Installing campervan lighting should be one of your biggest priorities when converting a van. For starters, lighting is a relatively cheap investment but can make a huge impact on the overall comfort and convenience of living in your campervan. Having ample light will help to reduce the feeling of living in a small, dark box.
Considerations For Camper Van Lighting
First things first, you need to figure out what types of lighting you want to install. Different lighting serves different purposes.
Here are all of the things you need to look for to find the perfect campervan lighting…
When considering camper van lighting, efficiency is paramount. You need lights that provide sufficient illumination without draining your power supply. LED lights are a popular choice for their superior energy efficiency and longevity.
2 Power Supply
Power supply is another critical consideration. Are you planning to connect the lights to the van's main power system or use a separate battery source? Many van lifers prefer 12V LED lights as they can be wired directly into the van's electrical system. Battery-powered lights are another efficient option, especially for those without a dedicated electrical system in their van.
Lumens is the unit used to measure brightness, with higher lumens indicating brighter light.
The goal is to aim higher in lumens when it comes to workspaces, kitchen areas, and bathrooms. You can follow these general guidelines. Bedroom and living spaces need about 300-500 lumens/sq meter, and task areas like a kitchen counter or workspace need about 500-800 lumens/sq meter. And a dimmer can be used to fine tune brightness.
4 Color Temperature
When talking about the color or the “temperature” of your campervan lighting the word Kelvins is used. And while light color is a spectrum, lighting products will usually only come in cool or warm colored light. Warm is generally around the 4000K and gives off a warm yellow-ish light. While cool is generally around the 6000K and gives off whiter, blue-ish light. Cool light appears brighter to the eye and is generally preferred in working environments. While warm light simulates the yellow-ish glow of sunset and appears more dull.
Finally, aesthetics. Your camper van is not only a vehicle but also a home. Therefore, the lighting should reflect your style and make the space feel comfortable and inviting. From recessed LEDs for a clean, modern look to quirky fairy lights for a touch of whimsy, there are options to suit every taste.
Types Of Campervan Lights
1 12V Recessed LED Lights
12-Volt recessed lights, AKA puck lights, are by the far the standard for campervan lighting, and for good reasons. They are energy-efficient, attractive, and do not take up much space.
2 LED Light Strips
It should be no surprise that LED strip lights are at the top of the camper and van lighting list. LED light strips are a quick and easy campervan lighting option. You can attach them under cabinets, along ceilings, or anywhere else you want indirect, mood-setting light. They come in a variety of colors and can be cut to length for perfect fit.
3 Battery Powered Lights
Battery-powered lights offer mobility and flexibility. They are great for areas where wiring might be a challenge, or for those who prefer not to tap into their van's electrical system for lighting.
4 Campervan Fairy Lights
Fairy lights are very popular because of their unique look. They are like the hippie cousin of LED light strips. They have a free-spirit and airy vibe that works great for mood lighting. Many campervans have them as lighting around their bed area.
5 Portable Campervan Lighting
Portable camper van lighting such as lanterns and rechargeable LED lights are perfect for outdoor use or when you need extra light. They can be moved around as needed, providing flexibility and convenience.
Think back to your tent camping days, when you had a battery-powered lantern that sat in the middle of the table at night or hanging from a cord if you needed to make that midnight dash and it was dark outside. These lights, while not essential to campervan life, are extremely handy.