Hospitality/Leisure, News, Outdoor

Make our floodlights moth-friendly, say footballers

salzburg training ground pitch
The LED sources at the training grounds of the Red Bull Football Academy in Salzburg, Austria are believed to be the first to be compliant to the Association for the Protection of the Environment’s recommendations for minimising disruption to moths.

A LEADING football club has included a requirement that its lighting upgrade must be friendly to the local moth population.

The LED sources at the training grounds of the Red Bull Football Academy in Salzburg, Austria are believed to be the first to be compliant to the Association for the Protection of the Environment’s recommendations for minimising disruption to moths.

These include a reduction in blue, which is known to attack moths, with a limit on the colour temperature of 3000K.

It’s believed is that the reason moths are drawn to luminaires is that they use the moon and the stars to orientate, and that they adjust their flight path to keep the light source at a constant angle to the eye.

Most nocturnally active moths are attracted to light, a phenomenon known as positive phototaxis. 

Sources rich in UV, such as LEDs, greatly increased moth attraction to light. Insects, and especially moths, are particularly sensitive to the UV part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

There have been a number of theories that try to explain this.

It’s believed is that the reason moths are drawn to luminaires is that they use the moon and the stars to orientate.

They adjust their flight path to keep the light source at a constant angle to the eye. 

However, with artificial lights, moths constantly turn inwards to keep themselves at a constant angle to the light.

This ends up in a spiralling path which brings it closer and closer to the light sources.

This light can alter their night-time habitat, negatively impacting reproduction behaviour and leading to a reduction in populations.

The Red Bull Football Academy often hosts late-night and early-morning training sessions.


 Sadio Mané, former Red Bull Salzburg player Pic: The Kop Times

This is when moths are active and the club was keen not to be disruptive to the nocturnal creatures populating the surrounding area.

The Signify luminaires at Red Bull we supplied by floodlighting specialist Stich.

In 2018 the Dutch town of Zuidhoek-Nieuwkoop installed bat-friendly lights, emitting a red colour and using a wavelength that doesn’t interfere with the bat’s internal compass, fundamental for safe nighttime navigation.