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There’s no doubt that grilling is great, but it can’t be ignored that as a cooking style it comes with some unique disadvantages over others. All of these stem from the fact that grilling is done outdoors.
This presents all sorts of minor challenges, having to deal with bugs and other natural pests for one, but chief among these is that for half the day your lights shut off. Yes, sadly we cannot harness the sun and pull it closer whenever we need a bit more light. It’s a fickle star we revolve around, for sure.
What we can do, however, is buy a grill light. These handy little gadgets attach somewhere to your grill and provide easy access to a light. Like a lamp, but usually smaller and more easily moved around when it’s needed.
But there are a lot of lights out there, most of which aren’t worth your money. Which ones are, and how do you decide that? All those questions and more will be answered over the course of this article, starting with:
Here are the best grill lights you can buy:
For the complete product list, please continue reading...
Top 9 Best Grill Lights Reviews For 2020
This is definitely an interesting design, I’ll give it that. It’s designed a lot like a bedside lamp with a gooseneck; good as a reading light or something similar. However instead of the standard lamp base you get a large clamp, which also comes with a sturdy magnetic base (for surfaces solid enough you don’t mind setting it on, like a grill’s side table; it will grip without slipping).
The light is extremely bright, with 12 powerful LEDs that provide excellent illumination for a long beam from its 22 inch face. Properly situated it gives you a clear view of a whole large grill.
The gooseneck is one of the best I’ve seen; it’s very sturdy and sticks right where I want it most of the time, being satisfyingly long and coiling up enough to be perfectly steady on the grill’s surface.
You can do a lot worse than this light, and it’s perfect for very large grills. Not just that, it makes an excellent light for any kind of outdoor work surface, so it can serve multiple duties as a grill light and workshop light for any task you need it for.
Very bright light in a wide and long beam.
Sturdy metal gooseneck provides unparalleled flexibility.
Sturdy large clamp and magnetic base makes this comfortable to sit pretty much anywhere.
AA batteries are likely to need frequent replacement with a lamp this large and powerful.
This grill light may not look like much, but it gives you everything you need in a device like this.
The design is very flexible, but not overly so (on one of those flimsy snake cables) and designed to clamp to the top of your grill (usually the handle, but potentially other protrusions). It can bend in any way you need it to based on your grill’s design, giving you an excellent spotlight for the entire grill.
The light itself is impressively powerful, a great quality 100 lumens output, with a 20, 000 hour rating. The lights themselves are crisp LEDs, giving you a neutral white light to view your cooking under.
It’s easy to set up, just needing a quick twist of the clamp and maybe a little screwing (the proper sized screwdriver is included) and it transports well, fitting in any glove box or even a pocket in a pinch.
When not traveling it can largely be left installed in whatever grill you want to lose it on. The body is durable and weather resistant, so a simple grill cover is enough to keep it in tip top shape, and if you happen to accidentally leave it uncovered out in the rain a few times, it’s no big deal.
Lightweight and easily portable.
Easy to install.
Excellent 100 lumens light output.
20, 000 hour rated LEDs for long lasting performance.
May struggle to produce a wide enough beam for especially large grills.
Aloveco provides an excellent light with this model.
The main draw of this is the super wide, super bright LEDs. They produce an excellent flat light that can cover pretty much any sized grill with its ultra bright 120 lumens output. It provides a crisp, clear light for cooking of all sorts even in complete darkness. Perfect for camping and power outages.
The light itself is rechargeable more than 500 times, and charges quickly while maintaining its charge for a good long while. The construction is likewise long lasting, being made of a durable sealed plastic that is completely waterproof.
This quality is backed up by a 3 year warranty (guaranteed not to melt or be destroyed by water), giving you peace of mind on the light’s longevity.
You can do a lot worse than this, and while I’m not a fan of its flexibility (it only swivels side to side, not up and down) its performance in every other aspect of its design more than makes up for that flaw.
If you want a great clamp based light for your grill handle, you can do a lot worse than this Aloveco light.
Chargeable up to 500 times.
Excellent 120 lumens light output.
Broad light covers more surface area.
Easy to clamp on and take off.
Easy to use
Limited range of swivel motion.
Kosin provides a pair of interesting lights with these “gooseneck” lights, offering very flexible heads.
