The Best Camping String Lights: A Complete Guide

Camping string lights for outdoor use can provide a subtle ambience, or bright lighting so you can see clearly when you’re outside or in your tent. With so many types on the market, it can be a challenge choosing the best rope lights for your camping trips. 

This guide is here to help. We’ve carefully researched all the top options. So whether you want the best solar camping string lights or would prefer camping string lights with LED bulbs, we run through all the best products in every category. 

What to look for when buying is also covered, so you can make an informed choice between battery, mains and solar powered camping string lights. Whether you want the best camping lights for tents or camper string lights for an RV or smaller motorhome. 

For a quick solution, see our top pick immediately below this intro, or check out the comparison table beneath to find out the main features of each option. There is also a frequently asked questions section, so do refer to that if you’re unsure about anything.  

Read on to discover the finest camping string lights that are solar, USB, mains, 12V or battery powered. 

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Guide to the Best Camping String Lights Outdoors
Best String Lights for Camping

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See The Best String Lights For Camping Here

The Luci lights by MPowerD are our top pick.

Why buy the MPowerD Luci string lights? 

They feature a super sleek and portable design, run on free solar power and provide up to 20 hours of light per charge. There is even a built-in flashlight, and the possibility of USB charging is the ideal back-up. 

>> Click here to view the MPowerD Luci LED solar string lights for camping 

Best String Camping Lights Comparison Table 

Do you want see all of the camping string lights options together for easy comparison? Use this quick reference table. 

If you are reading this on a mobile device, you might need to swipe to scroll across. 

NameImagePower SourceKey FeaturesPrice
Coleman mini lanterns


Battery Top brand, super cute, highly portable & compact CHECK PRICE NOW
Brightech Ambience Pro
power pack string lights


Power pack Use anywhere, weather and shatter proof, bright LEDs CHECK PRICE NOW
MPowerD Luci


Solar or USB 2 colors, 20 LEDs, 18-foot cord, 2,000 mAh battery CHECK PRICE NOW
Fairy lights 4 pack


Solar 288 feet in total, 4 strings, warm white LEDs CHECK PRICE NOW
Amico Vintage style bulb lights


Mains / generatorVintage feel, very efficient LEDs, shatterproof CHECK PRICE NOW
Cafe style string lights


Mains / generatorColorful, 6 styles & 2 lengths, commercial grade CHECK PRICE NOW
Globe string lights


USB or battery30 color changing LEDs, can use batteries, water resistant CHECK PRICE NOW
Power Practical Luminoodle
Light rope & lantern


USB2 ways to use, 2 lengths, ties, magnets & pouch included CHECK PRICE NOW
Power Practical Basecamp
12V LED light rope


12V Chargers, pouch, etc. supplied, 500+ setting combosCHECK PRICE NOW
Fermerst 12V output RV lights


Mains / generatorUltra-safe design, waterproof, 1 year warrantyCHECK PRICE NOW
Ollny Star string lights


Solar White & color modes, multi-purpose, 50 LEDs on 25-foot cordCHECK PRICE NOW
Dandelion fairy lights


Battery40 LEDs on 16.5-foot cord, weatherproof, vintage lookCHECK PRICE NOW
Paw print lights


SolarWeather resistant, various colors, auto switch-on CHECK PRICE NOW

Best Campsite String Lights Categories 

Although we’ve split the type of string lights into categories, there are certainly some crossovers between them. Particularly where the power source is concerned. For example, some of the best solar powered outdoor string lights can also be powered via other sources such as USB.  

Top battery powered string lights 

One of our battery powered light options is a string of tiny lanterns. We also include a set that are lit via a USB power pack.  

Best outdoor solar string lights 

The picks in this category include a very neat, bright and portable set, plus a pack comprising 4 LED strings for year-round use. 

Top LED camping string lights 

Here we cover vintage or colorful cafe-style strings of lights that are shatterproof and weather resistant. 

Best USB camping string lights 

The USB powered lights we’ve listed include a string of globe-shaped lights and a set that can be used as a lantern or light rope. 

Top 12V camping string lights 

A rope style, 12V powered light string with lots of extras is detailed here, alongside an ideal set of RV owners with a 12V output. 

