Brandburg has released a range of LED insect traps that outperforms its well established fluorescent range.
Manufacturing electronic fly traps since 1961, Brandenburg has grown to become an industry leader, with a customer base in over 140 countries. Its Genus range of fluorescent fly traps has been trusted by pest managers for many years.
Nine years ago, the R&D team at Brandenburg set out on a mission to develop products that offer customers the fly catch performance they have come to expect, along with the chance to reduce their energy consumption for fly traps in accordance with the UN SDG target for 2030. This meant using LEDs instead of fluorescent technology.
According to Ian Harper, sales and innovation director at Brandenburg, the journey from fluorescent to LED has not been simple and took far longer to achieve than originally anticipated.
“Our new LED range is a technological upgrade of our renowned Genus range of fluorescent light traps. It has taken over nine years, 3000 prototypes and over 18,000 tests to get to a point where our LED units perform better than our fluorescent range,” he said.
“Our objectives were clear right from the start: the LED units had to perform better than our fluorescent units, with energy consumption reduced by a minimum of 50% and CO2 emissions also reduced. Achieving these challenging internal criteria meant that we had to completely re-evaluate our understanding of fly response to UV from an LED source.
“All insect light traps work on a principle of positive phototaxis i.e. the fly’s instinctive attraction to a UVA light source. However, early in the development of our LED range, we realised that even though LED light has far more pure UV intensity and travels further than fluorescent light, the flies did not behave as expected. When they approached the trap, they displayed signs of confusion and moved away from the light trap. We learned and unlearned through this process. Further studies taught us that there is a threshold of UVA intensity, beyond which positive phototaxis is reversed.
“We realised that we could manage the UVA intensity by using the correct materials and paying close attention to the optimisation of the LEDs, thereby achieving a dramatic improvement in performance and energy savings.
“In achieving this, we have shattered the popular myth that LED fly traps can never be as effective as fluorescent traps and developed a versatile range of fly traps that actually deliver up to 49.3% faster fly catch compared to our fluorescent range, while reducing carbon emissions and energy costs by up to 82%.”1
1 Data from Brandenburg internal testing