Camp lighting is an important part of any camping holiday. A campfire is no substitute for quality lighting in a campsite to allow you to continue enjoying the fun after sunset. Sometimes it’s hard to know which lights work best for your tent and how you can hang that light, so here are some great options to consider.
Camp lights can be hung from tent poles or straps for tent lighting. Light-weight LEDs with portable power are ideal for this purpose. The ILLUMiDOME Lantern and the FLEXIT Flexible Flashlight series have been created with this in mind, with the ability to attach to the inside of a tent.
I’ll go into more detail about the best camping lantern below. It is also important to know how to hang each specific lantern or light to maximize light and reduce glare to your eyes.
What is the Best Camping Lantern?
There are a number of features to consider when choosing the best camping lights. Having light can help you move around the campsite safely, find things easily and also ward off any unwanted guests.
LED lights are the most energy-efficient. They will last longer than normal lights and will also stay cooler (aka safer). This is an important feature if you have small children or pets around as it will prevent burns. It also reduces the fire hazard significantly if you don’t have hot bulbs around dry sticks and leaves.
The brightness of thelight is measured in lumens. It is recommended to have around 200 - 600 lumens to light up a campsite for safety purposes. This provides a little bit of light to find your way around safely.
200 lumens is also a good brightness to have in a tent. The last thing you want is to crawl inside your tent and be blinded by light. The optimum brightness for a smaller outdoor area is around 200 lumens, whereas larger areas will require around 600 lumens.
You’ll notice some flashlights or hanging lights have a strobe function. This is great for camping because a bright flashing light can be used as a hazard to alert others in the area, and can also discourage wild animals from entering the campsite.
When you’re out camping, connecting to mains power is going to be difficult, if not impossible. This is why a good camp light or tent light will be battery-operated, USB rechargeable, or solar-powered. At the end of the day, if your light requires a socket, you won’t be able to use it in the middle of the forest.
Battery-operated lights are reliable but you have to make sure you bring spare batteries on the trip as well. This adds weight to your gear.
If you choose solar power, you don’t need to worry about batteries or a power supply as your light will charge during the day for its work at night. Solar can be slightly unreliable if you’re in a darker area or on cloudier days. You wouldn’t want to be left in the dark because your light wasn’t able to charge.
Rechargeable cable lights are reliable but require a plug somewhere. You certainly won’t find a standard prong plug while tent camping, but you are likely to have access to a USB or 12V charger in your car.
Finally, I would recommend light-weight products. You may be in a position where you have to pack up all your camping gear to take with you, as with hiking, or you might choose to hang the light at a base camp. If the light is heavy, it will not hang on weaker structures, such as smaller tree branches or a weaker tent frame.
A light that checks off all the boxes, theILLUMiDOME Mini Waterproof Lantern is a great LED light that can be used for your next camping trip. It is light-weight and can produce up to 220 lumens. This is perfect for general lighting of the campsite or lighting up your tent. It also has three brightness levels to suit your needs and a strobe function too.
It can be used as either a lantern with light emitted from the sides, or you can remove the top to open up a center light. This center light can help reduce shadows produces by the light on the sides.
The ILLUMiDOME is also waterproof, as the name suggests. This means it can be used to light up your campsite in the pouring rain without any issues.
It takes AA batteries, which will power the light for up to 100 hours. This means you could run the light for four days in a row. If you then bring one spare pair of batteries, you can have the light on for over a week. This is great if you’re using the light for safety to ward off unwanted wild animals.
If you were considering more of a spotlight-style light for your campsite, or something a bit brighter, you could consider one of the FLEXIT Flexible Flashlights. These lights still have an impressive run-time of up to 70 hours.
The FLEXIT’s are made of a flexible shape-lok material with 16 LEDs embedded within. The flexible flat surface can then be manipulated into many different shapes to focus the light as a spotlight or to disperse it to use as area floodlighting. They can produce a full 360 degrees of lighting, have three brightness levels, and a strobe feature.
There are three FLEXIT Flashlights that pair up with camping perfectly, ranging in price to suit your needs. TheFLEXIT Flexible Flashlight 2.0 offers similar features to the ILLUMiDOME, but emits 200 lumens and runs for up to 70 hours. It does the job and is another great option for lighting up your tent or general lighting around the camp.
TheFLEXIT Flexible Flashlight 4.0 emits 400 lumens and also has a red light feature. This red light is better for your eyes at night, allowing them to relax before going to sleep. Some people may also prefer this setting at night if they do not want to disturb native animals in the area. This is generally if you want to watch the animals in their natural habitat.
Finally, theFLEXIT Solar Flexible Flashlight is the cream-of-the-crop for camp lighting. It emits 500 lumens for those who want to really brighten up the area. It also has the red light feature and, unlike its battery-operated FLEXIT siblings, is rechargeable. This light comes with solar technology as well as a USB cable, so you can either use the sun or your vehicle to keep it going. These are all great options for lighting up your campsite or tent.
How do You Light up a Tent?
It’s easy enough to place one of these lights on the ground to provide light, but a hanging light source is often a lot more effective and keeps the light away from your eyes. As I mentioned before, you can hang camp lights from tree branches, ropes or inside your tent.
Inside the tent you can either hang a light from the tent poles within, or some tents also have Velcro straps that you can use.
TheILLUMiDOME Lantern has two ways of hanging inside your tent. If using this light as a lantern, there is a Velcro strap that can attach the top of the lantern to a tent pole. If using the light without the top (to add the center light), the ILLUMiDOME can be turned upside down, where you will find hooks on the base. The Velcro strap can also be removed so it doesn’t obstruct any light.
TheFLEXIT Flexible Flashlights can either be hung by the built-in hook on the base, or you can attach it to any metal object using the two strong magnets that are also incorporated into the base.
If you prefer your light sitting in the corner of the tent, both the FLEXIT and ILLUMiDOME lights are able to sit upright. This is a good idea if you are using the lights on a lower setting as a night light as it gives you the option to be an overhead light or a corner of the tent night light.
I hope this post has given you some good ideas to light up your tent on your next camping holiday.
Anything can happen at any moment in time. Being prepared can make a major difference in how safe you remain during an emergency. It’s recommended that everyone has an emergency kit ready so that they are prepared anytime that the unthinkable happens.