Best Campsite Lighting Ideas: Flashlight, Lantern, Handsfree, & Solar
January 21, 202113 min read
Camping is the best way to get back to nature, to reconnect with yourself and your loved ones, and to relax in a very organic way. When night comes, you're not always ready to turn in, and sometimes a campfire isn't allowed or the best option, so you need to choose alternative methods.
Lighting your campsite at night is simple and easy, thanks to advancements in LED technology. With options like LED flashlights, you won't run out of batteries at inopportune times, and hands-free alternatives like LED lanterns, static lights, or headlamps make for very efficient choices.
Each of these options has specific strengths that set them apart and understanding what solution is best for you comes down to your needs. We have compiled all of the various lighting options into an article to help you understand the multiple possibilities available to you.
Why Campsite Lighting is Important
Camping offers a tremendous number of benefits to us as humans. Whether you plan to camp as a family, with friends, or even just solo, connecting with nature and removing yourself from everyday life stresses helps mental and physical wellbeing.
However, as the sun sets, so does the ability to see the beautiful wilderness around you. It's not fun struggling to see your hand in front of your face, and it can also be hazardous to move around without sufficient lighting.
This danger can extend to wildlife as well. Many creatures that call the wilderness their home are uncomfortable in the presence of bright lights, which is a sign that humans are nearby. Most animals are afraid of people, but the deeper you are in the wilderness, the less afraid they are - as humans are in their territory. Having extensive lighting in your campsite will help discourage animals of all shapes and sizes from visiting you.
A big part of camping is the traditional campfire, of course, but there are many places in the world where campfires are unrealistic or even banned. In arid climates, having anything beyond a small contained fire for cooking can be a potential fire hazard. The flickering light of a fire is not the best option for the many tasks required around a campsite.
Fortunately, STKR Concepts has come to the rescue with our diverse range of LED lighting solutions that are economical and easy to use and are capable of being very bright with incredibly long lifespans. We understand what needs campers have, and we have designed our diverse range of products to solve these and other lighting problems one bright idea at a time.
What Are The Best Lights For Camping?
Camping involves many different activities and needs, and these differ from person to person and even trip to trip. There are no hard and fast rules for what lights you will need while camping as it comes down to personal preference primarily. With our innovative designs at STKR Concepts, we have a light for every possible situation, so let's take a look!
Starting with the B.A.M.F.F. (Broad Array Multi Flood Flashlight) series of flashlights, these are similar to traditional flashlights in form and function, except they offer a DUAL LED design that gives the user both flood and spot lighting in one flashlight. This series of flashlights comes with six different options in terms of lumens, size, and battery usage from the B.A.M.F.F. 2.0 all the way up to the B.A.M.F.F. 10.0.
When camping, especially in less populous areas that might not have much ambient light, carrying a flashlight with you at all times is very important for trips to the washroom or down the trail. These more traditionally-minded flashlights' small size and lightweight design mean that they can easily fit into a pocket or purse for easy transportation.
The FLEXIT series of flexible flashlights make campsite lighting a breeze. This series of lights is based around the hands-free flexible body that allows for an unlimited number of light projections. Thanks to the durable Shape-Loc frame, you can twist these lights into any configuration that lets you stick, wrap, or hook the FLEXIT around objects to aim them in any direction you need.
During camping excursions, the ability to have a highly configurable light means that you can use the FLEXIT for a wide variety of tasks around the campsite itself. It has two large neodymium (rare earth) magnets, coupled with an integrated loop for hanging. These lights are well suited for cooking, reading, and any other task that needs both hands available.
To suit our wide variety of users' needs, we have four options available within the FLEXIT series. We have designed the FLEXIT Auto with roadside safety in mind. Along with the bright white LEDs that are front-facing, it includes three red LED hazard lights on the back to warn other drivers. The trip to the campsite necessitates as much safety as the campsite itself, which is where these lights shine.
