Why Do Campers Have Blue Lights?

Van dwellers often add lamps with adjustable lighting to their vehicles. That way, they can choose the light color they like and the brightness they want. You can’t help but notice blue lights in other people’s campers, and you wonder why they have blue lights.

Campers have blue lights because these lights are bright and beautiful and can deter certain bugs. Many bugs find detecting blue difficult. However, some bugs, such as flies, like blue lights. While blue lights can benefit campers, high exposure to blue lights can negatively affect the eyes.

So, should you add blue lights to your camper? Keep reading and explore blue lights in more detail to help you decide whether or not blue lights would be a good addition to your camper. 

Are the Blue Lights on Campers Really To Keep Away Bugs?

bugs white background

So it seems that many van dwellers have blue lights in their vehicles. You’ve been told the lights can keep bugs away, but do they?

Blue lights on campers are really to keep away bugs, but only certain bugs. These lights may also be useful for keeping pests like rodents away. However, blue lights may attract sandflies and flies. Flies like house flies and fruit flies like LED’s UV-A lights. 

Whether it’s bright or dim lights, flies are attracted to them. Flies may want to relax or groom themselves in these conditions. So, does it mean using blue lights for your camper isn’t the best idea?

Flies Usually Don’t Go Out at Night

You might think, “Maybe using blue lights isn’t a good idea after all.”

Considering other lights isn’t wrong. However, there’s no need to worry much about flies when using blue lights at night. That’s because most flies rest at night. They hide under grasses, trunks, or branches. That means you can use blue lights conveniently at night to deter certain bugs, such as ants and termites, without worrying about attracting flies.

fly with its reflection

Also, flies have color preferences that change during the day. They tend to avoid anywhere with blue light during the day.

Not All Bugs Like Blue Lights

Blue lights are often used for insect control because some bugs dislike blue lights during a certain time of the day. These bugs prefer other colors, such as green. A study found that bugs are attracted to ultraviolet lights; blue is less powerful than UV lights, so bugs don’t always find blue appealing.

Light Intensity Influences the Number of Bugs Attracted to the Light

Scientists have found that light intensity correlates with how many bugs are attracted to the light. Bugs like flies become increasingly drawn to lights (such as blue lights) the more intense the lights are. Flies are also more attracted to lights the dimmer the lights are. That’s because flies like lights that are about 5 to 10 lux. In such light intensity, flies rest or clean themselves.

So does that mean flies would still hang around your camper at night when the lights are bright or dim? Not necessarily. The reason is that flies like to rest in branches or trees, away from humans. However, other bugs like mosquitoes may be drawn to your camper’s blue lights.

Related Article:
How to Avoid Bugs While Sleeping Outside Without a Tent
How to Keep Bugs Out of a Pop Up Camper

Blue light is calming

Blue light is known to be calming and relaxing, which can help campers fall asleep at night. This might be the reason you see mainly those blue tones around RV camps.

Blue Lights Are Handy for Killing or Deterring Pests

As discussed earlier, bugs like mosquitoes and flies are attracted to blue lights.

Even if you don’t need to worry much about blue lights attracting flies at night (as they usually rest under branches in dark places), you may still worry about attracting mosquitoes that are active at night, like the Anopheles coluzzi. This mosquito causes Malaria, and while it’s photophobic to blue during the day, it’s attracted to blue at night.

That said, avoid using blue lights in your living space. You don’t want to use blue lights outside your camper unless the blue lights lure bugs into a bug trap. 

Use Bug Trap Units With Blue Lights To Zap Flying Pests

Bugs like flies and mosquitoes can be a real nuisance, so people set up bug trap units at home or in their vehicles. These bug zappers usually come with blue or purple lights.

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When mosquitoes, sandflies, moths, or flies notice these lights, they approach these lights. These insects are sensitive to the wavelength of these colors. When the bugs land on the traps, they get zapped to death. 

Some people use orange or red lights to deter bugs so they can avoid using these zappers. However, this method is only effective short-term.

Related Articles:
Should You Bring a Bug Zapper Camping?
Should You Leave a Bug Zapper on All Night?

Keep Pests Away Using Blue Lights

Some campers install blue LED lights on their campers to keep pests like rodents away. Mice, for example, can get depressed when exposed to blue lights at night. A depressed mouse won’t be as active as it normally would, especially at night; hence blue lights keep mice activities during the night at bay. However, note that blue lights during the day don’t lead mice to depression.

In general, though, rodents tend to avoid anywhere bright as an act of survival. So turning on blue lights—or bright lights in general—can lower the chances of rodents hanging around your camper. 

Since ants and termites are also sensitive to blue, they dislike the color and may avoid exposing themselves to such lights.

Here’s a nice video to check if you’re looking to install your own DIY setup of blue lights:

Blue Lights Are Cool, But Not Always Necessary

By now, you already know that blue lights can be good for keeping certain bugs and some pests away. That’s great to know, especially when you often camp where bugs like mosquitoes can be prolific. So, should you add blue lights to your camper?

The following discusses reasons blue lights aren’t always necessary. 

Many studies looked into the benefits & desadvantages of blue light. Let’s have a look.

New Non-Blue LED Lights Can Keep Insects Away

Since blue lights can negatively affect eye health, there have been concerns regarding the use of blue lights, especially indoors. Fortunately, using blue lights to keep bugs at bay isn’t necessary. 

A study found that non-blue LED lights prevent insects from entering homes more effectively than those with UV or blue wavelengths. Unless you plan on zapping bugs, consider using LED lights with wavelengths that may deter bugs from coming.

Blue Lights Can Look Inviting, but They’re Bad for the Eyes

Some people use blue lights in their campers because they’re easier on their vision. Blue lighting also gives out a relaxing vibe, helping them to relax.

Since blue lights are easier on the eyes, they won’t need to worry about waking up their roommate. Furthermore, blue lighting is bright enough to help them see where they’re going.

However, blue lights have their downsides. They’re not good for the eyes. These lights could lead to retinal damage or quicker aging.


Campers have blue lights because blue lighting can seem inviting. Another reason is blue lights can keep bugs and pests away. Since bugs rely on the moonlight for navigation, they get “lost” when exposed to blue lights. These bugs are sensitive to blue lights at night. As a result, they’re drawn toward blue lights. 

For this reason, many companies promote bug zappers with blue lights. Using blue lights to deter bugs may not be necessary unless you use them for bug trap units. Today, there are LED lights that can reduce the number of bugs entering your home or vehicle.

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