The 10 Best Grill Lights
This wiki has been updated 34 times since it was first published in September of 2015. If you frequently barbecue after the Sun goes down, you'll want one of these bright and durable grill lights to help ensure you're not burning those delicious steaks, hamburgers, or vegetable kebabs. They’re available with various clamp, clip, and magnetic mounting options, along with energy-efficient LEDs that will last a lifetime. Many are weather resistant, so you can leave them outside. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 19, 2021:
We retained several of our selections from last year, but also decided to give a few the axe, due to a combination of availability issues and quality concerns. The models that we eliminated were the Man Law BBQ, Weber 6427, Stok SGA3010 Pedestal and Moonrays L-871.
Our new choices this time around were the Daika B2Q-L — which impressed us with its IPx8 waterproof rating and swivelling heads; the Life Mounts All Weather — which got our attention with its 300-lumen output and the simple fact that it runs on only one AA battery; the Broil King 60938 — which became the only model on this list that features an integrated countdown timer; and the Technical Pro OFBBQ — a multifunctional option with two built-in fans.
February 07, 2020:
These grill lights are great for the night owl grillmaster, or simply anyone who needs to grill their dinner after work when the sun is down. We added the Kosin Super-Bright to the list in this update, as it provides a lot of bang for your buck. It comes in a set of two, and they provide wide angle beams to cover your entire grill. They’re made of a durable aluminum alloy that’s resistant to water and extreme temperatures, with goosenecks that are conveniently adjustable 360 degrees. They’ll attach strongly to any grill made of a magnetic material.
The Cuisinart Grilluminate remains in the top spot. Unlike most others, this one can be adjusted horizontally when you slide it across the bars, so it shines on the entire cooking surface of grills of all sizes. Its sturdy, coated steel clamp fastens securely to the grill’s handle, and won’t move around when you open and close the lid.
Several magnetic mounts are available in our selection for those who prefer their portability, and those include the Bright Eyes Magnetic, which comes with two gooseneck fixtures that put out an impressive amount of light, and the lightweight and compact Stok SGA3010 Pedestal, which resembles a flashlight and can be stored easily in any drawer, and is convenient to take on camping or tailgating excursions. The versatile LED Concepts Super Bright and Man Law BBQ feature both magnets and clamps, and are highly suitable for use at a drafting table or a mechanic’s station, and of course for illuminating your grill.
While some of these devices are highly heat resistant, others need to be kept a safe distance from a hot grill, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow directions carefully.
Focus Industries BQ-03 Series This sturdy lamp features a brushed stainless steel housing and 16-inch flex arm that is coated with a clear, weatherproof polyolefin cover. It’s available with a three- or five-inch quick-connect clamp or a seven-inch weighted base. The durable lens is made of high-impact, clear, tempered flat glass, and its efficient LEDs are rated for an average of 40,000 hours. It’s available with single or dual, egg-shaped or cylindrical heads. focusindustries.com
Outdoor Lighting Company Battery-powered grill lights like the ones on this list can provide a simple and practical solution for grill aficionados struggling with dark working conditions, but seldom will they be as good as a carefully selected outdoor light fixture positioned adjacent to your barbecue. If there's room in your budget to splurge on something a little more substantial, this New York-based company offers a variety of permanent, portable, and solar-powered selections for you to choose from. outdoorlighting.com
Several Areas to Consider Before Choosing a Grill Light
The first thing anyone needs to consider whenever shopping for a grill light is whether that light will fit - or sit correctly - along their grill.
The first thing anyone needs to consider whenever shopping for a grill light is whether that light will fit - or sit correctly - along their grill. The majority of grill lights are meant to be attached along a grill's serving table, whereas certain models attach to the grill's front handle. In either case, it's helpful to confirm a grill light's measurements and specifications, as promotional images of a product may not depict a very accurate scale.
If a grill light is designed to fit onto your grill's serving table, be sure to find out whether that light attaches by way of an adjustable clamp, or whether it actually needs to be screwed in. This is relevant in that any grill light that needs to be screwed in will also need to be weatherproof. What's more, a non-removable grill light may make it more tedious to cover - and uncover - your grill.
If your grill doesn't have a serving tray, you can always choose a light that attaches to the grill's front handle. Keep in mind that the larger a front-handle model is, the greater the chance that it might get in your way. Compact models are less obtrusive, they're easier to clean, and you can usually repurpose a compact grill light to be used as a reading light on the deck.
