Best Barbecue Grill Lights

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
357 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best barbecue grill lights

Last Updated September 2020

If you like to grill for family and friends, it’s probably a situation that you’ve run up against: the party runs long, but the grill is still going strong. As the sun sets, it becomes more and more difficult to see what you’re trying to cook. Between the low light and smoke, grilling after dark can not only be dangerous, but the quality of your food can take a real nosedive when it’s difficult to tell the brats from the corn. A barbecue grill light can give you the illumination you need to keep your grill going through the night.

Most grills don’t come equipped with a light, so you’re on your own in terms of finding one that meets your needs. This guide can help to shine a light (yes, we went there) on everything you need to know when buying a barbecue grill light. From basic features to construction, brightness, powering options, and cost, we provide you with all the information to find the right light for your needs. We also highlight some of our favorite barbecue grill lights, both in terms of quality and price.

A decent barbecue grill light is an important safety feature as well as a grilling-quality one. It’s hard to correctly grill a steak in the dark!

Key considerations

Materials

The ideal barbecue grill light is able to hold up to a variety of factors, including use, heat, and even the occasional summer shower. There are three different types of materials that go into the design of most of these lights: plastic, metal, and resin.

Plastic: While plastic is lightweight and won’t become hot to the touch, it can melt if you position it too close to the hot grill. Unlike some metal, plastic can handle weather without rusting or corroding.

Metal: Metal, such as aluminum, can withstand heat and won’t rust or corrode. However, it can become quite hot to the touch if positioned too close to the grill.

Resin: Some barbecue grill lights are made of a resin that is resistant to both heat and moisture. However, if your barbecue grill light will be exposed to the elements, make sure that it is UL approved for outdoor use.

Brightness

A barbecue grill light should be bright enough so that you can see everything cooking on the grill, in addition to all the controls. These lights generally put out between 100 and 200 lumens. The more lumens, the brighter the light.

Power

While you can find some barbecue grill lights that plug into an outlet, most of them use AAA or AA batteries. Battery-powered lights are more portable, but you’ll go through batteries quickly if you often grill after dark. Before you buy, know what type of batteries a light uses, the number of batteries the light takes, and whether the batteries are included with the light.

Assembly and installation

A barbecue grill light should ship fully assembled, or nearly so. You should be able to just put batteries into it and be ready to grill. These lights mount in a couple of different ways (more on this below), but you should verify that a light can be mounted quickly and easily, as well as be quickly removed in case the weather turns bad.

Single vs. set

Know the number of lights you’re buying. Most barbecue grill lights are sold individually, but some come as a set. Two lights can give you greater versatility in illuminating your grill and help to eliminate the shadows that a single light can create.

Bulbs

Most of these lights use LED bulbs for illumination, typically use 9 to 12 bulbs per fixture. LEDs use little power while still producing a bright light. They also last a long time, with some rated for up to 50,000 hours of use. That’s a lot of grilling.

EXPERT TIP

In addition to grilling, a barbecue grill light can often do double duty as a mountable light for use in a workshop or kitchen or for car and other repairs.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

One plus of a longer flexible neck on a barbecue grill light is that it keeps the base of the lamp farther from the grill, where it stays cooler and safe from damage.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Components

Base: The base holds the light steady, so it’s shining where you need it to. The base also helps to secure the light, so you won’t accidentally knock it over and break it. Barbecue grill lights have two different types of bases: magnetic and clamp. For the greatest versatility, select a light that offers both magnetic and clamp options.

  • Magnetic: Magnetic bases firmly attach to steel, keeping the light right where you want it. The downside here is that you need the right surface for the base to attach to, and aluminum and any other nonferrous metal won’t work. If you have the right surface, this is the easiest type of grill light to both mount and remove.
  • Clamp: If you don’t have the right surface for a magnetic lamp, a clamp base is your best bet. These work on any surface the clamp can secure to. The clamp usually has rubber padding to protect the surface. Special C clamps are often used so you can easily attach the light to the grill handle.
     

Neck: Barbecue grill light necks typically either swivel or flex using a gooseneck design. A longer gooseneck will enable you to illuminate more of your grill.

