Solar camping lights are fun lighting solutions you can use at your campsite as well as inside and outside of your RV. These solar powered outdoor lights are an energy efficient way of lighting your outdoor space without wasting electricity. Not only do they create a warm ambient atmosphere, they are great security deterrents for thieves and intruders at night.
Let’s talk about why solar camping lights are better for the environment, safer to use around the campsite and popularity.
But also, how solar energy works and how these lights have incorporated solar panels to power them.
How do solar camping lights work?
Individual solar lights or solar powered string lights have a solar panel either installed inside the light housing or attached to a cord that leads to the light itself.
Solar panels come in monocrystalline, like our RV’s rooftop solar panels, and amorphous or polycrystalline.
While the monocrystalline solar panels are more expensive, they also are the most effective and last longer than the latter two types of solar panels.
According to U.S. Department of Energy,
“When the sun shines onto a solar panel, energy from the sunlight is absorbed by the PV cells in the panel. This energy creates electrical charges that move in response to an internal electrical field in the cell, causing electricity to flow.”
So, just like we enjoy all the energy that’s absorbed into our RV’s rooftop solar panels and stored in out battery bank, the same principle applies to these solar camping lights; only a smaller version.
To make them efficient to last all night, it’s important to that your camping lights’ solar panels are in full sun at least most of the day. The beauty in all of these lights is they are portable.
So, just like a solar panel suitcase, you can move your lights so they can absorb the most sun.
But it’s also important to keep your solar panel part of your lights clean and debris free. Be aware, through time, they may cloud due to acid raid, UV intensity and age.
Do you still have to buy batteries for outdoor solar powered lights?
The short answer to needing to buy batteries for your solar powered lights is no.
It’s because solar lights typically have lithium ion batteries to store the energy. Some outdoor lights may have lead acid , NiCad or NiMH.
However, solar light industry have mostly turned to lithium ion batteries.
That said, you still may have to replace them after a few years of continuous use. After all, those solar powered lights are, quite literally, working all of the time.
Therefore, just like our RV’s lithium batteries, solar light batteries have a lifespan as well. The good thing is you’re not wasting space, money or filling landfills with lead acid batteries (like Duracell and Energizers).
Are solar powered lights safe?
The answer is a resounding YES! Solar powered lights are safe for many reasons.
For one, they don’t require caustic lead acid batteries that may leak and end up in landfills.
Second, there are no cords which eliminates tripping hazards.
Third, the bulbs or lights don’t get hot.
And lastly, they eliminate the need for fire, which in itself is a huge safety plus especially around little campers.
Why solar camping lights are better?
I’m sure by now you’ve thrown away a lot of outdoor lights because they’ve either broken or didn’t adapt to your RV lifestyle or camping.
Or, you’re tired of carrying around expensive batteries that add to our landfills. With the age of technology, solar energy has hit the camping scene.
So, now you can ditch those electric cords and batteries and get solar camping lights instead!
Solar lighting is the most energy-efficient and practical answer for lighting up the outdoors and your campsite.
Not only do they add ambiance, they also add safety and security around your campsite and outside of your RV.
The cool thing is you don’t need to string a bunch of electrical cords or use up your batteries while boondocking to power these campsite lights.
Before buying your solar camping lights
There’s a few important factors to consider when buying your solar camping lights.
First, you need to consider what brightness you’re looking for in your campsite lights. Light brightness is measured in lumens.
For example, solar string lights illuminate much less than solar security lights. Those cute string lights are more for aesthetics and ambiance.
Whereas, your solar security lights need to light up more intensely and cover more area.
Just to give you an idea of difference, those string lights illuminate roughly about 50 to 150 lumens at best. But motion sensor solar lights range anywhere between 300 and 900 lumens.
When it comes time to order white solar lights, pay particular attention to whether they are bright white or warm white.
Bright white lights give off a blueish tint which appears brighter much like artificial florescent lighting.
Warm white lights give a more subdued and softer romantic illumination with a very minimal orange tint.
And, lastly, if you have the option, look into outdoor solar lights that offer the option of charging via USB charging.
These type of outdoor lights are helpful in situations of cloudy days or when there’s less hours of sunlight such as in the winter months.
Also, consider whether or not your lights’ solar panels are going to be shaded.
So, now that we’ve learned a few things about how solar lights work, let’s jump right in to see what solar camping lights we recommend!
10 Best Solar Camping Lights for RVs, Patios and Outdoor Spaces
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Ambient Solar Camping Lights
Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Powered Outdoor String Solar Camping Lights
The Brightech Ambience pro outdoor string solar camping lights use vintage Edison Globe Bulbs that add elegance and romantic ambiance to your campsite.
You can install these hanging lights string from your RV awning, over your campsite as a canopy or inside you gazebo for a retro bistro look and a pleasant party ambience.
Just remember, the solar panel must be fully exposed to direct sunlight for them to work at maximum efficiency.
The bulbs are shatterproof which makes them perfect for camping and storing in your camper.
These decorative outdoor solar lights last 5-6 hours on a full charge from 6 hours of direct sunlight.
And the bulbs stay cool to the touch so you don’t have to worry about burning your fingers should you need to stow them away right away.
You can also get multi-color solar string lights if you want to add a little more fun to your outside space.
Fatpoom Solar Powered Rope Lights
The Fatpoom solar powered rope lights are super portable so you can create the lighting and ambience while you’re camping in the woods or enjoying evening cocktails on your outdoor patio.
These solar LED rope lights are bendable and can be installed flexibly making them great for outlining your RV or campsite.
