While camping is intended to be far from your home comforts, there are some elements that can make life easier, a prime example of this, is a lighted tents. These can truly come in handy more than you might think.
Midnight toilet breaks? No stumbling around looking for the zips. Kids can’t sleep in the dark? Some have adjustable luminosity settings so everyone can get a good night’s sleep. Sick of torches and lanterns constantly running out of power? Keep them in the storage pockets where they belong.
Camping lighted tents make some of the best family tents around, making it so much easier for you to do simple things that are otherwise difficult in the dark. Forget about propping up torches as a make-shift light source, only to have them drop and darkness falls again.
Our list of the best lighted tents shows the vast range that is out there, yet simplified so you can easily choose quality for your next trip.
10 Best Lighted Tents for Camping Reviewed
1. CORE Lighted Instant Cabin Tent with Screen Room
Our top choice for a group of people, this 10-person model comes with its own screen room for added space and storage. An instant pitch means more time camping and less time assembling. The frame comes pre-attached, so you only need to extend the poles until they click into place. It takes just a few minutes.
The level of light measures 950 lumens, which is the measurement of the amount of light that is visibly emitted at one time. This is an average rating and it can be adjusted in this tent to three different modes – nightlight, medium, and high.
The nightlight setting goes all the way down to 35 lumens, which is a great dim level that shouldn’t disturb sleep. While the batteries aren’t included, they’re very easy to install. The built-in wall switch makes it feel just like home.
The outer fly is removable to reveal a full mesh roof. With the fly on, it’s water-resistant and provides shelter from the sun. The large mesh screen room and modifiable ground vent system create air circulation.
- 950 Lumens of LED Light
- Adjustable Brightness Levels
- 168” L x 120” W x 84” H
2. Coleman Tenaya Lake Lighted Cabin Tents
A fastpitch is just one of the benefits of this 8-person cabin. The LED light system has a fabric covering that induces a soft interior glow. The switch is neatly placed in a mesh storage pocket for effortless access.
To protect the LED from water damage, the special WeatherTec system is made up of inverted seams, wind-repellent frame, protective zipper cuff, and welded floors. In particularly wet weather, you can pop on the rainfly and keep the mesh windows open without moisture getting inside.
The front door is a massive D-shape and hinged for easy access. Without the flysheet, the roof is completely screened mesh. This allows night stargazing and ample ventilation when it’s hot outside.
One of the coolest parts is the dedicated closet space inside with a bar for hanging clothes. You won’t find this often, and it’s such a thoughtful feature that is handy for long trips where you don’t want to live out of your bag.
- Color-coded Poles
- 156” L x 108” W x 81.6” H
- Roller Carry Bag
3. CORE Lighted 9 Person Tents
Like the first one we mentioned, this has a classic cabin design and is made to fit 9 people, but we recommend half of that to have extra roominess. The lighting is incorporated into the roof, so the whole tent is equally luminous. To turn it on and off, the switch display is fully integrated and mounted onto one of the side walls.
This makes it so much easier to control. Choose from 3 different intensities that range from a nightlight mode, medium, and high. Having this freedom to decide what level you need is such a desirable feature. 250-hour run time will last you quite a few nights of use.
Installation takes no more than 2 minutes because all the poles are already attached to the structure. The rainfly assists with waterproofing, and when not in use the roof has complete mesh roofing. Not only does this give a beautiful view of the sky, but it’s also a big source of airflow. A room divider lets you get some privacy, and the huge T-shaped door lets you get in and out smoothly.
- 950 Lumens of LED
- Internal Wall Switch
- 168” L x 108” W x 78”H
4. Coleman Prairie Breeze Lighted Cabin Tents
Another 9-person capacity model, this also has a quick set up with handle pole sleeves so you always know where they should go. The lighting system is effortlessly installed just like a normal lightbulb. The cool thing about this one, though, is that the light doubles as a fan.
Operating on 4D batteries, it can last 20 hours when using both at the same time. With just the illumination, it has a 195-hour run time. Control everything using the wall switch, which is also illuminated to you can see it at night. There are 3 options to choose from for adjusting the luminosity intensity.
Just like other versions within this popular brand, the WeatherTec system is designed to keep it weatherproof and safe from the elements. The removable fly cover offers added shelter, and there are multiple mesh openings that promote air circulation. We think you can fit 2 queen airbeds snugly, which is great for stretching out and getting a great sleep.
- 99” L x 80” W x 56” H
- Produces 75 Lumens of Light
- Additional Ceiling Fan Included
5. CORE Lighted 12-Person Instant Cabin Tents
This feels more like a small house than for camping. 2 huge doors open to a spacious interior with 6.6 feet of center height. Like the other CORE models on our list, the inside is brightened with the LEDs and 3 alternate modes. Each choice ranges between a soft 35 lumens all the way up to an awesome 1000 lumens of strength.
