Use low intensity lighting
Overall effectiveness category Awaiting assessment
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Artificial lighting disrupts the activity of nocturnal moths, for example altering feeding behaviour (van Langevelde et al. 2017). Brighter, higher intensity lights are likely to be more attractive, or to disrupt individuals over a wider area as the light reaches further into the darkness. Reducing the intensity of lights used at night may help to minimize the impact on moths, while maintaining lighting for people in key areas (Gaston et al. 2012).
Gaston K.J., Davies T.W., Bennie J., Hopkins J. (2012) Reducing the ecological consequences of night-time light pollution: options and developments. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49, 1256–1266.
van Langevelde F., van Grunsven R.H.A., Veenendaal E.M. & Fijen T.P.M. (2017) Artificial night lighting inhibits feeding in moths. Biology Letters, 13: 20160874.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
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.Study and other actions tested