The FLEXIT 2.0 and the FLEXIT 4.0 are remarkably similar in design and are the series's flagship models. Both of them operate with the same bright LEDs that you expect from STKR Concepts. The 4.0 model in particular stands apart from the rest with its focus spotlight and red LED additions.
We have designed our FLEXIT Headlamps to be the ultimate versatile personal lighting option. Static lighting options around your campsite are crucial when night falls. Still, sometimes you need the freedom of hands-free lighting while moving around more. These headlamps feature a wide variety of spotlight and floodlight options and even a red floodlight on the Pro version for preserving night vision while seeing what is in front of you.
Our FLEXIT series of headlamps at STKR Concepts really excels for those late-night excursions on the trails or when the unexpected happens. While seasoned campers try to plan for every possibility, sometimes vehicle troubles or other technical hurdles can throw off even the most experienced outdoorsman. In these situations, having an easy use light that can strap onto your head saves time without compromising sight.
The STKR Mobile Task Light is the powerhouse portable light in our line up! The Mobile Task Light is a versatile LED-based floodlight that can be your primary light source for your campsite. With a rechargeable battery and 180 degrees of illumination, you can set this light up wherever you need. The adjustable lens can either flood a massive area with light or focus it to a single point.
This light is one of the most effective solutions for creating comfortable ambient lighting for your campsite on its low setting for when everyone is looking to relax, while also giving the option for bright lighting during campsite setup or other more strenuous tasks.
Every camper knows the struggle of trying to set up camp when the sun is setting, and a fast setup light source like the Mobile Task Light solves that problem with one flick of the switch!
At STKR Concepts, we have built our business on innovative solutions to lighting problems, and our Magnetic Light Mines are one of the more creative options we have made. With a simple design that utilizes one high output Lumen Tech LED coupled with twelve powerful neodymium magnets, our Light Mines can be attached to any steel surface to shine light at virtually any angle.
The advantage of the Magnetic Light Mine for campers lies in the varied uses that this lighting option provides. Its tiny size means that it can fit into a pocket or other small container easily. Whether you use its magnets or stable shape to set it down on a surface, it will give more than enough light for any job.
As a side benefit, the powerful magnets on every side of the Light Mine mean that you can use it to find and pick up hardware or other small objects and retrieve dropped keys from unfortunate spots. We believe firmly in putting as much versatility as possible into all of our products. The Light Mine and the Light Mine Pro show off this design sense with a style that can't be ignored.
How Do I Light My Campsite?
With all of the options available, it can seem a little overwhelming to decide how exactly to light your campsite. However, you can narrow down your needs by determining what kind of camping you like to do, which will, in turn, give a great indication of your lighting needs.
Lantern Style Lighting
One of the most comfortingly familiar options is that of a lantern. Lanterns have existed for centuries, and many older campers will remember gas lanterns fondly, but they are not without problems. These antiquated lights are not always a good fit for modern campers between the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and the potential for burns that come with any combustion source.
Thankfully, LED lanterns like our very own ILLUMiDOMEhere at STKR Concepts modernizes the tried and true lantern design with a host of unique design improvements.
The main factor that gives the ILLUMiDOME its massive advantage in this space is the removable reflector's dual light output. When you position the reflector on top of the ILLUMiDOME, it creates a traditional "lantern style" array of light that spreads out in all directions except for the top and bottom.
This style of lighting is very comfortable for many users. With the versatile velcro strap mounted on the top of the lantern, you can easily hang this from the interior of a tent, a tree branch, or any other location that you can imagine.
However, when more light is needed, you can remove the reflector and store it in the lantern's base. When you remove the reflector in this way, your ILLUMiDOME creates a full dome of light. If you hang it upside down from the built-in metal loops on the bottom, it removes all the shadows that a traditional lantern would make.
The other primary benefit from the ILLUMiDOME's unique design is the way it handles water. By being completely buoyant and waterproof, you can use this lantern for late-night swims if your camp is near water. You can even leave it on the table at the campsite without fear of rain damaging it.
