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Outdoor cooking doesn’t necessarily have to happen when the sun is out. If you want to grill or smoke during the nighttime hours, you definitely can. In order to work around the darkness, you’ll need 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. "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," says Paul Sidoriak, cookbook author and owner of GrillingMontana.
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. 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, the best grill lights for nighttime cooking.
Best Overall: Permasteel Grill Lights, 2-Piece
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 gooseneck allows for extreme adjustability, making it super easy to illuminate any and everything that you’ve got on the grill. The two LED bulbs last a long time and cast an ultra-bright light for optimal visibility. The magnetic light attaches easily to most metal surfaces, so you can choose the best location to position it while you’re grilling.
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.
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
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.
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
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 ten 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.
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries | Mount type: Clamp | Dimensions: 7 x 3.6 x 7 inches | Battery Life: N/A | Levels of Brightness: 1
Most Versatile: 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.
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries | Mount Type: Magnet and clamp | Dimensions: 18 x 6 x 4 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
Best Magnetic: KOSIN Barbecue Grill Light Super-Bright
Flexible gooseneck for adjusting the positioning
Strong magnetic base
Gooseneck is not super long
If you’d prefer to attach your grill light with a magnet as opposed to clamping it onto the grill handle, this is a top-performing magnetic base model. With nine high-density LED lights, this device shines a bright light over a large amount of space without being too large or cumbersome. It is designed with a 4.5-inch gooseneck that allows for adjusting and positioning however works best. The magnetic base requires no installation—simply set it on a magnetic surface on or near your grill for an illuminated station.
Because you get two lights with your purchase, you can arrange them in different spots for a fully lit-up outdoor workspace. When you’re done using it, it’s not fixed in place, so you can take it inside for other work projects or you can pack it for an outdoor camping trip. You can get to grilling in the dark right away because AAA batteries are included with your purchase.
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries (each) | Mount Type: Magnet | Dimensions: 7.28 x 4.88 x 2.2 inches | Battery Life: Up to 20 hours | Levels of Brightness: 1
Best for Big Green Egg: Dracarys BBQ Grill Light LED for Big Green Egg
24 LED lights for extra bright illumination
360-degree hook allows you to position it many ways
Batteries not included
If you need something to help for nighttime grilling and smoking on your Big Green Egg, this specific grill light is designed for application with this line of appliances. Equipped with 24 big LED lights, this device is going to give you plenty of light outdoors. It is also designed with a direct light and an area light so that you can switch between two different functions, depending on the vision that you need. The light clamps onto the handle and has a 360-degree hook so that you can position it however works best for you. If you prefer, this light can also double as a camping or biking light. It is extremely weather-resistant and durable, so it can handle a variety of outdoor projects.
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries | Mount Type: Magnet | Dimensions: 5.04 x 4.61 x 2.48 inches | Battery Life: N/A | Levels of Brightness: 2
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.
Power Source: 3 AAA batteries | Moun Type: Clamp | Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches | Battery Life: N/A | Levels of Brightness: 1
Best Splurge: 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.
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
The Permasteel Grill Lights fit on any grill and feature a gooseneck design that makes adjusting easy and convenient. Plus, this two-piece set is affordable. For those serious about their nighttime grilling, we recommend investing in the Hammacher Schlemmer Brighter BBQ Grill Light, which will give you a lot of illuminated surface area and should stand up to the elements.
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.