"‘Eco-friendly’ lights found to be worse than sodium ones – but both contribute to insect decline, says study"
"“Eco-friendly” LED streetlights produce even worse light pollution for insects than the traditional sodium bulbs they are replacing, a study has found.
The abundance of moth caterpillars in hedgerows by rural roads in England was 52% lower under LED lights and 41% lower under sodium lights when compared with nearby unlit areas.
In grass margins, moth caterpillar numbers near LEDs were a third lower than in unlit areas, whereas sodium lights had little effect on abundance. The white LED lights are more energy efficient but produce more blue light, say scientists, which is the colour predominantly seen by insects.
Moths are important pollinators and provide essential food for birds and animals, but the total abundance of moths in Britain has dropped by a third over the past 50 years.
Reports of plunging insect populations have alarmed scientists, with the destruction of wild places, pesticides and the climate crisis being major causes. Light pollution is increasing globally and was described by a recent review as an “important but often overlooked bringer of the insect apocalypse”, as it makes insects more visible to predators and disrupts feeding and reproduction."