When you go camping on a regular basis, one of the decisions that you have to make is the type of lighting you’ll need when you find yourself inside of that tent. Let’s face it; no matter how much time you spend outside hiking or sitting in front of a warm fire, you’ll still be spending at least part of your time inside the tent. When you do, you need to make sure that it is bright enough to see.

Although lighting up a tent seems as if it might be a little dangerous, there are now lighting products made specifically for camping tents so they are specially made to be as safe as possible. This doesn’t mean that you can forego common sense; it just means that lights made specifically for camping tents will keep you safer than just throwing any type of lighting in there and hoping for the best.

If you’d like to get some ideas on how to light up your tent so you can enjoy your time there even more, below are some great products to help you get started.

1 – Standing Work Lights

These lights are set atop a structure that you stand up inside your tent. They look much the same as a music stand with around four lights on the very top that are adjustable and can be moved to the position that suits you best. They often have different settings for brightness levels and even a remote control, making it a breeze to turn the lights on and off whenever you need to.

Best of all, these structures are adjustable and get up to around six feet tall or taller, which means that they’ll fit perfectly inside your tent regardless of its size or shape. More often than not, these are some type of LED lights, which makes them not only reliable but also long-lasting and sturdy. The structures can also be used for nighttime tennis games and parties, among other activities.

2 – Luminaries

Okay, this is a very basic type of lighting for your tent but it works. Luminaries are essentially battery-operated devices such as tealights placed inside of decorative paper bags. Once the tealight or other device is lit, it makes the paper bag glow and allows it to spread an awful lot of light considering how small those tealights are.

Naturally, you don’t have to make the paper bags fancy if you don’t want to. In fact, they can be just plain brown bags if you like but the glow you get from the tealight will amaze you because from these tiny lights, you get a lot of brightness once they’re inside of the paper bag. This is also one of the cheapest ways that you can choose to brighten up the inside of your tent, which is a perk for all campers.

3 – Hanging Tent Lanterns

For some campers, hanging a light fixture on a tree outside of the tent is all the light they need. If this is what you prefer, these hanging lanterns are for you. Most of them have several different brightness settings and can even be plugged into your mobile phone or laptop. Some can also clip on to the inside of your tent but whichever one you prefer, these lanterns are perfect for letting in just the right amount of light and not allowing your tent to be either too light or too dark.

Better still, these are battery-operated devices that are made to last for a very long time so you can use them for numerous camping trips before the battery needs to be replaced.

4 – Standard Lanterns

Everyone has seen lanterns for tents. There are so many designs and sizes of them that you are guaranteed to find one that’s perfect regardless of what you’re looking for in the first place. In the past, camping lanterns used some type of gas, such as kerosene, or people used a Bunsen burner-type device. Nowadays, though, most lanterns for camping use are made with LED lights.

There are many advantages of choosing a camping lantern that uses LED lighting because LED lights are:

  • More energy-efficient than other types of bulbs
  • Not influenced by cold weather; they still work great when it’s cold
  • Long-lasting, sticking around for roughly 50,000 hours
  • Able to light up immediately with no warm-up required
  • Very rugged and sturdy
  • Easily adjusted if you need to change the color or brightness
  • Eco-friendly

Although some LED lamps are a bit on the pricey side, many are not so shopping around for the best one is a smart thing to do. Many LED camping lanterns are impact-resistant and either waterproof or water-resistant, come with a removable cover, will not overheat and become a risk to your tent, and even include the batteries necessary to operate them.

If you research the top-rated lighting options for your camping tent, most of them are likely going to contain LED light bulbs for both practical and economical reasons. The lanterns also come in a variety of price ranges so you’ll always be able to find something perfect for your tent regardless of your personal budget.

5 – Mini-Lights on a String

Okay, so these are used mostly in tents for weddings and outdoor parties but nothing says that you can’t also use them for your next camping trip as well. Lots of companies make these miniature lights, which look similar to Christmas lights and are operated via a battery so there’s nothing to plug into an electrical outlet.

Mini-lights don’t always provide the same amount of light as lanterns and lamps do but they provide enough to allow you to see what is going on around you. They also make the tent more aesthetically appealing so if you’re heading out to a romantic camping getaway, they can provide just the right amount of ambiance to enhance the entire trip.

