If you?ve ever tried to host a barbecue in the evening then you?ll know that it can get pretty difficult when the sun goes down. This is because it?s dark, it?s hot and you don?t know what you?re doing without the help of some lights. But if your grill is too far from a light source in your home or you don?t want to pull out a long extension cable just for a lamp, then there?s a much more elegant solution; grill lights.
Do I Really Need a Light for My Grill?
If you?re contemplating whether you need a light for your grill or not then you probably don?t use it enough! Grilling is a fantastic way to cook your meals, especially during the summer when it?s hot indoors. You want the excess heat from cooking to escape into the open instead of being spread around your kitchen. It?s also a fantastic way to bring people together so that everyone can help cook and serve delicious food right on the grill. Delicious meals are simple since most of the preparation involved is in the marination process. And, the grilling itself is usually quite straight forward.
But enough about why grilling is underrated; let?s talk about why a grill light is so useful!
The Benefits of Using a Grill Light
A grill light comes with some handy benefits. I can certainly recommend if you?re ever interested in cooking up a barbecue at night.
- They?re small and can fit on almost any grill
- Battery-powered so you don?t need to have extra cables going around everywhere
- Its brightness helps to illuminate your entire outdoor cooking setup
- Most of them have adjustable necks which makes it easy to point the light in the direction you need it
- Magnetic base means it can be attached to any metal part of the grill and moved with ease
- Range adjustment means you can light up what you need and avoid excess light bleeding into the surroundings
- Can also be used in other situations thanks to its versatility, such as lighting up a workbench or garage
- They?re good value and easy to replace
- Fantastic power savings compared to plugging lights into an outlet
Isn?t a Grill Light a Little Bit Too Niche?
Let?s face it; most people are content with cooking in the dark. Or, they have their grill close enough to their home so that their exterior lights are able to light up their grill. In a situation like this, you probably don?t need a grill light. So, I understand if it still seems like somewhat of a silly investment. But, for anyone that does a bit of grilling outside when the weather is right or spend time in their backyard when the sun is down, grill lights can be very handy and versatile.
However, when you consider that you can have a premium-quality grill light with efficient LED technology for under $20, the value proposition suddenly changes. Not only is it a fantastic light to use specifically with your grill, but there?s absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a couple of extras. You can use it in your garage, your bedroom or anywhere that you need light now and then.
In that sense, using it specifically with your grill can seem like a niche thing. But, considering how versatile they are, they?re a worthwhile purchase. They can convince you to spend more time outdoors to grill for lunch or dinner.
What Should I Look for When Purchasing a Grill Light?
Choosing a grill light isn?t tricky at all. But, they do come with a couple of defining features that set them apart from other grill lights. So here are some of the things you should be looking out for:
- Battery life – You want a grill light that lasts a long time and doesn?t require constant battery changing. This is necessary so that it doesn’t run out when you need it the most. Thankfully, most grill lights are very efficient. Thanks to LED technology so this usually isn?t a concern.
- Goose-neck or other position adjustments – Adjustment is important to ensure that the light is reaching the right places. Grill lights typically have a goose-neck which means it can be adjusted however you like. But, it?s not the most stable adjustment mechanism and can wobble a little if it?s moved. In contrast, hinge-style clamps are far more sturdy but have a limited range of movement.
- Base or clamp style – Some grill lights are magnetic. They can only be attached to the metal parts of your grill. While others use a clamp-style in the event that there?s nothing to attach a magnet to. Others utilize both methods for a more stable hold.
- Brightness – Brightness is a huge factor to consider. You?ll want to ask yourself if you need a bright light that covers a lot of distance (so that you can light up more than just the grill). Or, if you only need a simple and small grill light that overlooks the grill itself.
- Heat resistance – Since the lights are going to be very close to your grill, they?re going to be exposed to quite a lot of heat. In a situation like this, you want your light to be somewhat heat resistant so that they?re kept safe and functional.
- Water-resistance – While you likely won?t get much water around your grill, a case could be made in the event it starts to rain or if you accidentally spill a drink over or near the grill light.
- Warranty – Warranty isn?t actually standard on these barbecue grill lights. This is because they?re so inexpensive and replaceable. However, if you want your money?s worth then it?s a good idea to check if the manufacturer offers warranty and customer service.
With these things in mind, I?ve put together a shortlist of five excellent grill lights. I?ve personally tried and fitted those on my grill over the past few months. Some I still use on my grill, some I use in other parts of the home and some are just sitting as backups in the event I need a grill light.
