Your Complete Guide to Campervan and RV Light Fixtures

Posted by Birddog Lighting on Oct 17th 2022

Your Complete Guide to Campervan and RV Light Fixtures

Since the start of the pandemic, more and more families have taken to the great outdoors. More than 13 million families went RV camping last year, and that number is expected to rise this year!

If you want to improve your home away from home, it all starts with creating the right atmosphere. Let's talk about campervan and RV light fixtures and how to use them for the best results!

What to Look For in RV Light Fixtures

RV lighting can be tricky if you don't plan ahead. Here are a few things to keep in mind before shopping for new light fixtures.


If you're using a generator or portable solar battery to power the lights in your RV, it's important to consider capacity. Running a few lights on their own isn't a big deal. However, WiFi, televisions, and cooking appliances add up quickly.

For this reason, we strongly encourage you to use LED light fixtures whenever possible. LED bulbs are by far the most efficient bulbs, but anything is better than incandescent lightbulbs. 10W for an LED bulb is the equivalent of 60 to 100W for an incandescent light.

This is especially important if you're using a battery. Portable batteries rarely offer more than 2kWh of power, which is not enough to last a full night if you need to run a fan, charge your electronics, and keep incandescent bulbs running. If you're relying on solar energy, you have to be conservative with your energy use.


Everybody has different preferences for style, and every camper has different spacial features. Regardless of your tastes and requirements, there are plenty of RV lighting ideas to choose from. You could use:

  • Rope lights
  • String lights
  • "Fairy" lights
  • Light bars
  • Spotlights
  • Recess lighting

The list goes on, and you can place these lights anywhere throughout your camper. Choose as many types as you'd like and diversify them throughout your camper for the best results.

Another style aspect to consider is color. Some may prefer bright white lights that resemble sunlight, especially during the winter, while some may prefer more yellow lighting. It's a common misconception to assume that all LED lights are white, so find the bulbs or lampshades that work for your preferences.

If you want lighting for any occasion, there are also multi-colored and color-changing lighting options you can choose from. There are great for holidays, partying, or creating a unique atmosphere while camping!

Also, do you want control over this lighting? Light fixtures with dimmers or brightness settings can help you set the mood for any setting in the RV. This can be quite helpful when you are trying to sleep!


Working with the size you have should be your top priority. Rope lights and string lights can conform to any size, but it isn't just fitting your fixtures in that's concerning. You also want to think about the brightness.

If you have a dimmer on your lights, this won't be a big deal. However, a 100W equivalent may be too bright for campervan lighting, so keep your space in mind. Remember, lights are only as bright as the space they are filling!

Why Buy LED Lights?

We mentioned that LED lights are better for RV energy efficiency. However, that's far from the only reason. While LED lights used to be a lot more expensive, that's no longer the case.

Believe it or not, LED lights have dropped 85% in price in the last couple of decades, and they're comparable to incandescent bulbs and other popular lighting options. On top of that, they last for much longer (more than 30x) than incandescent bulbs, they work with any RV light fixture, and they generate minimum heat, which poses less of a fire hazard.

Indoor RV Lighting Ideas

Creating a home environment can be challenging when you're far away from home. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Dining Lights

Dinette lights are great for an intimate dinner with your family or for playing games at the table in your RV. Twin dinette lights are a classic installation for concentrated overhead lights.

Rope Lights

Rope lights or strip lights are great for subtle light that you can enjoy before bed. Run these in the upper corners where the wall meets the ceiling around the inside of your RV for a very cozy feel!

Recess Lighting

For a more at-home, modern feel to your camping trips, recessed ceiling lights would look great! With a dimmer switch, you and the family can easily sit back and enjoy a television program like you're in the comfort of your home!

Outdoor RV Lighting Ideas

Outdoor lighting is just as important while camping, especially if you plan to spend more time outside on your trips. Here are some ideas to get you started.


If you have any nervous campers in your family, a spotlight is a great security feature. It could also alert you about wildlife for a chance to view rare creatures in your area!

Pin-Up Light

Single pin-up lights outside the door make for a great lighting option outside of an RV. It might look out of place on a van, but it would be a perfect way to add some light to your outdoor activities!

Stay Lit

Now that you have some ideas for your RV light fixtures, make your RV shine bright this camping season. It's a great way to spend time with the family or connect with nature, and you can create any atmosphere you want with the right lighting.

Stay up to date with our latest lighting tips, and check out our free catalog for more RV lighting ideas!

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