The Best Camping String Lights of 2024 (2024)

There’s nothing like a string light to make a tent, hammock, or back of a car a cozy home away from home. Whether you’re out on a solo car-camping adventure, making fireside meals with friends, or relaxing in your hammock in the park on the weekend, the glow of a string light can make the mood exactly what you want it to be.

Proper lighting in your camp setup can help make you feel like you’re living, not just camping. When it’s time to crawl into your tent for bed, you can turn the lights on like you’re flipping a switch as you walk through the front door. Our experts have been lighting up the scene for a handful of years now, testing just about every camping string light on the market and settling on seven of the best for every occasion.

For this review, we toted these string lights from the frontcountry to the backcountry, stringing them up in campsites in national parks and remote outposts alike. We illuminated our rigs on overlanding get-togethers and cast a useful light on camp kitchens across the country to whittle down on what exactly makes a good string light. We focused on important functional differences in brightness, battery life, durability, and weight, and each light passed through the gauntlet of our unique testing regimen.

String lights are inviting, versatile, and extremely useful, whether you’re trying to create an ambiance or fight off the impending dark. If you’re tired of looking for things with a flashlight or have been blinded one too many times by a friend looking at you in the face with a headlamp, investing in a set of string lights might just be your answer.

Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys, and at the end of our list, be sure to check out our buyer’s guide to learn more about how to illuminate your next camping outing.

Editor’s Note: We updated our guide on October 27, 2023, to include multiple new camping string lights, including our new top pick: the ENO Twilights Camp Lights, as well as the Nite Ize Radiant ShineLine and additional information on our testing and tips for buying your next set of lights.

The Best Camping String Lights of 2024

Best Overall Camping String Lights

ENO Twilights Camp Lights


  • LumensNot provided
  • Power sourceThree AAA Batteries
  • Burn time72 hrs
  • Water resistanceIPX4 rated (resistant to splashes)
  • Weight3 oz.


  • Variety of light modes
  • Long battery life
  • Packable
  • Easy to hang


  • Gets tangled easily
  • Not rechargeable
  • Damageable

Maddie Downie

The ENO Twilights Camp Lights ($25) are reliable, all-around string lights that may easily find their way into your camping gear. These packable lights offer a variety of light modes and boast a long battery life, making them a reliable top choice for camp lighting.

Reminiscent of Christmas tree lights, the ENO Twilights come with 20 LED lights and four light settings. We enjoyed stringing these lights up around camp, in the tent, but loved them best in the back of our car. You have your choice of the white light set or the color set, though the color lights definitely offer more of a holiday feel, so if you’re looking for something more neutral in a camping light, the white light version is the one to go with.

These lights have a brag-worthy 72-hour battery life for the three AAA batteries they require. At 100% brightness, they remained bright for 3 days, only dimming at the end of the third. Although these lights aren’t rechargeable, they maximize battery life, making them a great choice for multiday camping trips, or for someone who doesn’t want to have to remember to charge their lights every time before hitting the road.

These lights come with a stuff sack that makes them easy to toss in a pack or car. We do recommend taking the time to store these lights carefully as they’re a bear to untangle if they’re packed haphazardly. They will also happily tangle with other gear if you pack them loosely. Packing them in their stuff sack will also prevent wear and tear, and these lights aren’t invincible. We found that the plastic encasing the lights and wires is prone to stretching, wear, and tear.

These lights are a breeze to hang and come with a loop on the end of the battery pack as well as a small clip at the other end of the lights. We hung them on a hammock suspension and tent pole, but they sit nicely in trees as well. These lights won’t illuminate an entire camp on their own, but if you can get your hands on multiple, you have a better shot at lighting up a larger area.

Despite the ENO Twilights’ lack of invincibility, these lights are still a great choice for an all-around camping light. They’re perfect for a backpacker looking to add a little glow to their camp, or a car camper wanting to keep it simple. Unsurprisingly, they pair exceptionally well with an ENO hammock.

Best Budget Camping String Lights

BioLite SiteLight String


  • Lumens150 lms total (across four lights)
  • Power sourceUSB power source or other BioLite Lanterns
  • Burn timeDependent on battery source
  • Water resistanceNot rated, but resistant to light rain
  • Weight2.5 oz.


