Camping Lights Buying Guide
Factors to consider
When choosing your camp lighting, it is important to consider the intended purpose of the lighting (its end use), the power source you will be using and the level of performance you need from the lighting.
Get the right type of light for the best performance.
|Area Lighting||Directional Lighting||Multi-functional Lighting||Tent Lighting|
|Lanterns||Flashlights; hands-free headlamps||All-in-one products with multi-function features; combination kits containing different types of lighting||Hanging tent lights; tent light/fan combinations|
Get the type of power source that suits your needs.
- Battery-operated electric lighting
- Rechargeable (i.e., plug-in, hand crank or solar-powered lights)
- Fuel-burning lanterns (i.e., propane, naphtha or lamp oil)
Consider the type of light or bulb you need.
|Incandescent bulbs||CFL bulbs
(Compact Fluorescent Lamp)
|Least expensive, least energy efficient and bulbs can be replaced.||More energy efficient, gives off a cool white light, and bulbs can be replaced.||Most energy efficient, never need to replace bulb, shatter proof, and cool to the touch.||Fuel powered lights, hot to the touch, and mantles can be replaced.|
Compare the performance of different lighting options.
|Intensity: Usually measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light. Keep in mind that higher lumens also results in lower energy efficiency (lower burn times or shorter battery life).|
|Distance and range: Indicates how far the beam shines, i.e., the maximum size of the area that can be illuminated.|
|Run-time: Expressed as either burn time or battery life.|
*Actual value will vary by model.
- Fuel-based lanterns require ventilation and should therefore not be used in small, enclosed areas like tents. This type of lantern also emits heat, so should be used with caution in the presence of pets or small children.
- When using battery-operated lighting, be prepared by taking an extra set of batteries on your trip.