How comfortable your camping vacation is can be affected by the sort of lighting you use. A tiny tealight candle and a dazzling white LED light are two different things.
You should also think about both interior and outdoor illumination. Additionally, when you need to use a light in the middle of the night, you may require quiet lighting so as not to disturb your fellow campers.
Here are some creative campsite lighting suggestions for tents and campsites:
- An electric or gas lantern
- DIY water and headlight lantern
- Tiki torches or solar garden lights
- Lights on a string or in a strip
- Candles and tea lights powered by batteries
- Fans, discs, and hanging lights
- Effortless headlights and flashlights
- Glow jars and glow sticks
I’ve done some research to locate the best camping lighting solutions. Some are great for enjoyment, while others are best for practicality. Let’s descend far below.
- Propane Lantern
A traditional method of lighting your tent and camping is with a propane lantern. They’re a popular choice among campers, and they come highly recommended as an easy lighting solution.
However, some campers are hesitant to use propane appliances inside of tents. Right now, I’ll state that while propane heaters are safe in tents, all propane appliances that don’t generate heat are even safer.
Look for a propane lantern that won’t break if it gets too hot and features match-free ignition when you’re buying one. A good choice is also one that is resistant to rust and corrosion. These criteria are met by this Coleman gas lamp.
2. Battery-Powered Lantern
A rechargeable lantern is an excellent substitute if you don’t want to deal with gas and fueling your lantern. By day, you may charge it using a generator, a portable battery pack, the battery in your car, or the outlets at a powered campsite.
In addition, if you don’t already have a generator, these 10 greatest camping generators are fantastic and may aid you. You may use your lantern all night long after letting it charge all day.
You can quickly and in any weather change your illumination from “cosy accompanying light for conversing” to “I need to see where I’m going in detail” by purchasing a waterproof one with numerous light settings like this one.
If you don’t want your kids carrying gas-filled lanterns while you’re camping with them, rechargeable lanterns are a better option.
3. DIY Lantern
When you don’t want the hassle or size of a bonfire, tiki torches are a wonderful way to create a comfortable, fire-lit ambiance.
If you have a headlamp and a water bottle, you can create your own lantern if you don’t want to buy a new one.
Water should be added to your bottle, the headlamp should be secured around the bottle, and the light should be directed into the bottle. By doing so, the jug will become illuminated and change into a lantern.
If you need more light than a headlamp can produce on its own, it’s a great technique to make a lantern in an emergency.
4. Tiri Torch
Without the mess and scale of a bonfire, tiki torches are excellent for creating a pleasant, fire-lit environment.
They’re also fantastic for letting the neighbors enjoy the darkness if that’s what they desire, as the camper above noted.
These use actual flames, so be sure to stay far away from them. This means that while they’re fine for an adults-only excursion, they’re not a great idea to utilize on a camping trip with kids.
Purchase treated bamboo torches, such as these, as they are a little safer.
Tiki torches complement other lights well because they aren’t extremely brilliant on their own, like string lights.
5. Solar Yard Lighting
Solar lights are the next best thing if you enjoy the idea of tiki lights but don’t want the fire. They’re wonderful if you don’t want a light that needs to be charged and are perfect for illuminating paths.
These have a straightforward premise. Leave them there all day in a location where you know you’ll need light. When darkness falls, they’ll begin to shine, making it easy for you to see where you’re going.
6. Solar Lanterns
You can’t go wrong with a solar lantern if you prefer the “solar” part of the illumination above but need your lights to be portable.
While collapsible solar lanterns are ideal for backpackers, non-collapsible solar lamps are wonderful for vehicle campers. There are inflatable choices as well.
They may be carried around the campsite or hung up inside a tent because they are often lightweight.
However, you must keep in mind to set these outdoor devices to charge for a few hours each day. They are far simpler to forget about and leave in your pack than solar yard lights, which will be outside all day regardless.
7. Solar-powered lights
Returning to the topic of stationary lighting, solar string lights are terrific if you want your light source to be high up. They are also great for hanging inside tents.
To keep insects away from you, use string lights instead of portable or ground-based lighting. If any bugs are drawn to them, they will be high up and won’t bother you.
If you want to know what hue of solar string lights draws the fewest insects, read my essay on the subject and, if you can, get those solar lights in that shade. I advise using these red solar string lights because they should deter bugs.
8. Traditional string lights
In case you don’t want to wait around all day for them to charge, regular string lights can be useful. You have three options for them: battery-powered, plugged-in, or my suggestion: solar-powered LED string lights.
You’ll be as protected from insects that abhor that color as possible with those lights because they shine red and have a red string.
9. Strip lights, LED
LED strip lights are a terrific method to add appeal and personality to your tent or campsite because they have grown in popularity to the point where they are fashionable.
