My husband (the Swearing Welshman) and I recently went on a wonderful bank holiday trip to Llandeilo in West Wales and wound up buying new Outwell Epsilon lighting because we forgot to take our trusty old-school croc clip lightbulbs (bought for £5.45 plus bulb on EBay each).
Here’s what our old camping lighting looks like (we have a few):
It’s a great solution, but of course it means 3 separate plugs, on separate extensions, which can be annoying, however the croc clips mean we can move them exactly where we need the light.
Why we needed a new lighting solution
I should explain, Hubby and I have a somewhat different approach to travel. Mark walks around with ‘ultimate camping checklists’, packs the car to bursting the night before and takes pictures of camping car tetris (it’s a thing, apparently).
Me? I can be called on by a client to fix their website at any time, so I check I’ve got my phone, portable wifi, my tablet, my laptop and their respective chargers, shove them in a bag alongside a change of clothes and a toothbrush and go.
This was one of those last-minute-I don’t-want-to-be-stuck-at-home-all-weekend breaks I booked all by myself while hubby was out partying on the Thursday – and here I was, packing the car and driving a hungover husband who only just found out we were going away on an impromptu trip.
It’s therefore unsurprising that we arrived on site with no lighting and nothing to cook breakfast on. No problem… well, nothing a short trip couldn’t solve.
The cost of being disorganised
A quick trip to Charlies in Carmarthen and for a very reasonable £13, the Outwell Epsilon lighting set is now part of our camping gear (alongside yet another griddle… oops).
At just £13, the Outwell Epsilon lighting set actually works out a lot cheaper than buying three croc clip lights and separate LED bulbs, which surprised me a bit because we had thought our old school solution was super cheap.
Of course, with the croc clips and separate bulbs, you can choose any cheap bulbs, but in truth we only use LEDs anyway because normal bulbs get too hot and they’d be too close to the airbeam.
It gives plenty of light and all in all a great buy.
While in the main this is a brilliant piece of kit, there are two practical things which let it down, taking it from a 10/10 to an 8/10.
Firstly, only one of the lights has a hook to clip it to a lantern point. The other two have a point where a hook or caribena could be attached, but really, wouldn’t it be easy to include them? It wouldn’t make a huge difference on the cost front, so Outwell, take note. We used the cable ties that bound the cables to secure the other two.
Secondly, there is no ability to turn the individual lights off and on, they all have to be on or off at the same time. If you plan to use one in the bedroom to read in bed, remember to make that the end with the switch or you will be heading back to the kitchen!
Overall though, these are very minor points. I’m very impressed with it and would be happy to buy again.
I have to say, the croc clip lights probably won’t make the next trip, I don’t want to part with these – they are, in fact, in our hook up bag already so we can’t forget to take them.
Although maybe, just maybe, it’s ok to leave things behind occasionally – it’s a great way to try something new.
Oh, who am I kidding? Next time, hubby will be packing!