The Best Grill Lights Tested in 2023

These grill lights keep the cookout going after the sun goes down.

By Mark Wolfe and Tony Carrick | Updated Mar 29, 2023 10:00 AM

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The Best Grill Lights Options

Photo: Tony Carrick

Backyard chefs shouldn’t be limited to cooking in daylight. When the sun goes down, get a grill light to keep the good times going. Grill lights are portable task lights that attach to a grill and direct a beam of bright light onto the cooking surface. A grill light can keep grill masters from overcooking a steak when the goal is giving it a nice, crusty sear—a nuance that one could miss if working by the weak illumination of a porch light. A grill light can also help users see what they’re doing to avoid getting burnt, adding not just convenience but safety.

Most grill lights operate on battery power, so there’s no need to fuss with cords or worry about having an outdoor electrical outlet near the grill. Since they attach to the grill, they’re a huge improvement over juggling a flashlight alongside barbecue tongs and a spatula.

Grill lights offer a bright light that shines for hours on a single charge. Some go beyond basics with features like variable brightness settings or a clamp designed to work with a specific grill brand. Before buying a grill light, read on to learn about the best grill light features and check out our selection of high-quality models.

  1. BEST OVERALL: LED Concepts BBQ Grill Light
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Kosin Grill Light With Magnetic Base
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Cuisinart Grilluminate Expanding LED Grill Light
  4. BEST FOR WEBER GRILLS: Weber Grill ’N Go Light
  5. BEST MAGNETIC: Image Magnetic Ultra-Bright Barbecue Grill Light
  6. BEST RECHARGEABLE: Youyoute Multifunctional Portable COB LED Work Light
  7. BEST HANDHELD: Streamlight ProTac 90X Tactical Flashlight
  8. BEST FOR GAS GRILLS: Cave Tools Barbecue Grill Light
The Best Grill Lights Options

Photo: Tony Carrick

How We Tested the Best Grill Lights

In order to assess each of the grill lights in this guide, we put them to the test by using them for cooking at night with a variety of grill types. We evaluated each light based on the following factors:

  • Brightness: Any grill light worth its salt should be bright enough and cast a broad enough swath of light to illuminate the grill’s cooking surface and any food on it. To determine just how effective each light was, we eliminated any residual light by turning off all porch and indoor lights.
  • Installation: We assessed how easy it was to attach and detach each grill light from a grill, whether via a magnetic base or screw-on handle connection.
  • Functionality: While cooking, we evaluated how well the grill light illuminated the cooking surface and food while keeping clear of the action.
  • Versatility: We attempted to install each grill light on a gas grill, charcoal grill, several portable grills, a smoker, and a Kamado grill.
  • Durability: We subjected each grill light to a night in rainy weather and near-freezing conditions. We also conducted a toughness test by dropping each light from waist-high onto a ceramic tile floor several times.

Our Top Picks

This guide showcases recommendations for some of the best grill lights available.

Best Overall

The Best Grill Lights Option: LED Concepts BBQ Grill Light
Photo: amazon.com

What sets the LED Concepts light apart from all the other grill light designs we tested is its versatility and ease of installation. The LED Concepts light has a large metal base with two powerful magnets. Attached to the base is a 22-inch-long flexible gooseneck lamp equipped with nine LED bulbs.

Yes, there are other lights that use a magnetic base to attach to grills, but none have anywhere near the length that the gooseneck on the LED Concepts light boasts. What that length gives the grill master is options. Users can mount the light to the lid, a side table, or other parts of the grill body and still have plenty of length to stretch the light over the grill’s surface. This versatility also means it can be used on virtually any grill. We successfully mounted the LED Concepts light to a kettle charcoal grill, Kamado grill, and various portable grills in addition to our Weber Genesis gas grill.

In addition to the magnets, the LED Concepts light has a clamp built into the base. While we didn’t find the clamp effective for mounting the light to grills, it did allow us to attach the light to our workbench to double as a great work light.

What’s more, unlike the handle-mount lights we tested, the light doesn’t get in the way of grilling. Users can mount it to a side table, the grill body, or the grill lid and still have plenty of clearance to open and close the lid without having to readjust the light.