  • Low-cost
  • Easily packable
  • Compatible with other BioLite products
  • Compatible with USB chargers


  • Not suitable for lighting large areas
  • Requires plug-in
  • One brightness setting

Maddie Downie

If you’re looking for a cheap, packable, and bright light, the BioLite SiteLight String ($20) is a no-brainer. And they’re even better if you’re already part of the BioLite ecosystem!

These come in strings of four lights across 10 feet of cable with 150 lumens of lighting power, which is pretty powerful. The last four feet of the string are without lights though, as it heads to the power source, so the lights are really more like 6 feet long.

These lights worked well to light up these small spaces. While car camping, we used them to illuminate the back of a car as well as the inside of a tent. While they aren’t a great choice for lighting up an entire campsite on their own, they are daisy-chainable, so if you are okay buying multiple, you can make them even longer.

The SiteLights need to be plugged into an external battery to be used. They come with a USB dongle that you can use to plug them into any USB charger. The dongle is removable and small, so be careful not to misplace it. If you don’t mind packing a battery pack, these lights are fairly backpackable, but are even better suited for car camping. These lights play nicely with the BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Lantern which can run the SiteLites off its rechargeable battery.

These lights store well as you can wrap the cord around a slot in each light and then stack the lights on top of one another. Though this process can be tedious, it does make them easy to stow and take apart. They also come with cord-stabilizing hooks that make these lights easy to attach to parts of your campsite. We were able to easily attach them to the inside of a tent and the handles in a car.

These lights have two settings: on or off. There isn’t a way to dim these lights, which means you can’t set the mood right before bed. There also aren’t any color options other than the white light. But the simplicity is nice for a camper who is looking for something easy to set up and take down.

Overall, the BioLite SiteLights are compact and great for single campers, but not super versatile or great for filling big spaces. In the end, their simplicity could be a good or a bad thing — it depends on what you want out of a light.

Best Cord-Style Camping String Lights

Nite Ize Radiant Rechargeable ShineLine


  • LumensNot provided
  • Power sourceRechargeable battery, USB charger compatible
  • Burn time6 hrs
  • Water resistanceNot rated, but resistant to light rain
  • Weight4.2 oz.


  • Versatile
  • Rechargeable
  • Easy to hang and store
  • Durable


  • Short battery life
  • Not consistently bright, or the brightest overall

Maddie Downie

Nite Ize’s Radiant Rechargeable ShineLines ($30) are definitely an attention-grabber. Their cool, modern take on a string light can make a campsite especially classy. They’re a versatile and durable light choice that isn’t confined to a fixed camping setting.

Unlike traditional string lights, the Radiant ShineLines are fiber-optic cord lights, which gives them a unique look. It also makes them super versatile. We hung them between two cars to illuminate a group site, and we used them to outline a tent in a single campsite. However, they really shine when wrapped around another object, like a tent pole, deck railing, or bike frame.

The Radiant ShineLines are also rechargeable, which makes them even easier to bring along. They have a mini USB port, meaning you can plug them into anything with a USB power source. It takes about an hour and a half for these lights to charge completely, and they run for about 6 hours on a full charge. This short battery life means you’ll have to be prepared to charge them on a longer camping trip.

These lights come with four rubber-covered wire ties that can be used to hang and store them. We found that the ties made it super easy to attach these lights to tent poles. It also keeps these lights contained in a backpack. After looping the lights up, we wrapped the ties around the loop which kept them bundled.

Although the fiber optic design is unique, it doesn’t quite live up to the LED standard. These lights aren’t consistently bright the whole way through the cord. They are brightest at either end of the cord, but the middle is dim. However, when wrapped tightly around another object, such as a tent pole, the light is brighter. The more the cord bends, the brighter it is. These lights also offer more of a glow than they do a shine, reminiscent of a glow stick. If you’re looking for something that will offer great reading or cooking light at your campsite, it would be best to stick with an LED light.

The Radiant ShineLines are a cool, versatile addition to your camping set-up, so long as you’re not looking for anything too bright. But get creative with them! They’re not a light you have to leave at camp when you go play.