Best decorative camping string lights 

The decorative string lights featured here can be used all year round at home as well as when away.  

Top retro camping string lights 

The delightful fairy lights we’ve chosen give the campground a warm white glow and a vintage feel.  

Best fun camping string lights 

The option in this category is ideal for those who take their pets away on camping trips with them 

Choosing The Best Outdoor Camping String Lights – FAQs 

What are the best type of string lights for campers? 

The best kind of lighting for your camping trips really depends on what you want light for. Would you like a warm glow or fun atmosphere, or do you need light to see by when preparing the family meal on a dark evening?  Will they be used for inside your tent or RV or hung around the campground? 

How are camping string lights powered? 

Think about the power source too. Solar lights provide free power, but may be less reliable during winter than they are when there’s lots of sunshine. Will you have mains hook-up, a generator or access to your vehicle’s 12V socket, or would you prefer to use batteries or a USB power pack?  

What do string lights for camping look like? 

The variety of available designs is enormous. Whether you prefer a vintage look, cafe style lighting, a fun design or modern LED rope lights, there is something here to suit every preference. There are lots of size and color options too.  

How do you hang outdoor string lights? 

Hanging outdoor string lights around a campsite can be tricky. Some tips for hanging string lights:   

  1. Outdoor lights need to be secure and safe, so check there is clearance from branches, etc. around the lights and make sure they are waterproof.   
  1. To hang them, you do not want to put nails or screws in trees at a campground.  Instead use clips like these ones or these poles to string them up on. 
  1. Double check that there is no cross traffic where the lights are hung, so that you don’t drive or walk into them. 

The Best Outdoor Camping Lights String Products

Best Battery String Lights

Coleman LED String Lights

From a top camping brand, these battery camping string lights are super cute, comprising a line of 10 mini camping lanterns. They are also very highly rated. 

These camping lantern string lights from Coleman are battery powered, so you’ll need to buy 3 readily available AA batteries. This means you can use them anywhere, without a USB, mains, solar or even 12V power source.  

On a 6-foot string, these are a fun choice than can run for up to 20 hours. They’re also one of the most compact and portable picks. 


  • Fun design 
  • Top outdoor brand 
  • Ultra portable


  • Smaller than many other options

>> Click here to see these Coleman string camping lights on Amazon

>> Click here to see these Coleman string camping lights on Walmart

Brightech Ambience Pro USB battery pack powered string lights

Waterproof and weather resistant, these camping string lights with battery pack power as their source are bright enough for all sorts of evening activities like cooking. 

Simply take these plus a power pack with you and you’re set up for many happy hours of illuminated camping. These LEDs are also a safer option as they stay cool to the touch.  
Brightech offer a full 3-year warranty, making this a risk-free purchase. This product also comes with high ratings and great reviews.


  • Weather and shatter resistant 
  • Bright LED lighting 
  • Can be used anywhere


  • Power pack required

>> Click here to view the Brightech power pack camping string lights 

Best Solar String Lights For Camping

MPowerD Luci string lights

This product is without doubt among the best solar outdoor string lights options around and receives very positive feedback from owners.  

The key selling point of these bright solar string lights is the highly efficient solar panel that means batteries should never be needed. If you do like to have back-up, then they can also be charged via the USB port.  

With an 18-foot cord, 2,000 mAh rechargeable lithium battery and 20 warm white or colored LEDs, these can last for up to 20 hours per charge. They are also waterproof, come with hanging clips and a built-in flashlight. Plus there is a battery level indicator and four lighting modes. 


  • 20 LEDS on 18-foot cord 
  • High efficiency solar panel 
  • Rechargeable 2,000 mAh battery


  • Higher price than some other options

>> Click here to view these MPowerD extra long solar string lights on Amazon

>> Click here to view these MPowerD extra long solar string lights on REI

4 pack of 200 solar string lights

If you want the best outdoor string lights that are solar powered, how about a pack containing enough for the holidays as well as camping trips? 
This highly rated set of four solar powered LED light strings provides adequate outdoor lighting for use at home and when away. You could keep two sets at your house and two in the car. 
These are among the brightest solar string lights around, yet the warm white color makes them less than overpowering.


