Camping is a great way to get some rest and relaxation in an environment that is like medicine to the soul! Camping is made all the more comfortable and safer by taking along some good quality lighting for your trip and will make everyone feel more comfortable. But what are the best lights for camping, and how do you decide on what a good camping light should look like?
There are camping lights that are made to address different needs for camping. The best lights that you will need are an area light, a spotlight, a task light, and a personal camping light. Having a light in each of these types will give the best options for providing camping lighting solutions.
There are a large selection of camping lights to choose from and many different types and shapes from a variety of manufacturers. When you start looking for the right camping lights, you may even feel a little overwhelmed at the multitude of choices and not know where or how to choose a good light. The key is to choose the right light for the purpose for which you need it.
What Is The Best Light For Camping?
As we have mentioned, the choice of lights for camping is vast, and it can be challenging to select which ones would be the most suitable from all the marketing information that is circulated regarding these lights and what they can do for you. This is where STKR Concepts can help! Lighting solutions are our specialty!
The best light for camping is the light that is purpose-built for the lighting solution it is intended for. It also needs to be of durable construction to be able to withstand the rigors of outdoor camping life but also have application in your home when you are not camping.
There are lights that are designed for different lighting needs in a camping scenario, so you are, in all likelihood, going to need more than a single light or light style for your camping needs.
The types of lighting function that you may need around your campsite would include the following.
Area lighting. This would be a lantern-style light that illuminates a large area for general space or area lighting. The light would be good enough to provide area lighting but not for detailed work. You would need a different light for this purpose.
Spotlight lighting. This is a light that focuses a strong, bright beam on an area where you need focused light. This could be where you are cooking, or it could be to light up an obstacle or object around camp. This is also the type of light that you would use to investigate noises around your campsite and use to discourage animals from coming into your camping space.
Task lighting. This would be a lighting solution for specific tasks around the campsite that need more illumination on the task at hand than an area light can provide. Think of cooking, cleaning, fixing damaged gear, or simply preparing your gear for the next day's adventure.
Personal lighting. This would be a light source that you would use to go for a walk at night, use for reading a map on a trail at night, or reading your book in your tent at night. You could also use this light to take with you to the bathroom at night to light your way to the facilities.
Most camping lights are designed for one of these purposes rather than a single light for all occasions. While some lights may have multiple functions and may be able to fulfill a couple of roles, it is unlikely that one light will work sufficiently well in all roles.
It is for this reason that you need a light that is specifically designed for a particular use and meets all the requirements for that type of lighting role.
How Do You Choose Lights For Camping?
Choosing the right light for the right lighting task for your camping trip is the key aspect to finding a camping light that will be a pleasure to use rather than a source of endless frustration. So what features and characteristics should you look for in a camping light for each lighting need?
Choosing the best camping light means finding a light that gives an appropriate lighting solution for the lighting task, a robust, durable product, and one that has a power source suitable for camping or the outdoors. Thus, lighting mode, lumens, durability, and power source are the key factors.
We have some suggestions in this area that you may find useful. STKR concepts can offer some lighting solutions that we believe will meet your requirements because we have put the time and research into designing lights that solve day-to-day lighting problems, including camping!
The type of lighting versions you choose will also depend on your personal preference in the configuration of the lighting that best fits your needs. Some people prefer a handheld flashlight, while others prefer a headlamp. Some campers opt for a single light that illuminates the entire area, while other campers prefer more localized area lighting. There are also task lighting options for specific tasks around camp that may require specialized lighting.
We will take a look at each of the camp lighting needs and offer our recommendations and solutions for each type of lighting.
Best Area Lighting For Camping
Area lighting for camping does not need to be an extremely bright light, but rather one that gives good illumination over a wide area. If the light is too bright, it may give you afterimages (residual spots in your vision) every time you look in the direction of the light, which will be uncomfortable and be frustrating around camp.
For area lighting, you need a light that distributes light over a wide area rather than a focused beam. The light should be weatherproof, have different intensity modes, and be versatile from a positioning point of view. The power source should be easy to find replacements for and should last a long time.
An area light that is 200 lumens or more should be ideal for this type of lighting, and one or two of such lights can be used to provide great general lighting for your campsite.
The product that STKR Concepts has developed as a solution for this is the ILLUMiDOME mini waterproof camping lantern. This lantern can be hung from its base, hung from its top, or stood upright on its base and has two modes of lighting; an area-light setting and an area-light with a focused central array.
The ILLUMiDOME is perfect for lighting up a general area or even hanging inside your tent to give you a light source that will give you great hands-free lighting. It is completely waterproof and can even float on water. It gives a 100-hour runtime on 3 AA batteries, offers 4 different lighting modes, and puts out 220 lumens of light.
When your camping trip is over, you don't need to pack this lantern away with your camping gear! It is a perfect light to use in your home in the event of power outages or to illuminate your outside entertainment area!
Best Spotlight Lighting For Camping
Certain areas of the campsite may need special focused lighting with brighter illumination than required for a more general area illumination light.
