Lumindoodle. Just say it. "Looo-min-oooo-dle." Fun right?
Fun, yes. Practical, even more so.
While I already have my interior lighting covered, a great deal of van-life is spent outside. Since trees don't have outlets, outdoor lighting needs to be portable - and rechargeable.
The Luminoodle is a 5 foot long flexible, waterproof, USB powered, 180 lumen LED strip. (In other words, it's a glow-noodle.) It comes with 3 universal ties so you can hang it from trees, as well as built-in magnets so you can stick it straight to your van.
The Luminoodle can be plugged into any USB battery pack, but Power Practical makes a good one that compliments the Luminoodle well. The Lithium 4400 has its own light built in that can last 30+ hours of straight light time before needing a recharge. It's super small for the amount of power it packs and fits perfectly in your palm or pocket. The 4 built-in LED lights also act as an indicator for the charge level, so it won't just turn off on you by surprise.
The Luminoodle is also awesome for long exposure photography. I had a blast twirling this thing around and seeing what I could come up with. It makes for a really interesting effect - I couldn't get enough of it! This is definitely a safer alternative to steel-wool spinning, or a great way to add a flare to your night shots in areas where fire twirling is frowned upon (most areas).
As much as I like the original, Practical Power is making the Luminoodle even better. Their new version is currently on Kickstarter and has already blown away its funding goal. It will have multi-color settings and multiple brightness settings. They've also come out with a separate 20-foot-long version called the Basecamp. It will also be multi-color, but unlike it's predecessor, it will have adapter heads for 12-volt and standard wall outlets (so I can plug it into my Goal Zero Yeti 400 portable generator instead). You can fund the campaign and get one at an earlybird discount HERE: http://Vo1K0zPL.kckb.st