Best Camping Lights in Australia for 2021

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Outdoor lighting has come a long way in the past few years, mostly due to the advancements in both batteries and LED technology. This means that you now have a range of really great battery powered alternatives in addition to the tried and true fuel powered lanterns that many of us grew up with.

Below we lay out the key considerations you need to make when choosing the best camping light option to suit your needs, followed by our recommended products in the market.

For our reviews of the best torches for camping click here.

If you are short on time, below are our top choices for camping lights by category:

  1. Battery Lanterns - OZtrail Escape LED Rechargeable Lantern with Solar
  2. Fuel Powered Lanterns - Coleman Northstar EI Dual Fuel Lantern
  3. 12V Lighting - OZtrail Universal LED Lighting Kit
  4. Gazebo Lighting - Oztrail Gazebo Spotlight
  5. Tent lights - OZtrail Rechargeable Tent Light

Choosing the Best Camping Light to suit your needs:

There are several key factors to consider when choosing the most suitable lighting set-up for your next camping adventure:

Light output:
The output from a light source is recorded in Lumens. A minimum level for pottering around camp would be 80-120, and these levels are also perfect for inside your tent. But if you want to light up even a small outdoor area, you should be looking for at least 200. For a larger outdoor area, something around 300 - 400 is ideal. Camping lanterns generally come in the range of 100 - 400 Lumens but as you can see in the reviews below, gas and fuel lanterns often have a light output of up to 1000.

Power source:
Are you going to be off the grid for days? Does your vehicle have a charging outlet? These are key considerations when choosing your source of camp light.

Weight:
The weight of camping lanterns varies dramatically. Whether you are 4WD touring or hiking through the Australian Alps will make a big difference in what the best lighting option is to suit your needs.

Safety:
Will there be children or pets around your campsite? Fuel burning lanterns produce a lot of heat and can result in serious injuries. The advancement of LED lighting provides a great alternative if safety is a concern.

Camping Light Categories:

Battery Lanterns

Top Choice:
 

OZtrail Escape LED Rechargeable Lantern with Solar/USB/12V/240V

Oztrail lighting solarBuy at tentworld.com.au

Buy at eBay.com.au

Pros:
Bright
Safe
Durable
Light weight
Simple to use
Long battery life
No smoke/exhaust
Adjustable brightness
LED bulb
Cons:
Recharging or replacing batteries
Disposal of batteries

Fuel and Gas Lanterns

Top Choice:
 

Coleman Northstar EI Dual Fuel Lantern

Coleman lanternBuy at tentworld.com.au

Buy at amazon.com.au

Pros:
Very bright
No electricity needed
Cons:
Heavy
Hot to the touch
Expensive
Only for outside use

12V Lighting

Top Choice:
 

OZtrail Universal LED Lighting Kit

Oztrail LED Camping LightsBuy at tentworld.com.au

Pros:
Connect easily to tent or gazebo
Easy to use
Affordable
Cons:
Not as bright as lanterns
Can be messy to store and easily damaged

Gazebo Lights

Top Choice:
 

OZtrail Gazebo Spot Light - 4 Pack

Gazebo lightBuy at tentworld.com.au

Pros:
Connect easily to gazebo frame
Usually rechargeable battery powered
Water resistant
Versatile
Cons:
Risk of non-compatability with gazebo frame

Tent Lights

Top Choice:
 

OZtrail Rechargeable Tent Light

Best tent lightingBuy at tentworld.com.au

Pros:
Soft light for indoors
Handy hooks for hanging
Usually rechargeable battery powered
Affordable
Cons:
Often be lower quality than other categories of camping lights

Full Reviews:

Click on the links below to skip to a specific section:

Best Battery Lanterns

Battery lanterns have really come into their own with the introduction of LED lamps and the vast improvement in rechargeable batteries.

They are safe, lightweight, durable, and easy to use. For most people camping in Australia, a battery-powered lantern is most likely going to be the best option.

They are also coming out with more and more exciting user-focused features, such the alternate power sources offered in our top pick, the OZtrail Escape LED.

#1 OZtrail Escape LED Rechargeable Lantern with Solar/USB/12V/240V

Lumens: 500
Power source: Built-in rechargeable battery or 3 x AAA batteries

This is an amazing lantern and our favourite of those we review in the search for the best lights for camping. It’s super versatile with the built-in battery being rechargeable via Solar, USB, 12V car plug, or 240V mains power. It also has the option of running on 3 x AAA batteries.

At 500 lumens, this is a very bright lantern, suitable for large outdoor areas. However, with the variable brightness control, it’s also great for smaller sites, as a tent light, or at home. With its sturdy steel construction, it really ticks all the boxes and makes for a great all-around camp light.

