There are so many different types of camping lights that are used for different purposes, it may be difficult to determine which is best for you. Some of the most popular styles of campsite lights are called camping string lights and they provide innovative functionality, use different power sources and come in tons of cleverly creative designs.
In This Post:
How To Use String Camping Lights
String lights can be used inside or outside and can range from really bright task lights to dim mood lights. Determine what you want to light and why, then choose the best lights for your application.
Styles Of The Best Camping String Lights
If most of your camping trips are off-the-grid, you’ll probably want solar powered string lights but there are plenty of 120 volt standard wall plug power outlet options too.
Additionally, battery-powered string lights come in tons of styles … some use AA batteries, others have rechargeable internal batteries and there are some that even use external power bank battery packs. Let’s discuss all of them.
Rechargeable Camping String Solar Lights
Solar string lights are awesome if you don’t have access to shore power or batteries BUT you do need to have ample sunshine to keep them charged. If you camp in areas of minimal sunshine, you may need to look at other options.
1. Mpowerd Luci Solar String Lights
Most campers are familiar with Luci inflatable solar lights but did you know they have MPOWERD Luci string lights too? This is one of the most compact sets of string lights camping minimalists will find … perfect for the lightweight gear backpacking crowd.
It has a built in 2000 mAh LITHIUM-ION BATTERY that can be charged with the built-in high efficiency solar panel or a quick charge via USB. When the rechargeable battery is fully charged it lasts up to 20 hours on a single charge.
This string of lights produces 100 lumens of power with 20 warm white LEDs that stretch across its 18 foot long cord. The best thing about this model is how the lights are stowed for storage and transportation … just wrap them around the base and collapse it down to its efficient 2 inch size!
2. Solar Powered Outdoor String Lights
These Edison Bulbs are a really popular style right now. You can get these commercial grade waterproof and shatterproof patio lights in 27 foot strings or 48 foot strings.
Not only are these solar powered, they are energy efficient LEDs and they produce a pretty ambiance with soft white light.
3. Water Drop Solar Fairy String Waterproof Lights
If you are looking for a colorful and softer glow, these water drop fairy lights are a nice choice. It is a 20 foot string with 30 LED lights. The set includes the solar panel on a mounting spike too.
If you like the idea of colorful lights that are kinda whimsical, you might also like these Dragonfly LED Solar String Lights.
4. Solar LED Snowball Crystal-Like Globe String Lights
This snowball crystal-like globe string set throws off a nice warm white light so it is functional and stylish at the same time. The high efficiency solar panel can be used with the ground stake and the built-in day/night sensor turns the lights on and off automatically at dusk and dawn. The 65 IP rating means the set is waterproof which includes rain and snow.
5. Star Moon Sun Solar Powered Fairy Lights
If you’re not as concerned with small, packable strings and are looking for a really unique style, these fairy lights might be for you. There are 9 sun moon star pieces and can be set to flashing or steady mode.
6. Clear Globes Outdoor LED Solar String Lights
You get 25 LED globe lights on almost 29 feet of cord with this set of globe string lights that turn on automatically in the evening and will run up to 10 hours with a fully-charged battery. There are 4 different modes you can set on these lights that include flashing as well as steady on patterns.
String 12Volt Camping Lights
No-hookup campsite campers and boondockers in the wilderness will love the option of 12v string lights.
7. Low Voltage Waterproof Edison Vintage Plastic Bulbs Outdoor 12v String Lights
These fashionable string lights are deceiving because they are really camper-friendly in spite of their bistro café stylish look. The Edison vintage style bulbs are PLASTIC so you don’t have to worry about shattering them … and … they operate on a DC low voltage power source!
This 12 volt set comes with an adapter, includes high efficient LED bulbs and 15 hanging sockets on a 48 foot string.
Camping String Battery Operated Lights
When considering campsite string lights that are battery operated, you need to know there are designs that have internal batteries and others that use external batteries. Let’s look at a few styles.
8. Coleman Lanterns LED String Lights
Coleman camping lantern string lights have been around forever and they are still wildly popular. It makes sense because the cute camping theme of having mini lanterns hanging on a string … is just sort of … funny! These 10 tiny LED lanterns hang on a string that stretches 6 feet. It takes 3 AA batteries to operate this set for up to 20 hours of runtime.
9. Multi Colored Waterproof Battery Powered Starry Fairy LED String Lights
If you are looking for colorful lights that can put on a “light show”, these fairy lights are a fun option. You can choose from 8 working modes including: combination, in waves, sequential, slo-glo, chasing/flash, slow fade, twinkle/flash and steady on. Each strand is over 14 feet long featuring 40 lights and is powered by 3 AA batteries.
10. Luminoodle Rope Light
Rope lights also go by the name strip lights. The main difference between rope lights and string lights is the position of the lights. Rope lights are within the rope itself. String lights hang from a cord.
