Simulation of the lunar cycle using parking lot lights to study the behavior of nocturnal insects

In Glare, an art installation specially developed for Death in Venice exhibition conceived by Florian Hüttner, Nana Petzet transforms the disused Alpamare car park in Bad Tölz into an experimental arrangement. Fifteen spherical street lamps that had been out of service for a long time were re-equipped with the (now banned) mercury vapor lamps (HQL), which are still used by entomologists to capture light because of their strong attraction for nocturnal insects. The spherical lamps that make up the parking lot lighting also do not meet today’s requirements for environmentally friendly street lighting, partly because they emit light in all directions, i.e. they do not only illuminate where the light is needed. However, they offer the possibility of experimentally investigating the question of why nocturnal insects approach artificial light sources at all. Are the insects more likely to be attracted or simply dazzled and lost orientation? Why do some nocturnal species fly to artificial light sources while others don’t? And what does the phenomenon have to do with natural, cosmic light sources, the moon and the stars? Nana Petzet shaded the lights according to the moon phases of a lunar cycle and documented the approach with the help of eklektors (impact traps). A different catch result can already be read from the differently shaded lights, but this does not necessarily follow logic: more light, more catches. The samples resulting from the nightly activities are presented in the south hall and will be evaluated by experts after the end of the exhibition.


Car wrapping foil was used to darken the spherical street lamps according to the phases of the moon

3 The lunar cycle was shown in a 2-day rhythm


5 Impact traps (eklektors) are placed below the light source overnight



8 Yield of Eklektor Trap on Luminaire #1 the morning after opening, 07/31/2022


Press: Im Grünen, Ausstellung in Bad Tölz (08.08.2022)

Ill. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, photo: Marc Wiebach
Ill. 5, photo: Manfred Neubauer