These are the REVEL GEAR Trail Hound 30 ft. Camping Light. They worked great for us in providing good lighting without the glare of flashlights. It's connected to a portable car battery jumper pack with USB output.
Having a bit of mood lighting does make a better trip. I bring LUCI to camping or just an evening picnic. It's solar-rechargable LED, deflatable for packing, single color or multi-color cycle. I think the new version even has a USB port for battery charging.
We agree. Luci lights are the way to go. They recharge, you can place them anywhere, extremely lightweight. We like them more than any other type of light.
Firelight is my favorite site lighting. 😉
But for more practical levels of light, a diffuse lantern on the edge of a picnic table usually gets the job done. I have wrapped white paper around a pinpoint-sharp LED lantern before to get the soft lighting.
I've spliced cheap battery-powered light strings with USB cables, so I'm right there with you for in-tent ambient lighting. A small phone charger usually has more than enough oomph for a short string of lights.
And, especially if I'm camping on the trail, (vs. a car campground,) I go with red lights to protect my (and others') night vision for stargazing, just enjoying the darkness, etc.
@dochummer -- that campsite looks incredible!
I don't generally bring extra lights for most backcountry campsites other than my Nite Ize SpotLit (the one with the changing-color LEDs). It hangs from my hammock ridge line or inside my tent and provides the ambient lighting I need to take care of any housekeeping.
For car or kayak camping, though, I have brought inflatable LUCI cubes, battery-powered LED strings, firewood, and even the classic UCO candle lanterns to light things up.
I have a Black Diamond Orbit- it's not the brightest but is very small and portable for backpacking. I also love that it is collapsible and can be a lantern or flashlight. Here it is in use yesterday when our kitchen light died at home. Does an even better job spreading diffuse light if you turn it upside down.