Lighting Myth #1: Spotlights Scare Wildlife

LED Lighting systems

Most people think that a motion activated spotlight will chase away unwanted wildlife. This is true for the first encounter, but after that most Florida animals will adapt. Raccoons will react and run the first time they encounter it, but if there is no threat when the light comes on, (i.e. a person yelling at them) they learn it is just a light and disregard it and go about their business. Armadillos won’t see the light, they are nearly blind. Possums will play dead and then go about their business if no one comes to chase them off. Lastly, bears will be curious about the light and why it comes on and have been known to actually try to figure out how to make it go on and off. The one type of wildlife that does react to it is panthers; they do tend to shy away from the light. Everyone else just gets used to it and goes on with their business as usual.

Domesticated or feral cats and dogs will react to the light. If they are totally feral (wild with no human contact) they will stay away from the area of the light, but if they are strays that have had human contact, they can be attracted to it. Mice, bats and other small vermin such as fruit rats or voles will shy away the edges but move around it, often setting it off repeatedly as they go about their lives in your yard.

Animals have learned to adapt to the presence of humans and often learn the habits of the people better than the people know the habits of the animals. So a spotlight might give an initial shock to them but they will adapt and not be scared off by it for more than a few times.

A better solution is the use of owl statues placed with a LED lighting system so that animals see the shape of a natural predator in the shadows. Movable statues are even better because if the figure is always in the same place they will get used to it. If the predator shape moves around the yard, the animals will react instinctively to avoid it and eventually view that yard as a threat zone. The exception to this of course is bears; they like to play with the owl statues, but bears are pretty much the exception to every rule in Florida.

If you want to keep out the wildlife as much as possible, going with the owl statue is a much better and less costly idea than using motion detector spotlights. It will also be much less likely to cause you to go insane constantly checking to see what tripped the light. Unless you are right at the window when it goes on, you won’t see what tripped it — the wildlife will have gone by the time you get there. You will be left wondering what was out there, and that can be far worse than having a raccoon in the garbage.

 

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2017-10-03T15:10:58+00:00By |FAQs, Florida|

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