no longer valid but if you do a search in Amazon for UV LED USB many selections pop up.

I’ve run these lights at the same time as larger setups and they pull in close to as many species. I think next to a large mercury vapor lamp, they might not compete as well- but hey, you can hike with these for pennies on the dollar.


I use the UV Beast flashlight. It works, but I’m not sure how well compared to more elaborate methods since I haven’t done a simultaneous comparison.


welcome to the forum, @kenkneidel!


That is just an inverter, for converting a low voltage DC source into a higher AC supply. Couple that with a battery and you are talking quite a bit of weight. Here in New Zealand we are 240VAC on our domestic supply, and typically 12VDC for vehicles. I have a 7ah 12V battery that I use a 100W inverter with and I am able to run my 30W homemade skinner trap for about 1-2 hours. The battery weighs about 2.5kg (5lb).

I use a LepiLED with Powerbank…

@martingrimm could you give a sense of how robust the LepiLED is? I’m very interested in a setup that can be easily backpacked (along with camping gear etc.) into very remote locations, and that will last a long time with frequent use. Thanks!

I’ve put together a couple of the rigs from the site above. They work well, but the power packs tend to crap out (i.e. stop holding a charge) relatively quickly. Perhaps a different brand would work better. They do bring in the moths though, especially if you are outside the city where it’s really dark. Finding a way to hang the lights can sometimes be a challenge. They seem to work best when hung a certain distance from the sheet.

Do you have a ballpark figure as to how long the batteries last? This sounds like a simple light source, but if it only lasts 10 minutes it’s not much use. I’m assuming it lasts longer than that!!

How long the battery will last depends totally on wattage of lights and amperage of battery/powerbank–which can vary a lot. Here’s how to calculate it (if it’s got a USB plug, the voltage will be 5 V, not 12 as in this example for a car battery)…

Here are two very different power supplies:


Thank you everyone for your recommendations! After looking at everyone’s recommended power banks and a couple chats with some other iNat members I think that a fuel powered generator is probably the most affordable and efficient option available to me in Australia.

Thanks again to all the forum members who replied :slightly_smiling_face:

I bought it for mothing in Tanzania - and it’s made for things like this. Had it in luggage, in tents, high humidity. Fell down sometimes. Still works.


I operate a LepiLED maxi (see Dr. Brehm’s website for the low down…); have used it for overseas mothing (e.g. the attached photo taken in Sept 2019, Dalma Wildlife Sanctury, Jharkhand, India, observations on iNat)

and taken the powerpack (x2) on international flights in the hand luggage. The LED unit is encased in a short plexiglass tube and runs hot (just over hand hot, so pack a cloth for handling / packing). I run it in conjunction with the Bioquip mothing sheet (fluoresces under uv light) and loop in the light unit on an S hook into one of the guy ropes for the sheet, so don’t need a tripod or other hanging point for the light.
Doesn’t seem to work well in areas impacted with light pollution (e.g. here in Hong Kong), but is good in more rural settings and great when well away from human habitation. The whole kit (light+powerpack+sheet) weighs less than 4lbs (probably less than 3) and can be operational within a few minutes once at the field site.
The LepiLED maxi operates for about 6 hours (plugging directly into a USB port) on a 26,800mAh powerpack (=99.2Wh) - the max size allowed in hand luggage on international flights
Once my mercury vapour lights are all cooked and buried, LED lights will be the way to go, I suspect. Definitely better than lugging around a large bucket trap, gennie, cable and smoking hot mv bulbs from a logistical perspective, though not a match for the mv setup in areas with light pollution.


With a group of friends we were looking to set up a light trap to attract moths. A professor of ours and other friends who have already done it suggested using UVB lights, actinic lights, LED or neon, the problem being they all need to be hooked to the car battery or some other power source which we won’t be able to do given the location where we will be. So my question is, can anyone suggest a light source that is effective but doesn’t require a hook up? Thanks in advance to anyone that can help.