Fun while camping shouldn’t have to end when the sun goes down, and the light from a fire will only last so long. That’s why camping lights are a hugely popular among camping fanatics, since they can offer so much more than just a source of light.
Tent lights have gone beyond simple portable lanterns.
There are now lots of variations, from LED tent lights, to string lights for tents. String lights add a sense of character, and a different ambience to an otherwise ordinary tent. Most are solar powered or use a couple of batteries, making them low wattage and more economical.
The starry quality of campsite lighting can make you feel like you’re in your own home. You can create a romantic getaway or a cozy atmosphere for kids, all while providing a convenient light source. You can find them in many different designs and colors, so we’ve narrowed it down to the 10 best camping tent lights for sale today.
1. Coleman LED Camping String Lights
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Featuring 10 mini lanterns, these lights serve as a fun decoration in addition to a bright cool glow. Due to the miniature size, they’re highly portable and won’t take up much room in your gear. They operate on 3 AA batteries, which are easy to install in the attached battery pack. This pack is just over 3 inches at its largest, so you can conceal it without much effort.
The string that connects the tiny lanterns stretches to 6.6ft in length, so they could ideally wrap around a good portion of the tent. Weighing just 12.7 ounces, they’re not going to weigh down the fabric. A power life of 20 hours is more than enough for several nights left on before going to sleep. While there is no timer, you can turn them off and on whenever you want.
- Runs 20 Hours on 3 AA Batteries
- 6ft String Length
- Lightweight & Portable 12.7 ounces
2. Big Agnes mtnGLO LED Camping Lights
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Next up is this unique lighting unit from Big Agnes. Available in blue/green, red, or white colors, these are energy efficient LED’s. The interesting thing about these is that they can be hung in two different ways. The first is in their sack, which attaches to a pole or the roof of your tent using a small hook, and the other is as traditional string lights using the same kind of hooks.
Four clips along the cord let you customize the placement however you’d like. You’ve got two luminous modes to choose from – a resting glow, or a flicker. Measuring 8.3ft in length, the LED’s are encased in a nylon tubing that is lightweight and durable. Power them up with AAA batteries or through a USB.
- Long 8.3ft String with Customizable Clip Placement
- Use as Lantern in Sack Casing or as Fairy Lights
- Available in Blue/Green, Red, or White Glow
3. MPOWERED Luci Solar Camping String Lights
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The Luci Solar lights from MPOWERED feature a highly modern design. The circular cord holder is made to prevent tangling of the wires, making it completely hassle-free to roll up and roll out the lights when you need them. Choose from either one size, or a two, three, or four pack.
Fully solar powered, there are no extra batteries required. It needs 16 hours to charge in direct sunrays and can thus last for 20 hours.
Four modes include a flashlight setting, and low, medium, and high brightness modes. 100 lumens are produced from each of the 10 LED bulbs, giving you 1000 lumens in total. A warm, yellow glow is emitted.
- Solar or USB Charge for 20 Hour Runtime
- Tangle-Free Cord Holder Can Wrap Around Tent or Trees
- 1000 Lumens from 10 Bulbs
4. FLY2SKY 4-Pack Bulb Camping Lights
These are a cool take on traditional light bulbs, coming in a 4 pack with blue, yellow, red, and green colors. These colors don’t affect the tone of the glow, which comes off quite cool and white. Each bulb produces 150 lumens, totaling to 600 lumens in one pack. Each one lasts 10 to 15 hours.
One of our favorite highlights is that these are water resistant – even the battery pack is IPX4 rated water resistant, so you’ll never have to worry about when it rains.
With a straightforward push button on the front of each bulb, you can personalize the level of shine to either low mode, high, or strobe mode which delivers an intense flickering effect. A single bulb weighs only 2.5 ounces, so they won’t make your tent fabric sag.
- Water Resistant 600-Lumen Bulbs
- 3 Adjustable Modes & 15 Hour Operation
- Effortless Hanging with Classic Carabiner Attachment
5. Nature’s Blossom Camping Fairy Lights
We think these next lights are perfect for use on a traditional teepee, as well as a regular tent. You get 5 strings of LED’s for a super customizable fit, giving you a soft, radiant experience with 75 LED’s in total. Powered by 3 AA batteries, you’re given 15 hours straight of power. The bulbs are contained within a hard-wearing silicone tube.
With a super low wattage, they won’t overheat, making them safe to use around kids. To fit them on 4-5 pole teepees, simple slip them into the sleeve of each pole, leaving the O-ring at the top to keep everything secure. The lights will sparkle from underneath the material for a magical look.
- 5ft Length for Each String & 15 Hours of Battery Life
- Durable Silicone-Coated Tube on Bulbs
- 5 Strings with 75 LED’s Emit Yellow Light
6. Koopower Camping Outdoor Lights
The Koopower Outdoor Lights are super classic fairy lights, with the same design you’ve probably seen used for Christmas decorations. We love how sparkly and festive these look, making them perfect for glamping, or on a regular tent when you want to spice things up.
Boasting a massive 36ft length, these are long enough for larger capacity tents. Choose from 8 different modes, like flashing or slow fade, and you even get a mini remote to do so with ease. It uses 3 AA batteries for 60 hours in one go.
A built-in timer is handy to let you set-and-forget. It’s controlled by an on/off switch, and programs to 6 hours on and 18 off. A standout feature for us is the fact that these are water resistant and IP65 rated, meaning they’re dustproof.
