Will Lights Keep Coyotes Away?

Will Lights Keep Coyotes Away

You’re inside, watching your favorite television show with your family. It’s late, and you’re about to yell at everyone to get ready for bed.

As soon as you shut off the tv, you hear the never-ending yips of a pack of coyotes in a nearby den, not too far off from your home.

Is there any way you can make sure those coyotes stay away from your home?

There are some ways, and lights are a good place to start – but, it may not last.

At first interaction, lights do scare and deter coyotes, there’s actually a few things that scare coyotes that we’ve mentioned in another article!

However, once coyotes learn that bright lights cannot harm them, they will no longer be wary of approaching the lit area.

Whether or not lights work to deter coyotes away from your home depends on a multitude of factors.

The main factor is that once coyotes learn and realize that lights are nothing but lights, they won’t be afraid of approaching that lit area any longer.

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Bright Lights Will Only Keep Coyotes Away for a Little While

coyote in yard

The primary type of light that we’re most likely thinking of here is a standard motion sensor light.

Individuals use these lights to help protect against predators and coyotes alike.

Motion sensor lights are extremely bright lights that have a motion sensor attached to them.

They are relatively straightforward, but essentially whenever an object or person crosses the path of the motion sensor light, the light turns on and makes the entire area visible.

Generally, bright motion sensor lights are placed on the front, back, or side of buildings for security purposes.

They’re used to detect potential criminals from entering buildings from dimly lit entrance points.

For our purposes, we like to use them to see if any predators are approaching our area.

Coyotes Avoid Light So They Don’t Get Caught

Motion Sensor Light Outside of House

As far as motion sensors go, we have a few outside of our house.

This is a motion sensor that we have outside on our back deck facing the woods and forest.

We’ve had this motion sensor light turn on a few times, but when it’s come on, I haven’t noticed any coyotes or other large predators.

That being said, when the light DOES go off, it could be a small night animal, such as a skunk, raccoon or opossum and not necessarily a coyote or large predator.

Just to clarify, coyotes and other predators DISLIKE bright lights because it makes them realize their biggest fear – that of being exposed or caught.

However, that fear will quickly be extinguished once the animals realize that the bright light isn’t a threat.

Coyotes and other predators seem to be more dangerous to your pets and livestock more so than yourself, which is where motion sensor lights can come in handy.

While it sounds like I’m totally advocating for you to have a motion sensor light at your house – you’re right, I am.

However, I’m not advocating for you to have one for the purposes of deterring coyotes, predators, and other wildlife for the long term.

It’s all about learning.

Animals learn the same way that we do – they have something happen to them, and they learn if that situation is a positive or negative experience overall.

It Won’t Scare Them For Long

So yes, a motion sensor light WILL probably deter a coyote or other predator the first time that the animal crosses its path.

However, if there is nothing negative that happens to the animal after its interaction with the bright light, then the coyote won’t be scared of the light in the future.

You could hope that the initial interaction with the motion sensor light will be enough to scare or keep the coyotes away.

Hopefully, they would be so afraid of the light that they would move their pack into a new den.

So if coyotes are in the area, they’ll more than likely STAY in the area and quickly figure out that your motion sensor light won’t bring it any actual harm.

Flashing Motion Sensor Lights are Useful for Spotting Coyotes

Okay, so motion sensor lights really aren’t that great for keeping coyotes away.

However, they are still beneficial for actually spotting coyotes.

Motion Sensor Light on Shed

If a coyote learns that it can approach your motion sensor light without harm, then you’ll still be able to see the coyote once the light is activated.

This goes without saying, but that is a HUGE plus to getting a motion sensor light.

Additionally, motion sensor lights that provide a flashing feature similar to that of a strobe light may be helpful for confusing coyotes.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (link to CPW), flashing strobe lights can be useful in keeping coyotes away.

In my mind, It would make sense that these bright, flashing, repetitive lights would be enough to confuse and daze a coyote or other predator. 

I wouldn’t rely on this in the long term, but it may impact the coyote more than what a regular motion sensor light would do upon first interaction.

If you’re looking for an excellent motion sensor light, this Battery Operated Motion Sensor Security Light by FLI Products. is one that I really liked after doing some research.

It has a strobe light security feature and pivoting twin heads, which can allow you to determine how wide of an area you need your light to cover.

Anti-Predator Likes Will Effectively Keep Coyotes Away

I know it seems like all hope is lost and that there might not be any light-driven solution to keep coyotes away in the long term. However,

There is another option.

There’s an anti-predator light out there that seems like it has a really fantastic concept behind it.

The anti-predator light, otherwise called Predator Guard, works by mimicking a predator’s eyes during the night time in order to scare or keep away other predators or animals from approaching your property.

Basically, you set up 2 – 4 (You’ll most likely need at least 2) of these lights around your property at the eye level of whatever creature you’re trying to repel.

In this case, we’re trying to repel a coyote.

Once you set up the Predator Guard, it intermittently flashes small, red lights to mimic the eyes of enemy predators.

The product has a really great concept as it relies on invoking fear into the coyote (and other animals) by activating their already existing fear of getting discovered by a MUCH larger predator.