Best Solar-Powered String Lights

MPOWERD Luci Solar String Lights + Power Hub


  • Lumens140 lm max, 20 lm low
  • Power source4000 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery, solar panel
  • Burn time40 hrs. on low, 8 hrs. on high
  • Water resistanceIPX4 water resistant
  • Weight1 lb., 10.2 oz.


  • Ability to light up a broad area, focus on specific zones
  • String lights store on the lantern, limiting tangles
  • Detachable power hub powers your electronics with USB-A and USB-C ports


  • The solar panel is small, and the charging capacity is limited
  • Take care not to snag the lights, the wiring can break

Maddie Downie

The MPOWERD Luci Solar String Lights ($70) are a cool, unique take on a string light. Their solar-powered battery makes them a great choice for a sunny camping trip. They’re also a great option for a light you don’t want to have to remember to charge.

These lights have two battery charging options. The solar panel on the top of the light means you can leave this light out in the sun and forget about them for a while. It does take 16 hours for this light to fully charge via solar panel, which means you’re not likely to get them to a full charge in one day. However, they also come with a USB charging port that you can use to charge these lights up in 6-8 hours.

These lights are best for smaller spaces. They have 40 light nodes of 140 lumens across 44 feet of cordage. The lights have three brightness settings that are easy to click through with the power button as well as a flashlight in the base of the lights. The flashlight seems like a better idea than it is, though. You’re better off using … well … the string lights. We also wish the internal battery lasted a bit longer, as at full brightness they only last about 8 hours.

The Luci String Lights also have the ability to charge your phone. This is an exciting feature for a string light, but we wouldn’t recommend relying on it as the battery will only get your phone to about 50% before dying.

We really loved the case for these lights, which was the best of all the lights we tested. You open the body of the lights, wind the string around the center, and twist the top back down to secure the lights inside. It made it nearly impossible to get the lights tangled in transport or unraveling.

Overall, the Luci Solar String Lights are a neat light perfect for a single camper at a sunny campground.

Best Modular Camping String Lights

GoalZero Light-A-Life Mini


  • Lumens110 lms (high), 30 lms (low)
  • Power sourceUSB
  • Burn timeDependent on battery source
  • Water resistanceNot rated
  • Weight24 oz. each


  • Ability to add more lights
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Adjustable shades
  • Color light options


  • Brightness not adjustable as a group
  • Expensive
  • Cluttered set-up

Maddie Downie

If you’re looking for versatility and the ability to light up one campsite or a few separate tents, the Goal Zero Light-A-Life Mini ($80) is a great fit. This is really more like a set of four chainable lights rather than a single string.

Each light has about four feet of cord with a USB on each end to chain them together. The segments each have their own switches with a brightness function: a 110-lumen function, and a 30-lumen “low” function. This is both handy and annoying. While it gives you greater versatility to adjust the lights when they are separated, it means you have to turn on or adjust each light one by one when they’re strung together.

For lights that don’t come with a battery, the Light-A-Life Minis are fairly expensive. But they do come with a number of features we really enjoyed.

The modular setup means you can easily split the lights to send two lights into two separate tents with battery packs. They also have shades you can adjust to give direct light or provide a more diffuse, lantern-like effect. Colored shades also give you the ability to set your desired mood.

As a string, though, we found the lights rather busy. There are a lot of cords, plugs, plastic, and switches. For something as simple as light, it’s anything but simple. Goal Zero says you can only chain four lights together, but that didn’t stop us from plugging our BioLite SiteLights into the fourth Goal Zero light for even more light. Just don’t tell anyone.

Best Overlander Camping String Lights

LightForce Flexible LED Strip Light


  • Lumens1600 lms
  • Power sourceAuxiliary power outlet
  • Burn timeDependent on battery source
  • Water resistanceIP65 rated (resistant to water jets)
  • Weight14 oz.


