Outdoor cooking doesn’t necessarily have to happen when the sun is out. If you want to know how to grill or smoke during the nighttime hours, you definitely can, with the help of a grill light to ensure that your workstation is well lit. This add-on appliance can attach to your grill or smoker and provide a direct source of light for whatever it is that you’re cooking.
While you certainly could use a flashlight or headlamp, these provide a very narrow beam of light and can become difficult to juggle. Plus, if you’re cooking with others, a headlamp can be tough on everyone else’s eyes. Outdoor porch lights can help illuminate your space, but having a grill light directly on your grill that can point a bright light on the food is super helpful.
Grill lights vary in size, wattage, color, attachment mechanism, and source of power, so understanding what you’re looking for in a grill light as well as what will work best with your grill is important when it comes to deciding which light to buy. Some other important characteristics to consider are “durability and weather resistance,” says Tony Matassa, chef and BBQ expert at BBQGuys.
Whether you’re heading on an outdoor cooking adventure or you’re trying to complete your at-home outdoor cooking setup, there is a grill light that will work for your needs. Here are the best grill lights.
Permasteel 2-Piece Grill Lights
Fits almost any grill
LED lights last a while
Gooseneck gives added flexibility
Batteries not included
These grill lights offer everything you need for your next nighttime grilling session. “The best magnetic grill light that’s currently available has to be the Permasteel PA-12002 Grill Light due to the fact that it is extremely durable, compact, and can be adjusted easily,” says Michael East, founder and CEO of Griddle King. “You’ll have no problems grilling all night long with this grill light. The gooseneck is long for adjusting the light to see those hard-to-reach areas. I love the magnetic capability, as this means that it can be mounted to any area of the grill. Plus, it’s all [available] for a very reasonable price. This particular grill light also comes in a set of two, so you can set up dual grill lights or have a dual grill set up.” The two LED bulbs last a long time and cast an ultra-bright light for optimal visibility.
This is a grill light that will work with just about any grill and any outdoor cooking setup. No need to take any precautionary measurements as this flexible, one-size-fits-all light can accommodate most grills. At such an approachable price, this is a great way to try out nighttime grilling if you’ve never attempted to cook outdoors after the sun goes down.
Price at time of publish: $26
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries | Mount Type: Magnet | Dimensions: 1.54 x 1.54 x 9.84 inches | Battery Life: Up to 20 hours | Levels of Brightness: 1
"When cooking in the dark, it’s important to have the extra light so you can be sure everything is operating properly and safely if you plan on going back inside." — Paul Sidoriak, cookbook author and owner of GrillingMontana
Best Handle Light
Weber 7661 Handle Grill 'N Go Light
Offers a motion sensor to save battery
Clamp is sturdy and strong
LED light is super bright
Batteries not included
If you’re looking for a clamp-style grill light to latch onto the handle of your grill, this Weber model is a fan favorite. The LED bulb casts a bright, strong light on the surface of your grill to help you navigate the food while it’s dark outside. One of the coolest features of this light is that it offers a motion sensor with an on/off switch. The sensor can detect when the grill is open or closed, so it saves battery while the top is covered and you’re not using it.
The circular clamp tightly fastens onto the handlebar on the hood of your grill. Reviewers love the strength and brightness of the light that this device casts, plus it has stood the test of time for many users. It is weather-resistant and can handle the outdoor elements.
Price at time of publish: $44
Power Source: 3 AAA alkaline batteries | Mount Type: Clamp | Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.5 x 3 inches | Battery Life: Up to 20 hours | Levels of Brightness: 3
"You want your light to withstand the heat produced by your grill and the elements of the backyard. LED lights [also] set a great grill light apart from the other lights on the market. You want to be able to see your entire grilling surface at all times, and LED lights are the way to do that." — Tony Matassa, chef and BBQ expert at BBQGuys
Best Ultra Bright
RVZHI Double Lamp Head BBQ Grill Light
Batteries are included
10 LED lights and 1,000 hours of life
C-clamp is easy to install and fits on any handle size
No gooseneck design for adjustability
If having the brightest, most powerful light out there is a priority for you, this adjustable light is sure to do the trick. Offering 10 LED lights with 100 lumens and a lifetime of upwards of 1,000 hours, this is a bright light that’s going to last you for lots of outdoor cooking adventures. The two independent lamp heads can be rotated and swiveled so that they’re illuminating the exact area of the grill or smoker that you need lit up.
