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7 Campsite Lighting Ideas to Shed a Little Light to Your Nights

Choosing the right lighting for your family camping trip can be a challenge. Whether you’re looking to turn your tent into a romantic grotto or you need plenty of light to hang out with your loved ones all night, this article will give you seven great lighting ideas for your next camping trip. Choosing the right Light on Your Campsite can be a challenge. This article will give you seven great camping lighting ideas for your next trip.

It needs to be safe enough to use in a confined (and flammable!) space, but it can’t take up too much power if you’re camping without a hookup. And if you’re backpacking, your lighting also needs to be compact and robust enough to survive the journey without weighing you down. No pressure! (also, you can choose a power generator for your camping trip and use electric lighting)

As much as I like stargazing, it’s hard to read or play board games when you can’t see five inches in front of your face.

Related Read: Camping Safety Tips

Little Light on Your Campsite

7 Best Campsite Lighting Ideas

  1. String Lights 

String lights are great for camping. 

They are super lightweight and compact, and you can pick them up pretty cheaply. If you get battery-powered string lights, you don’t have to worry about power, but it’s a good idea to bring along a few spare batteries, just in case. 

I love string lights because they give a cozy and romantic feel to your campsite. If you want to make the trip memorable for your special someone, camping string lights are a great choice. 

  1. Rechargeable Work Lights 

As much as I love string lights, they might not be the best choice if you need to light up a larger space. When I go camping with my family, I bring a couple of rechargeable work lights with me so that I can read or play cards after sunset. 

What’s cool about work lights is that they are designed to move around a lot, so they are robust and compact. They are also extremely powerful and can last for a good 15 hours on the lower modes. 

This means you don’t have to worry about being hooked up to electricity to get a decent lighting setup. Do bear in mind that the batteries will drain more quickly when you use work lights on the brightest setting. 

  1. Hurricane Lanterns

You could also go for a hurricane lantern. 

The nice thing about lanterns is that the light is evenly distributed, so you can just put the lantern in the center of your camping table rather than trying to work out the best place to set it up and where to point it. 

Electric hurricane lanterns are usually more compact and camping-proof, but you could bring an oil burner, too. Oil lanterns produce a warmer, cozier glow, and you can just top them up when they run out of oil. 

Oil burners might be more appropriate if you don’t have access to a charge-up point. 

  1. Electric Candles

I don’t recommend standard candles at a campsite because they can easily blow out in the wind. They are also too dangerous to use inside a tent, as they can quickly start a fire in your sleeping compartment. 

Electric candles are an excellent alternative. They give a nice, romantic touch to your campsite and provide an extra bit of light. Electric tealights are particularly lightweight and small, so you can bring them with you if you’re backpacking. 

Electric candles aren’t as bright as a head torch or lantern, but they are great for creating a cozy ambiance. 

  1. Head Torches

Head torches are super practical. 

They are inexpensive and compact, and the batteries last for ages. They aren’t the best for playing board games or sitting around with your friends because every time you look directly at someone, your light will dazzle them. 

To prevent this, you can angle your light toward the ground. 

For things like reading, cooking, or going to the restroom at night, head torches are perfect. Some tents also have light diffuser pockets, so you can slip your headtorch into the mesh and turn it into a lantern. 

  1. Paper Lantern Bags 

Paper lantern bags (or luminary bags) are a great addition to electric candles. You could also use ordinary tealights, but only outside your tent when they aren’t going to be a fire hazard. 


Luminary bags aren’t expensive, they look fantastic, and you can position them all around your campsite to help find your way around at night. 

You could even make a lit-up pathway from your tent to your picnic table so that no one trips over themselves on their way to bed. 

  1. Solar Lanterns 

My last suggestion for lighting up your campsite is to grab a few solar lanterns. You can hang the pretty paper ones from trees near your tent to create a festival vibe. Or you can get the more sensible and sturdy camping lanterns. 

I find the paper solar lanterns to be lovely and effective, but the brighter solar lanterns can be less efficient, especially if the weather is overcast. 

With that in mind, I’d use solar lanterns to decorate the campsite and get a work light or hurricane lantern for more practical lighting!

Final Thoughts 

You have loads of options when it comes to lighting your campsite. Ultimately, your choice comes down to what you’re trying to achieve. If you want to create a romantic or cozy feel, you’d be better off with electric tealights, luminary bags, or string lights. 

If you’re looking for something brighter and more energy-efficient, I’d go with a portable work light, a hurricane lantern, or a head torch. Just remember to angle your head torch downward, or you’re going to dazzle your camping buddies (and not for the right reasons!).

I hope you found this article helpful, and I wish you many bright and happy camping adventures!

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