Maybe you’re the kind of adventure-seeking camper who loves to discover picturesque, remote boondocking spots, far away from the pollution of artificial lights.
Or maybe the luxury resort campground you’ve chosen for the weekend, which comes complete with a rec room, a swimming pool and a weekly ice cream social, just happened to lose its power for a night.
No matter what your camping style or where you’re headed, it’s always a bright idea (get it?) to have some extra light on board. It doesn’t take up much room and you never know when it might come in handy. LED bulbs are especially useful as camping lights since they’re so efficient; if properly taken care of, they’ll last just about forever, and they draw almost no power to get charged up in the first place. And in the majority of cases, you don’t need to worry about plugging anything in at all — you can find many solar-charged and battery operated options when seeking LED lights for camping.
In fact, there are so many options, it can get a little daunting trying to choose!
So here are a few of our favorite outdoor camping lights to help keep your campsite bright and shining.
Although many modern RVs’ awnings come pre-equipped with LED rope lighting, if yours doesn’t, you can always provide the same effect yourself.
This strip of LED rope light emits a soft, natural glow that will make your patio area feel much more inviting, and it’s dimmable so you can adjust the brightness to your needs. It’s also waterproof and battery powered, making it easy to use anywhere else you might imagine inside or outside your RV.
This collapsible camp lantern can be charged by micro USB or the good old power of the sun. No matter which method you utilize, no worries about overdoing it — the lamp includes a Smart Protection Chip to safeguard you against overcharging.
Once it is charged up, you can pick it up by the convenient handle to take it along for a nighttime walk to the bathhouse, or set it up at base camp to help you find your way around your motorhome. You can choose from three light settings: low, high, and a blinking SOS signal for emergencies.
As its name suggests, this lantern does look just a little bit otherworldly, and that might just be appropriate — because as far as outdoor camping lights go, this lamp’s simply stellar.
Fold down its sturdy legs to create a beacon of light at your home base, or grab it by the handle to go for a stroll. Its powerful 200-lumen QuadPower LED lightsource is enclosed in a frosted case, to help widely disperse and soften its bright, ambient light.
As a final cherry on top, the lantern comes in three different colors, so you can pick the one that works the best with the rest of your outdoor camping decor.
One hundred percent solar powered and super lightweight and collapsible, this inflatable lantern is a perfect emergency light source. One seven-hour solar charge will provide half a day of bright light, and at 4.4 ounces, the lantern is easy to clip to a backpack or hang in a tent.
The lantern is also totally waterproof and submersible. In short, you’re not going to find a way to ruin this thing!
All the fun of string lights with all the nostalgia of an authentic-looking Coleman lantern… but miniature sized! Adorable, right?
This kitschy string of lights operates on three triple-A batteries, and it’s super easy to set up and take down. Sling it along your awning or set them up in a line on a surface. You’ll get 20 hours of bright light — and endless conversation and envy — with each fresh set of batteries.
If you’re looking for simple reliability, it doesn’t get much better than this.
UST’s 30-day lantern is so named because it does just that: last for 30 full days on one charge, if it’s kept in its “low” 29-lumen setting. One charge will get you 32 hours of the “high” setting, a blinding 300 lumens.
The lantern’s also water resistant and rubberized, making it difficult to break, and the whole thing weighs less than a pound altogether.
Want to bring some color to your trip?
These portable, rechargeable, multicolor camping lamps are perfect to stick on the picnic table or set next to the cooler while night fishing. They’re even magnetic, so you can stick them directly to your vehicle in a pinch. They charge quickly and easily via a USB cable, and, of course, have a variety of settings — including a fun multicolor glow perfect for nighttime campsite gatherings.
These are a few of our favorite LED camping lights for the great outdoors, but there are endless variations and types. So if the right lights for you aren’t on this list, don’t be afraid to ask your campground neighbors for advice, especially if they have lights you admire.
And don’t forget — when worst comes to worst, you likely have an emergency light handy already, waiting in your pocket. Most smartphones have a quick and easy “flashlight” app built right into their default setups nowadays. And barring that, there’s always the best, most genuine campground standby… a good, old campfire, of course.
Stay safe out there!