  • Use all year round 
  • Bright yet warm LED lighting 
  • 288 feet of fairy lights


  • May be more than you need for a smaller campsite

>> Click here to see this LED solar powered string lights 4 pack on Amazon

>> Click here to see this LED solar powered string lights 4 pack on Walmart

Best LED String Lights For Camping

Amico shatterproof LED string lights 

Are these the best solar LED string lights around? The answer is likely to be yes if you want a vintage feel – without those glass bulbs that could so easily shatter, leaving broken glass everywhere.  

They are fully weatherproof, and so should not melt in the sun, become damp after rain or be blown away by the wind. In fact, one happy customer in Florida has said they withstood a hurricane.  

The included adapt can lower the voltage to 12V for safer indoor use, while the efficient LED bulbs reduce energy consumption and last for up to 30,000 hours.  

As access to a power source is required, this is not the ideal tent camping option; however, they are ideal as RV camping string lights, or for those with mains hook-up, or if you have a generator. 

If you need a generator, check out my Guide to the Best Generators for Camping.  


  • Shatter and weather proof 
  • Highly efficient LEDs 
  • Vintage feel


  • Require mains power or generator

>> Click here to see these weatherproof LED string lights on Amazon

>> Click here to see these weatherproof LED string lights on Newegg

Color changing cafe string lights

Again, these cafe-style string lights are powered via the mains, and are thus aimed at those with mains hook up while camping or if you have a generator.  
These lights receive incredibly high ratings and rave reviews, so they’re clearly worth the higher price tag. There are six color and style options, available in 24- or 48-foot lengths.  
With an ultra-tough and durable design, these colorful and stylish string lights for camping will certainly make your RV or pitch stand out. There are various mounting options too.


  • Ultra-stylish cafe-style lighting 
  • Various designs and lengths 
  • Commercial grade construction


  • Mains power or generator required

>> Click here to view these LED cafe style string lights on Amazon

>> Click here to view these LED cafe style string lights on Home Depot

Best USB Camping String Lights

Globe USB powered camping string lights 

These camping LED string lights feature 30 LED color changing bulbs on a transparent or dark green cord. There are 7 modes to choose from, operated via remote control. 

While USB is the most efficient mode of charging, they can also be run on three AA batteries, giving you more flexibility.  

They have an IP65 waterproof rating and are ideal for parties and other occasions as well as camping. Even when used for long periods of time, they stay cool to the touch and are thus a safer choice for families. 


  • 30 color changing LEDs 
  • Can also be battery powered 
  • IP65 water resistant rating


  • Batteries not included

>> Click here to view these indoor, RV or camping tent string lights on Amazon

>> Click here to view these indoor, RV or camping tent string lights on Sears

Power Practical LED light rope and lantern for camping

This is a rather unique product from Power Practical, as it can be used in two ways. The light rope can be placed wherever you like, or you can set it up as a handheld lantern.  

The product listing is well worth checking out, as it shows the USB powered lights being strung around a surfboard and even people out cycling.  

You can choose between various options, including 5- or 10-foot strings with or without colors or a battery. Whichever you go for, they come with noodle ties, integral magnets, a ripstop pouch and a remote control.


  • Use as light rope or lantern 
  • Pouch, magnets & ties included 
  • Various length, color & battery options


  • Battery pack an optional extra

>> Click here to see this LED lantern and light rope combo on Amazon

>> Click here to see this LED lantern and light rope combo on Walmart

Best 12 Volt Camping String Lights 

Power Practical Basecamp 12V outdoor rope LED light string  

Like the above product, this also comes from Power Practical, but this time it’s a 12V powered option that’s ideal for use as camper awning string lights or car camping string lights. 

With 20 feet of bright lighting, this can also be used as a lantern. The package comes complete with noodle ties, integral magnets, wall mounts, a remote control and a ripstop pouch. There is also a 12V wall charger and a 12V car adapter. 

There are 3,000 lumens of light and it can be fixed up pretty much any way you like. With various colors and modes, there are around 500 setting combinations in total. 