- The Luminoodle Rope Light has a high illumination compared to its size and weight. The rope of lights neatly winds around a small spool for storage.
- The ropes come in different sizes, 5 or 10 foot lengths. The longer rope is a great option for most campers. If you don’t need to span a long way and are using it for really small spaces, the shorter rope will be fine.
- 10 foot length provides 360 lumens of light, runs approximately 3 hours on the Lithium 4400 Battery Pack.
- 5 foot length provides 180 lumens of light, runs approximately 6 hours on the Lithium 4400 Battery Pack.
- This rope is available with or without the Lithium 4400 Battery Pack. It can run off of any USB port including computers, batteries etc. too.
- These strip lights have a simple design that allows you to attach them to different types of surfaces.
- Hang it: They can be draped around people, pets or objects. Use the “utility loop” or the “noodle ties” to loop around small structures, like tree branches.
- Stick it: The magnets on the rope can slide to any location on the rope that can be attached to metal objects.
- Stuff it: You can coil the rope around the battery pack and stuff it into the nylon bag to use it like a lantern.
- One important factor to consider is that you just get 3 hours of light out of a Lithium 4400 Battery Pack that has a full charge with the 10 foot rope. That means you’ll need to recharge the battery pack or carry several of them to continue to power the light for a weekend of camping.
- The lights are available in white or different colors. The colored strand provides 15 various colors, 10 brightness modes and 3 white light modes.
11. Battery Powered IP65 Outdoor Use Long String Fairy Lights
This is a really long string of lights, 33 feet with 100 LEDs, which is the best option if you have a large area you want to cover. Ease of use is a bonus with this set that operates on 3AA batteries. Just hit the button on the battery case to choose one of the 8 different lighting modes. The timer keeps the Christmas light settings once activated: 6 hours “ON” and 18 hours “OFF”.
The IP65 rating on this set means it has dust and water resistance so it is protected against water jets from any angle. It is very difficult to find IP68 rated lights that are completely waterproof and are protected for permanent submersion up to 3 meters.
12. Zoutog Battery Operated String Lights
The best part about using battery operated campsite lighting is that you’re not worried about cloudy days like you are when you’re using solar camping string lights. These are a great choice when camping in locations without a lot of sunshine (like the Pacific Northwest) and during the winter season when the sun is not out for a long time and the daytime hours of natural light are shorter.
The small size of the light bulbs on fairy lights make them convenient when car camping. These light sets come in 33 ft and 49 ft lengths and utilize 3 AA batteries as the power supply. The good news is that these can be used indoors and outdoors around your camping site because they’re water resistant. The small bulbs are available in two different colors: white or white warm light for either a bright light output or a warm glow that produces pretty ambient light.
A unique feature of this set is the remote control. It allows you to turn the lights on or off. The extra features of the remote include controlling the brightness as well as choosing the different settings like wave, slow glo, flash, fade and steady-on.
Camping USB String Lights
Camping lights that don’t have an internal power source are often connected to an external power source via a USB cable. Here are a few styles that use that method.
13. Goal Zero String Lights
Goal Zero Light Mini 4 Pack with Color Shades, USB Powered LED String LightsGoal Zero Venture 35 Portable Charger Power Bank 9600mAH 18W USB-C Power Delivery Port 2 USB Outputs IP67 Rating 50 Lumens Flashlight
You’re probably familiar with this solar energy brand because of their high-quality, super popular Goal Zero Torch flashlight. But they have an awesome set of string lights too!
This is one style of battery operated string lights that does not have an internal power source so you need to have it hooked up, from any USB Port, to an external power source to operate. The four 110 lumen LED lights have colored and white shades.
There are two settings, high and low, so you have bright lights when needed but can dim them when you don’t … extending their run time. The other really cool feature of this Goal Zero string lights set is that you can use one light or any combination of all four by chaining them together so you only use what you need. The light string is 16 feet long when it is fully chained.
14. Camping USB Battery Powered, Waterproof String Lights
If you want the designer look of café style lighting with the functionality of string lights for camp, this set is a great selection. Brightech Ambience Pro makes a string with ten LED shatterproof bulbs are plastic and stretch across about 17 feet of a 24+ foot string that is powered by a USB instead of internal batteries. Just plug it into a standard power pack, the same kind you use for charging phones, and you’re in business.
15. BioLite SiteLight Overhead String Lights
These are the best string lights if you want something that comes in a super compact size, when they are packed they only measure 1.85 inches wide x 2.75 inches tall.
We love these mini lights! Each strand has 4 lights with 21 inches between each one. The total length of the cord is 10 feet. These 150 lumens dimmable lights are charged via a USB and can be connected to other BioLite SiteLights throught the daisy chain output. So, if you have a BioLite SiteLight String and BioLite SiteLight Duo, they can all be connected together.
Remote Control Battery Operated String Lights
The convenience of using a remote control to operate your camp lights is an option with some models of camp string lights.