An innovative diffusion panel over the bulbs creates a more dispersed and efficient beam. The controller is stuck to the wall so you can use it just like your lights at home. The buttons are illuminated with a lovely blue glow so you can press them with ease.
3 air mattresses could easily fit inside, but we recommend about 6 to 8 people as you can have some room left over for storing gear. Room dividers allow you to create 3 separate rooms so you can all get some privacy. The flysheet is water-resistant to protect the interior lighting circuit. Lots of mesh windows ensure ample ventilation.
- 216” L x 120” W x 80” H
- 1000 Lumens of Power
- 250+ Hours of Runtime
6. Ozark Trail Instant Cabin Tent with Built in Lights
When this is lit up at night, it produces a calm silver glow that won’t disturb wildlife. We think it emulates the soft radiance of the moon, so it also won’t disrupt other campers. This is achieved through the diffusing ceiling system where the bulbs are literally built into the upper framework.
A switchboard is located on the roof where you can adjust the luminosity with ease. With the whole roof lined with these LED poles, everything is efficiently brightened without dark spots.
With slightly slanted walls, any rain or water build-up can slide right off and onto the ground, so it won’t leak inside. The fly is easily removed, and underneath is entirely meshed to create airflow in warmer climates.
Weighing 31 lbs, it’s not as heavy as other 10 person kinds, so it’s easy to set up and take down in one piece. The instant design also helps with this, as all the poles are already inserted – simply lift, extend, and lock.
- 168” L x 120” W x 78”H
- Room Divider
- Adjustable LED Lighting
7. Coleman Elite Sundome 6 Person LED Tent
Sticking with the classic dome form, this is great for trips outside of campsites that require something that will handle the rough backcountry. The lighting comes from an LED that is placed in the center peak of the roof. It generates a soft glow and offers 3 different settings, including a nightlight for sleepers who can’t rest in full darkness.
Fiberglass poles make up the framework which ensures solidity even during winds. The rainfly is shaped differently to some others, as it has an awning that stretches over both doors on either side. This keeps rain out whilst still letting you keep the screen vent parts open.
68D polyester and a thick mesh protect from mild conditions, as well as the 1000D polyethylene flooring which stops seepages. Even more weather protection is given with the durable 75D polyester taffeta fly. Inside you can fit 2 queen-sized beds, but if you’re looking for more room then just go for normal sleeping pads.
- 144” L x 120” W x 72”H
- Various Lighting Modes
- 10-Minute Set Up
8. Big Agnes Manzanares HV SL mtnGLO Tent
Specifically designed with backpacking in mind, this features a sturdy architecture with particularly steep walls for a dome shape. Double doors are met with double vestibules that give you fantastic space for storing gear and other belongings.
Internal ceiling pockets are also there for storage. Storm flaps incorporated into the rainfly allow air to enter whilst protecting from rain or dust. A simple pitch is achieved with the pre-cut guy ropes and tensioners already attached to the flysheet.
If you’re camping alone, the removable lights can feel comforting when there is bad weather outside, and you must spend more time inside. There are attachment points scattered throughout the interior so you have control over where you want to be illuminated – you can even set them up outside the tent along the poles.
They can be adjusted using the compact USB compatible controller. We love how they appear like fairy lights once turned on, and it produces a nice subtle glow that won’t distract wildlife.
- 88” L x 52” W x 39”H
- 3 Mode LED Lights
- Nylon Rip-Stop & Polyester Taffeta Tough Materials
9. Ozark Trail Tent with Integrated LED Light
An LED strip runs right through the ceiling of this large 12-person capacity cabin. It lights up the entire space and can be modified to low, medium, or high levels of brightness. Simply switch it on and off using the controller embedded into the roof and adjust the luminosity to your liking.
No assembly is required thanks to the 2-minute instant set up. This is amazing considering the large size, and you don’t have to worry about stability since you have 20 strong steel stakes to hold it down. Suitable for 3 seasons, the rain-sheet has factory-sealed seams, allowing no condensation to drip through.
9 screen windows can be completely shut from the inside to secure warmth or be kept open with the roof exposed for ultimate airflow. There is a small porch at the front doors to protect from light rain and let you relax outside in the shade. A carry bag with roller wheels lets you transport it with ease.
- 216” L x 120” W x 80”H
- Adjustable 3 Room Layout
- LED Strip Lights With 3 Settings
10. Twinkle Star Castle Play Kids Tent with Lights
This one’s for the kids. It’s an adorable princess castle inspired play tent with a sort of canopy structure. We say this because the walls are only made of light mesh fabric that can be folded back for a more open feel. 230T pongee fabric is durable to prevent rips, yet still extremely soft.
Set up is a breeze with the premium plastic rods that slide into the dedicated sleeves. We think this is perfect for children aged between 1 and 10 years old.
The most adorable part about this is the gorgeous fairy lights, aptly named “twinkle stars” due to their wonderful glimmering and starry effect.