They are excellent for parties while camping because you can usually change their colour to fit the occasion.
The only drawback to these is that they require a plug to operate, so be sure to have an outdoor extension wire and a power source handy.
10. String Lights
Strip lights and rope lights are similar, however rope lights are frequently smaller and less brilliant. They’re a useful addition for adding soft lighting.
They resemble string lights more than LED lights, although they differ from string lights in that they are less likely to tangle.
They come in a variety of colours, but if you want to ward against bugs, I suggest these red ones. The greatest options are those that are pure or warm white if you require the most light available.
Keep in mind that rope lights must remain plugged in to operate.
11. Flameless lantern
Lanterns with candles are truly timeless. Consider utilising a candle lantern if you enjoy the flicker of candles and want to carry one with you wherever you go.
For optimal illumination, use one that can hold multiple candles at once and is enclosed so that you can’t burn yourself while carrying it.
Given that it checks those conditions, the UCO Candlelier (shown below) is a fantastic candle lantern to think about.
12. Powered Battery Tealights
You can carry your candle without needing to place it in a lantern by using battery-operated tea lights. There is no danger because there is no actual flame. These are fantastic if you want a candlelit setting but there are children present.
Tealights that run on batteries are portable, secure, and easy to use. You may use them inside and outside of the tent, and they can provide a very large amount of light.
These can be used to line walkways, to carry things around, or to decorate your campsite’s tables and chairs. With these clever little creations, danger will never be a concern.
13. Lighting Tabletop Candles
If your campsite or tent has tables, you can use a candle display on the table to illuminate the space so you can see your fellow campers.
For this, a candle centrepiece works fantastically. As long as you make sure any children in attendance understand not to pick up the centrepiece while it is in use, it is secure and safe.
This can be used indoors or outside, however if you want to use it indoors, you’ll need a tent with a high ceiling. The best tents are cabin tents big enough to accommodate large gatherings because most smaller tents won’t have enough headroom to safely burn these candles on a table as its the most comfortable campsite lighting idea.
14. Candle Square
Candles can be arranged in a group, and people can sit in a circle around them to simulate a campfire. For this, you should use multiple large candles on a flat surface. Make sure there is no grass or other material around that could be used as kindling because doing so could result in a fire.
As children can unintentionally stumble too close to the candles and get burned, this is a suitable lighting technique to employ when there are no children present.
If you prefer a quiet, peaceful ambiance at your campsite, it’s wonderful for keeping the illumination low, and the candles will be simple to extinguish at the end of the night.
Luminaries are small, lightweight bags with patterns that are also flame-resistant. These are great to tote around or use to mark your campsite’s way.
These can be used as candles by inserting a tealight inside. Real candles or battery-operated candles are both acceptable.
These give your campground a colorful and unique touch, plus they are easier to see than individual small candles. Additionally, they are safer to use around children than ordinary candles are, although watch out for children picking them up.
16. Hanging Lights
Although hanging light bulbs can be very useful indoors, they are not necessarily bright enough for outdoor use. They are miniature light bulbs that can be hung anywhere in your tent and are normally powered by batteries.
They frequently have three different light settings to suit your preferences, and a small button makes turning them on and off simple.
If you carry them around while holding them by the hook, you might use them as a personal light outside.
17. Hanging Fan Light
A fan light would be a great idea if your bonfire becomes too hot or if your summer tent grows stuffy. To avoid dealing with ongoing power cords, these fans may be hung, have three brightness levels, and are USB rechargeable.
The fan is surrounded by a tiny ring of LEDs that give both illumination and cool breeze.
18. Disk Hanging Light
Disk lights are portable, rechargeable lights that may be used both inside and outside of your tent. However, due to their small size, they perform best inside.
They are so light that they are ideal for travelers and anyone else who wishes to carry a small weight. If you want to carry light with you wherever you go, you could even hang a few from your clothing.
19. Headlamp Or Hands-Free Flashlight
To make a lantern, you can use your headlight in addition to a water bottle. A headlamp is a terrific method to travel without holding anything in your hands. Choose one that can be recharged, like as this, and you’ll be good to go for the evening.
You can use a small hands-free flashlight if you’d rather not wear a headlamp. These ones are simple to attach to your clothing and have a 10-hour battery life.
20. Shiny Lights
A glow lamp can be used to provide soothing lighting for your tent or outdoor space at night. They give off an ocher, delicate glow that can provide light without being overpowering.
Glow lights may be carried about simply and usually last for a long time after being charged. They’re great if you need to get up in the middle of the night without waking up the other campers.
21. Kindle Lights
If you don’t want to disturb anyone, you can use Book Lights at night inside your tent. You can even clip them to your clothing for hands-free lighting when you’re outside.
