Do Porch Lights Attract Animals?

A porch light serves many purposes, including providing illumination at night. You may be wondering if your porch lights will keep away animals or attract animals to your door. We have made proper research and gathered relevant information to help you.

Some animals are not deterred by light unless it suddenly appears. Other animals may be intrigued by light and attract their attention. Outdoor lights do, however, draw the attention of some insects.

Your porch light could attract harmless animals hovering around your porch. It could also draw the attention of more dangerous ones like a bear. Keep reading to know more about your porch lights and how animals respond to them.

Rustic lantern is shining over the veranda, alpine hut. - Do Porch Lights Attract Animals?

Do Porch Lights Attract Animals?

A backyard of a suburban USA home with a deck and pergola.

Bright lights undoubtedly draw insects, which bats and a few other birds may come to consume. Some animals, like raccoons, may discover that where there is light, there may be food.

Except for predators, most wild animals are largely unaffected by lights as long as they are still. If some animals reside in highly urbanized areas with a lot of lights, some predators like coyotes or raccoons learn to avoid lights when searching for food.

Unless they are extremely hungry, they are less likely to go skulking around a house if there are lights on.

If you need to deter animals on your porch, use motion-activated lights. Some animals are startled by the suddenness of the light. They do not need to be left turned on throughout the night to save energy and money.

Check out VyanLight LED motion-activated lights on Amazon.

Do Bugs, Spiders, and Termites Like Porch Lights?

Porch lights are supposed to create a glow and ambiance around your porch. However, when insects or pests start loitering around, it can cause discomfort for you.


Many are baffled by the reason why bugs are drawn to light. However, if you know why bugs are drawn to your lights in the first place, you can take preventative measures.

Numerous creepy species like moths, mosquitoes, and other insects enjoy artificial light. This can be an alternative to most light solutions focusing on killing bugs rather than deterring them.  

Most insects are phototactic, meaning they naturally move toward or away from light. Positive phototactic insects are drawn to light rather than driven away by it.


Several species of termites swarm late in the day or early in the evening. Like most nocturnal insects, termites will be attracted to light sources around the house, including porch lamps, motion lights, and light reflected from within.


Large Huntsman Spider under porch light waiting for moths to eat.

Unlike bugs, spiders can become disoriented and even lose their sense of direction in the presence of light. Light does not tend to draw the majority of common house spiders. In reality, light frequently confuses the spider's perception of direction. 

However, some species, especially nocturnal spiders, are drawn to strong light sources. Other times, spiders could be drawn to insects lodged in light fixtures.

While spiders only employ light as a navigational aid to locate their food, insects are naturally drawn to lighting sources.

Do Porch Lights Keep Away Bears?

Light doesn't usually scare bears unless it suddenly appears. Some bears are so intrigued that they visit when they see lights. Most bears don't mind porch lights but aren't drawn to them.

Bears react differently to porch lights, depending on the circumstance. If bears are intrigued or a scent draws them, porch lights won't stop them from entering your property.

Bears prefer to stay in the dark and won't follow lights, therefore they won't approach your porch to investigate the light.

Light is not something that bears are afraid of, and most won't consider it a threat. They might simply inspect it if you switch on the light.

However, that doesn't always mean the light attracted the bear; it's more likely that they smelled food or other resources on your property.

How Do Porch Lights Affect Bats?

Fluorescent Front Porch Light with a blue light bulb.

Bats can detect light when they're out hunting at night. Even though some species are drawn to artificial light sources by nearby insects, most bat species normally ignore artificial light.

Bats are nocturnal creatures that have adapted to life in the dark, partly to protect themselves from predatory bird species like hawks and eagles that hunt during the day. As a result, artificial lighting can be quite upsetting to bats. 

Will Porch Lights Keep Racoons Away?

Raccoons are smart animals that won't give up lightly once they've decided to exploit your residence as a food source. They may approach your garden or yard at night, so you should try to get rid of any potential food sources, such as pet food or litter.

Due to their nocturnal nature, raccoons are afraid of the light. Due to their acclimatization to steady light sources, outdoor lights won't deter all raccoons.

Therefore, you should use lights that have movement because the raccoons will be scared off by the light movement.

Is It Good To Leave Outside Lights On At Night?

Porch lights play a crucial role in the security of your property. They assist with vision when entering your home at night and deter intruders.

However, they work best when used with other security tools and at the appropriate periods. Whether at home, work, or on vacation, using your porch lights will help you feel safer and more secure. 

At night when you are at home, It might be wise to leave the porch light on at this time. Particularly if internal lights are also on, it warns intruders of your presence.

The porch light also illuminates the entrance door from behind. You can switch off the lights when you are away from home or on vacation.

Will A Porch Light Keep Coyotes Away?

A coyote is caught on camera during the night. Photographed by a motion activated trail camera, in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada.

Lights do initially startle and frighten coyotes. However, coyotes will no longer be cautious when approaching the illuminated area once they realize that the lights cannot harm them.

Several factors determine whether or not lights are effective at keeping coyotes away from your home.

Bright lights make predators like coyotes and other wolves afraid to hunt since they are scared of being captured.

What Type Of Light Keeps Coyotes Away?

Coyotes will be deterred by predator-deterrent lighting and strobe lights. If the proper lighting is used and you keep your property free of anything that can draw a coyote, they would be discouraged from entering the vicinity.

A simple porch light is far less effective than flashing strobe lights. But even the most powerful lights must be used with other measures, such as clearing your property of any potential coyote food and physically scarring coyotes when you notice them trying to approach.

What Color Of Lights Scare Coyotes?

Colors like red and orange usually appear to coyotes as shades of grey. Red is the ideal color light because coyotes are naturally color-blind. Bright red lights make coyotes afraid of being seen or trapped, which is their greatest fear.

It is a better hue since it has a higher wavelength and provides some buffer from the cutoff of the wavelength of light their eyes can see. They also have trouble seeing green.

What Color Lights Are Bad For Dogs?

Portrait Of Miniature Pinscher on the table

If you're concerned that LEDs will harm your dog, you shouldn't be. There is no difference in terms of safety between LED lights and other light bulbs on the market. However, LEDs are better for your pets than any other light on the market.

Choose hues that are tranquil and soothing if you want to. You might select a pastel-colored blue that is a little lighter. Your dog is more likely to be less agitated by this light color. However, most pets seem at ease in the presence of red and near-infrared light wavelengths.

To Wrap Up

Bright lights attract insects for sure but some animals, like raccoons, may interpret lighted areas as a food source. If you need to deter animals on your porch, use motion-activated lights. Some predators like coyotes wouldn't fear light when they notice it is harmless.

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