Having a reliable, easy and ready-to-go camping lighting source is essential for your camping experience. A battery operated lamp allows you, at the flick of a switch, to have a good quality light source. This can be invaluable at those times where instant light is important – working on your vehicle, emergency events, going to the toilet, reading, setting up your camp, setting up your other more permanent camping lighting sources etc.
Using a battery operated lamp or lamps is really an important part of your overall camping lighting set-up, but it is important that battery lamps are not your only lighting source. Batteries have a habit of draining, especially some of the higher wattage battery lamps, and batteries can be expensive to replace. A LED battery operated lamp will tend to offer a good, consistent light source and will generally require less power to run than the more traditional fluorescent camping lamps. Of course less power to run means less batteries to replace. On this point, there are many modern battery operated lamps that use rechargeable battery technology. Some battery lanterns offer an internal recharge unit (ie. plug the entire lantern into a 240v or 12v outlet to recharge) and other can use individual rechargeable batteries. A battery operated lamp can also be inherently less risky to use in most camp environments – they don’t get particularly hot, they don’t emit any smell or fumes and they don’t make a noise (some of these points can be an issue with other camping lighting sources).
As always you should research and plan your camping lighting requirements. Using a battery operated lamp should be just one element of your lighting needs. That research should also include the best battery lantern for your particular needs. What lighting coverage you require (for cooking, for lighting up an entire tent, for reading or for walking in the dark to the toilet), what strength of lighting you need from your battery operated lamp (s), florescent or LED’s, do the globes need replacing (is so, how often), the physical size of the battery lamps for storage, the number and size of batteries required, how long do the batteries last, can the brightness of the lighting be adjusted, are they sturdy enough for camping life etc, etc. These are the types of question that should be considered before you purchase a battery operated lamp (or more) and before you embark on your camping trip.
My experience tells me that the best solution is to have a battery operated lamp (s) that use LED’s, can be recharged, can easily light up a good sized area (such as the inside of a tent), aren’t too large to be easily transported, are robust but lightweight and are waterproof. There are a plethora of battery lanterns on the market from many different manufacturers. I like Coleman lanterns. They are good quality, reasonably priced and they have a great range depending on your camping lighting requirements.