Best Camping String Lights for a Cozy Campsite Ambience

Camping requires a certain level of comfort. Featured on our list are 9 of the best camping string lights that will give off the cozy ambiance you need to make your campsite feel like home.

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Camping String Lights: An Enlightening Addition to Your Camping Kit

Looking for the best camping string lights to light up your campsite?

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • A selection of 9 great fairy lights for camping
    • Everything from premium to budget options
    • All the technical aspects you should consider before purchasing

If you haven’t tried camping with string lights, you don’t know what you’re missing out on!

Hanging up string or fairy lights around your camp creates an almost magical atmosphere that’s hard to beat. On top of being charming, string lights are also inexpensive, compact, and lightweight. Many string lights even offer enough bright light to illuminate your entire campsite, meaning you can ditch the bulky lanterns for good!

Already convinced? Then use our guide to the best camping string lights to help you choose a set that matches your camping style.

Editor’s Choice

KeShi Solar Star Lights

Solar Star String Lights 40Ft 100LED , KeShi 8 Modes Solar Powered Twinkle Fairy Lights, Waterproof Star Twinkle Lights for Outdoor, Gardens, Lawn Patio, Landscape, Christmas, Warm White

Energy-saving, easy to hang, and with a stylish star shape to boot, the KeShi Solar Star are the hands-down winners of our top spot.

These solar-powered lights will light up your camp for a surprising 8–12 hours, which is decent considering they’re powered by clean solar energy. The solar panel needed to charge them is included in the package too.

Despite their affordable price, the KeShi Solar Star are jam-packed with useful features. With a long length, high IP rating, 2-year replacement warranty, and multiple lighting and brightness modes, it’s easy to see why the KeShi are our top choice for string lights for camping.

If you’re looking for the perfect string lights to provide adequate lighting and create a warm vibe at your camp, you won’t be disappointed by these awesome little illuminators.

Bottom Line: Fun, practical and affordable, ideal to brighten up any camping trip.

At a Glance: Quick Recommendations

Best String Lights for Camping: Out Top 9 Picks

KeShi Solar Star Lights

Editor’s Choice

The KeShi Solar Star are a set-and-forget lighting solution that runs on clean solar power. With the help of the solar panel included right in the box, you can enjoy up to 8–10 hours of continuous light from a full charge.

Other than the bonus of having a clean energy source, the real selling point of these solar-powered illuminators is their incredibly affordable price. Despite being one of the least expensive options on our list, you’ll enjoy impressive features like a high IP rating, a long length (40 feet), and a 2-year replacement warranty.

The Keshi do, however, require sunlight to charge, so they’re not well-suited for rainy or winter climates.

  • PROs

    • 2-year replacement
    • High IP rating
    • Sustainable power
  • CONs

    • No backup power source

Bottom-Line: Affordable, set-and-forget lights that run on clean, solar energy.

Revel Gear Camping String Lights

Runner Up

Looking for bright yet energy-efficient lighting for your campsite? Then you’ll love our runner-up, the Revel Gear Camping String Light.

Thanks to 100 high-efficiency LEDs emitting 350 lumens, you’ll have more than enough intense light for your favorite camping activities. The bulbs are spaced across a lengthy 30ft. wire strand, meaning you won’t have to purchase multiple sets to illuminate your entire basecamp.

The Revel also has 6 different lighting models and 8 brightness settings, which makes them amongst the most versatile options on our list and the best for energy conservation. Create your ideal camping vibe with options ranging from solid, warm light to strobe and flashing light, or save on juice by opting for a low-lumens output.

One minor downside is that although their wire construction allows them to withstand dust and rain, it does tangle easily.

  • PROs

    • High IP rating
    • Bright
    • Multiple modes
  • CONs

    • Tangles easily

Bottom-Line: These energy-efficient, extra-bright lights provide enough illumination to cast a warm glow throughout your campsite.

Coleman LED Lantern String Lights

Honorable Mention

Thanks to their intense brightness and unique design, the Coleman LED String Lights will add a bit of fun flair to any campsite.

Each strand contains 10 bulbs fashioned to look like classic little Coleman lanterns. Despite their small size, the Coleman LEDs emit more than enough direct lighting for camping activities like reading or playing cards. With just three AA batteries, you’ll enjoy up to 20 hours of continuous light.