Your child can choose between different settings to get them to either flash or stay stagnant like normal lights. This adds to the magic and can encourage their imagination for hours of playtime. As well as this addition you also receive a fun pineapple and flamingo banner that can be draped across the roof.
- 50” Full-Length x 55” Peak
- 3 Child Capacity
- 138 LED String Lights
Buyers Guide – How to Choose The Right Lighted Tents
Having the ability to adjust the intensity of the glow within your shelter can be a huge advantage. It’s not entirely necessary, but we think it’s nice to have the freedom to alter the levels. Maybe you don’t like sleeping in complete darkness, but you don’t want to keep your torch on all night. Or perhaps you’re playing a board game with your family, but the lighting just isn’t cutting it.
Some tents have adjustable settings, usually available in 3 modes, that can help with these problems some of you might face. Like we mentioned in our intro, we know that camping isn’t about having all your home comforts. But there is no harm in taking some simple and cost-effective extra measures towards feeling more comfortable while out in the wild.
Another little tip is to notice the highest glow level and determine whether it would work well within nature. You don’t want to upset any of the flora and fauna, or other campers if you’re sharing a site. A soft, delicate glow that imitates the moon is the way to go. Remember though that it may look different inside when compared to outside the tent, so try and test it out by looking at both.
You should always look for an easy installation (or even better, no assembly at all) in relation to lighted tents. It makes the process so much more seamless when you’re setting up a pre-built structure. It shouldn’t take you much longer than an extra few minutes. Some of the easiest we’ve found include:
- Screwing or inserting a bulb into a socket.
- Stringing a line of LEDs around poles or through dedicated pockets.
- The most common is simply inserting batteries into a power source.
Just like your own lighting at home, tent lighting is usually controlled by a simple on and off display. We’d recommend choosing ones with either fully integrated switch boards (like in regular homes) or a separate remote. These are the most convenient ways to manage everything whilst on a camping trip. They won’t add extra stress and they eliminate the need to fumble through a bunch of confusing wires to set things up.
Size, Shape & Assembly
While you should always choose a size and style depending on the type of camping you are doing, it’s also important when picking one with integrated lighting. These factors will affect the placement of lighting in terms of where it is positioned, and where the luminosity will hit within the interior. A larger cabin might need more radiance and energy, compared to a smaller dome edition which doesn’t need as much to be completely illuminated.
How a tent assembles also has an effect, as you may have to install it yourself if it’s not already incorporated into the structure. We included a variety of options in our above list that differ in this aspect. Some are already inside the roof, some you need to screw in like a bulb, and some have strips with a remote control.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Lighted Tents?
It basically means a tent that has been built either with lights already integrated inside, or some separate bulb or LED string attachments that need to be inserted manually. While it may seem like the latter option is less convenient, this is certainly not the case as these tents are built with the lighting in mind. If you must physically create the interior brightening yourself, you’ll usually find a dedicated outlet, or hooks and pockets to hang strings. All these elements are included in the initial purchase to make the process as smooth and uncomplicated as possible.
How to Decorate a Tent with Lights?
If you’re in the mood for a bit of a DIY project, there are several ways you can make your own lighting structures for your camper. Perhaps you bought one without anything pre-installed and you’re looking for an upgrade. Or maybe you simply want to enhance what is already there. Here are our tips:
- Buy your own LED strips and insert them inside based on their instructions. You may need an additional power source like an external battery to run these.
- Recycle your glass bottles and use them as DIY lamps. Insert some battery-powered fairy lights and you’ve got yourself a charming lantern with an ambient glow.
- Fairy lights or string lights on their own are great for adding some brightness.
- Most tents have hooks for lanterns. This can add some extra radiance.
Lighted Tents Safety Guide
How can you stay safe while using lights inside a tent? The idea of lights running all night inside a small space may seem daunting to some. Luckily, if you take the right precautions and use common sense there should be no problems. Most modern designs on the current market need to pass certain standards before being cleared to be sold, but it’s important to always know what you’re purchasing and from whom. This is a general guide you can follow for the next time you go camping so you and others can feel secure knowing nothing will go wrong.
- If you notice the lights heating up drastically to the touch, turn them off and contact the distributor immediately. While it’s normal for some slight heating, LEDs especially are known to keep low temperatures.
- Don’t use a candle unless it’s fully covered inside something like a lantern. Ensure it’s out of the way so no one can bump it and knock it over. Always supervise it and never fall asleep with it still burning. The same goes for oil and gas lanterns.
- Remember to always do appropriate and in-depth research before purchasing any type of lighting fixture or device. Read reviews, investigate the brand, and try and go with what you know. This can avoid potential hazards from occurring.
No matter if you’re camping with your family or traveling alone, our guide has displayed the best LED lighted tents that can serve a purpose for any kind of adventure. You can save money on buying too many torches or overpriced lanterns and use a tent with lights already pre-installed. They are convenient, not that far in price from a regular tent, and super functional to make your life that little bit easier while staying outdoors.