There are primarily two sorts of book lights that you’ll see. The first variety is the traditional clip-on, while the second can be worn around your neck like a tiny scarf. To help you see what’s in front of you, it offers two light spots.
Bring a book light with you if you have one at home on your journey! You never know when it might be useful.
22. Dimmable Portable Light
A wonderful substitute for a blazing light is a Philips Hue Go dimming light. Using it at night without disturbing anyone is possible, but it frequently offers enough illumination for usage outside as well.
It may be changed to match the atmosphere of the evening thanks to its changing colours, and moving it around outside is simple. If there are no problems, it may also be left on a table or the ground.
You’ll use yours a lot wherever you go because they’re great for usage at home or when camping.
23. Portable Fire Pit
A portable propane gas firepit can be used as a substitute if you want the warmth and light of a campfire but are unable to ignite one at your campsite. It is one of numerous campfire substitutes that may be easier to use.
Always confirm that portable campfires are permitted before buying one if campfires are prohibited at your campsite.
If it is permitted, it is fantastic. It can provide the same amount of light as a cosy campfire, and it’s simple to extinguish that light at nightfall.
This is best suited for vehicle campers who won’t have a long distance to haul their belongings because you require a propane gas tank to operate it. Once set up, it will offer hours of enjoyable lighting.
24. Shiny Sticks
Camping with kids is a tonne of fun when using glow sticks. They can be carried around, worn as bracelets and necklaces, or placed in a jar of water to create a miniature lantern.
As you can see, you can frequently find 100+ glow sticks in quantity at a cheap price.
Another method to make the most of these amusing little items is to place glow sticks along your path or affix them to your tent, dining room tables, and adjacent trees.
Additionally, since a pack of glow sticks is typically quite lightweight, they are perfect for hikers. It won’t be a problem to take a few out at once and use them to light the path. You won’t even be aware that you are carrying them.
25. Glow Jars
Another fantastic lighting option for children is glow jars, which you can make as an enjoyable family activity.
Simple is the idea. You split apart a glow stick, dump the liquid inside a jar, and give it a good shake.
You can do this with glass or plastic jars, but if the kids will be carrying these around, plastic jars will be the safest option.
The goo from the glow sticks will coat the jar and cause it to light up without you needing to add any more materials, so take note that you don’t need to add water to make these jars function.
26. Shiny Stickers
Consider applying glow-in-the-dark stickers to the interior of your tent since they are a timeless decoration. To light your way, you can even apply them to the firm, dry ground around your campground, but be sure to clean them up before you leave.
If you want to stick stickers to the ground, use larger stickers like the big stars and moons seen here. Picking up the young ones will be a nightmare!
To make sure it will be simple to remove them all in the morning, place one down on the sidewalk outside and attempt to remove it. Only use them in your tent if the terrain is difficult.
27. Dog Collars With Lights
Consider getting your pet a light-up collar if you want to go camping with them.
These collars are rechargeable, available in a variety of colours and sizes, and if you’d want, they may even serve as a fun accessory for you.
Affix a few to your belt or wear one on your wrist to illuminate the path! Since they don’t resemble standard pet collars, using them will be enjoyable.
A light-up collar is essential if you’re bringing your pet, even if you solely use it for its intended pet-centric purpose. It’s a great way to keep track of dogs because it may be challenging to see dogs in the dark, even when they’re on a leash.
28. The LED-Lit Tent
Some tents are equipped with built-in LED lighting. These are ideal if you need a light to read by while everyone else is sleeping, a method to light your way on late-night bathroom trips, or a night light for the kids.
While an LED-lit tent won’t illuminate your campground, it does remove the need for additional interior illumination.
29. Go nostalgic and build a campfire
Finally, a campfire is a surefire way to have a good time. They are useful for more than just heat! I strongly advise lighting one at least once during your camping vacation because they offer excellent illumination and mood. Naturally, first make sure it’s permitted at your campsite.
But since campfires can be frightening, it’s best to be prepared before starting one. Finding out the cause of your campfire’s frequent extinguishment is a smart idea, and if you’re wondering, “How much wood do I need for a campfire?” I have the solution.
It’s essential to understand why campfire smoke follows you and how to avoid it.
After you’ve worked hard to make your campfire cosy, read my article on “how long do campfires last?” to make sure your efforts weren’t in vain and your fire lasted all night.
That’s all; there are a tonne of great tent and camping lighting suggestions you may use. They can be grouped into the categories of fun lighting suggestions, hands-free lighting, hanging lights, strings of lights, and lanterns.
Try combining some of these suggestions to use alongside or in instead of a campfire and discover what works best for you and your fellow campers. Utilize your imagination and the lighting techniques that make you feel most comfortable to enjoy your camping trip.