Typically I’m not a fan of these. They tend to droop if left in place for more than a few seconds, requiring constant micro adjustments. These lights are a bit stiffer, so are less frustrating, but will still occasionally offer that annoyance to you.
Still, their overall convenience otherwise might make that worthwhile. They’re magnetic at the base, meaning no fiddling with clamps; you just slap them on the side of the grill and crane the neck however you need to.
They turn on with a single button press (a satisfyingly clicky button that is easy to reach) and make a good handheld flashlight for navigating in the dark as well; you could use this to get to the grill, slap It on the side, check your food, and then just as easily detach it and go back inside during a power outage or something with no issues.
The set coming with a pair of 2 identical lights is great as well, giving you a lot of bang for your buck.
The only thing I’m not a fan of is that these are operated by standard AA batteries, which can give out unexpectedly, though as an upside this means these lights don’t need to be charged, so are usable if you forgot to charge your other lights.
Flexible gooseneck is stiffer than others of this kind, keeping the light steady better.
Magnetic base is highly convenient.
Bright light output.
Cheap (great value for a 2 pack of lights).
Very durable and water resistant.
Even good goosenecks are occasionally annoying.
The main downfall of this light is the price. If it was about half the current price it is I could recommend it, but as is it compare sin price to our winner, but comes nowhere near in performance.
Like our winner, it is a handle base clamping model with swivel, though this one only has horizontal swiveling (left to right). The LED lights are arranged in the same way, pointed inward for more focus but sacrificing a little bit of width from the beam.
The light is the same 100 lumens which is great, but the construction is where this falls flat. It’s a less durable plastic construction, though is still completely waterproof, which is nice. It can also withstand temperatures of up to 356 degrees Fahrenheit, so you don’t need to worry about opening the lid and damaging the light with blasts of heat.
As I said it’s an objectively good light…but not as good as other, cheaper models found higher up on this list. I’d rather have any of the other similar models.
Waterproof and heat resistant.
Good 100 lumens light.
Excellent horizontal swiveling.
Less durable plastic construction than others.
Relatively narrow beam.
Price is out of whack with quality.
The construction of this one has some good distinct upsides, but also introduces some glaring downsides.
The flexible elastomer strap fits on pretty much any grill on the market (strapping to the handle), but works best with Broil King grills. The hard points are protected a bit by this bouncier substance, making it relatively impact resistant.
The price is low (though not significantly lower than our winner), but that’s really where my praise ends.
The elastomer strap design means there is no swiveling with this one; neither horizontal nor vertical swiveling is available.
The light therefore only shines straight down, with a fairly small beam (which makes a bit of sense, as many Broil King grills are round rather than tank shaped). The performance is subpar, and the light is relatively dim as well, containing less LEDs that diffuse over a fairly wide area, creating a fuzzy view of what you’re looking at.
The lack of swiveling and low light level are real killers of this product. I could live with a dimmer or narrower light if I had more control over where it shone, but the combination of these two design flaws (cost cutting measures, it seems) make this a light I can’t recommend, especially since it clocks in at only $2 to $3 cheaper than many better models.
Elastomer strap is compatible with almost all grills.
Construction is durable and impact resistant.
Narrow band of light.
No swivel action whatsoever.
If you want a cheap and dirty grill light, this is a perfect choice.
It’s not much to look at, to be sure. It cuts a lot of corners in its construction and in sheer quality terms doesn’t match up to any other light on this list, and certainly comes nowhere near close to our winner, despite its initial appearance.
But it is incredibly inexpensive, so if you’re looking for something that has a good light for a low price, look no further.
The lights themselves are the standout; 10 quite bright LEDs adding up to around 100 lumens. The light head swivels in 2 directions (left and right; no vertical movement) but has a faiurly wide beam of use, about the same as our winner.
The construction is fairly clumsy. It’s all plastic, not especially impact resistant, not at all waterproof, and not heat resistant in the slightest; you need to be careful not to let this get anywhere near an open flame, and ensure your grill’s lid doesn’t get too hot for this light to handle.
I’m not sure I’d ever recommend this light outright, but as something that you could potentially find at the corner store and pick up for your leftover pocket money in a pinch, this is a great light to keep in mind for when your old one breaks or is lost somewhere ad you need a new one right away.
Surprisingly bright and wide lights for the price.
Cheap and flimsy construction.
Not waterproof or heat resistant.
Limited swiveling ability.
This is definitely my least favorite of the gooseneck models.