Switch: The only control on most barbecue grill lights is the on/off button. Some of these offer a touch control that’s easy to use, so you’re not fumbling for a button or switch. While there is no way to adjust the brightness level on most of these lights, some touch-activated switches do offer a variety of brightness settings.

Case: Some barbecue grill lights ship with a storage case to protect the light when it isn’t being used or it’s being transported. This is also a great way to keep from accidentally triggering a touch-activated light. Any included case should have cushioning to support the light and some way to securely fasten it.

Some manufacturers of these lights also provide access to a variety of digital perks after purchase, including recipes, cooking guides, and grilling apps.

Barbecue grill light prices

Barbecue grill lights fall into a fairly narrow price range. While you can find lights for as low as $10, there are a few that cost as much as $35. Most are in the $20 to $25 range.

Inexpensive: At the lower price points, $10 to $20, you can find simple lights that usually attach to the grill handle. These lights offer little in the way of swivel or flexible lighting options and tend to have less power.

Mid-range: Lights that cost $20 to $25 are better quality, with a sturdier mount and more options, such as a flexible neck for improved lighting control. Barbecue grill lights in this price range also pack more power, with 100 lumens being standard.

Expensive: Spend $25 to $35 and you can find more powerful lights (200 lumens or more), and many have a heat-resistant and waterproof housing. Some lights in this price range also offer a variety of mounting options.

Tips

  • Store your barbecue light out of the weather. Even if your light is supposed to be waterproof, your best bet is to either bring it inside when you’re not using it or store it under the grill cover and out of the elements.
  • Take care with the batteries. A light that turns on via a simple touch can be handy when you’re elbow deep in barbecue sauce, but be careful that you don’t store it where it can easily be jostled. This could turn the light on and drain the batteries. Even better, before storing your battery-powered light at the end of the season, remove the batteries. Batteries left idle for several months can leak, which can damage the light.
  • Use the right light for your grill. Some barbecue grill lights (such as Weber) are designed to work with specific grills. While they may work with other grills, be aware that the lights will work best with the grills they were designed for. And if you have a deep grill, go with a barbecue grill light that has a longer flexible neck so you can more easily light all parts of the grill.
  • Be careful with the securing mechanism. For the most secure hold, position a magnetic barbecue grill light on a flat surface. And for a light with a clamp, be careful not to overtighten the clamp. You could damage the surface that it’s attached to and break the clamp if you apply too much pressure to it.
Some battery-powered barbecue grill lights include batteries; others do not. If you’re shopping with a budget in mind, be aware that batteries may add to the overall cost.

FAQ

Q. Will these lights scratch my grill?
A.
You shouldn’t have any issues with barbecue grill lights scratching grills or other surfaces so long as you’re careful in how you use them. If your light has a magnetic base, you should attach and remove it by placing and lifting it straight up and down. Don’t try to drag the light along the surface to remove or reposition it because this can scratch the grill. For a clamp base, look for a light that has rubber or some other type of padding on the clamp. These are standard on most barbecue grill lights and designed to protect whatever surface the light is clamped to.
 

Q. Do these lights have variable switches to adjust the brightness?
A.
Generally, no. Most barbecue grill lights have a simple on/off switch, so you won’t have the ability to use the light at a low or high setting. You can occasionally find a light with a touch-activated switch that is adjustable, however. To cycle through the various brightness levels, you just keep touching the switch.
 

Q. Will these lights attach to a grill handle?
A.
Some barbecue grill lights are designed specifically to be used on a grill handle. If this is how you intend to use your light, search for one that has a clamp base and not a magnetic one. For the best results, it should be a round C clamp, which will allow the clamp to fit snugly around the handle and contact it in more spots than a traditional clamp can.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn Llewellyn
    Bronwyn Llewellyn
    Editor
  • Ciera Pasturel
    Ciera Pasturel
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kristin Yarbrough
    Kristin Yarbrough
    Writer
  • Melinda Snowden
    Melinda Snowden
    Web Producer
  • Rich Gray
    Rich Gray
    Writer

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