Do Flood Lights Keep Animals Away?

Animals can be a real problem if you live in the suburbs near woodlands or grassy areas. Some homeowners have considered placing flood lights around their property to deter them. But does this work? Keep reading to find out.

Why animals are attracted to light

There are a few reasons animals might be attracted to light. For nocturnal animals, like moths, bats, and owls, light can help them navigate at night. For diurnal animals, like many birds, light can signify the presence of food. And for certain species that are active at dawn and dusk—such as deer—light can provide a way to extend their day.

However, not all animals react the same way to light. While some are attracted to it, others are scared off by it. It’s possible that animals are attracted to light because they mistake it for the moon or the sun. This mistaken identity can cause problems for animals that use light cues to help them migrate or forage. For example, moths that fly toward artificial lights at night can become exhausted and die before they reach their destination.

Similarly, baby turtles that hatch on beaches lit by artificial lights may crawl toward the light instead of following the moonlight to the sea. If they don’t make it into the water quickly enough, they can die from dehydration or become easy prey for predators.

How light affects animals’ behavior

Most animals are sensitive to light, but the effects of light on animals vary depending on the species. Many animals are nocturnal, so they are more active at night. However, some animals are active during the day and some are active both night and day.

Light is also used by certain animals to guide their activities. For example, light affects the behavior of moths, who use it for navigation. Light also affects the hunting behavior of predators and the prey’s ability to avoid being caught.

How to keep animals away with light

It’s easier than ever to keep animals away with light. A wide variety of flood lights are available that will deter animals without harming them. These lights can be used to keep animals out of gardens, orchards, and pasture land.

Most animals are nocturnal, so they are most active at night. This is when they are looking for food and water. By shining a light on an area, you can make it less inviting for them.

There are two main types of light that can be used to deter animals: white light and red light. White light is most effective at deterring deer, while red light is most effective at deterring rodents.

What kind of light to use

There is no definitive answer, but there are some general observations that may help you choose the right light. Bright white light, especially LEDs, seems to work best. Yellow “bug lights” are not as effective, and red lights may actually attract some animals.

Motion-activated flood lights are a good option because they will only turn on when an animal is present, and this can startle them enough to keep them away. You may need to experiment with a few different types of light before you find one that works well in your particular situation.

If you are using light to deter deer, it is important to use a strong light that will reach a distance of at least 30 feet. The best time to use the light is from dusk until dawn. You should also use the light in areas where deer are known to travel.

If you are using light to deter rodents, it is important to use a red LED light. This type of light is not as bright as white light, but it is still effective at deterring rodents. The best time to use the red LED light is from dusk until dawn. You should also use the red LED light in areas where rodents are known to travel.

How to position the light

If you don’t want the light shining in your windows at night, you’ll need to position the light so that it’s aimed away from your house. You can do this by pointing the light towards the area you want to illuminate, such as a driveway, garden, or pathway. You should also angle the light upwards so that it casts a wide beam of light.

How often to turn the light on

You should turn the light on for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will give the animal time to leave the area. You may need to do this multiple times a day or night depending on how often the animal is coming around.

How long to keep the light on

You don’t have to keep the light on all the time, but you should turn it on for at least a few hours each night. A good rule of thumb is to keep the light on for as long as you would normally be awake. So, if you’re usually up until 11 p.m., turn the light off at that time.

Other ways to keep animals away

There are other ways to keep animals away from an area that you may want to consider in addition to flood lights. Some of these other methods include:

  • Fencing: A fence can be an effective way to keep animals out of an area. You will need to choose a fence that is tall enough and made of material that the animal cannot easily get through or over.
  • Trapping: If you trap the animals that are getting into your yard or garden, you can remove them from the area. Be sure to check your local laws on trapping before you set any traps, as there may be restrictions on what types of animals you can trap and where you can release them.
  • Repellents: There are a number of commercial repellents available that can help to keep animals away from an area. These repellents usually contain a strong smell or taste that the animal does not like, and they will avoid the area where the repellent has been applied.

In Closing

Flood lights can be a great way to deter animals from coming onto your property. Whether you’re trying to keep deer out of your garden or keep raccoons away from your trash cans, a few well-placed floodlights can do the trick.

NEXT UP: How Bright Is a Flood Light?

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Rebecca Ross
About Rebecca Ross

Rebecca Ross an Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) consultant who runs her own occupational safety consultancy. She focuses on hazardous materials, warehouse safety, fire safety, lab safety, fall protection, head protection and other workplace safety topics. Learn more about Rebecca here or connect with her on Twitter | LinkedIn | Medium