The cordless C-clamp is easy to install and fits universally on any grill handle. Because of its compact size, you could take this on any outdoor cooking adventure as it packs up quickly and easily. Unlike most of the other grill lights available, this purchase includes your first set of AAA batteries.
Price at time of publish: $26
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries | Mount type: Clamp | Dimensions: 7 x 3.6 x 7 inches | Battery Life: N/A | Levels of Brightness: 1
LED Concepts BBQ Grill Lights
Long gooseneck for 360-degree positioning
12 LED lights
Need a grill light accessory that can manage anything that’s thrown its way? This LED light is designed with a long, highly adjustable gooseneck that allows for easy maneuvering. Switching the position of your grill light to illuminate a specific area of your grill has never been easier. This highly functional 22-inch gooseneck light allows for total 360-degree movement and positioning. The screw clamp is easy to adjust and holds a tight grip. In addition, the magnetic base ensures a steady hold.
Twelve LED lights make up the head of this light for the ultimate bright light effect when using. The best perk about this model is that you can always opt to take it off the grill and use the light for other handy tasks at your workstation. Some reviewers have noted that it was damaged in harsh weather conditions, so detach it from your grill when it’s not in use.
Price at time of publish: $23
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries | Mount Type: Magnet and clamp | Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 5 inches | Battery Life: N/A | Levels of Brightness: 1
“I prefer to use a combination of an electric lantern and a painter’s light. I can position the painter’s light so it shines brightly across most of my patio, and place or hang the other electric lantern light nearby the grill or smoker for extra brightness." — Paul Sidoriak, cookbook author and owner of Grilling Montana
IMAGE Magnetic BBQ Grill Lights with Ultra-Bright LED Lights
Powerful magnetic base
Storage case included
Reviewers claim lights aren’t fully waterproof
Magnetic lights have the advantage of securely attaching to any metal surface, which makes them easy to maneuver for grilling purposes. The IMAGE Magnetic Ultra-Bright Barbecue Grill Light features a strong magnet at its base, so there’s no need to worry about it slipping out of place once you attach it to the right spot.
This package includes two magnetic lights, allowing you to fully illuminate your grill and work surfaces. Both lights are positioned on the ends of flexible 5-inch goosenecks that protrude out from their bases, so they can be precisely focused if you need to closely monitor a particular section of the grill. The lights’ aluminum construction gives them serious durability, and the AAA batteries used to power them can keep the lights charged for up to 48 hours of continuous use. Best of all, the IMAGE lights’ budget-friendly price tag makes them appealingly accessible (and a great and easy gift for any grilling enthusiast in your family or friend group).
Price at time of publish: $20
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries | Mount Type: Magnet | Dimensions: 7.09 x 4.72 x 1.97 inches | Battery Life: Up to 48 hours | Levels of Brightness: 1
Best LED Lights
Cuisinart Grilluminate Extending LED Grill Light
Extremely weather-resistant and durable
Light can clamp onto any grill handle
Illuminates large surface area
Batteries not included
Most grill lights are designed with LED lights, and this particular model is designed with some of the best and brightest. With nine LED lights positioned in a long, horizontal, expanded position, this grill light can illuminate a large amount of space with a strong, bright glow. The lights can provide up to 10,000 hours of life. The light can easily clamp onto your grill handle.
While there is no handy gooseneck design for easy adjustability, because of the expanded position of the lights, the light is still able to illuminate a wide amount of space. The lights are made of durable glass that’s reinforced with nylon, making it ready for the outdoor elements.
Price at time of publish: $44
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries | Mount Type: Clamp | Dimensions: 10.7 x 7.7 x 1.5 inches | Battery Life: Up to 50 hours | Levels of Brightness: 1
Hammacher Schlemmer The Brighter BBQ Grill Light
12 LED lights with 200 lumens
Illuminates large surface area
Batteries difficult to insert
If you want to treat yourself with a splurge grill light, this light is certainly much more expensive than a lot of its competitors, but you do get some bang for your buck. This device has 12 LED lights with 200 lumens (more than double many grill light models), making it ultra-bright and strong. The light is able to clamp onto any grill handle, and you can position it in a way that lights up your workstation best. It has a six-minute auto shut-off feature, which is convenient for saving battery and energy.
Its weatherproof polycarbonate material will last you through tough weather elements and plenty of years of heavy use. Reviewers love that this light is able to promptly light up their four- and even six-burner grills. If you have a large grill with a lot of surface area, a big light like this could make sense. A few reviewers note that accessing the battery compartment can be tricky.
