Wednesday, February 8, 2017

SAD and Bat Behavior

Lighting, Health, and Behavior: What You Didn’t KnowIt’s easy to take sunlight for granted until there’s less of it. For those in northern climates, the dark days of winter can take a toll. And who knew that energy-saving LEDs can have a significant effect on bats – and consequently, on the insect populations they help control.

This month, we’re looking at how light influences the health and behavior of humans and animals alike. Read on!

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Feeling down? It may not be cabin fever, but a very real condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Lack of sunlight can affect mood, energy, and even weight gain.

SAD isn’t completely understood, and it’s best to consult your doctor if you’re concerned. It’s believed that less natural sunlight may cause the brain to create less serotonin, which helps regulate mood. Filling your indoor spaces with the appropriate lighting can help alleviate the effects of SAD.

Rather than suffer through months of dark days, why not try your own version of light therapy? Full-spectrum bulbs span all colors of the rainbow and contain infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths. They closely imitate the natural sunlight that’s in such short supply up north.

Full-spectrum bulbs offer a broad range of color temperatures compared to other bulb types. We recommend this line of bulbs for that mid-winter boost:

- CHROMALUX 150A21 / FR3-WAY 12151
- CHROMALUX 150A21 / FR 120V 62-D2 11150
- 40G25 / C / RVL 48694 120V 40W 1500hrs

Bats Gone Batty
Ever wonder why insects are attracted to streetlights? It has to do with the nature of the light they give off. Traditional streetlights emit a broad spectrum of light, including ultraviolet, which attracts insects - and the bats that eat bugs for dinner.

As many municipalities switch to LED streetlights, bat behavior has changed. LEDs don’t emit ultraviolet light. Researchers wanted to learn more.

By recording bat echolocation sounds from equipment placed on LED streetlights in six German cities, scientists discovered that some bat species weren’t affected by LEDs, but others hung around the lights half as often as when the lights housed other types of bulbs. Bats that were sensitive to light came to visit LED streetlights four times as often. According to lead scientist Christian Voigt, “…bats which are sensitive to light might benefit from the increasing use of LED, but opportunistic species will suffer from it.”

What’s the upshot? Using more LEDs in streetlights may attract more insects, including mosquitoes, moths, and beneficial pollinators. But the ecological effect isn’t clearly understood, and the issue is being investigated further.

To learn more, click here.

A better mood could be a light bulb away? Make finding light easier with Bulb Direct. Bulb Direct is lighting the way. Don’t be left in the dark. Check us out at

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-800-772-5267 or you can email us at 

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