My rating –
Pros and Cons:
|Incredibly sturdy mounting system||Goose-neck can feel a bit wobbly at times|
|Goose-neck makes it easy to adjust|
|Very bright thanks to 12 LEDs|
A fantastic goose-neck style light that has a sturdy mounting base. This is because it?s made of metal but also has an adjustable knob for tightening and loosening. This means it can connect to almost anything regardless of its shape. The magnet base can be used alone if you prefer not to adjust a clamp. It?s super bright. Thanks to having 12 LEDs and has a very sturdy construction that doesn?t feel like it?ll break any time soon.
My rating –
Pros and Cons:
|Very sturdy hinge-style clamp mount that works fine for curved surfaces like handles||It?s not waterproof|
|High heat resistance||Limited rotation makes it hard to position|
|The bright white light that doesn?t affect the natural color of food|
|Small and portable|
The other options I tried all had goose-necks so this one stood out. The problem with a goose-neck is that it?s rather flimsy despite being highly adjustable. In contrast, this grill light uses a hinge-style clamp. The clamp has limited rotation and adjustment but makes it a lot more sturdy. It?s also one of the few grill lights I found that advertised heat resistance as a feature. Unfortunately, it?s not waterproof and this may be the biggest negative that I could think of.
My rating –
Pros and Cons:
|The set comes with two lights||Feels a bit flimsy because of a rather weak goose-neck, so it might wobble a bit|
|Easy to maneuver thanks to the goose-neck||Construction not so great, lenses feel a bit loose|
|Sticks onto any metal surface thanks to the magnets|
|Stainless steel makes it durable|
|Comes with a protected carry case|
Having a set of lights is great if you?ve got a rather large grill or want to light up something such as a chopping surface. However, the goose-neck on these (and the next two grill lights as well) are, in fact, very weak. This leads to wobbling if the surface they?re stuck on is moved. If you adjust them a little too much or too fast, it could snap the goose-neck. Having no clamp is also a little frustrating as it limits the number of uses it has outside of a grill light.
My rating –
Pros and Cons:
|Good value for a pair of grill lights||Goose-neck on my one was very weak and felt like it would snap off due to how thin it is|
|Easy operation thanks to the magnetic design and easy-to-reach button||Lighting modes can be a little strange to work with|
|Durable material that?s easy to clean and sturdy|
|Focal distance can be adjusted to meet different range requirements|
One of the only grill lights I tried that had adjustable lighting modes. Unfortunately, they’re a bit of a gimmick. You?ll typically want it at its brightest setting for most use cases. The goose-neck isn?t very strong but as long as you don?t move it too much, it should be fine. You might find more use for the adjustable lighting modes than I did, but they?re strange to work with and not a stand-out feature.
My rating –
Pros and Cons:
|Very affordable pair of grill lights||LEDs aren?t as bright as other grill lights|
|The magnetic base was strong||Goose-neck is a common fail point and may break off if used in excess|
|Feels sturdy and durable|
|Water-resistance makes it usable during rain or wet conditions|
|The free carry case is also waterproof|
Much like some of the other grill lights on this list, the goose-neck design is a fantastic selling point at first for the adjustment options. But, it?s not strong enough to withstand constant use. Despite that, you get a fairly bright set of grill lights with a strong base that is also water-resistant. I used them for a while but didn?t have time to field-test the water resistance. But, I could confirm that after splashing them around a bit with water, they did continue to function. This would be my go-to choice for a simple and budget pair of grill lights, but I do believe that there are better options if you?re willing to spend a little more.
The Final Verdict
Grill lights are, admittedly, quite a niche product. Not everyone grills regularly. Even then, they probably grill when the sun is out or have lights coming from their home. This way they are able to cover the area near the grill with light. However, there?s no denying the versatility of grill lights and what you?re able to achieve with them. Even if you don?t use them on your grill all the time, they?re fantastic as night lights for cooking in the dark should your lights be blown out or even used as garage lights. Since they?re battery-powered, they?re also excellent backup lights for if the power goes out. You can even use them on camping trips when you?re cooking in the dark?and you can own one for just under $20.
Personally, I love the LED Concepts BBQ Grill Light because it has the sturdiest light. It has a goose-neck for easy adjustments and it?s also incredibly bright. However, the Sirius 1.0 Barbecue Grill Light comes in at a close second. This is because it?s the only one that I?ve tried with a decent hinge adjustment mechanism as opposed to a goose-neck. This makes it far more sturdy and it also has a simple clamp that just looks great. Since they?re so cheap, I recommend you give them both a try and see what you prefer. If one of them isn?t quite suited to your needs, just keep it as a backup or use it as a nightlight for dark rooms in your home.