  • Impressive lighting
  • Easy set-up
  • Durable
  • Brightness settings


  • Possibility of killing car battery
  • Expensive

Maddie Downie

Calling the Lightforce Flexible LED Strip Light ($80) a string light is a bit of a stretch, but it functions similarly. It’s really more like a flexible light bar, more applicable for the overlander than the camper. It runs off a cigarette lighter or an included attachment, which allows it to connect directly to the ports of a car battery. However, you’ll want to have a designated secondary battery to avoid the possibility of killing the battery for your starter.

If you have the equipment, this lighting system is an impressive option. The strip is not long — about four feet of lighting with an additional 16 feet of power cable — but it puts out an impressive amount of glowing light. And 72 LEDs create 1,600 lumens of light, which is enough to light up your entire campsite. The lights are also adjustable from 1% to 100% by gliding your thumb over the on button. The strip will also remember the last brightness you used and allow you to adjust from there.

The strip is also easy to deploy, thanks to a clip on either end of the light strip and Velcro straps throughout. You can wrap it around something, hang it from a tree, or strap it to a pole. It’s like one of those light bars you might see on the roof of a truck but with the flexibility you need for camping.

The LightForce LED Strip Light is easy to use, easy to attach to things, and incredibly bright. It is an easy choice for a large campsite; you just need to make sure you have a power supply for it.

Best Boondockers Camping String Lights

TIKI BiteFighter LED String Light


  • Lumens117 lms per light
  • Power sourceWall outlet
  • Burn time10,000 hour life per bulb
  • Water resistanceIP55 (water resistant)
  • Weight6 lbs.


  • Long string with many lights
  • Bright
  • Built-in mosquito repellant
  • Appealing color


  • Lacks portability
  • Heavy
  • Tough to hang
  • Expensive

Maddie Downie

The TIKI BiteFighter LED String Light ($160) is a great addition to your boondocking set up or backyard. It isn’t an easily portable light as it needs a wall outlet to work. However, it can be used through RV, camper, inverter, or robust battery system. If you have the setup for it, they work incredibly well!

The massive 36-foot string has 12 LED lights (and comes with two spares) with a nice yellowish color to them, which is perfect for lighting up a summer evening. They’re also great for large spaces. They’re a great option if you want lights that can keep up with a big hang out. These lights turn on with a single switch, making them easy to use and rely on.

These lights are water resistant, so you won’t have to worry about leaving them out during a light rainstorm. And the long bulb life means you won’t have to worry about replacing the lights for a while. Their cables are durable and can easily hold the heavy lights, but do require robust mounting hooks to keep the lights secured. Their neutral color design makes them easy to pair with any outdoor decoration.

In addition to light, the BiteFighter String Light has three insect-repellant diffusers. TIKI says the three diffusers can create a 330-square-foot zone of repelling. The pods are refillable, but as purchased, they’ll diffuse bug-repelling scents for about 200 hours. This means they’re an even better idea for get-togethers as they’ll keep your guests from annoying mosquito bites.

While these lights are not the most portable or the most lightweight, they’re great for creating a comfortable, lighted zone around your RV, camper, or even back porch. And they’re even better if you’ve settled in a spot with annoying bugs!

Camping String Lights Comparison Chart

Camping String LightsPriceLumensBurn TimeWater ResistanceWeight
ENO Twilights Camp Lights
$25Not provided72 hrsIPX43 oz.
BioLite SiteLight String
$20150 lms totalDependent on battery sourceNot rated, but resistant to light rain2.5 oz.
Nite Ize Radiant Rechargeable ShineLine
$30Not provided6 hrsNot rated, but resistant to light rain4.2 oz.
MPOWERD Luci Solar String Lights + Power Hub$70140 lm max, 20 lm low40 hrs. on low, 8 hrs. on highIPX41 lb., 10.2 oz.
GoalZero Light-A-Life Mini$80110 lms (high), 30 lms (low)Dependent on battery sourceNot rated24 oz. each
LightForce Flexible LED Strip Light$801600 lmsDependent on battery sourceIP6514 oz.
TIKI BiteFighter LED String Light$160117 lms per light10,000 hour life per bulbIP556 lbs.