The only drawback to these Coleman LEDs is their short string. At just 5ft long, these are the shortest on our list, so reserve them for lighting small areas like a picnic table or your camping tent.

  • PROs

    • Very bright
    • Unique design
    • Long-lasting light
  • CONs

    • Only one power source
    • Length

Bottom-Line: Campers looking for a fun but functional lighting solution will love these mini-lanterns.

Eno Twilights LED Camping String Lights

Best Battery Life

Need something that will illuminate your camp all night long? Powered by just three AA batteries, the Twilights offer a whopping 72 hours of continuous light. (That’s more than 3x longer than the other LED string lights on our list, the Coleman LEDs!)

Four lighting and brightness modes ranging from ‘dim’ to ‘fast blink’ allow you to set the right mood to match all your camping activities.

With an IP rating of just IPX4, the Twilights aren’t the most rain-resistant model on our list, so you might want a backup plan if the forecast calls for rainy days.

  • PROs

    • Long-lasting light
    • Many lighting modes
  • CONs

    • Low IP rating

Bottom-Line: The perfect choice if you need a battery-powered lighting solution that can last for days.

Barebones Edison String Lights

Best Premium

The BareBones Edison are a USB-rechargeable lighting solution that works with either a portable charger or while plugged into an adapter. Although they’re a bit on the pricey side (the most expensive option on our list, to be exact!), their price is justified by their durable design and premium materials like water and rust-resistant powder-coated steel.

While the Barebones might not offer enough light to illuminate your entire camp, their sophisticated, triple-mini-lamp design is perfect for creating warm mood lighting for camping activities like dining or playing cards.

  • PROs

    • Quality and durable build
    • Carabiners included
  • CONs

    • Low IP rating 
    • Low lumens

Bottom-Line: Awesome ambient lighting for dining or relaxing at camp.

Power Practical Luminoodle Light Rope

Most Practical

If you’re regularly caught camping in rough weather, you can count on the Power Practical Luminoodle to light your way, even in the rain!

The Luminoodle rope light is all about practicality. Thanks to a built-in utility loop and magnet hanging system, the Luminoodle is easy to hang anywhere. Another unique feature is its nylon carrying pouch, which allows you to instantly transform the lights into a portable camping lantern or camping light.

At only 5 feet, they’re the shortest lighting solution on our list. If, however, you upgrade to the 10ft. model, you’ll enjoy not only the extra length but an insanely bright 360 lumens as well!

  • PROs

    • Affordable
    • High IP
    • High lumens
  • CONs

    • Short

Bottom-Line: A practical, 2-in-1 camping lighting solution with a high waterproof rating.

MPOWERD Luci

Best Solar

If you’re looking for solar string lights that aren’t scared of cloudy weather, then the MPOWERD Luci are the perfect solution for you!

Unlike the KeShi Solar Star, the MPOWERD offers the choice of charging in two camping-friendly ways: via a solar panel or a USB cable. The entire system is incredibly lightweight and compact, too, because the solar panel is built right into its carrying case.

The MPOWERD comes with some pretty great perks too. The all-in-one carrying and charging case has a built-in battery level indicator and it can even be used as a battery pack to charge cell phones. Other useful features include a 2-second shut-off and a built-in LED flashlight.

  • PROs

    • Versatile charging
    • 4 modes
    • Battery level indicator
  • CONs

    • Pricey
    • Low lumens

Bottom-Line: Versatile, solar-powered camping lights that pack a decent punch.

ZOUTOG Battery-Operated String Lights

Best Value

The ZOUTOG are a budget-friendly choice for campers looking to add some personality and warmth to their camp.

Hate stumbling through your campsite after you switch off your last light? A handy wireless remote solves this problem by allowing you to control both the brightness and scroll through eight different lighting modes.

While the ZOUTOG are similar to another battery-powered option on our list, the ENO Twilights, they’re almost 3x longer at 33ft. If you’re looking to illuminate a large portion of your camp, then, the ZOUTOG is the better option.

  • PROs

    • Eight different lighting modes
    • Length
    • Remote control
  • CONs

    • Can’t connect to other lights

Bottom-Line: Water-resistant, battery-powered, and remote-controlled – what more could you ask for? 

Loende Battery-Operated String Lights

Best Budget

Not sold on string lights yet? The Loende BOLS are an affordable yet feature-packed choice that won’t break the bank if you change your mind.

