Campsite lighting can create a homely feel to a tent at night as you make memories on a family vacation. Yet, you need the right camping string lighting to create the right effect. A good product will offer just enough light with efficient LEDs, an effective power source and attractive design.
Below are 5 top camping string lights to consider for your trip. Each has a different style and specification to highlight the range. Following that is a quick guide on how to light up your tent with these fairy lights.
1. MPOWERD Luci Solar Camping String Lights
This first product is perhaps the most practical and camping-friendly of all the models in this guide.
MPowered offers an 18-foot string that stretches across a campsite as needed. This is a solar-powered system with a secondary charging function via a USB cable. What this means is that you can use solar power on good days but still have a back-up on rainy days. There is also a battery indicator to highlight the life left on the lights, three intensity settings, and a flashlight mode. Then there is the addition of the 2-way charging. Not only can you charge the lights via the cable, but you can also plug mobile devices into the system to charge.
The obvious drawback here is that this is the least attractive option in this list. The small LED lights are definitely functional. The 100-lumen output is enough for most campers to illuminate the tent at night. But, the small white lights are quite boring. Others say that the charging time via solar power is a little too long for their liking. But, that is where that secondary system proves its worth.
Is it recommendable?
This product is definitely recommendable for campers that want a simple reliable system. The lights provide clean light without becoming overbearing and the charging options add convenience. However, if you are looking for something decorative, you may be better off looking elsewhere.
2. ALOVECO LED Camping Lights
If the option above isn’t that appealing because of the simple design and lack of color, these LED string lights might be a better choice. Here there is a 14.8ft string of LED balls that comes in pretty much all the colors of the rainbow.
While the brand advertises this as a product for gardens, weddings, and bedrooms, you can use this at a campsite if you bring enough batteries. It uses 3 AA batteries to create a soft multicolored glow. There are also 8 different sequences from the more gentle slow fade and waves to the more manic flashes.
One of the added benefits of this product is that there are lots of safety considerations for outdoor use. For a start, they are completely waterproof, so you can string them up outside with ease. There is also a timer system built-in. This means that the lights will turn off after 6 hours.
This is great for those that might fall asleep with them on, as it lowers any hazard risks and saves some of the battery life. Be aware that there is a longer string with 100 bulbs instead of 40 and this has a wireless remote. But, that long string isn’t battery operated.
Is it recommendable?
This is a brilliant choice for those that want more color and options in their lighting. The modes and rainbow effects are also great for family tents. Just be careful which version you get to be sure of the best power system.
3. Dephen Moroccan Ball Solar String Lights
Don’t pay too much attention to the fact that this product has a tag of Christmas lighting. The multicolored Moroccan balls are a great choice for any time of year. The LED bulbs within are pale pink, yellow, blue or green and are solar-powered.
The solar system feeds energy to the rechargeable battery, which then lights up the string lights when the sun goes down. The controls are as basic as they come – one power switch to turn them on and off and another to switch between flashing and steady modes.
One of the downsides to this option is the fact that the string is a little sparse compared to some other products. There is a 15ft long string but only 20 of these orbs. This, along with the low lumen of the LEDs, means that they are more decorative than practical. You may struggle to see much in the tent with one set of these lights. Another issue to watch out for is weatherproofing. One user that kept these outside reports that they developed rust.
Is it recommendable?
This isn’t the most practical solution in this guide, especially if you want something durable for the outdoors. However, they can still look very pretty in the right situation. We also can’t overlook the fact that this is a box-ticker with LED bulbs, solar power, and simple controls.
4. AceList Mini Kerosene Lantern Lights
This next set of LED camping string lights is one that will appeal to many campers that have tried other lighting solutions in the past. The old-fashioned propane lantern has some romance attached to it, but it isn’t practical or safe for tents anymore. A great alternative is this set of little replica lanterns with LEDs inside. This affordable string comes with either 10, 20 or 30 lamps in black or red. This means more choice to suit the size of your tent.
These lights run on 3 AA batteries with the most basic of on-off switches. There are no modes or intensity settings here. The other important downside here is that the low cost reflects in the material and build quality. This is a flimsy product compared to some of the others highlighted here. Some users have broken a couple of the lanterns and the thin casing on the battery box.
Is it recommendable?
A recommendation depends on how often you plan to use the lights. If you treat them carefully then you might be OK. The fun design and the low cost are enough to ensure that kids and parents alike will appreciate this on occasional camping trips.
5. Camco Hanging Festive Party Glow Lights
This final model does have a few more flaws than the other options in bunting camping lights mentioned so far. However, we had to include it because of the cute design and the low cost. This is a simple, affordable option that you can throw in a bag, take to the campsite and not worry about it.
The RV camper design is adorable and will be a conversation starter in many campsites. There may only be 10 of these lights on an 8-foot string. But, the low cost means you can get two strings if needed.
The main drawback here is that unlike the bright lights above, this model isn’t an LED option. There are oldfashioned bulbs inside the RV lights and while there are two small bulbs included, it can be difficult to find other replacements. Otherwise, buyers seem to be happy enough with the ease of use and the quality of the ambient lighting.
Is it recommendable?
This string of camping lights isn’t ideal because of the 3 AA battery system and the old-fashioned bulbs. But, you can’t deny the kitsch value of the trailer design and the joy they will bring to the right camper.
How to use these LED camping string lights for the best effect
Once you have chosen the most practical and attractive option in camping string lights, you need to figure out where and how to hang them. Are these lights going to illuminate the area around the campsite – providing a festive feel as you play games and eat meals by the fire? Or, are they going inside the tent to provide some light at night? If you are using these inside your tent then you should follow the guidelines below.
How to hang string lights in a camping tent:
- Make sure that you have everything you need with you before you leave
- Untangle the lights and test them out before decorating the tent
- Wrap the lights around the tent poles and clip them in place
- Remove any potential trip hazards and make sure that the controls are accessible
Make sure that you have everything before you leave. This means the string of lights, the charging wires, and batteries (as needed) and the box or storage bag to keep them safe. Also, remember to bring the clips. There is nothing worse than taking a battery-powered item to a remote campsite but no batteries.
Once you get to the campsite, take the lights out of the bag or box and untangle them. This gives you a good idea of just how long the string is to plan your decoration. It also lets you take all the kinks out of the wires in advance. This way the fairy lights are easier to hang and less likely to fail.
Next, place the battery pack in a convenient place and start stringing the wires of the lights around the tent poles. The design you create will depend on the tent you own. You can create a nice archway in a dome tent or a long strip in an A-framed tent. Don’t start too dense and find that you run out halfway along. Space them out evenly for the best look. Also, remember to clip the wire to the pole so the lights don’t fall at night.
Finally, make sure to remove all of the trip hazards and double-check that the lights are easy to use. You don’t want to fumble for the control box in an awkward place. It also can’t be too high for kids that want to turn on their new pretty LED camping lights. All that is left is to turn on the lights, make sure they look good and
put the spare batteries somewhere safe.
Think of your new LED string lights for camping as though they are Christmas lights
Some campers liken the look of LED camping lights and the decorating process to Christmas lights. You want a pretty string that will add some festive cheer to the tent. You also want them to cover the space evenly and be easy enough for everyone to use. Illuminating a tent with camping string lights doesn’t have to be difficult. Choose a string with the right features, colors, power supply and length. Then take your time to decorate the tent and enjoy the light and joy they bring