The min issue is that the gooseneck is short. It comes in at only 11 cm (4 and a third inches), giving it limited flexibility already.
But perhaps counterintuitively, goosenecks get sturdier and stiffer the longer they are for a simple reason: they can be curled back in on each other. Parts of the gooseneck can be braced against the rest, locking the coils in place and letting it rest on itself. This stops it from drooping constantly.
These do not do that, effectively making them useful only for shining in one direction: straight down.
On the bright side (pun intended) the lights themselves are very good, shining a narrow but very bright beam of light. Normally the narrowness is an issue, but this model comes with two lights, which are broad and bright enough to overlap their beams perfectly, providing ample light to see.
The magnetic base sticks to pretty much anything metal, and is great for just slapping on the hood of your grill and turning them on.
Despite my complaints, these lights work very well for what they’re designed for (sitting on your grill’s lid and acting as overhead lamps). The main issue with the shorter, limper neck is that it can’t be as easily used for other things, especially with the small base.
Magnetic base lets it rest anywhere on most grills.
Bright lights are narrow, but perfectly covered by each other.
Price is low, especially for a two pack set.
Gooseneck is short and limp compared to other lights on the list.
This is another great grill light from Zeust, though unfortunately has a few minor problems that bring it down.
Performance wise, this is almost identical to the Grilluminator. It has a similar durable shell, made of nylon glass fiber, which makes it extremely weather resistant and able to weather great shocks with ease.
The light is actually brighter than Grillinator’s offering, coming in at 105 lumens; 5 more than the Grilluminator.
This isn’t an appreciable difference given the distances involved (slight lumen increases like that are only really noticeable at a range), but nice to have.
Unfortunately the slightly increased performance comes with an almost 50% increase in price, which really isn’t worth it. Added onto that, the flexibility is a bit lower, acting more like a spotlight than a flexible lamp. This isn’t a huge problem, but is another minor mark against it.
As-is the slight differences aren’t worth the price bump over our top model.
Bright 105 lumens light output.
Most of these grill lights are quite good, but a few stand out far more than others. Primarily this is our winner, the LED Concepts. It is simply the best in class for its style of grill light.
The other grill light that really stands out to me is the brand Grilluminator light.
The other lights are good, but don’t pop as much as these two, which are the best in class for their respective types. The others are good (especially on a sale), but for sheer quality those two can’t be beat.
How Do I Find the Best Grill Light?
A grill light is made up of about 3 things you need to consider: the light, the clamp (or other securing method), and the shell. These 3 things (and the price, of course) are all you really need to know about grill lights.
What About the Light?
The lights should universally be LED lights. LEDs are energy efficient, bright, and emit a neutral blueish white color that makes it easier to see what you’re grilling at your patio to than the yellower fluorescent bulbs do. You’re looking for a light that puts out around 100 lumens. Anything over that is generally overkill, and small increases in lumens output can equal a big price jump.
Also look for a light with a wide band that can create a beam which clearly covers your whole grill. If you can only see one section at a time, you’re not really getting your money’s worth.
What Kind of Clamp?
“Clamp” is a bit of a catchall here, as not all grill lights use actual clamps.
Quite a lot do though, so I’ll keep using that to refer to any securing method. These methods generally refer to one of two things:
Actual clamps are exactly what they sound like. They clamp down on the part of your grill they’re designed to attach to (usually the handle) by means of a screw. They can usually then swivel from that position to adjust itself to your specific needs.
Magnetic bases are instead powerful magnets which your can slap right onto the shell of your grill somewhere (usually still the lid) and use what are known as “goosenecks” (flexible cables which can be twisted and turned to your needs) to swivel around however you need them.
In either case, the clamp should be secure but easy to remove, or it’ll just be a pain to work with,
And the Shell?
The shell is one of the most important things here. It should be water proof, or at least water resistant, heat resistant, and impact resistant.
A good grill light can be dropped, thumped on the grill, left in the rain, and suffer all sorts of abuse with little protest, and you want one that can stand the test of time.
Let’s Talk Price
The last thing you want to keep in mind is that grill lights are almost universally pretty cheap. They can run anywhere from $10 to $30, and a bigger price does not at all mean better performance. Keep an eye out and avoid models which want to charge as much as $60 for a grill light that is identical to or even objectively inferior to a better light.
Still looking for more grilling accessories, check out this page.