How We Tested Camping String Lights

Our lead tester Maddie Downie is an experienced camper, hiker, hammocker, and fireside hang-outer based in Washington State. She grew up camping with her family in the Colorado backwoods, and now spends almost every weekend night out of the summer sleeping outdoors. Maddie understands the difference between setting up a camp for an early start the next day and putting together a campsite for friends to gather for drinks, and tested each light with this context in mind, developing a few specific tests to put these lights through: a stuff test, rain test, battery test, “big campsite” test, and durability test.

Anything corded seems to have a mind of its own when left to its own devices, and that’s exactly what the stuff test aimed to challenge. We packed away each of these lights into packs and car camping storage, both loosely and in any included storage bag. The purpose of this test was to determine how easy these lights were to pack and unpack, as well as how likely they were to tangle or break inside a pack.

The weather isn’t always going to cooperate for your weekend shindigs, and our rain test occurs during real, day-long Pacific Northwest rain storms. After spending the day in the rain, each light was turned on and inspected for any damage. The battery test, too, sought to challenge these string lights with real-life usage, and included charging rechargeable lights fully, setting up battery-powered lights with brand new batteries, and hooking up plug-in lights with portable batteries, then running each light until they died.

The “big campsite” test assessed each light’s ability to light up a large campsite on its own. We were able to see if a light was bright or long enough to light up the common space where food and drinks were being made. The lights that weren’t suited for whole campsites were set up in tents, backs of cars, and over hammocks to see if they worked better for a single camper.

Lastly, the durability test involved some good old-fashioned muscle power, and saw our testers pulling, stretching, and yanking on these lights to see if they would break under abuse. Though this test might have been more aggressive than what these lights would see in their normal use, it not only determined each light’s general durability, but where a user might see wear and tear over time.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Buy Camping String Lights

We set out to find the best camping string lights on the market to give you the best recommendations for your adventures. It’s important to note, also, that string lights oftentimes will be accessories to other camp lighting solutions, such as Camping Lanterns or a good Headlamp.

Consider all of these to form a system that covers your campsite with light: headlamps for detail work like chopping veggies or zipping up a tent, lanterns for gathering around and telling stories, and string lights to guide your way around the party. Here’s what we’ve found to be the most important considerations when purchasing camping string lights:

Power Source

Before you can have light, you need power. String lights have a few different means of power, and what will work best for you depends on how you plan to use your lights.

Built-in Battery

For optimal portability, having a set of string lights with a built-in battery will allow you to bring light anywhere without further complications. These lights have the benefit of not needing anything else to work, but that means they’re another thing you’ll have to remember to charge before heading out for the weekend.

If you have the space, you can pack a portable battery as well. While these lights are easy to bring along, they typically don’t have long battery life, lasting for an average of less than 10 hours. For instance, the Nite Ize Radiant ShineLines take about an hour and a half to charge completely for a 6-hour battery life.

Replaceable Battery

Battery-powered lights are also portable, but keep in mind that these batteries can weigh down your pack. It also means you have to remember to put in fresh ones before heading out or running the risk of running out of power. Having rechargeable batteries for these lights will save you money!

These lights will generally last longer than the built-in battery lights, anywhere from three days to a few weeks, depending on how much you’re using them. It’s most likely a string light with a replaceable battery will take AA or AAA batteries, such as the ENO Twilights that take three AAA batteries.


Lights that require a plug-in to work may be better suited for car camping, boondocking, or lighting up an outdoor space at your home. Plug-in lights can come in a variety of types, such as USB or outlet plug-ins.

Keep in mind that not all USB cords are the same; lights may come in USB-C, USB-A, or Micro-USB. USB plug-ins are the most portable as long as you don’t mind packing a battery bank. And some USB plug-in lights are compatible with lanterns, such as the BioLite SiteLights that can be plugged into the BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Lantern.

However, lights that require being plugged into a wall outlet are better suited for RV camping or lighting up your back porch. These lights are a great choice for car camping in cars that have USB or house-plug converters. Plug-in lights also mean you can run these lights longer. House plug-in lights last as long as you want and USBs last as long as your battery bank can.