Really, I absolutely love the idea behind this product because it triggers the pre-existing fear of a coyote getting caught by another animal.

The target coyote would have already learned of the dangers of running into another enemy predator at night.

This, in turn, would lead to the coyote recognizing the anti-predator light as potentially dangerous and would make it theoretically steer clear of the light all costs.

Much More Effective Than Motion Sensor Lights

This idea is MUCH more effective than that of using a motion sensor light to deter coyotes.

Simply put, the motion sensor light requires the coyote to have an extremely negative experience after interacting with the light to keep them away long term, which is something that is very unlikely.

Conversely, the anti-predator light will trigger an already existing fear in the animal to keep them away, which should be pretty effective.

Sorry that I said the same thing twice over there, I just wanted to make sure that you were able to understand the psychology behind both of the lights.

Now, if the concept actually works is another story.

Some of the reviews online are hit or miss, so I would recommend looking into those and seeing if the light is the right fit for you.

Personally, I think that every situation the light would be used in is completely different. There are too many variables out in nature that can affect how a product like this works.

Also, the light is ENTIRELY dependent on the animal and if it has had a negative interaction with a predator prior to seeing the light.

Chances are it has, but there are again a ton of variables to account for. So many that you can’t 100% predict the results of how this light will work.

If you’re interested in checking out the anti-predator lights a little bit further, you can check out the Predator Guard here.

I’m trying to be impartial here because obviously, I would love for you to click on the affiliate link and help me earn some commission.

While I DO think that the Predator Guard or another similar type of anti-predator light would be a really good initial solution to try out, I think there are some other steps you need to take in addition to purchasing the lights.

How To Get Rid of any Coyotes For Good

Close Up image of Coyote

All in all, if you have coyotes, lights or not – you want to effectively deter them.

There are a few simple ways we are going to discuss in order to do that!

And if this list isn’t enough for you – make sure to check out our article on few more steps you can take to effectively deter coyotes!

Simply put, here is what you should do to deter coyotes from entering your yard:

  1. Never knowingly feed the coyotes – this can lead the animals to come back for additional food.
  2. Don’t make any food or water available to the coyotes, such as pet food, grill scraps, bird feeders, compost, and the plants that they like (click on the article to learn more)
  3. Properly dispose of garbage and make sure your trash is properly sealed so coyotes can’t smell it, there are actually a bunch of scents that coyotes hate that you can use to deter them as well.
  4. Keep your lawn maintained and grass height to a minimum.
  5. Lock all animals and livestock indoors at night.
  6. Install a motion sensor light to spot coyotes or other predators at night.

These are a few basics, but essentially, here’s a short summary of those steps:

1. Never knowingly feed the coyotes – this can lead the animals to come back for additional food.

In order to deter coyotes from your yard, it’s essential to avoid accidentally feeding the animals.

If you feed the animals, they WILL come back because your property will be a new and reliable food source for them.

Some coyotes may look adorable, but DO NOT feed them

2. Don’t make any food or water available to the coyotes, such as pet food, grill scraps, bird feeders, and compost.

This means getting rid of all bird feeders, pet food, and trying to minimize water sources, so your yard is less desirable to the coyotes.

If there are easily accessible food sources available to the coyotes, then they’ll keep coming back for an easy meal.

3. Properly dispose of garbage and make sure your trash is properly sealed so coyotes can’t smell it.

Just about the same thing as step 2.

If coyotes are able to smell food on your property and they find that it’s easily accessible, they’ll keep coming back for an effortless and routine food source.

This is one thing that many people overlook.

You need to either compost your food scraps or put them in the garbage but keep the lid EXTREMELY tight to prevent the scent from getting out.

4. Keep your lawn maintained and grass height to a minimum.

Coyotes love to stalk and hunt in tall grass because they cannot be seen in it.

If you keep your grass height to a minimum, coyotes will feel much less comfortable hunting on your property – which makes it a less attractive spot for them overall.

5. Lock all animals and livestock indoors at night

This is a big one. Don’t leave your animals outside at night, even if you have a big guard dog like I do.

My dog Vito weighs about 120lbs, while a coyote can weigh anywhere from 20-50 pounds!

Coyotes prefer to hunt smaller animals, especially if they are by themselves, we have an article that talks about some animals that coyotes eat, that’s worth taking a look.

However, if the coyotes are in a pack of 10, they could very quickly take down Vito. Keep your animals safe and just lock them indoors at night.

6. Install a motion sensor light to spot coyotes or other predators at night.

I think you know a lot about this one already from the rest of the article.

Use a motion sensor light to spot coyotes that may be on your property at night.

You might be able to catch a glimpse of where they’re entering from if you’re lucky.

If you feel like it’d be helpful to see where the coyotes are coming in from or what they’re doing on your property at night, a reliable trail camera can help you do that.

You’ll need one that has a night mode that can spot the coyotes in the dark.

How to pest proof your home in under a day e-book by Zack DeAngelis

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 Take a look at my guide on Pest Proofing Your Home In Under a Day! I get into the nitty-gritty on the most common types of pests you’ll see on your property including BOTH insects and wildlife, along with the specific signs to look for regarding any pest you have questions about.

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