Those who like to have a lot of light to work with or campsites that don't have trees or other elevated points to hang lights from, using static floodlights can provide the solution you need. The best option for this lighting style is the Mobile Task Light mentioned earlier.
The Mobile Task Light is defined by its incredible 1200 lumens of light output and its 180-degree spread. By placing one of these lights on the ground at the edge of your camp and angling it towards you, you can light a vast area all with one compact device. Durability is one of the most significant benefits of this light with its tempered steel exoskeleton, meaning it can handle being dropped—a lot.
In situations where you have more established campsites, the universal tripod mount on the Mobile Task Light base allows you to elevate the light if necessary to create a beacon - Batman style. When you combine this light's brightness with the rapid blinking setting, you can also use it to signal emergencies across huge distances.
No matter how well lit your campsite is, you will sometimes need to dig into a backpack or the trunk of a car, and that is where personal lighting is so helpful. Some people prefer to have the familiar and solid feel of a traditionally shaped flashlight in hand, and for those users, the B.A.M.F.F. Tactical Flashlights will more than suffice.
These flashlights combine a powerful spotlight for long-distance visibility with a wide-angled floodlight for close-range lighting. You can use either one of these LEDs independently or connect them to provide you with more beneficial light and increase your overall visibility.
For those looking to free up their hands for other camping activities, our FLEXIT Headlamps will always be the best LED-based personal camping lights. Along with the features mentioned above, we designed our FLEXIT Headlamps to be comfortable and easy to wear for many hours at a time. We accomplished this with the laminated layer of foam and soft-touch felt, which is comfortable and sweat-wicking in hot environments.
With its lightweight form at only 5.8oz, our headlamps' low-profile design conforms to each user. They keep the mass close to the head and, most importantly, evenly distributed. With such a comfortable design, you may find yourself forgetting you even have it on!
These efficient and easy to use personal lighting options opens up many possibilities for group campsites. Suppose everyone in a camp comes equipped with their own headlamp, for example. In that case, you may only require one solitary lantern to provide enough light for general activities, and then each individual camper can configure their headlamp for their own needs.
At STKR Concepts, we keep safety in mind with all of our designs and nowhere is this better showcased than the FLEXIT Headlamps. In addition to the powerful spot and flood LEDs attached to the headlamp's front, we also include red flashing hazard lights as an option.
Bicyclists most commonly use this feature for late-night riding. Still, campers can also take advantage of this safety feature, especially for those campers who like to set up in the deep woods or other inaccessible locations. Making sure to have flashing lights attached to your head while exploring can mean the difference between being lost and being safe and sound at camp.
Solar Powered Camping Lights
For many campers, especially those who are more environmentally minded who want to stay away from civilization and power outlets, solar-powered lights have become increasingly popular. Even if you have a campsite with electrical hookups available, solar camping lights can make a tremendous difference if you lose power.
The way to tell a good camper from a great one is how well they prepare for emergencies, and emergencies can come in many forms. Modern camping involves a lot more portable electronics than it ever has before. While these electronics often have innovative solutions like the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that many of our STKR Concepts products come with, these solutions still require electricity to recharge.
This desire to prepare our customers for all situations is why we have constructed solar solutions with you in mind. The FLEXIT series of lights that we have created have redefined hands-free flexible LED flashlights. We have taken that one step further with the new FLEXIT Solar.
Like the rest of the FLEXIT series, the FLEXIT Solar has an ultra-thin flexible body that allows for a truly unlimited amount of different light projections. This versatility will enable you to create everything from a focused spotlight to a broad floodlight or a lantern with 360 degrees of potential light output.
What separates the FLEXIT Solar from the others in its series is increased brightness of up to 500 lumens, red night vision LEDs, and its namesake solar charging functionality. The solar charging capabilities, in particular, allow this light to be as hands-free as possible.