While we loved the LED Concepts grill light, it does have a few limitations. The grill light doesn’t produce the same brightness as some of the other lights we tested, nor does it offer the best coverage. That said, the light it provided was adequate, and we found it easy to redirect the beam to focus on a particular area of the grill surface. With its ability to work with virtually any grill made of metal, which is pretty much every grill, the LED Concepts is the best all-around grill light option.

Read our full review: LED Concepts BBQ Grill Light Review

Product Specs

  • Type: Magnetic base
  • Lumens: Not available
  • Power source: 3 AAA batteries (not included)

Pros

  • Works with virtually any type of grill
  • Magnetic base makes it easy to attach and detach from the grill
  • Durable and weatherproof stainless steel construction

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer as much brightness or coverage as some grill lights

Get the LED Concepts grill light at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Wayfair.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Grill Lights Option: Kosin Grill Light With Magnetic Base
Photo: amazon.com

Talk about lots of light! The Kosin grill light comes in a pack of two. Each one features LED bulbs that provide a bright, wide beam with three levels of brightness controlled with a single waterproof button. You can set the light brightness to 100 percent or 50 percent, and there’s also a flashlight mode. Its magnetic base mounts easily to the grill hood or frame—no tools needed.

The Kosin’s 4.33-inch gooseneck flexes 360 degrees, so users can point the beam of light exactly where they need it. Each light will run for up to 48 hours and is powered by three included AAA batteries.

We loved the magnetic base design of this light, which makes it far easier to mount and dismount than grill lights that clamp to the grill lid’s handle. And since there are two lights per pack, they combine to cover a lot of cooking surface. The brightness of the light is adjustable, which is nice, but we can’t see ever using it on anything but the 100 percent setting.

Thanks to their water-resistant aluminum-alloy housing, we found the Kosin lights to be durable. They survived our drop test and a night left out in rainy weather.

We did run into problems setting up the lights on our Weber Genesis grill. They are fairly short lights, so we had to attach them to the grill lid to illuminate the grates since attaching them to the grill side tables didn’t provide great coverage. Unfortunately, the position of the lid handle on our Weber made it difficult to find a good attachment spot on the lid as well. While this problem was specific to our grill, we could see it being an issue with other gas grills.

This compatibility issue aside, these sturdy grill lights are easy to install and uninstall and provide ample light for grilling in even near-pitch-dark conditions.

Product Specs

  • Type: Magnetic base
  • Lumens: Not available
  • Power source: 3 AAA batteries (included)

Pros

  • 2 lights provide ample brightness and cooking surface coverage
  • Aluminum-metal construction can handle wet weather and drops
  • Magnetic base makes it easy to attach and detach from the grill

Cons

  • May not work well with some grills depending on the position of the lid handle
  • Short length limits coverage when mounted to grill side tables

Get the Kosin grill light at Amazon.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Grill Lights Option: Cuisinart Grilluminate Expanding LED Grill Light
Photo: amazon.com

No grill light we tested illuminated our grill’s cooking surface like Cuisinart’s Grilluminate. The Grilluminate light is a lid-handle-mounted grill light that attaches via a small clamp. Three separate clusters of three LED lights are connected to the mounting bracket. Grillers can position the three lights close together to form one head or spread them apart for maximum coverage. We loved this design, as it provided the most daytimelike illumination of our gas grill’s 500-plus square inches of cooking surface.

Like other handle-mounted grill lights we tested, the Grilluminate tends to get in the way when closing the lid. That said, the light toggles 90 degrees at its mount connection, making it easy to adjust and move aside.

While we loved this light’s coverage and brightness, its design limits it to gas grills and perhaps a few smokers. Buyers won’t be using this light to illuminate a kettle-style charcoal grill or Kamado grill. That said, for outdoor chefs looking for a light that will best illuminate a gas grill’s cooking surfaces and who don’t mind adjusting it when opening and closing the lid, the Cuisinart is a great option.

