The Different Types of Camping Lighting Solutions
The best thing about camping in the great Australian outdoors is sleeping under the stars with little to no light pollution. However, starlight can only provide so much light, and the outdoors can be very dark at night, especially if you’re trying to move around the campsite, explore the nearby trails or just take a trip to the loo. For that reason, every camper needs a portable, reliable light source. We’ve come a long way since the only camping light options were gas lanterns. Nowadays, you’ll find many different ways to light up your campsite at night, whether it’s by using a headlamp, a LED torch or 12 volt lights.
With that said, I’ll talk about the different types of camping lights available for creating a well-lit, comfortable and safe camping environment. But before I get into the subject, there are a few things you need to consider.
- Multiple Light Setups and Solutions – You should always pack more than just one illumination source. For instance, a hand-held LED torch or lantern is a great option for illuminating a larger area in front of you, whereas a headlamp can be more convenient when you need both hands to perform tasks around the camp. Alternatively, 12 volt lights are great to have at the campsite as well as inside the tent or gazebo where you have access to 12V power.
- Batteries – Make sure you have plenty of battery packs or access to electricity and a battery charger to keep the lights running. No matter how great your light setup is, it’s going to be useless without power.
- Space – While it’s always great to pack more than one lighting setup and all the batteries you can get your hands on, sometimes space constrictions don’t allow for it. If you don’t have much room to take everything with you, get a compact, lightweight torch or kit that can be hung from your backpack.
Types of Camping Light Solutions
- LED Torches – When you can’t find your mattress pump or nature calls – a LED torch is going to help you get around. Durable, portable and usually water-resistant, LED torches are a lightweight and easy-to-use solution that easily outshines its competition when it comes to getting illumination with dexterity and precision.
- Headlamps – Headlamps are ideal if you need both hands to perform a task, like set up your tent in pitch black. Look for an adjustable model that lets you use multiple beam settings, is lightweight enough so it isn’t uncomfortable to wear for longer periods of time.
- Lanterns – These lighting solutions are a great way to light up your entire tent, as they produce a 360 degree light, and most include a built-in handle, making them easy to hang wherever or carry around. Some advanced models even come with remote control, so you don’t have to get up to turn them off or on. Traditional gas lanterns are still an option, but they can be dangerous, which is why most people opt for LED units.
- Spotlights – These provide more light than the aforementioned options, making them ideal when you’re looking for something in the dark. They provide a concentrated beam of illumination that can penetrate darkness far ahead. They’re small and portable enough to pack in a backpack, making them convenient for many.
- Tent Lights – Even though lanterns and spotlights can be placed around your tent or hung on a branch nearby, some people prefer having something more specialised for the occasion. This is where the wide range of tent lights come into play.
As you probably noticed, I recommended getting LED torchlights and lanterns. In fact, no matter what type of camping light you get – make sure it’s LED powered. Why? Well, for starters, LED bulbs last significantly longer on average than other types of bulbs. They emit low heat, are durable and energy-efficient, making them better suited for use in harsh environments. The important parts of conventional light bulbs, like its filament, weaken over time, causing them to burn out. On the other hand, LED bulbs experience what’s known as lumen depreciation, so the light they produce will only decrease gradually instead of instantly going out. Most LED bulbs last about 5.000 working hours, which is 3 to 4 times longer than incandescent bulbs last, for instance. Plus, they don’t need to warm up in order to reach their peak brightness.
Lastly, LEDs are far more energy-efficient as they have a high lumen output per watt. For comparison, a 6W LED bulb will provide the same amount of light as a 40W incandescent bulb. This is due to the fact that LED bulbs don’t lose their energy to heat, which also makes them safer to use in many situations.