The IKEA Lighting Fix That's Perfect For Battery-Free Camping

Whether you're camping in a tent or an RV, spending time in the great outdoors can be a wonderful experience. Instead of sitting inside a brightly lit room all evening watching television, you can sit under the stars, relaxing and remembering who you are without a computer or social media. You might even have an offline conversation! Of course, camping poses some challenges, like how to light the evening in a way that's not super bright, but still allows you to see what you need. Your nearest IKEA has an answer to this conundrum, and without those pesky batteries, too.

You want the right mood, enough luminance to see by, and maybe even read something that isn't on your phone. A campfire can work while you're attending it, but what about, say, reading in your tent? There are several great LED and solar lighting solutions from discount furniture giant IKEA, that don't require a bunch of batteries that you might forget to bring, or which run out of juice right when you need them the most. Plus, they look just lovely out under the night sky.

How the lighting fix works

The idea is to set up wired LED lanterns around the site, and maybe one in each tent. LED lights put off heat, but not as much as a traditional bulb, making them a bit safer. There are a bunch of ways to make the IKEA lighting trick work for you. Even better? IKEA's items are usually inexpensive.

Are you using an RV with power? You can pick up one of IKEA's LED lanterns that can be plugged in, for an affordable $19.99. Are you camping in a tent at a site you hiked into? Look at their solar-powered LED lanterns for $14.99 that can rest on a surface or hang from a clothesline. If you want to make some of these more festive, IKEA sells rice paper shades to cover them with for a mere $3.99.

Solar-powered lanterns are, of course, sold in other places, from Amazon to Home Depot, and they're also fairly inexpensive. They look lovely without turning your campsite into a brightly-lit club. We've got some other ideas for camp lights, so read on!

Other camping light ideas you can try

Another idea for LED camping lights is to create a path of solar-powered lanterns that stick in the ground to light the way to your tent(s). Just remember to use a rubber mallet like the one you use to hammer in tent stakes to avoid damaging the light. Home Depot has several options that are both LED and solar-powered. Not only will they look pretty, but they'll help you find your way back to the tent door when you come back from a nighttime bathroom trip. 

Yet another battery-free lighting solution is to use metal IKEA lanterns that have small holes for air, but are covered on all sides. These can be hung outside your RV, and if you use a small tea light candle, you can get a citronella-scented one to help with bugs. (Yes, a bug zapper can also work as a light, since you were just thinking that.) IKEA sells tea lights, and many convenience stores like CVS have flameless tea light candles if you'd prefer to avoid fire completely or if your campsite doesn't permit it. Finally, you can pick up a set of Home Depot's solar-powered fairy lights (often called "lighting chains") to make things sparkle.