Camping Lanterns

Romantic Camping Lantern

You can set the perfect Romantic ambiance with your outdoor lighting. Bring two or more light sources on your Romantic Getaway. Think both practical and Romantic. I have outlined your BEST camping lighting options below. I have also included basic information about light measurements and bulb types. This information is useful when deciding which outdoor lamp to purchase.


Candles always provide a Romantic touch. Their soft and soothing light will help set a Romantic mood for your campsite. Try spreading out several candles around your picnic table and enjoy the ambient lighting. If there’s a night breeze they may not stay lit. In this case, you should just use light of your campfire OR (if campfires are prohibited) create a candle-campfire by placing the candles together within your protected fire-ring.

ROMNATIC IDEA: Bring tea-light candles on your camping trip. You want to have a couple candles for each night of camping. Tea-light candles work BEST because they are both small and lightweight. Be sure to pack them in their own plastic bag so they don’t melt and make a mess in your pack.

Outdoor Candle Lanterns

Candle lanterns are a beautiful compromise between practical and Romantic. The candle lantern is a simple, lightweight and inexpensive piece of camping gear. You need to have one!

Your outdoor candle lantern utilizes long-burn candles that are about five inches long. These candles can burn up to eight hours. Remember to always store your backup candles in a separate plastic bag and be sure to let the wax harden before packing your lantern.

ROMNATIC IDEA: The top of your candle lantern gets very hot. Set a small sprig of evergreen on the top. Ceder, fir, hemlock or pine will work fine too. The green sprig will heat up and cast an aromatic (and Romantic) scent.


Headlamps are a crucial piece of camping gear! Many experienced campers now leave the traditional hand-held flashlight at home. Why is this? Headlamps are small, lightweight and hands-free. I recommend buying a simple and small headlamp that uses AAA batteries. Consider the following features when picking-up a new headlamp:

  • Batteries: Most headlamps use AAA alkaline batteries. Larger (and heavier) lamps use AA batteries. There are a few options that work with lithium or lithium-ion batteries. A factor to consider is that alkaline batteries do lose power quickly in sub-freezing temperatures. Lithium batteries perform well in the cold.
  • Modes: Simple headlamps typically have only limited settings. A single setting works just fine. Some models offer multiple brightness levels (low, medium, high and more). Some models offer a twenty second “boost” mode that provides a temporary projection of the most powerful beam possible.
  • Strobes: The strobe mode uses the least amount of battery power. However, the strobe mode is generally an annoyance. It’s not quite fast enough to look cool. However, this feature might be valuable for signaling for rescue during emergencies.

Camping Lanterns

Do you remember the retro Coleman lanterns that look like the one in the picture above? These classic noisy lanterns use pressurized liquid fuels and a single or double mantle. Lighting these lanterns can be tricky and the mantles frequently burn up need to be replaced. Despite their troubles, these classic lanterns remain a popular piece of car-camping gear and have a nostalgic and Romantic quality.

Many portable mantle-type fuel lanterns use propane or butane. Such lanterns use a small disposable canister as a fuel source. The ability to refuel without having to actually pour and pump the liquid fuel makes them safer and more convenient. Canisters also have an indefinite shelf life and remain protected from moisture.

Fuel-style lanterns are now being supplanted by newer technology. Battery powered fluorescent lamp models are increasing in popularity. The battery lanterns are clean, light and silent. They are also a safer option for using inside your tent because their light intensity can be dimmed to perfection and there's no open flame. I recommend using battery powered lanterns because they are safe, practical and very convenient. Some even come with a remote control!

Lighting Basics

The lighting industry uses specific terms for measuring light. These terms can be a little confusing. The specifications for camping lamps often use a combination of the following terms. I will try to explain their meaning as simply as possible:

  • Watt: This is a measure of energy consumed. A watt is simply a measurement of the lamp’s power consumption.
  • Lumens: This term indicates a measure of light intensity as it radiates outward. A lumen is a measure of the total output from a light source (usually in all directions). For point of reference, a 100-watt light bulb emits about 1,750 lumens.
  • Lux: This is a measurement of where the light goes. Lux measures the light density (or intensity) on the surface being illuminated. For example, 1000 lumens, concentrated into an area of one square meter, lights up that square meter with an illuminance of 1000 lux. The same 1000 lumens, spread out over ten square meters, produces a dimmer illuminance of only 100 lux.

Be sure to read the product specifications when purchasing light sources for Romantic Camping. Figure out which weight, dimension, light intensity, material type, fuel and battery type will compliment your style. There are several bulb types used in battery powered flashlights, headlamps and lanterns. The different bulb types have their own advantages and disadvantages. The following is a brief explanation of the main varieties:

  • Incandescent bulbs: These traditional bulbs cast a farther-reaching beam and are typically filled with an inert gas such as argon. They tend to produce higher Lux rating than standard LEDs.
  • Xenon, Halogen or Krypton bulbs: These incandescent bulbs contain pressurized gases that prevent oxidation (darkening) of the filament. This allows them to burn with high intensity.
  • LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes): These lamps use 3 -5 times less battery power that standard incandescent bulbs. Unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs have a life span of up to 100,000 hours and have no glass or filament to break. LEDs are definitely your BEST option for an all-purpose camping lighting source.

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