Price at time of publish: $70
Power Source: 4 D batteries | Mount Type: Clamp | Dimensions: 11.75 x 8.25 x 2.75 inches | Battery Life: N/A | Levels of Brightness: 1
Best for Big Green Egg
Big Green Egg Flexible Grill Light
Specifically designed for the Big Green Egg
Bracket is sturdy and easy to install
High-intensity LED light
On the pricier side
Some reviewers question its waterproof capabilities
If you’re a fan of the multitasking ceramic outdoor cooker known as the Big Green Egg, then you’re likely aware of the fact that this grill’s unique shape and design can make it difficult to find a suitable light. "The design of the Big Green Egg grill is sleek and compact, which makes it a truly stunning product," explains Michael East. "However, it does mean that you won’t be able to use a standard mounted grill light due to its curved edges. On top of that, the Big Green Egg grill is made from ceramic, so a magnetic grill light is also out of the question."
Luckily, the Big Green Egg brand addressed these concerns by releasing its own proprietary line of grill accessories, including a Flexible Grill Light. "Due to the unique nature of their grills, who better to trust than the manufacturer themselves to ensure that you are getting the best grill light you can?" East points out.
The Big Green Egg Flexible Grill Lights feature a mounting bracket that’s designed to attach to the "belt" of the BGE so your grill will be lit from the side rather than the top. And the bendable gooseneck can be adjusted from that mounting point to illuminate any area of the grill with its brilliant LED light.
Price at time of publish: $32
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries | Mount Type: Magnet with bracket | Height: 11 inches | Battery Life: N/A | Levels of Brightness: 1
The Permasteel Grill Lights fit on any grill and feature a gooseneck design that makes adjusting easy and convenient. If you want an overhead light that clamps onto your grill's handle and comes with a motion sensor, pick up the Weber 7661 Handle Grill 'N Go Light.
What to Look for When Buying Grill Lights
Adjustability and Attachment Mechanism
It’s always ideal to look for a grill light that offers physical adjustability so that you can ensure it’s casting a light on the area that you need to see. Without adjustability, the light can become cumbersome and tough to use, so if you can find a light with a gooseneck that can be very helpful. The way that the lights attach to your grill should also be considered. Some lights can attach with a strong magnet, while others clamp onto the sides or lid of your grill or smoker. Magnets don’t stick to stainless steel grills so make sure that your grill is magnetic before choosing that option.
Light Color and Brightness
The color of your grill light largely comes down to personal preference and whether you want more of a brighter, white color versus a warmer yellow. Cooler light shades can make objects appear brighter, so if you want the clearest possible vision, a cooler light is ideal. Some grill lights give you the option to adjust the brightness if you want to be able to control how much exposure is on the food. Some grill lights have red, blue, and green lights—these are mostly for mood and aesthetics as these colors will not help you see your food much clearer or better.
Most grill lights use AA or AAA batteries, though you may find some grill lights that plug into an outlet. Battery-operated grill lights offer easy portability, though you need to keep in mind that the batteries will need to be replaced periodically. It’s common to look at “wattage” to understand how bright a light is. Wattage measures how much electricity the bulb uses, whereas lumens measures the actual brightness of the light. You want a grill light with a high number of lumens and a low amount of wattage for a bright light that doesn’t require a ton of energy.
Can you grill at night?
Yes, you can grill at night, but it’s important to have a grill light handy so that you can see what’s going on while you’re grilling. Without proper visibility, nighttime grilling can be dangerous and cumbersome, so make sure that your area is well lit with a grill light.
Does it matter what color my grill light is?
The color of your grill light ultimately comes down to personal preference. Some grill lights offer different brightness settings, which helps if you want to adjust how much exposure you’re getting. Most grill lights shine a light anywhere from a bright white to a warmer yellow color. For the most part, cooler lights make objects appear brighter, so that’s optimal for grilling. Some lights have green, blue, or red light settings—these colors do not offer much aside from a subtle mood-setting and they are not an ideal light to cook under.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Sara Tane has written nearly a dozen buying guides for The Spruce Eats, understanding what consumers and cooks need to consider before making a new purchase for their culinary adventures. She is a professionally trained chef in addition to an outdoor cooking enthusiast. With many weekends of cooking elaborate, delicious meals out in the great outdoors, she is no stranger to what it takes to have a successful bout of outdoor (and sometimes nighttime!) cooking. After researching different grill lights and their characteristics and interviewing Paul Sidoriak, cookbook author and owner of Grilling Montana, she can help you find the best grill light for all of your nighttime cooking needs.