Your Guide to Different Types of Camping Tent Lights

Man Reading in Tent Under Light

One of the best things about camping is you enjoy sleeping under the stars and stroll around in the moonlight. However, starlight is not the most reliable source of illumination, especially because it can get pretty dark outside.

Finding your way back to your tent or rummaging around for important camping gear can get difficult if you cannot navigate your way around the campsite.

Burning Light in Tent by Night

Fortunately, camping tent lights have come a long way and are now available in various types. We have prepared a handy guide that will help you make the right purchase.

Things to Consider When Investing in Camping Lights

Here are a couple of things you should consider prior to buying camping lights. Some important factors include:

Number of Lights 

Are you headed on a camping trip with your family? If yes, you may have to invest in more than one light source. Tent lights are a great option if you are sharing a family tent. You may also invest in hands-free headlights or small pocket sized flashlights in case you need to head outside for a midnight bathroom break.

Bulb Lights in Tent


Consider the size of your tent before investing in a light source. While it is always a good idea to pack more than one tent camping light source, sometimes you may be compelled to save space and pack light.

If space is a problem, ensure you invest in a portable and compact lightweight torch that can be easily transported from place to place. If you intend on surviving on only one light source, aim for a lightweight torch that you can hang on your rucksack.

Running Time

How long will your lantern or tent light provide illumination? Things can take a nasty turn if there is an emergency and your flashlight refuses to work. Invest in a reliable tent light you can count on during your hour of need.

To avoid getting caught up in a sticky situation, remember to pack plenty of batteries in case the power runs out. If you do not have room to carry spare batteries, consider investing in a wind-up torch that does not rely on battery power.

Types of Camping Lights

Want to invest in camping lights? Here are a few different options you can choose from:

Battery Powered Lantern on Dirt

Battery Powered Camping Lanterns

Battery Powered Camping Lanterns are among the popular camping light options today. These lights are safer than gas and electric lights and can easily be brought inside the tent without worrying about fire hazards. Battery powered lights are safest to use around children. However, campers need to be prepared and must bring along extra batteries in case the lanterns power off.

Battery powered lanterns may utilize both non-rechargeable and rechargeable batteries. Typically constructed using plastic, these lamps are lightweight and easy to transport from place to place. Additionally, battery powered lanterns are available in a variety of difference sizes.

Electric Camping Lights

Electric camping lights are safe alternatives that are widely used by campers today. Electric lanterns typically feature xenon or fluorescent light bulbs. You can choose from many different types in the market today. These lights typically run on batteries and weigh more than other types of lanterns in the market. Most models include a dimmer switch to save power.

Electric Lights in Tent

LED Camping Lanterns

LED, short for light emitting diodes, are the latest camping trend in town. Not only are these lights incredibly bright but they are eco-friendly. LED are basically light bulbs without a filament to burn out. This ensures the light shines for a longer period.

LEDs are now being widely used as they are efficient in creating light without heat loss. This helps the unit remain cool. Most LED tent lights are made using solid resin panels and have a lifespan of 100,000 hours. However, on the downside, LED lights do not project far.

Fuel Powered Camping Lanterns

As the name indicates, fuel powered camping lights utilize dual fuel, propane, butane or kerosene to power the lantern. Unfortunately, since fuel is used to create a burning flame, fuel powered lanterns pose a high risk of accidents. With these lights, campers are at a higher risk of burning tents, fingers or anything else which might make contact with the lantern.

Fuel Powered Light Lantern

Additionally, most fuel powered lights feature a glass globe that can easily shatter when dropped. However, on the bright side, these lanterns illuminate much better and generally work better than other options, especially in cold weather. Most campers prefer choosing a fuel powered camping lantern that utilizes the same fuel as their stove. Be sure to read up on how to safely handle fuel lanterns.

Other options you can choose from include:

  • Torches - A torch is a handy camping essential you should not leave behind. Most torches are highly portable and water resistant. Torches easily out-win other options with their dexterity, power and precision. However, most battery powered torches can only last a couple of hours and will need a change of batteries.
  • Head Torches - Who will hold up the light when you are setting up the tent and it is pitch black outside. Head torches are a great option and allow you to perform several camping tasks in the dark while keeping your hands free. Be on the lookout for adjustable models that allow you to widen the beam.
Man Wearing Head Torchlight
  • Spotlights - A spotlight creates a concentrated beam of light that pierces into the darkness into far-off distances. Simply add one in your rucksack for greater ease the next time you are going out on an adventure

These are just a few types of camping tent lights you can choose from to make your trip more comfortable. Be sure to invest in a tent light according to your convenience, trip duration and level of ease. It is always a good idea to pack some extra batteries.

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