- 36ft Length & IP65 Dustproof Rating
- 6 Hour On-18 Hour Off Timer
- Wireless Remote for Controlling Light Modes
7. Ryno Tuff Camping Lights
This device from Ryno Tuff is like an upgrade on a traditional lantern. With a sleek teardrop design, it emits a yellow light which glows at a different wavelength than other colored lights. This makes it almost invisible to insects, like mosquitos, so it won’t attract any pesky critters to your tent. An IP65 rating means it is protected against powerful streams of water, and it won’t allow any dust or debris to enter.
Weighing 5 ounces, it measures just 2.7 inches in diameter and 4.3 inches in height. It takes no more than 4 hours to charge it up using a micro USB cable. You can control it using the mini remote, which lets you adjust the luminosity and tone to 5 modes. Hold it like a lantern by its carabiner attachment or hang it on a tree or inside your tent.
- 150 Lumens Per Bulb with Rechargeable Internal Battery
- Long 300 Hour Runtime on Lowest Luminosity
- Robust Design with Water & Dustproof IP65 Rating
8. Siivton Camping Lights
The Siivton is another contemporary take on a classic lantern. It’s only 5.6 ounces and can fit in an average adult’s pant pocket. For such a small size, it has a very powerful 6400mAh battery that has a lifespan of 50,000 hours. A robust construction with a rubber coating gives it an IP65 waterproof and dustproof rating.
A unique feature is the powerful integrated magnet on the top. We especially like this because you can set it down on the front of a car or other iron surface for handsfree use. To hang inside your tent, you’ve got a retractable hook.
There are 8 modes in total to control using the wireless remote – 5 settings for the colors of the light, and 3 modes for dimming. It emits white, yellow, natural and red tones with different flickers. Charging is a cinch with a micro USB cable.
- Sturdy Hook & Strong Magnet
- Wireless Remote with 5 Modes & 3 Dimmers
- Grad A LED Bulbs & Overall IP65 Water/Dustproof Rating
9. LETOUR Dimmable Camping Light Bulb
This model from LETOUR offers a wonderfully bright light as high as 4000 lumens. It works for up to 20 hours in one go, using a powerful 8800mAh battery with a low 3.7 voltage. Made from robust ABS material, it has a metal hook for hanging.
While it produces a super bright white light at its highest setting, there are 4 other modes to adjust the brightness. It even has both regular strobe mode, and fast strobe. As well as the hook for hanging, we like the slightly lengthened neck that you can hold onto like a torch. Using a USB cord, it takes 4-5 hours to get a full charge.
- Strong 8800mAh Rechargeable Built-In Battery
- Extremely Bright 4000 Lumens with 5 Brightness Modes
- Lightweight Design Weighs 9.6 Ounces
10. Lemontec String Camping Lights
Our final choice for the list comes from Lemontec and is a string of lights made of very traditional-looking clear light bulbs. It has a very stylish look to it, making them ideal for glamping tents, backyard events, or just on an ordinary tent.
Measuring 25ft long, you can purchase more than one and connect a series of 3 strings to each other for even more luminosity. The bulbs have a candelabra socket base, and even if one of them breaks, the others will keep working. At 5W and 110V per bulb, they won’t overheat or damage tent fabric.
- Stylish & Decorative Effect
- 25 Feet String with 25 Low Wattage Bulbs
- End-to-End Connections to Clip 3 Strings Together
How to Choose a Camping Light
Odds are you won’t be camping for just one night, so it’s important to have some lights that will last each night of your trip. Rechargeable batteries are awesome because you don’t need to constantly replace batteries, but you will need a power source.
The battery life also relates to how much energy the lights consume, which determines whether they’re energy-efficient or will cost you more in the long term. LED’s are great because they can give off a lot of brightness, but don’t consume heaps of energy.
If the lights are made out of a flimsy material, then they won’t really last in the rough nature of outdoor living. But, it does all depend on where you’re staying, and the weather you’re set to experience.
If you’re on a calm warm-weather trip that doesn’t expect much rain, a stylish set of lights made from thin plastic or glass are best. However, if you’re in rough terrain in a location with unpredictable weather, you need tough ABS plastic or something similar, rubber, nylon, or silicone elements, and possibly a waterproof rating.
Here we’re talking about what kind of tent you’re using, and what type of lights will suit it best. If you need something to illuminate the interior, go for a single lantern that can hang inside. For outside illumination, string or fairy lights offer a more stylized look.
The most common attachment types are a hook or some clips, but we have seen some other interesting methods. Some use magnets, and some slip inside the tent sleeves. Your choice will depend on how you need to use the light, as in whether you need it inside or outside the tent.
Lumens are how you measure the level of brightness. 100-200 lumens will give you a gentle luminosity, and the higher you get the brighter it will be. Also take into account if the brightness can be adjusted, like a dimmer.
How to hang camping string lights in a tent?
This depends on the exact kind of model, as some have different types of clip attachments. Here are some general steps to follow:
- Make sure they are untangled.
- Turn them on before placing them on the tent.
- Wrap or place the string along the poles, either inside or outside, and attach them using the clip or other mechanism.
- Use some zip ties for added stability if needed.
Is it safe to use a camping light in a tent?
Due to the low wattage and voltage levels, they consume very little energy and are safe to use on or inside a tent. If you’re concerned, just remember to always supervise the lights when they’re on and turn them off before going to sleep.
How many lumens should the camping light be for inside the tent?
Commonly the ideal lumen level is around 100 and 200, but if you’re trying to brighten a larger area, something above 300 or 400 lumens is the way to go. The higher the lumens, the brighter it gets.
Conclusion on the Best Camping Lights
Camping tent lights are a necessity for any trip, as they brighten up your way in addition to creating a more interesting atmosphere. They offer more than just lanterns, with modernized features like higher brightness levels, remote control adjustments, sturdy builds, and cool designs. From our review, we hope you’ve found one that meets your needs.