16. Power Practical Luminoodle Basecamp 12V Outdoor LED Light Rope With Remote
Power Practical Luminoodle Basecamp 12V Outdoor LED Light Rope With RemotePower Practical Luminoodle Basecamp 12V Outdoor LED Light Rope With RemotePower Practical Luminoodle Basecamp 12V Outdoor LED Light Rope With RemotePower Practical Luminoodle Basecamp 12V Outdoor LED Light Rope With Remote
Rope string lights are uniquely designed to hang from all sorts of surfaces. This particular set can be strung across a 20 foot area or wadded up and placed in the rip-stop nylon bag and used as a camping lantern.
The wireless remote makes it really easy to control the lights which can be powered three different ways:
- Plug into a wall outlet using the wall charger,
- plug into a vehicle using the 12v car adapter,
- or plug into the Power Practical Pronto Basecamp 12V battery pack which is sold separately.
In order to be as mobile as possible, you may want to power your Luminoodle Light Rope with a battery pack.
Decorative Camping Lights String
Some string lights are more about the ambiance than task lighting. Here are a few styles.
17. Moroccan Orb Globe String Lights
Enjoy the glittery glow and glamorous feel of these battery powered Moroccan-style balls. These lights provide a pretty environment and can be set to a steady-on or flashing mode. The upside to not using solar power is that you don’t have to worry about rainy days. The only downside to decorative sets is that you won’t get the brightness levels you may need when doing tasks. These are strictly for style impact.
18. LED Waterproof Solar Powered Outdoor String Lights
Small solar lights with a single color are perfect when you are celebrating camping holidays and events with color-themed décor. If you get a few different sets you can create different color combinations for multiple celebrations.
Red and blue are terrific for patriotic camping holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Red and green are wonderful for camping themed Christmas trips, solid red is great for Valentine’s Day camping and orange and green are ideal for Halloween camping.
These lights will be fully charged after about 6 hours of sunlight and will glow for 8-10 hours. The string lights up automatically at dusk and turns off during the daytime.
19. String Fairy Lights With Acrylic Stars and Beads
Beads give this set of string lights a little extra glam. This 5 foot strand includes 20 LED string fairy lights along with cute beads. You only need 2 AA batteries to power this swanky-looking set.
Novelty String Lights For Camping
Unique lights add light and character to your campsite in unusual ways.
20. Christmas Vacation Wally World Moose Mug String Lights
One of the most beloved RVs of all time was the one Cousin Eddie drove in the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie. So, who wouldn’t love a string light set featuring the moose mugs from the wildly popular film? This set is approved for indoor and outdoor use and is powered using a standard 120-volt wall plug.
21. RV Retro Lanterns Party String Lights
Some of the most popular camping party lights are shaped like mini retro travel trailers. This 8 foot strand includes ten lights that are powered through a 120V wall plug with overload protection.
22. Solar Dog Paw Path Lights
When you think about string lights, you think about the type that hang from tents, awnings and tree branches … but not this set! These adorable dog paw lights are perfect for path lighting on the ground and to set around obstacles that are difficult to see in the dark.
There are 4 paw lights on each string and the set includes the solar panel and ground stake. One caution: don’t put these in a high traffic area because the bulbs can get damaged.
Lights That Can Be Easily Hung From Strings
If you don’t need an entire string light kit, you can get illumination that will provide enough light from a single light source by hanging it on a string or a pole. A bright light from a headlamp or tiny lamps that look like incandescent bulbs or lanterns are great options for this application.
23. Coleman Kids LED Adventure Mini Lanterns
These lightweight LED lanterns are fun devices for kids to hang inside a camping tent. Each mini lantern contains 5 bright LEDs that emit 44 lumens of light. The battery life is pretty good too, it will run up to 16 hours on 4 AA batteries. And, the durable LED camping lantern is designed to be water-resistant.
24. AAA Battery Operated LED Camping Tent Lights
These palm-sized lights display a maximum brightness up to 150 lumens and operate on 3 AAA batteries. One important thing, if you are using individual lights along a string, you need to keep them from sliding to the “low spot”. The best way to do that is by using universal ties known to all campers … zipties!
25. Candle-Light Glow Snow Peak Hozuki Lantern
This sleek design makes the Hozuki Lantern stylish and fun. You can hang it over your picnic table to enjoy the awesome LED Candle Mode. This is such a good idea! It creates a realistic candle light flicker. This compact light has two attachment methods: a silicone-coated top loop and a powerful magnet. It operates on 3 AAA batteries.
Outdoor And Indoor Uses For RV String Lights
Most RVs come equipped with interior and exterior lights but one of the most popular uses for string lights when RV camping is rope or strip LEDS under awnings. These types of lights are also popular inside closets and cabinetry.
How To Hang String Lights In Camping Tents
Most modern camping tents include Velcro hook and loop fasteners to attach the tent to its frame. You can simply use that existing fastener to hang your lightweight string lights inside the tent.
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