It's worth taking into account whether a grill light is adjustable. In a lot of cases, this would mean that the light has a flexible neck, or that it can swivel to face the grill at any angle. As a precaution, check to see whether any grill light runs on battery power, outlet power, or both. Battery power may be essential if your grill sits at a remove from any outlets, whereas outlet power is more reliable in the long term.
How to Clean a Grill (& All of Its Accessories)
If there is one downside to owning a nice grill it's that the mechanism requires regular upkeep. Back-deck dinners and all-day barbecues tend to produce set-in grease and a charcoal film. Fortunately, it's not that difficult to clean an average grill. All you need is some vinegar, a few wash cloths, a bowl of soapy water, some steel wool, and a wire brush.
You can begin by using the wire brush to scour any residue from the top of the grill grates. Once that's done, flip the grates and scrub along the bottom. Next, remove the grates so you can wipe them down by way of a wash cloth and some soapy water. Hose the grates down, and then leave them to dry against a wall.
All you need is some vinegar, a few wash cloths, a bowl of soapy water, some steel wool, and a wire brush.
At this point you'll want to eliminate any leftover charcoal by either sliding out - and dumping - the grill's tray or sweeping it clean. If possible, hose the tray down, then scrub its surface with some vinegar and soapy water. If you come across any stains, use steel wool to file them down.
If you own a gas grill, you'll want to use the scraping end of your grill brush to remove any film that's built up around the burners. It should go without saying that the grill and its propane tank need to be off. Next, inspect the burners to ensure there aren't any clogs or other blockages. In the event that there are, you can use the wire bristles to scratch those clogs off. Take a minute to wipe down the outside panel of the grill, making an effort to scrub free any scorch marks that are dotting either the cover or the finish.
If your grill includes a grease trap, it's up to you to decide whether to replace that trap or simply wash it out. Most grease traps are disposable, but an exact replacement (i.e., the same measurements and specifications) may not be that easy to find.
Once you've sanitized the grill, you can turn your attention to the attachments, particularly a grill light. Chances are a grill light will be caked with grease, so you'll want to run a vinegar-damp cloth along the lamp and its base. Once you've done that, scrub those parts clean with a sponge. Keep in mind that a grill light is smooth and fragile, so you'll want to avoid using any abrasive cleaning products. Be sure to wipe down the grill light's wire, as well.
As a final step, collect all of your grilling utensils - including brush, tongs, and pitchfork, etc. - then place those items in a plastic tub with some dishwashing liquid to soak. After a few hours you should be able to clean those items in a sink. Once again, enlist a combination of vinegar and soap.
How the Outdoor Grill Became an American Icon
The word barbecue comes from a Spanish term, barbacoa, which refers to the act of cooking meat over a wooden pit. Barbacoa originated in the Caribbean, where 16th-century natives used wooden pits to celebrate after a successful hunt (or catch). The tradition, and its taste, eventually carried north to Florida during the 1800s. The custom of "barbecuing" as it came to be known, extended across the southern U.S. to Louisiana, where Creole cuisine seemed custom-made for grilling over the smoked wood of a mesquite.
During the early 1900s, a relative of Henry Ford's named E.G. Kingsford was chosen to run a Ford auto parts factory in northern Michigan.
During the early 1900s, a relative of Henry Ford's named E.G. Kingsford was chosen to run a Ford auto parts factory in northern Michigan. Almost immediately, Kingsford noticed that the factory was producing an exorbitant amount of wood chips that were, in turn, being thrown out in the trash. Kingsford proposed that the wood chips be reprocessed into charcoal briquettes. These Kingsford briquettes were originally sold at Ford car dealerships, where they generated a significant profit.
Within 10 years of the briquette, an Illinois welder named George Stephen designed the first "half-orb" grill. This grill made it simple for any American to cook meat over a bed of coals. Shortly after, during the 1950s, the first portable gas grills were brought to market. Demand grew and competition increased. The outdoor grill became a veritable staple of the American backyard.
Today, grilling has evolved into a multi-million-dollar industry, with model choices ranging from disposable to infrared. While most Americans associate a traditional backyard grill with hot dogs and hamburgers, a lot of grills are also used for cooking wraps, a range of sausages, delicate cuts of meat, and roast vegetables.