String Light Size

Some string lights are for small areas, like the back of a pickup truck, while others will light up your whole campsite. String lights that emphasize portability are generally better for smaller campsites as they are dimmer and smaller. These lights range anywhere from one foot to 10 feet in length. Shorter ones are better for lighting up the inside of your car or tent, or illuminating your hammock. The BioLite SiteLights, at 10 feet long with only four lights, are better at lighting up a hammock than an entire campsite.

Lights that require being plugged in are better suited for large areas as they are generally larger and brighter. These lights can range from a few feet to several yards. The TIKI BiteFighter String Lights are 36 feet long with 14 LED bulbs. Plug-in lights mean that these lights can stay brighter for longer, making them ideal for large spaces.


The brightness of a light is also dependent on its power source, as well as the type of light. LEDs are the most common light type because they work really well! LED lights that run off a rechargeable or battery-powered source are not as bright as plug-in lights. This makes them better suited for lighting up small spaces such as a car or tent. These lights will also dim as the battery dies.

Plug-in lights are brighter from 100 lumens (lms) to 1,000 lms. The Lightforce LED Strip Light comes in at 1,600 lms! Plug-in lights also stay brighter for longer and are less likely to dim as you use them.

Some camping lights use alternative light sources, such as the fiber optic lights in the Nite Ize Radiant ShineLines. These lights are generally not as consistently bright as LED lights, and offer more of a glow than a shine. The fiber optic design means that the light isn’t consistently bright through the cord, but is brighter the more it is bent.

Light Adjustment

Many camping string lights come with light adjustment options which can be helpful in setting a desired mood. Many come with a simple high brightness and low brightness, such as the GoalZero Light-A-Life lights that have a 110-lumen high setting and 30-lumen low setting. This setting is great for transitioning into a sleepier mood.

Other lights have blinking and color-changing effects, which keep the mood more energized. The color ENO Twilights have a setting that will gradually rotate through all of the colors. However, a few lights require that you cycle through these different settings to turn the light off, which can definitely be an annoyance around bedtime. No one likes a strobing light right as they’re about to fall asleep.


There are a few factors to consider when thinking about storage of your camping string lights, which can be dependent on the type of camping you want to do. For backpacking or camping where a portable light is necessary, having a specific storage container is nice.

Several battery-powered or rechargeable lights, such as the ENO Twilights, come with a soft storage bag that fits nicely inside a pack. Some lights, such as the Nite Ize Radiant ShineLines come with gear ties that make it easy to loop these lights up and tie all ends together. Lights without a specific storage method require a little creativity to store and run the risk of getting tangled or damaged.

Even if a light comes with a specific storage container, the ease of setting them up and putting them away is a consideration. Soft storage bags are generally easy to stuff lights into, and ties take a bit longer to put away. The BioLite SiteLights may win the award for easiest to store as the lights stack on top of one another.

Despite how easy each light is to store, there is always the risk of lights getting tangled in storage. We found that string lights that can be stored in a soft bag are easy to get tangled, which adds more time to setting up your campsite. Lights that are stored with ties are less likely to get tangled. Spending the time to fold or wrap your lights carefully will prevent tangling and make your future self a happier camper.

Proper storage can also prevent wear and tear. Lights with rubber or plastic wire coverings have a higher chance of tearing, stretching, or breaking, so it’s especially important to store these lights with care. We found that lights that are shoved into bags or that are just tossed loosely into packs are more likely to experience this kind of wear. Even if a light doesn’t come with a specific storage container, creating one out of a plastic bag or with wire ties could save you from having to replace them right away.

Hanging Functionality

The types of hanging features on a string light can determine how easy they are to set up at a campsite. Many string lights come with hooks that can be used to clip the lights to tent poles, hammocks, or the inside of your car. The BioLite SiteLights come with small hooks on either end that make it easy to attach these lights to different parts of a campsite.

The Nite Ize ShineLines might take the cake for hanging features. Not only are these lights easy to wrap around objects, but they come with four rubber-covered hanging wires that can be used to attach these lights to almost anything. The attachments are super malleable and can be moved anywhere on the light where they are best fit. They also make it easy to store these lights as you can tie off the lights when they are bundled.