You can set 8 different lighting modes including Twinkle, Slow Fade, Flash, Strobe, Steady on and more, dimming the brightness.
They work even in rainy days. You can multi-color solar rope lights to add a bit of festive flair to your campsite or patio!
JACKYLED Solar Pathway and Step Lights
These faux crystal design JACKYLED solar pathway and step lights are great to light up your path or step area at your campsite.
They stay off while charging during the day and light up automatically as the sun goes down.
These outdoor solar campsite lights are water-resistant; protected in a fully sealed casing.
Also, these lights will remain lit through rain, snow, frost, storms, flood, high tide, or even submersion for a short period sporadically.
Upon unboxing, to test them, simply turn each solar light on by pressing the power button and covering the solar panel.
KAQ King Size Solar Flame Torches
The KAQ king size solar torch lights are designed to flicker like real flames; creating a more natural and cozy ambiance while you’re camping.
These waterproof outdoor solar camping lights resist all kinds of weather. They have larger solar panels to allow quicker charging by solar energy.
And, there’s no need to stock extra batteries. Each torch light comes with a 600mAh built-in rechargeable battery that can work up to 12 hours after fully charged (8 hours) under sunlight.
What we love about them is they look like real torches without having to worry about open flames and carrying flammable oils.
You can also get a complete set of 12 smaller size solar torch lights to line your campsite or pathway. Realize they won’t be as bright as the king size torch lights above.
EOYIZW Outdoor Solar Powered Hanging Lanterns
These EOYIZW outdoor solar powered hanging lanterns are perfect for suspending from your RV awning without worrying about burning down the forest!
Or, you can just set them out on your picnic table or on the ground. Like the above solar torch lights above, you can enjoy watching the dancing flames.
They too, are waterproof, durable and able to withstand all kinds of weather.
The flame lantern solar camping lights can flicker more than 10 hours with only 6-8 hours charging time. You can also get these solar lanterns with blue flames or purple flames too!
Dinwey Outdoor Solar Hanging Lanterns
These Dinwey outdoor solar hanging lanterns are perfect décor for your campsite or patio.
The lanterns sit on any surface like the ground and tabletop, or can be hung in a tree or from your RV awning or gazebo.
You can also hang them on shepherd hooks that stake into the ground at your campsite or outdoor area.
Designed with warm white LED, these solar hanging lights will illuminate the surface below while showing off the beautiful floral pattern shadow. The soft mood lighting creates a wonderful and relaxed atmosphere.
These outdoor lights run entirely off solar power. Simply place these solar lanterns in sunny location to charge. Then, enjoy your lantern lighting from dusk to dawn; up to 10 hours.
The solar lantern lights automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn.
Multi-Functional Solar Camping Lights
Luci Color: Inflatable Solar Camping Lantern
Luci Color: inflatable solar camping lantern have a built-in high efficiency solar panel requires no batteries or electricity.
These solar camping lights recharge in full sun in 7 hours. Plus, with a fixed top strap, it can be easily attached to your backpack, or hung from above.
These fun highly-functional, solar powered inflatable camping lanterns can compact down flat when we’re not using them.
The best part is solar lights are great for camping and RVing because they are so lightweight. Kids love them because you can set them to individual colors or change colors automatically. (Our grandson’s favorite!).
JMADENQ Multi-Function All-in-One Solar Camping Lights
If you’re hard-pressed for space in your smaller RV or van, these multifunctional JMADENQ all-in-one solar camping lights are just what you need to take camping.
With its’ foldable design or side switch, you can use it as a lantern or flashlight. Hang the lantern on camping tent or take away with the stainless steel handles.
You can charge this camping light through its’ mini solar panels or USB port. The lantern will continuously provide bright light for 5-6 hours after a full charge.
The solar camping lantern is bright enough for indoor or outdoor use, such as camping, fishing, taking the dog out for a walk, or even as an emergency backup light.
Security Solar Camping Lights
Seed Alarm Solar Powered Motion Sensor Security Lights
These Seed Alarm solar powered security lights automatically recharged by the sun or bright light allows for continuous illumination without any electrical power source.
These solar camping lights have incorporated 18% high efficiency solar panels via Mono-Crystalline Silicon with 2000 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
Their 220° wide-angle illumination and reflector LED beads solar wall lights can provide excellent brightness and larger illumination coverage.
The enhanced motion inductor provides powerful motion sensitivity up to 10-16 feet with a 120° detect angle.
These outdoor portable security lights have an adjustment mode button that allows you to change the lighting mode without disassembling the product.
DrawGreeen Outdoor Solar and Motion Activated Security Lights
These outdoor DrawGreen outdoor solar motion activated security lights are perfect for campers who need a little reassurance of safety while they’re camping alone in the wild
These bendable camping lights light up the campsite where intruders shouldn’t be. Also, they’re great for those who need to let the dog out in the middle of the night.
These solar lights can detect up to 20-26′ away and stays lit for 20 seconds before going back to low-light or Auto-off. The illumination range is 40-55 feet.
This solar light with bendable tripod legs can be attached to your RV ladder, step handle, near your grill or anywhere you need. It has high sensitivity infrared sensors, so it can get full range of lighting and sensing angle.
When camping or outdoors, it could provide campsite lighting or serve as an early warning system.
Wrapping up our solar camping lights
We hope our solar camping lights recommendations are what you’re looking for to light up your campsite.
The great thing about these outdoor solar lights is after charging, you can bring our lights indoors for primary or secondary lighting or for ambiance.
Check out more articles to get you excited about setting up your campsite or patio.
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