Sunday, April 28, 2013

Belated Home Wood Update..........

.....As well as the ongoing survey of the wood, myself and Trent Duval were also testing a new light source for use with a battery. We put the traps 10 metres apart in a location that we've used many times before and simply compared the catch. The trouble is, from early on it was clear that the original Actinic/UV was performing much better than the low voltage 4.8w white LED lights on the other trap. By the next day the extent of the difference was very clear despite the LED appearing(to our eyes at least!) to be far brighter than the actinic.
Original battery 30w actinic/UV
The whole reason for the experiment was to devise an extremely light alternative to lugging the heavy car battery into the wood. The fold down sides and control box already fit into a rucksack, so the battery is the stumbling block. Here is the list for the original-

36 moths of 11 species-

0663  Diurnea fagella  4
1746  Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata)  1
1927  Brindled Beauty (Lycia hirtaria)  3 NFS
1930  Oak Beauty (Biston strataria)  5
1947  Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata)  2
2182  Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda)  9
2187  Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)  3
2188  Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta)  1
2190  Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)  2
2258  Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)  5
+ 1 micro to identify

 4.8w white LED version
Alas, as can be seen by the low catch. Moths clearly don't really like the LED lights. So back to the drawing board as I don't think there is an actinic LED solution out there? If filters or a coating for the lights could be used- could it be made to work? A shame really, because weight and size wise, it's perfect. Strangely though, it was preferred by one species; Streamers seemed to like it! More info HERE

Just 5 moths of 4 species-

1747  Streamer (Anticlea derivata)  2
2182  Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda) 1
2190  Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 1
+ 1 acleris sp. to be identified


  1. It's the light that you can't see that makes the difference, and I would doubt that there is anything exciting in the spectrum from bright white LEDs (probably nothing under 400nm). I do like to add some visible light to my actinic combo traps though as it does help with some species. Reminds me - I need to get a new 22W Synergetic ring.

  2. Those LED arrays are only 2.4 watts each, so an actinic/UV type would be perfect- if they even exist? I'll let Trent do some further research..............

  3. See if you can get these from Maplins ...

  4. Interesting report, thanks guys :) such a shame it didn't work as well as hoped.

  5. I do like that prolite star thing! After having a quick look around, there are a few different solutions. Strips, stars, and individually wired UV LEDs all available for 12v back to the workshop to prepare for another test in May.