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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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.
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.
|Name||Image||Power Source||Key Features||Price|
|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 / generator||Vintage feel, very efficient LEDs, shatterproof||CHECK PRICE NOW|
|Cafe style string lights||Mains / generator||Colorful, 6 styles & 2 lengths, commercial grade||CHECK PRICE NOW|
|Globe string lights||USB or battery||30 color changing LEDs, can use batteries, water resistant||CHECK PRICE NOW|
|Power Practical Luminoodle |
Light rope & lantern
|USB||2 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 combos||CHECK PRICE NOW|
|Fermerst 12V output RV lights||Mains / generator||Ultra-safe design, waterproof, 1 year warranty||CHECK PRICE NOW|
|Ollny Star string lights||Solar||White & color modes, multi-purpose, 50 LEDs on 25-foot cord||CHECK PRICE NOW|
|Dandelion fairy lights||Battery||40 LEDs on 16.5-foot cord, weatherproof, vintage look||CHECK PRICE NOW|
|Paw print lights||Solar||Weather 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.
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.
The picks in this category include a very neat, bright and portable set, plus a pack comprising 4 LED strings for year-round use.
Here we cover vintage or colorful cafe-style strings of lights that are shatterproof and weather resistant.
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.
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.
The decorative string lights featured here can be used all year round at home as well as when away.
The delightful fairy lights we’ve chosen give the campground a warm white glow and a vintage feel.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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).
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James Ian has traveled to 82 countries and all 7 continents. He has visited all of the main national parks in the United States, as well as many national monuments and state parks.
He has rafted through the Grand Canyon; rappelled down slot canyons near Zion and Arches; hiked among the hoodoos in Bryce and the enormous trees in Sequoia; admired the waterfalls in Yosemite and the colored hot springs in Yellowstone; seen moose in Grand Tetons and seals in the Channel Islands, and much more.
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