Tent camping lighting ideas to make your camping nights brighter.
When you go tent camping, having the right lighting with you can make the difference between an ok evening and a great one.
At the most basic level, lighting for tent camping can be as easy as a handheld torch or a headlamp however, string lights or hanging lights can make a great addition to your living area and make your tent even more cozy.
These are some cute and practical tent camping lighting ideas and camp lights you can get online.
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Camping lighting ideas: how to choose the best for you
Some things to consider when choosing a camp lantern are:
Use – what type of camping light are you looking for: an essential source of light, that you will rely on to see, be seen and to find your way at night? Or a fun and pretty addition to your camping setup?
This article is heavily geared towards pretty and fun but make sure you have your basics covered too (some good buys are in the section below about torches and lanterns)
Power outlet – the first thing you need to consider when choosing a camping light is what type of power it needs to operate.
In general, camping lights are operated by gas or other burning fuels, batteries, a power outlet or the sun.
They all have advantages and disadvantages and the best way to choose the best one for you is to consider your camping style.
If you are camping with kids, anything with an open source of heath like fire or gas is likely to pose too much of a risk for instance and, if you are planning on off the grid camping, nothing that requires electricity at any stage will do.
Battery operated camp lantern are great option for first time campers of if you need a no-stress solution. You can find specs of the one in the image below here.
Size and weight – this is a consideration with all travel gear and it is particularly important for a light, especially if you are planning on hanging it to your tent or you want it to be portable.
Light power – camp lights have different level of brighteness and you don’t always need the most powerful of all.
When choosing, consider the type of light it emits (bright white, warm white etc) and consider the space you need it for. For a small family tent for instance, you don’t need very high power but for a large group of friends, you might.
Light life – like anything with power, the light from your camping light will eventually go out and need recharging so it is paramount to get one that is suitable to your needs.
The best way to make sure is to check manufacture instructions of each model you are considering and take the time before leaving to make sure all is charged.
Additional uses – some lamps have more than one use or, I should say, some other camping items such as bluetooth speakers often double up as lamps!
Usually these lights are not very powerful and cannot compete with a full on camping lamp however, they can be handy as a secondary source of light and they an also be great fun.
Find specs of the one in the image below here
Tent camping lighting ideas for fun and safe camping
These are some camping lighting ideas we love and can work for several camping set ups, including smaller tents, large cabin tents and popup tents for families.
Headlamps for adults and kids – the most practical camping lighting
If you ever ventured around a campsite at night using your phone to light the way, you know how annoying it is to have a light that is not fit for the job and that keeps you hands busy.
Until you have done that, you may consider a headlamp a bit of a gimmick but truly, they are amazing when camping!
We got out first headlamp for the kids and then we quickly decided we also wanted our own!
It is now one of our must have items on our camping packing list and one we highly recommend to campers of all ages.
They come in several sizes and shapes, making them fun for little kids too.
They are excellent for:
- Walks in the dark
- Searching for stuff in the tent after ours
- Any time you need two hands free or you don’t have a safe place where to perch your light
Handheld torch – essential, among camping lighting ideas for safety
A hand held torch is a simple and very practical tool if you need to point light in a certain direction, may it be a path ahead of you or if you are looking for something in the dark.
Compared with a headlamp, it has the disadvantage of requiring the use of your hands but it also has the huge plus of allowing you to keep the light very low, which can be handy if you want to make sure you don’t wake up others.
Hand held torches can he big or small and often are battery operates, which means they need pretty minimal setup. Some good ones are:
Rechargeable Usb Led Flashlights 2500 High Lumens, a super bright flashlight, with 5 different lighting modes included SOS mode
Super Small Mini LED Flashlight Set Battery-Powered, small and perfect for that time when you are looking for your kindle under the camping covers and don’t want to wake everyone else up!
A camping lantern
A camping lantern is the tent camping lighting equivalent to a lamp in your house.
They come in many shapes and sizes, so you can choose the best one for the space you have and the use you foresee for it, and you can generally use them both inside the tent and out.
Some good camp lamps to consider are:
- Eveready 360 LED Camping Lantern, batter powered outdoor camping LED lantern
- LE LED Rechargeable Camping Lantern , with 4 light dimmable modes
- Kizen Solar Powered LED Camping Lantern, both solar powered and USB cable rechargeable
- Coleman propane lantern, powerful, reliable camping lamp with timeless look
Led string lighting – the most versatile of camping lightings ideas
Led string lighting falls under the category of fun and nice to have, more than essentials, but I love them as they are the typical little thing that turns you tent from fun to magical!
Outdoor camping string LED lights are great to give that fairytale look to your tent and if you camp with kids, like we do, can also be a great way to add a touch of non intrusive lighting to an otherwise potentially dark and scary night.
You can get power outlet operated ones, good if you are sure you have access to power at the campsite, or opt for battery operated ones.
Edison lights is the name given to all those lighting solutions that look like old fashion lightbulb and they can be great for camping.
They are perfect if you are looking for a vintage, boho-chic or throwback kid of look and if you choose some that are solar powered, they are also super easy to set up.
You hang them out during the day while;e you are out and about and they do their job at night! These are a fun, creating lighting solution for tent camping and RV camping I personally find super cute.
Find price and specs here.
Solar powered paper lantern
Solar power paper lanterns are another cool type of string lighting for camping that can give your space a romantic and whimsical look.
They come in different sized and colors and they are perfect if you are RV camping of you have the space to set up a nice dining area outside your tent.
Candle lit lantern
Candle lit lanterns require a lot of attention as they operate with an open fire, albeit a little one, but they can be cool for lighting up an outdoor dinner table in a romantic and unobtrusive way.
Glow sticks are another fun form of tent camping lighting that our kids love.
They add a touch of fun to your night in the tent but they can also come in handy fo safety as you can use them for instance to mark areas around the tent that are not safe, for instance prickly plants or pointy rocks.
Depending on the type you choose, they may be just a party prop or a useful source of light. You can see several options below.
Fun outdoor solar patio lanterns and tiki torches
Patio lanters may not be born as camping gear but they can be a fun thing to add you camping checklist!
They come in all shapes and sized and they can be either battery to solar power operated and they can add light and atmosphere to your camp.
I hope you enjoyed this quick overview of fun tent camping lighting ideas. Did you know? Some camping lights can be a lovely gift! You can find fun and cool gift ideas for campers here. Safe camping!