Full disclosure: I don’t stay up very late, so my camp light usage is for the short periods in the tent, when I’m getting settled in, and for reading. In other words, your mileage may vary.
Our go to light in our rooftop tent is a Black Diamond Apollo lantern. This is a superb 200 lumens, battery powered lamp with variable brightness. The four AA batteries last so long, that I never had to change them during a six-week expedition. But that’s not the lamp I’m here to tell you about.
Last year we received a gift from my brother of two MPOWERED Luci solar powered lamps.
These lamps are LED inside an inflatable plastic (beach ball like) shell. They are waterproof, they float, and the light is very pleasantly diffused. They provide nice glow, a very useful light, that lasts much longer than expected.
I sat them outside, solar panels facing up while I was out and about during the day. Each night when we entered the tent is when these things really shone (see what I did there). This was just the ticket for us where we need reading light, and book lights are too bright and harsh in a tent. Having one on each side gave us the option to read or turn the one off to go to sleep while the other continued reading. The light is soft but perfect for reading. The light has three modes, (what the manufacturer calls), bright, super bright, and flash. Bright is not that bright, but is the perfect level for inside the tent. Super bright is very bright.
Here are the specs:
Dimensions: Inflated – 4” x 4”, collapsed – 4” x 1.25”
Modes: bright, super bright, 1 sec flashing
10 LEDs/50 lumens
Charge level indicator
4.4 oz (125 g)
Charges in 7 hours in direct sunlight
Charge lasts up to 12 hours on bright setting
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
1 year warranty
At under $20 list per lamp these are reasonably priced, well engineered and incredibly handy.