6 – Wearable Tent Lighting

Yes, there are lights for camping tents (and other locations, naturally) that you can wear! The most common is some type of hat, usually either a beanie or a baseball cap, that has a light you can aim towards whatever you’re doing and is perfect when you’re cooking outdoors or reading in the camp after dark.

Another type of wearable light is one that you attach to your shoelaces. These come with a lithium-ion battery that charges via a USB device and can last up to roughly three hours even if you set it on high. First made popular by runners, they are now frequently used by campers as well.

You can also purchase a specialized helmet that is similar to the ones worn by miners and has a headlamp attached to the part that sits on your forehead. This means that you can set up and tear down your tent without using your hands. They always come with an elastic headband so that they fit your head perfectly.

7 – Watt Lighting

These lights are also on a string but instead of being tiny as Christmas tree lights are, they are larger and look similar to the Christmas lights used a long time ago. They are four-watt light bulbs and are usually white. The best part about using them is that they are good both for providing you with a little more brightness inside the tent and simply as a decoration.

In other words, they are both functional and look good. This makes them an excellent choice when you’re looking for the perfect lighting for your camping tent.

8 – Motion Sensor Wireless LED Lamp

These are perfect when you have to get up in the middle of the night and take care of business. They are wireless and operated via batteries, usually the AAA type, and they automatically turn on whenever they sense motion within a six-foot radius. After around 20 seconds, the lamps turn off automatically, which goes a long way in saving battery power.

Naturally, these lamps are not recommended for those times when you need a continuous light source; however, they are perfect for short-term use and middle-of-the-night use when you need a temporary light source.

9 – Glow-in-the-Dark Sticks

These sticks are usually found in the kids’ section of the store. You merely snap them in half and move the “juice” inside of them around until the entire item is lit up. You can find these sticks in just about every shape and size from long sticks to short ones and even necklaces and bracelets made out of the same thing.

Best of all, the sticks come in all different colors, both solid colors and ones that contain various colors on the same stick. If you’re camping with kids, these can make your trip a lot more fun. Even though they aren’t meant to read by, they still provide enough light to see one another when you’re inside of your tent and they’re a lot of fun as well!

10 – Clip-on Lights

If you like to read in your tent while others are asleep or relaxing, these lights are perfect. They clip not only onto books but other items as well. The best part of buying these lights is that they are very inexpensive and can be found in any bookstore so it shouldn’t be difficult to purchase one.

In addition, these clip-on lights come with batteries inside. The batteries last for a very long time so you can usually take these with you on quite a few camping trips before the batteries need to be replaced.

Some Other Types of Camping Lights

In addition to specific types of camping lights, you also have options when it comes to how the lighting fixtures are operated. Not all lamps are battery-operated. Following are a few ways that you can choose to power your camping lights.

  • Solar power: These are compact lamps that have panels at the top that soak up the sun and usually provide around 12 hours worth of light on a single charge. Some of them are even inflatable for extra-easy use.
  • Propane: Propane is easy to get and very affordable. Many lanterns now made for camping use this type of gas. Most of them even provide a way to start the lamp simply by pushing a button.
  • Rechargeable batteries: For those who are interested in reducing their carbon footprints, rechargeable batteries are perfect. Simply use the batteries, which are usually the AA size, and recharge them whenever necessary.
  • Multi-power lanterns and lamps: Many lamps use more than one power source when you wish to use them, including solar, battery, and even the ability to use a USB port for faster and more reliable use.
  • Hurricane oil lamps: These are usually red in color and resemble old-fashioned hurricane lamps. They are usually around 12 inches high and use regular lamp oil. All you have to do to use them is fill them with oil and light the enclosed wick.

Final Thoughts

In addition to all of these products, you can also purchase tents with see-through tops that allow the light from the sun or the moon to shine through, which can provide just the right amount of light for most campers. There are also tents with lights already built into the structure, meaning that there’s no need to purchase separate lighting for your camping trip.

Indeed, getting just the right amount of lighting for your camping tent is not that difficult, thanks to the number of lighting fixtures now available for this sport. If you don’t find one that suits your fancy the first time, all you have to do is keep looking because there is truly something for everyone when it comes to this product. The Internet is the perfect place to start because if you can’t find it there, it likely doesn’t exist.

Author

I have a bachelor's degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies...I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.

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