While users can quickly charge this light via USB, the solar cell located on the magnetized base means that you can leave it out in the sunlight during the day to give it enough charge to brighten up the night.
How Many Lumens Should My Campsite Lighting Be?
At this point, we have discussed the variable amount of lumens that our lighting solutions provide, but how do you know how many lumens you should be using for your campsite lighting?
Let's start with the precise definition of what lumens are. This definition is described as: "a unit of luminous flux in the International System of Units, that is equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one candela intensity radiating equally in all directions."
Ultimately, this is a very granular way to state that lumens are a way of defining brightness. Lumens are a unit of the SI derived unit of luminous flux, a measure of the total quantity of visible light put out by a source per unit of time. They give a bulb its brightness and are measured by how much visible light they give off.
So with that definition in mind, understanding how many lumens you need to light your campsite properly becomes a matter of both personal preference and mathematics. While calculating lumen requirements in a house is dependent on many factors like the size of the room and the reflective quality of the walls, calculating it for a campsite is more straightforward in some ways.
It is also worth considering that while you can't produce more light from a source except by increasing the base lumens, projecting the lumens differently will create varied results. We can explain this theory by the difference between a 200-lumen camping lantern vs. a 200-lumen tactical flashlight.
Your lantern allows the light to travel in a 360-degree direction, which evenly displaces those 200 lumens all around the source. In contrast, a flashlight is also producing 200 lumens, but it is all focused in one direction. So while they might create the same number of lumens, it is less blinding to look directly at a lantern than it is to look into the business end of a flashlight.
So that brings us to the question; is 200 lumens bright enough for camping? Yes and no. You may find that (depending on your campsite's size) one 200 lumen lantern, like our ILLUMiDOME, is more than sufficient to light the entire campsite from a central location during relaxing time. However, if you have a large camp or are working on a task requiring illumination, you may need a higher amount of lumens to accomplish it.
This is the point where our products at STKR Concepts provide the advantage our customers need. With the ability to change the brightness setting on almost all of our lighting solutions, you can have one device that produces varying degrees of light for whatever situation you require. Whether you are reading in the tent when everyone else is asleep, or you need to set up the camp when you first arrive, we've got you covered.
Finding the best LED camping lights for you comes down to understanding yourself, your needs, and your traveling companions. There are solutions available for every problem out there, and our wide variety of choices at STKR Concepts means that you will not be left in the dark with any choice you make.
To help you make your decision, we created a summarized list of the options discussed in this article to have an easy reference guide for campsite lighting ideas.
This series includes the FLEXIT Auto, FLEXIT 2.0, FLEXIT 4.0, and the FLEXIT Solar.
This series of malleable lights allow users to shape them to their needs. This series is all about flexibility by diffusing the light to create 360 degrees of illumination or collapsing the shape to create targeted spotlights. Each unit comes with hooks and neodymium magnets to allow for easy attachment to any surface.
This series includes the B.A.M.F.F. 2.0, 4.0, 4.0XL, 6.0, 8.0 and 10.0.
This series is most similar to traditional handheld flashlights while offering dual-LED spotlight and floodlight capabilities. The higher series numbers offer higher lumens and rechargeable options vs. the AAA and AA battery options in the lower range.
This series includes the FLEXIT Headlamp 2.5, and the FLEXIT Headlamp PRO 6.5
This series provides exceptional Headlamp design and unique options like spotlight and floodlight variants. The Pro version also includes blinking hazard lights, a USB charge Port, Red Night Vision Mode, and other features.
This lantern is a multi-functional device that combines variable lighting options with a waterproof and buoyant frame and adjustable light arrays based on the change of a quick-release reflector. The Velcro strap on top and the metal hooks on the bottom allow for attachment to nearly any surface.
For more information on any of our innovative lighting solutions, check out the rest of our website, and feel free to ask us any questions you might have. At STKR Concepts, we are excited to talk about your particular lighting needs, and we would be thrilled to help solve any challenges that you might be facing.
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