When we’re Overland camping, the days don’t end just because the sun sets. In fact, some of the best times occur when only the stars and moon are out. Whether it’s accessing a remote location after sunset or drinking with friends around a fire, having the best lighting is a key component. Since 2008, Australia based Hard Korr Lighting has been attacking the competition with high quality, reasonably priced LED lights. Designed for vehicles, boats and campsites alike. Additionally, Hard Korr is pioneering the manufacture of rugged portable solar panels to help keep your lights on when off the grid.
Our trusty Tundra and Tepui tent allow us to explore some pretty remote areas in our own backyard. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is an outdoorsman dream come true. Vast swaths of untouched forest paint a landscape ripe for exploration. Rocky hills force rainfall into winding rivers and gushing waterfalls that willingly pour into Lake Superior. As we unwind after a day of exploring, keeping our campsite and tent illuminated is important. Because feeding a pair of teenage boys in the dark ain’t easy. So we’ve experimented with several different lighting solutions this past season and I believe this to be the best option from Hard Korr Lighting.
Hard Korr 4‘ Easy Fit Light
Inside our cozy 3 person tent, we now have a 4′ Easy Fit light kit from Hard Korr installed. Encased in a durable Cordura sleeve, this flexible LED kit includes velcro tabs and carabiners on each end. Hence the term “Easy Fit”. Providing several mounting options make these a snap to install anywhere. Utilizing the Velcro tabs, I easily attached the 4′ strip to the horizontal tent pole that creates the peak of the roof. The available 1100 lumens provide an even light throughout our tent. Before, I was using a pair of hanging lights that hung down 4″ creating a bit of a head obstacle when sitting. The low profile and high output of the Easy Fit Light is perfect for this application. And well worth $77. And when I fold up the tent, I just remove the power cord and leave the 4′ Easy Fit Light installed on the tent pole.
Included with the kit is a 12 volt dimmer switch. One that can turn off the lights completely as well as toggle between white and orange LEDs. I didn’t know this but orange light is less likely to attract bugs. A nice feature to help thwart those ridiculous mosquitos that we encounter in springtime. My wife Brandie, is a huge fan of the dimmer function. Where I prefer the tent lit up so I can see anything and everything, she practices tactical light discipline. It’s a constant struggle in the Meisner household too. Turn the lights up…turn ’em back down. Hard Korr even offers a handy pole clip accessory for the dimmer switch. A simple $6 item that helps manage the cords within the tent. Now I just need to decide which Hard Korr product would work best under my Tepui awning.
4′ Easy Fit Light Specifications
|Ingress Protection||IP68 (excl. dimmer)|
|Beam Angle||120 degrees|
|Current draw||12v/1.44A per hour|
Unilight Dual Color Battery Powered LED Lantern
Another brilliant lighting product from Hard Korr is the new Unilight. This little wonder is so versatile, I predict several of these in my future. A common theme with Hard Korr seems to be mounting versatility. And the Unilight is no exception. This pocket-sized 100 lumen battery powered lamp can attach to just about anything. Built-in magnets on the back allow an easy solution when attaching to ferrous metals. Like the underside of my hood at night to check oil levels. I’ve also attached it to my steel bed rack to illuminate its contents . But it won’t stick to my aluminum tent poles! No worries, a concave back along with an integrated bungee cord make attachment to tentpole as easy as it gets.
Powering the Unilight is a trio of included AAA batteries or an optional proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable pack. Also of note are the four different light modes. A full output 100 lumen white light is the first mode. Followed by a 5 lumen white light that maximizes battery life. Then a 50-lumen bug-reducing orange light and finally an orange strobe for signaling. Available in a single unit package for only $19. But don’t waste your time, just purchase the 4-pack for $69. You’ll thank me later when you have one in your tool box, tackle box and both vehicle glove boxes.
Hard Korr Unilight Specifications:
|Max. Output||100 lumens|
|Weight (excl. Batteries)||3oz (85g)|
|Batteries||3 x AAA or HKUNILI Li-polymer|
|White (High)100Lm output Battery Life 4h (AAA) Battery Life 4h (Li-polymer)|
|White (Low)5Lm output Battery Life 80h (AAA) Battery Life 90h (Li-polymer)|
|Orange (High)50Lm output Battery Life 7h (AAA) Battery Life 10h (Li-polymer)|
It’s very clear to me that Hard Korr produces well thought out camp lighting products. But I’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg in this article. This company from down under offers a wide variety of LED lighting options for both automotive and marine applications. In addition to some of the coolest portable solar panels I’ve come across. An off-road bumper and winch are on my short list of projects this winter. As my Overland vehicle continues to evolve, I plan to look into a variety of Hard Korr lighting options. As well as a portable solar panel to keep the batteries in good order while adventuring off the grid.