LED Strips Are Your Ticket to Camp Lighting Success.
“What’s the best lighting setup for my campsite?” An innocent question that’s puzzled nomadic types since day dot.
Wander around a popular campground and check in with 12 different crews and you’ll likely hear a dozen varied, yet emphatic, solutions to the camp lighting conundrum.
The truth is that we’re living in the golden age of touring electronics and that the best lighting setup for your site is the one that you’re most comfortable using.
The only real non-negotiable components are some quality low-draw LEDs and a sustainable power source that won’t drain your vehicle’s primary battery.
KEEP THE SPARK
While it’s possible to fit up a 12V socket and run some LEDs from your starter battery for short lengths of time, it’s a risky business and you’d be much better served to fit up an alternative power source.
Either a hardwired dual battery system or a portable 12V power pack. If your vehicle’s touring setup currently leans more toward ‘weekend warrior’ than ‘full time tourer’, never fear – it’s dead simple to power a quality camp lighting setup with a portable power pack.
Compact 12V power supplies like the ARK Pack and the KickAss Handy Power Pack are ideal for the job, offering built-in protection plus USB charging outlets. You can charge these units up at home via mains power, while alternatively topping up on the road via DC/DC supply or with a simple solar array around camp.
LEDS AND LEDS
LED strips are a primo choice as they’re supremely simple to install, plus the power to weight ratio is pretty darn hard to argue with.
They draw minimal power so stay cool to the touch and have an expected life of 50,000 hours – you’ll be swapping out strips or your whole setup long before screwing around trying to replace individual diodes.
LED bars and strips are available in different lengths with velcro straps that are perfect for quick mounting around awning and gazebo frames,
PLUG ‘N PLAY
Kits usually include light bars that have a heap of flexible mounting options, with greater lighting output (amount of lumens) than basic LED strips and tapes.
They also bundle up all the necessary components including extension cords, cigarette plug to connect to your vehicle or power pack, and a dimmer switch.
Basic LED lighting kit + portable power pack = less time fumbling around in the dark stubbing toes on tent pegs and swearing at yourself