For a campsite spotlight, you would need a bright light that is directional that you can move to focus a bright light on the area that needs special illumination. The light should have versatility from a mounting perspective and different lighting modes for different brightness requirements.
Any light designed for camping and outdoor use should be robust and rugged to handle outdoor conditions and even survive being dropped a few times and still continue to perform its duties! For a light to be effective as a spotlight or floodlight, it needs to be bright; somewhere above 1000 lumens would provide more than enough light for most tasks around camp.
Our Mobile Task Light is made from aluminum to be extra-robust, delivers an impressive 1200 lumens of light, and the head can be adjusted to direct the light where you need it the most. It has multiple options for mounting, including several hooking locations, and it can be mounted on a standard camera tripod. This allows you to locate the light anywhere it is needed and adjust the height accordingly.
It is powered by a 4000mAh lithium battery giving the unit long use capability. It is rechargeable via a USB cable, and the light can be used while it is plugged into a charging source.
When you are not camping, the Mobile Task Light is the ideal solution for lighting areas in your garage or workshop or for use around your outdoor entertainment area.
Best Task Light For Camping
A task light is a light that you can focus light on to a small area that you are working in that will give you enough illumination to perform the task. This could be anything from cleaning your camera gear to chopping ingredients for the evening meal or working on your vehicle to fix a problem.
Task lighting needs to offer you a source of flexible, directable light that you can move or adjust to focus a good quality light for the purpose of illuminating your work area when focusing on a specific task. A minimum of 200 lumens should be considered for this lighting task.
While personal lighting options such as a headlamp can be used for this function, sometimes you need a steady light that does not move and cast shadows on your work area every time you move your head to improve your angle of vision.
In these cases, the STKR Concepts Flexit Flexible Flashlight range of lights are perfect for the job. They have powerful magnets embedded in the base, so they can be attached to any metal structure you are working on. These flashlights are also flexible, which allows them to be wrapped around non-metallic structures and also to direct the light to where you need it most.
The Flexit lights come in 200 lumen, 400 lumen, and 500 lumen versions, which gives more than enough light for focused tasks. The 500-lumen version is a solar-powered option that gives up to 70-hours of run time on a single solar charge!
Best Personal Lighting For Camping
A personal light for camping differs from other lighting options in that it would be a light source that you would want to carry around with you at all times rather than have it mounted in one location in the campsite.
A personal camping light should be lightweight, compact, durable, and with various lighting modes to cater to different personal lighting needs. The light should be versatile to provide either a focused beam or basic area lighting and can be handheld or hands-free and offer 200 lumens or more.
When it comes to personal lighting when camping, the type of light you choose is mostly down to personal preference. This type of light could be handheld, hands-free, or capable of both options. The important aspect of a personal lighting device is that it is extremely portable and versatile in the solution it offers.
In this range of personal lighting, STKR Concepts has the B.A.M.F.F. range of tactical flashlights that range from 200 lumens all the way up to 1000 lumens for those that prefer a handheld flashlight.
If it is a versatile headlamp that you prefer for the hands-free option, then our Flexit Headlamp range offers more versatility and better lighting options than most other headlamps on the market.
For a personal light that has both handheld and hands-free options, our Flexit Pocket Light range is the ideal choice. The Flexit pocket lights have a magnetic base as well as clip options for mounting to various surfaces and a flexible head to direct the beam where you need it.
Is 400 Lumens Bright Enough For Camping?
There are many light manufacturers that claim certain lumen values for their lighting solutions, but very few of them live up to the manufacturer’s claims. Lumen is the measure of how bright the light is and should not be confused with the watt designation of the light.
400 lumens is a very bright light and should be suitable for most requirements for lighting in a camping scenario. However, you may want a light that is variable so that you can opt for dimmer lighting if you need it and going up to a 400 lumen maximum.
Of course, whether 400 lumens will be sufficient for your camping needs will depend on whether the manufacturer has been honest in the marketing of their lighting solution or not. If you would like more information about what lumens are and how they work, you can take a look at our article that clarifies the question of lumens for you.
The solution to the false advertising is to go with a supplier who can demonstrate their superior lighting solution and who has a reputation for providing good quality products. This is where we feel that STKR Concepts has the edge because providing innovative lighting solutions is what we do. If our products don't work as advertised, we would not have been able to stay in business since 2005!
How Many Lumens Do I Need Camping?
Even though there are many different lighting needs around a campsite, there is a minimum lumen rating that you should consider for your lighting needs when out in the wilderness.
Any light that is intended for camping, whether it is for area lighting, spotlighting, task lighting, or personal lighting, should be no less than 200 lumens. This lumen rating will give you a good light source that is most useful and versatile in an outdoor activity or camping situation.
Because there is very little ambient light in the outdoors, you need a good quality light that is bright enough to compensate for the lack of ambient light and give the brightness that you need for any task.
Lighting is an important consideration when going camping and will be something that you will find frustrating if you have an inadequate lighting solution.
The ideal situation would be to choose lighting solutions that you can make use of in other aspects of your life as well as for your camping needs. This way, you will get the maximum use out of your lights, and they will be more useful than simply being used occasionally when you go camping!
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.