Because typically when camping, you are either going to use gas-powered lights like the Coleman lanterns, battery powered lights, or 12-volt lighting from your vehicle, those are the only products we will discuss at this time. Although the Coleman style lanterns do not use electricity, we will include gas lanterns in this section on lighting.
Your minivan is well equipped with most lighting that you will normally need, except for outside the vehicle. The biggest problem is where the switches are located. Having to get out of bed and reach over the driver’s seat, and through the steering wheel to turn dome lights on or off could get old real quick! For that reason you may want some portable lights for specific areas and purposes inside your van, such as a reading light over the bed, that you can easily reach and shut off when you get sleepy. There are many small lamps and light fixtures available that plug into a 12-volt socket and use the new LED lights, so they can last a long time.
Many new vans come with economical, modern LED lighting that uses very little power, but an older van may have incandescent lights, which require more power and wear down batteries very quickly. There are many new items on the market these days, like replacement bulbs for automotive use which use the new LED lighting, and can save a lot of wattage over the old incandescent style. If you are out boon-docking with your minivan camper conversion, you want the batteries to last as long as possible, so switching to these new bulbs could be a very good investment!
There are more battery powered lights available than one can count, in almost any form you can think of. There are the normal flashlights, heavier-duty 6-volt lanterns, incandescent lights, fluorescent lights and LED lights. There are emergency lights (also see the safety section) flood lights and spot lights. There is nothing special about battery lighting, and various forms of it can be found at any hardware, home store or even a drug store! Therefore, unless we see something “really” useful and unique, we won’t waste much time talking about it.
As with battery lighting, there are so many kinds of 120-volt lighting available almost anywhere that we won’t waste much time with it, unless we find something really useful and unique. And the uses for it can be just as diverse. So after you use your minivan camper conversion a few times, you’ll figure out what you need and will find exactly what you have in mind… somewhere else. Because we know that we can’t please everyone on such things, we won’t even try at this time!