One of the most essential things in the campervan is light. As the sun sets the interior is plunged into unavoidable darkness so a decent array of lighting options is important. I have so far chosen to use 12v LED strips, a couple of moveable LED lamps with magnetic backs and a lovely hanging lantern which holds a solitary tea-light and projects cute orange stars all over the ceiling.
The 12v LED strips are enclosed in an aluminium sleeve with a pop-out switch on the end and they give a nice amount of light, not too bright so you feel like the Gestapo is torturing you but bright enough to light the van sufficiently without a sense of gloom.
I have two of these strips which cost 15 euros each and despite the cost they are excellent value as the solar panel replenishes more energy than they use meaning the leisure battery can run them permanently.
For softer lighting we have the hanging lantern which we picked up from Ikea. It’s black and has a door for access to the tea-light. It doesn’t give much light on its own but it does create a lovely, cosy atmosphere with its glowing stars on the ceiling and angular shadows across the walls. To augment that I use a glass lantern which holds a church candle. Again, the amount of light is minimal but the ambience is cosy and makes you feel warmer.
Aside from the ‘fixed’ lights I have a solar torch (more on that later), a selection of small torches and a very powerful headlamp.
I also pack a solar battery charger to keep the torches going and I’ll explain about that in another post.
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