The Loende are the most affordable option featured on our list, but that doesn’t mean they skimp on fancy features. With 8 different lighting and brightness modes, a waterproof battery box, and a 1-year warranty, you get a lot of value for such a budget-friendly price.

Like the ZOUTOG, the Loende are battery-operated and include a remote, but they cost considerably less. As such, they make a great first choice for campers that want to try out string lighting before committing to a more expensive set.

  • PROs

    • Price
    • High IP rating
    • Lighting modes
  • CONs

    • Only one power source

Bottom-Line: Impressive bang for very few bucks.

How to Choose the Perfect Camping String Lights

Before you rush off to make your purchases, make sure you understand the technical aspects of the lights you’re purchasing. Here we cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Brightness

The brightness of any form of lighting is measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light emitted.

Generally, string lighting products with under 100 lumens (like the Barebones) are most suited for ambient lighting, while those that have 150+ lumens (both the Power Practical Luminoodle and Revel Gear Camping String Light) offer enough brightness to illuminate your entire camp. 

Before choosing, then, it’s wise to think carefully about what you’re trying to achieve. Do you want just a faint glow for some cool ambiance lighting or do you want enough light to illuminate your entire campsite? 

String of lights hung in the trees above a tent
Do you want your string lights to serve as practical lighting or for ambient purposes?

Length

When choosing string lights, it’s important to consider the size of your camp and how much of it you want to illuminate. Do you need lighting over just one particular area, such as a table, or do you want to hang string lights between trees to provide enough lighting to replace your torches and lanterns? 

Typically, string lighting solutions range in length from 5ft (Power Practical Luminoodle) to over 40ft (KeShi Solar Star). Don’t forget to consider the number of bulbs spaced across the strand too. 

Power Source

There are four different power sources used to power up the majority of string lights:

  • 12 volt: This is the standard method for powering up electrical appliances at hook-up sites. To use this type, you’ll need to ensure your campground offers a power source like an electrical outlet. 
  • Batteries: Most string lights will use either AA or AAA batteries. You’ll need to make sure you always carry an extra set to avoid being left in the dark. 
  • USB: Instead of an outlet, these types of light use a USB port to plug into a portable battery pack or another power source. 
  • Solar: Some solar string lights, like the MPOWERD Luci, allow you to recharge through a portable solar panel. 
Solar power pack attached to tent charging in the sun
Some string lights can now be charged using a portable solar panel

Weatherproofing

Since the lights you pick will likely be hanging outdoors on your camping trip, you’ll want to make sure they can withstand rough weather conditions like rain and wind. 

To understand your light’s weatherproofing, take a look at its IP rating. The IP rating consists of two numbers. The first tells you how well the light fares against dirt and dust on a scale from 0 – 6, while the second number tells you how well it can stand up to water and rain on a scale of 0 – 9. An X means the light has no rating for that particular condition. 

For 3-season camping, you’ll want to choose a set with a well-rounded rating of at least IP44. 

Lighting Modes

Some models offer extra features like lighting and brightness settings. From flashing, colorful lights to a warm, steady glow, these extra modes are just a fun feature some lighting solutions offer. Many models also provide a remote control for extra convenience. 

Colored string lights hung outside
There is a wide variety of colors, brightness settings, and lighting modes on the market today

Camping String Lights: The Verdict

There you have it! While we think the KeShi Solar Star offers the most bang for your buck, any of the options on our list will help brighten your campsite and set the mood. Remember to think carefully about the technical stuff like lumens and string length before you start shopping.

So how do you feel about camping string lights, yay or nay? Let us know in the comments below and feel free to ask us any questions about camp lighting!

Last update on 2022-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jolanda is a full-time writer and life-long outdoor enthusiast. Growing up on a small island off the Eastern Canadian coast, she spent most of her childhood hiking, swimming and fishing in the Atlantic ocean.

After a short stint in the corporate world, Jolanda quit her day job to write full-time and check out what lies beyond the Canadian shores. Ever since, she’s been hiking, biking and kayaking her way across 11 European countries and counting.

Jolanda currently lives in the beautiful, Tuscan countryside. When she isn’t hanging out in the woods or at the beach, you’ll catch her foraging for mushrooms and truffles with her truffle-dog, Red.

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