Every year, many people choose the joy of van life instead of package holidays. The rising popularity of campervans stems from the freedom and flexibility they offer – it’s entirely up to you to decide where you want to go and where you want to stop. Whether you’re considering buying a brand-new motorhome straight from the manufacturer or planning a DIY van conversion project, ensuring adequate lighting is crucial to making your life on the road as comfortable as possible.
Good interior lighting can make even the tiniest space functional and comfortable, so there’s no need to limit yourself solely to basic overhead lights. We’ve put together a short list of camper van lighting ideas to help you find inspiration to turn your van into a gorgeous and cosy house on wheels!
What Is the Best Type of Lighting for a Campervan?
From decorative fairy lights to functional spotlights and task lighting, your campervan lighting options are limited only by your imagination! As with interior design, it’s a good idea to combine lights with different functions to create layers that will fill your campervan with the exact conditions you need at any given moment. Apart from permanently installed fixtures, you can also use practical portable lights, and if you want to easily turn the light on/off and control its brightness or colour, choose LED bulbs and strip lights with remote control.
As an energy-efficient and cost-effective lighting option, LED lights are a popular choice for modern van conversions. But these are not the only advantages of LED lighting. Such lights produce very little heat, so they do not get hot to the touch, which is a big plus in relatively small spaces where you may often unwittingly come into contact with a lamp or a bulb. They can also last much longer than other types of lights (50,000 hours on average), are very easy to install and are also available in dimmable and colour-changing options.
Interior Campervan Lighting Ideas
Recessed lights are installed directly in the ceiling or wall, so while they can provide as much light as a surface-mounted fixture, they can save you some space. It may not seem like much at first glance, but when you consider the entire space at your disposal in your campervan, those few inches here and there may become quite relevant. Recessed lighting can be created with LED downlights and spotlights, but also by using strip lighting with suitable profiles.
If you like to read, you need good lighting both to see clearly and keep your eyesight in good condition. A small adjustable bedside lamp with an LED bulb or an LED puck light mounted on the wall next to the bed will be enough to enjoy your book without straining your eyes.
When you’re on holiday, you want to relax, and your choice of lighting can help. Not all campervan lights have to be practical, some of them can create a cosy atmosphere. In recent years, fairy lights have become especially popular thanks to social media posts boasting stylish campervan interior designs. Of course, you can choose any other type of decorative light depending on your own taste and preferences.
There’s usually not much natural light in a campervan, so artificial lighting is a must. However, due to limited space, it’s easy to stop general lighting from reaching work surfaces, e.g., a table, desk or kitchen worktop, simply by standing in front of it. That’s why task lights are essential. You can easily create them with LED aluminium profiles for vans and LED light strips.
Exterior Campervan Lighting Ideas
One of the best parts of travelling the world in a campervan is being close to nature. You can simply stop in any place you like the look of and enjoy its beauty. But as motorhome sites are usually located out-of-town, and there’s not much light available in the evenings and at night, it’s worth adding exterior lights on your campervan as well (apart from the front and rear lamps you need to be able to drive your vehicle on the roads, of course).
Portable lanterns and torches are essential during a campsite visit. Light bars can provide quite a lot of bright light as well, but you need to be mindful not to disturb other campers when using them. If your campervan has an awning, you can also add LED strip lights to the frame to create a beautifully lit outdoor seating area to enjoy your meals and rest in fresh air.
Things to Consider When Choosing Campervan Lighting
- Functionality: Any lamp or light fixture you choose for your campervan has to fit its purpose. Not every task or thing you do requires the use of ceiling lights – sometimes it can even be inconvenient, e.g., when you want to read a book before going to sleep, a smaller reading light will be a much better choice.
- Space: The amount of space in a campervan is already quite limited, and you don’t want to use too much of it for lighting. Recessed lights work great because they provide a lot of light without taking up valuable headroom. Puck lights and LED strip lights offer similar benefits.
- Brightness: Bright lights are suitable for task lighting, but to create a cosy atmosphere, you need something a little softer. This is another reason why layered lighting is such an excellent solution – it makes your space flexible and adjustable. If you’re not sure how many lumens you need, there are many lumen calculators available online.
- Power supply: Modern motorhomes and campervans are usually equipped with quite efficient electrical systems that can easily power your lighting. Some opt to install solar panels on the roof of their campervan for an independent and eco-friendly source of electricity. Just in case something goes wrong and the technology fails, it’s always a good idea to have a few portable battery-powered lights as well.
- Type of installation: Recessed lighting is effective and looks great, but it requires quite a lot of work to install when compared to other available solutions. If you don’t want to cut out holes in the ceiling, LED strips may be the best option for general and decorative lighting.
Are You Planning a Campervan Conversion? Choose LED Lighting!
If you’re looking for the perfect interior or exterior lighting for your van, LED light options are the most economical, long-lasting and functional choice! At Marc LED, you’ll find everything you need to install LEDs and personalise your campervan living space.