There are several other features that really make this lantern shine:
- High grip based designed to reduce slippage
- Water resistant
- USB outlet to recharge phones/speakers/accessories

Recharge times are fairly decent being 3-4hrs for 240 V and ranging from 7-8hrs for 12V and USB and 8-16hrs for solar. Run times are impressive at around 10hrs on recharged battery or 5hrs on AAAs.

#2 Coleman Rugged Lithium-Ion

Power source: Rechargeable battery
Lumens: 300

Another great choice, this rugged lantern is made by Coleman, one of the world’s most celebrated camping brands.

The key advantage the Coleman lamp has over the Oztrail Escape is its Lithium-Ion battery, which should offer slightly better efficiency both in charging and run-times. Like our top pick, it also offers handy USB charging for phones and other devices.

You can’t go wrong with this lantern and with the quality Coleman is known for you can be sure it will last you many adventures.

#3 OZtrail Archer LED Compact Lantern

Power source: 4 x AA batteries (not included)
Lumens: 200

If you’re looking for an affordable, lightweight option for your campsite, the Archer LED from Oztrail provides a great option.

With more than 24hrs of battery life and a handy hook for hanging from your tent, these water-resistant lanterns are an easy option for making your campsite a bit easier to navigate once the sun goes down.

Best 12V Lighting

Great for lighting up campsites or any other outdoor areas, 12V LED lights provide a visually appealing to lanterns or spot lights. More recent products are powered via USB ,making them very versatile.

#1 OZtrail Universal LED Lighting Kit

Power source: USB
Lumens: 1,500

Another great lighting product from Oztrail, the Universal LED Lighting Kit provides a super versatile option for illuminating your outdoor area.

The pieces of this kit are easily connected with USB connections meaning you are free to customise your environment. The LED units are magnetic backed, meaning the connect easily to any steel frame, or alternatively velcro tabs and grab clubs allow these LEDs to be easily fixed to your Gazebo or Tent. No wonder these lights are so popular with Australian campers.

Best Fuel and Gas Lanterns

The smell of burning kerosene holds a special place in many peoples camping memories. Fuel and gas lanterns have for years been the go to lighting source for the outdoors.

They still offer one of the best options if you are looking for an efficient very bright light source.

Read on for our top picks in this category.

#1 Coleman Northstar EI Dual Fuel Lantern

Power source: Coleman Fuel or Unleaded Petrol
Lumens: 1,138

One of the brightest lamps we review, the Coleman Northstar will light up any campsite and beyond. Being powered by Coleman’s liquid fuel with the alternative of unleaded petrol, the Northstar Lamp is versatile, efficient and powerful.

The light output is fully adjustable and one tank of fuel should last you around 13-14hrs.

While the Northstar does come with a sturdy metal guard to protect against breakages, you do need to be aware that fuel lanterns are more fragile than the battery powered alternatives. They also come with the risks associated with high heat output, making them a less desirable option if young children will be about.

#2 Companion Portable Butane Gas Lantern

Companion lantern review

Power source: Butane cartridges
Lumens: 1,885

Companion brands are known for producing high quality, rugged outdoor and industrial equipment, and this gas lantern really showcases this and provides a great option for those looking for some serious light on their next camping adventure.

Features include:
* Powder coated steel body
* Dual glass protection rings
* Vitreous enamelled lid
* Piezo ignition
* Carry handle
* Clear glass
* Double tie mantle

#3 Oztrail Hurricane Lantern

Power source: Kerosene

A great affordable option for the home or campsite, these handy little lanterns from Oztrail offer the following great features:
* Ideal for mixing citronella and kerosene to repel insects
* Lightweight but robust construction
* Sturdy steel carry handle
* Wick position adjusts the brightness simply
* One tank can last up to 8 hours of burning time

Best Tent Lights

Affordable and always handy, tent lights mean less fumbling around in the dark and come with handy hooks so you can secure them up and out of the way of your other camping gear.

#1 OZtrail Rechargeable Tent Light

A very affordable, reliable tent light, perfect to hang in individual bedrooms or main room for family games or meals.

  • Features:
  • High and low settings
  • Soft light diffuser for natural effect
  • USB output for charging mobile devices
  • Working time: Up to 4 hours with high setting; Up to 10 hours with low setting
  • Charging time: 2-2.5 hours

Best Gazebo Lighting

Powerful lighting options built specifically for gazebos, these lights are super bright and designed to connect easily on to your gazebo frame.

#1 Oztrail Gazebo Spot Light

Power source: 3 x AAA Batteries
Lumens: 250

Specially designed to connect and light up a gazebo, this 4 pack of LED spotlights provide an affordable yet reliable option. Each wide-angle spotlight contains 5 bulbs designed to light up a wide area. The lights come with a handy clip to connect to gazebos as well as a universal hanging hook to use in other environments.