When it comes to camp lighting, it seems there is an endless selection of choices on the market. So many, it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t. Recently I purchased a Dual Colour LED Strip Light kit from Mean Mother 4×4 and I think it may become my number one go-to portable light for all situations.
If you do a lot of free camping and touring into the outback, you will understand the need for good quality 12-volt lighting. Often you need more than just a single light as not every light suits all your situations. You might need to work under the bonnet of the car, fix some plumbing under the caravan, or just have some decent lighting for when you’re sitting outside enjoying a campfire. This means you tend to end up with a small collection of torches and lamps, all taking up valuable space and weight in your RV. Wouldn’t be good to have a single light that can be used in multiple situations?
Mean Mother 4×4 sell a range of products dedicated to the 4wd lifestyle. That includes a range of flexible LED strip lights. They are available in two sizes, 600mm and 1200mm, as well as either plain white or white/amber dual colour LED. They come as a complete kit that includes an extension cord with switch, dimmer control and cigarette lighter plug and battery connector with alligator plugs. In addition, you can purchase the lights separately and connect them to each other to make a string of up to 4 lights if you need to illuminate a larger area.
I purchased the dual white/amber light kit as we do a lot of touring in the tropics and have found these amber lights are excellent for reducing the number of bugs that infiltrate our campsite. All the gear comes in its own handy soft carry case which is enough to keep everything together and reasonably well protected from other gear in our drawers.
All the components are of good quality and look as though they will survive several years of roughing it in the outback. The light output is rated at 824 lumens for the white LEDs. I don’t put a lot of faith in these sort of ratings. Instead, I prefer to judge what I see and this light is quite bright and has no trouble illuminating the rear compart of a large 4WD or the area under the awning of a caravan. It is good enough for me to do work under the bonnet of the car at night time. I fitted our new DCS Dual Lithium batteries into our Landcruiser completely under the light of the Mean Mother LED light without any issues at all.
Positioning this light for any situation is made very easy thanks to the sturdy, spring-loaded clips at either end of the light and four velcro straps along the length. They will attach to a tent pole or caravan awning arm without any trouble. In fact, they can be suspended just about anywhere you need light.
Being LED-based lights, they have a very minimal current draw, being rated to a maximum of 1.4 amps at full brightness. That means you can run one all night with little effect on your deep cycle batteries.
These lights are on clearance from Mean Mother 4×4 and the prices have been reduced considerably. The 1200mm White LED Strip Light kit retails for $49.95 and the Dual Colour version is just $59.95. Given the flexibility and durability of this light, I reckon that’s pretty good value for money.
For more information or to purchase your kits, visit www.meanmother.com.au
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