  • 12V wall & car chargers  
  • 15 colors & 10 brightness settings 
  • Magnets, ties, mounts & pouch supplied


  • Not the cheapest option

>> Click here to see this 12V LED light rope on Amazon

>> Click here to see this 12V LED light rope on Sears

Firmerst Camper and RV 12V LED string lights

In this case the ‘12V’ refers to the output rather than the power source, and these low output lights are ideal for RV use for this reason. 
The LED bulbs are extremely energy efficient and are also shatterproof. They come complete with hook holes for super simple installation. 
With an IP44 waterproof rating, an FCC certificate and a one-year warranty, this 24-foot string of 8 large, warm white LEDs is perfect for those with a camper van.


  • Safe 12V output 
  • IP44 waterproof rating & FCC certificate 
  • 1-year warranty


  • Mains or generator powered

>> Click here to view these 12V string lights

Best Decorative String Lights For Camping 

Solar powered LED star string lights 

If you want the best camping lights that are decorative, take look at these star-shaped LED string lights. You don’t have to choose between warm white and multicolored lighting, as you can easily switch between the two. 

The lights take six hours to charge (in direct sunlight) via the built-in solar panel and can then run for up to 12. Taking these on your camping trips will ensure you see the stars every night. 

As well as for camping, you could set these up outside at home during the Christmas, Hanukkah or other festive seasons. They have 50 LEDs on a 25-foot cord, and a remote control with 11 modes. 


  • Multi-purpose star lights 
  • 50 LEDs on 25-foot cord 
  • Switch between white & multicolor modes


  • No other power option

>> Click here to view the best solar string lights for outdoor decoration

Best Vintage Camping String Lights 

Dandelion fairy string lights for camping 

A lot of vintage or retro style options have glass bulbs, which look pretty but are not the most practical option for camping. These are among the best camping fairy lights around because they are a little less breakable. 

With 40 warm white LEDs on a 16.5-foot cord, these are ideal for creating a cozy atmosphere at the campground. They’re powered by 3 AA batteries (sold separately). 

These appealing string lights are durable as well as decorative, made from heat and weatherproof plastic. The warm white bulbs and twisted string gives them an authentic vintage feel.  


  • Decorative dandelion style 
  • Durable and weatherproof 
  • 40 LEDs on 16.5-foot cord


  • Battery purchase required

>> Click here to see the best fairy lights for camping on Amazon

>> Click here to see the best fairy lights for camping on Wantitall

Best Novelty String Lights For Camping

Solar powered paw print string lights 

If it’s novelty you’re seeking, then how about this product? Surely the best solar powered string lights for those with pets. Some also purchase them to remember their furry friend by. 

They come as a set of four, joined together by a thin cord that runs from paw to paw. There is also a choice of colors, so you can select neutral white or a brighter shade. 

These tough, weather-resistant lights run solely on solar power, and will automatically light up when the skies over the campsite darken. 


  • Choice of colors 
  • Wind and rain resistant 
  • Automatic switch-on at dusk


  • Limited lighting

>> Click here to view the best outdoor string solar lights for pet lovers on Amazon

>> Click here to view the best outdoor string solar lights for pet lovers on Walmart

Which are the best campground string lights for you? 

Whether you want to light up the skies with bright LED lighting or prefer to create a gentle glow, it’s easy to find the right camping string lights to suit your needs.  

From twinkling, traditional style fairy lights to strings of large bulbs or contemporary light ropes than can be twisted as you please, investing in the right lighting is sure to make your camping trips safer – as well as more enjoyable.  

 Happy camping!    

Do you have another pick for the best outdoor string lights for camping?  I’d love to know what it is.   Join my private Facebook group National Parks Collectors and comment and let me know. (you can also pick up extra planning tips, share your photos and stories with other national park lovers and more).   

If you found this review of the best generator for camping helpful but are not quite ready to buy yet, Pin It so you can find it easily! 

Best String Lights for Camping
Guide to the Best Camping String Lights Outdoors

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About the Reviewer 

James Ian Yosemite

James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.

He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and all of the main national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks. 

Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.

As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.

Read more…

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