Durability and Water Resistance

When choosing between camping lights, the durability of those lights should be a consideration. As a whole, companies designing outdoor lights have put effort into making them durable, such as concealing the lights and wires themselves in some protective material. The ENO Twilights are almost completely plastic-covered, which keeps dust and water at bay for the most part. However, over time, the plastic seems prone to stretch and tear if these lights are handled roughly.

Plug-in lights that come with exposed components should be handled and stored with extra care. For instance, the BioLite SiteLights come with a USB dongle that could be damaged if left in the dirt and rain. The Nite Ize ShineLines have a plastic cover that should be used to keep dirt out of the charging port on the end of the light.

Many of these outdoor string lights are water-resistant and IP-rated. The IP scale refers to how water-resistant something is, and the definitions of each rating are easy to look up online. In general, most string lights seem to be resistant to splashes, but aren’t likely to make it if dunked in water. The Lightforce LED Strip Light is IP65 rated, meaning it’s resistant against “jets” of water. Still, it’s best to assume that no string light is waterproof and try to keep your lights out of the rain as much as possible.


What is the most convenient light source for campers?

The most convenient light will depend on what you need to do with your light. Are you walking and exploring in the dark? Then you’ll want something like a headlamp or flashlight you can use to direct a beam of light ahead of you and down the trail.

Do you have a central area like a table or tent you need to light? Then the expansive glow of a lantern might be what you’re looking for. If you’re trying to light up a large, spread-out area, string lights are likely your best bet as they can extend over a large area. And if you want brighter light, you can simply wrap them, or even pile them, in a more central location.

How long do string lights last?

The length of time your lights can stay on will depend on how bright you have them set and how powerful the battery is. Sometimes the power source is built into the lights, but others can be plugged into an external power bank. The bigger the bank, the longer the lights will last.

Still, with most high-efficiency LED lights used in these products, you can expect your lights (like the ENO Twilights) to last for at least several hours. If you use a lower-power setting, some string lights can even last for days at a time, and features like built-in solar panels on the MPOWERED lights will only extend this time.

How many lights do you need for camping?

The number of lights you need is entirely dependent on how big your campsite is and how bright you want it to be. For brightness, consider whether you want a single string light that crosses a campsite for some added ambiance, or if you want to crisscross string lights across your campsite to provide illumination.

Some brands offer long strings with dozens of lights (like the TIKI BiteFighter String Lights). However, you may actually be better off opting for smaller sections of lights you can string together (like the BioLite string lights). Just remember, the more you string together, the faster the battery drains.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment to find the lighting you prefer.


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The Black Diamond Moji R+ Lantern (96), Coleman Classic Recharge 800 Lumens LED Lantern (94), MPOWERD Luci 44' Solar String Lights + Detachable Power Hub (92) and Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern (88) scored the next-highest, proving that they are great options in their respective categories.

Which lights are best for camping? ›

The Black Diamond Moji R+ Lantern (96), Coleman Classic Recharge 800 Lumens LED Lantern (94), MPOWERD Luci 44' Solar String Lights + Detachable Power Hub (92) and Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern (88) scored the next-highest, proving that they are great options in their respective categories.

How many lumens do you need to light a campsite? ›

Generally, the best outdoor camping light falls around 100 to 200 lumens per lantern. If you have a large group or area, you may want to maximise your lumen output or use more lanterns. Look for ones between 200 and 400 lumens for larger groups.

What is the best lumens for camping light? ›

For lanterns, lumens start out around 40 and can run up to 700 for the brightest modes; most lanterns will offer something in the 150-350 lumen range. For just poking around camp at night 100 lumens is sufficient.

How many lumens should a good lantern have? ›

A good lumen number for a camping lantern, if you feel more comfortable having a figure to go off, would be 750 lumens. This will create a circle of useful light with a radius of about 25 feet. That's enough to illuminate most of a campsite enough for you to see what you're doing.

How to choose camping lights? ›

When choosing the best camping light, battery life is the most important aspect you need to consider. At the campsite, as you are not likely to have access to a power source. So, before buying, know for how many hours the light can be used continuously and can the battery life be extended by optimizing the usage.

How do I choose the best outdoor lights? ›

The most important things to consider are what areas do you light and what areas do you not. For example, lighting the stairs leading up to a deck is a safety measure, while adding lights to the corners of your house increases your sense of security. Outdoor lighting is more than simply switching a light.

Is 1000 lumens good for camping? ›

150 - 500 lumens: Everyday tasks indoors and outdoors, DIY. 500 - 1000 lumens: camping, fishing, walking, hiking and running at night. 1000 - 3000 lumens: outdoor activities. Over 3000 lumens: Hunting, Police, Search & Rescue.

Is 500 lumens bright enough for camping? ›

A 500-lumen flashlight has enough brightness for close-up work both indoors and outside, is appropriate for outdoor activities like walking, fishing, and hunting, and may be kept in your car in case of emergency. As with all lighting, a flashlight's beam will have less intensity and appear less bright as it gets wider.

How much area will 3000 lumens light up? ›

A 100-square-foot dining room, which needs 30-40 foot-candles, will need 3,000-4,000 lumens. For the average space of 250 square feet, you'll need roughly 5,000 lumens as your primary light source (20 lumens x 250 square feet).

How far will 1000 lumens shine? ›

A 1000 lumen flashlight is quite bright and, depending on the lens or reflector design, powerful enough to reach a distance of 200 meters or more. This type of flashlight allows you to see objects from a far distance.

How do I choose the right lumens? ›

Multiply your room square footage by the footcandle requirement. For example, a 100-square foot living room, which needs 20 foot candles, will need 2,000 lumens. A 100-square foot dining room, which needs 40 foot-candles, will need 4,000 lumens.

What is the best waterproof camping flashlight? ›

The Olight S2R Baton II Flashlight was our top pick for its rugged build and high IPX8 waterproof rating. This flashlight is long-lasting and ideal for camping or emergency preparedness. If you need a cheaper option, the GearLight S1000 LED Tactical Flashlight is affordable yet durable and comfortable to carry.

What is the best color light for camping? ›

The red light is easy on your eyes

Some models of camping light have adjustable brightness and a light "colour" (usually white, yellow or red). The red light is extremely useful at night, so you can move around or look for things without being dazzled.

What lights to use for camping? ›

Campsite Lighting Ideas
  • Solar-Powered Path and Spot Lights. If you want to avoid relying on your campsite's hookup power, consider using outdoor solar lights. ...
  • Porch and Awning Lights. ...
  • Flashlights. ...
  • Headlamps. ...
  • Off-Road Light Bars and Pods.
Apr 22, 2024

Which Coleman lantern is the brightest? ›

The Coleman Northstar is a lantern's lantern. It is a propane-fueled, car camping behemoth that is very, very bright. In fact, it receives the highest score for brightness of all the products we tested.

What is the best way to light a campsite? ›

10 Ways to Light Up Your Campsite at Night
  1. Headlamps. Headlamps are a great way to light up your campsite. ...
  2. Torch. If you're looking for a touch of nostalgia, why not light your campsite up with torches? ...
  3. Light Rope. ...
  4. LED Strip Lighting. ...
  5. Candle Lantern. ...
  6. Glow Sticks. ...
  7. Flashlights. ...
  8. Decorative Lantern.

What is the best light to leave on all night? ›

ProductsProduct LinksOverall Value
Best Smart: Hatch Rest Night Light$200 at Amazon4.8/5
Best for Kids: Globe Electric Multicolor Night Light$15 at Amazon4.6/5
Best for Teens: Allsop Home and Garden Glow Light$99 at Wayfair4.5/5
Best for Adults: Casper Glow Night Light$32 at Amazon4.8/5
6 more rows
Mar 1, 2024

What Colour lights are best to sleep with? ›

The best night light colours for sleep are red and amber, as they are warm and soothing colour that promote a good night's sleep. It's thought that colours close to red on the light spectrum stimulate melatonin production.

What lights are best to sleep with LED? ›

Research studies discovered red to be the best color light to help you sleep, because it increases production of melatonin as well as full darkness. On the other end of the spectrum, blue is the worst. Despite being a calm-inducing color on most occasions, blue is not suitable for lighting a bedroom.


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