Product Specs

  • Type: Lid handle mount
  • Lumens: Not available
  • Power source: 3 AAA batteries (not included)

Pros

  • Allows users to adjust the coverage of the cooking surface
  • Bright lights create daylightlike illumination of cooking grates
  • Tilts upward, creating clearance for the lid

Cons

  • The most expensive grill light we tested
  • Will only work with clamshell-style grills

Get the Cuisinart grill light at Amazon.

Best for Weber Grills

The Best Grill Light Option: Weber Grill ’N Go Light
Photo: amazon.com

The Weber Grill ’N Go light has a low-profile design made to fit Weber’s Spirit, Genesis, and Summit series grills, plus many other grill brands. One of its best features is a motion sensor that turns the light on when the grill hood is opened, preserving battery power by running only when needed. Powered by three AAA batteries, the grill light is bright, weatherproof, easy to install, and heat-resistant.

While the Weber Grill ’N Go light took a bit longer to install than other handle-mounted grill lights we tested, we loved that once it’s attached, it becomes a permanent part of the grill. With its small profile, there’s no need to remove or adjust it to open or close the lid or put on the grill cover.

Once we got the Grill ’N Go attached to our Spirit two-burner gas grill, it worked quite well. Though not as bright as some grill lights we tested, it covered the entire cooking surface with even light. And unlike the others we tested, the Weber light has a much warmer temperature. While we found its warmth easier on the eyes, it may not appeal to some. The Grill ’N Go’s most notable feature is its auto turn on and shutoff. The grill light turns on when the lid opens and turns off automatically when it’s closed. The effect is a grill light that integrates well with the sometimes frantic pace of grilling.

We also like that the Grill ’N Go is smaller enough to fit nicely under the grill cover, which is something we can’t say for most grill lights. For those with a Weber gas grill, the Grill ’N Go is the way to go.

Product Specs

  • Type: Lid handle mount (Weber models only)
  • Lumens: 100
  • Power source: 3 AAA batteries (not included)

Pros

  • Automatically turns on when the lid opens and off when the lid closes
  • Small profile allows it to fit under a grill cover
  • Light provides even courage over the cooking surface

Cons

  • Small mount limits its compatibility to mainly Weber grills

Get the Weber grill light at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

Best Magnetic

The Best Grill Lights Option: Image Magnetic Ultra-Bright Barbecue Grill Light
Photo: amazon.com

Thanks to its strong magnetic base, the Image Magnetic Ultra-Bright barbecue grill light stays put when adjusted. This model comes in a pack of two, so grillers can use them to illuminate a large grill surface.

Each light sits on a 5-inch gooseneck, allowing users to adjust the beam into many positions. The light has two brightness modes, offering flood or spotlighting. The housing is durable aluminum alloy that can withstand high temperatures without cracking or warping. Three AAA batteries power each light for up to 48 hours of runtime. These lights also come with a storage case, so they’re easy to take inside and put away when done cooking.

With their magnetic bases, the lights stick to any metal surface on a grill. While this should make these lights easy to install, we did encounter some issues when attempting to use them on our Weber Genesis gas grill. Since the grill’s handle extends almost the entire lid length, we had difficulty finding a place to stick the light and direct the lamp to the grill surface. And while we eventually found a place they would work, it wasn’t ideal. This was an issue specific to our grill, but we could see this being an issue with other gas grills.

Installation issues aside, we loved the coverage and brightness that the two lights offered and the fact that we could narrow or widen the beam to suit the size of our grill’s cooking surface. These qualities make it an excellent lid-mount magnetic light for most grills.

Product Specs

  • Type: Magnetic base
  • Lumens: Not available
  • Power source: 3 AAA batteries per light (not included)

Pros

  • 2 lights provide excellent coverage and brightness
  • Magnetic base design makes them easy to mount and remove
  • Durable construction resists damage from weather or drops

Cons

  • May not work with certain grill lid handle designs

Get the Image grill light at Amazon.

Best Rechargeable

The Best Grill Light Option: 2Pack COB LED Work Light
Photo: amazon.com

For those seeking a rechargeable light for grilling or workshop use, the Youyoute COB LED multifunctional portable light is a great option.

Thanks to its built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the Youyoute COB LED work light will run for up to 4 hours without fading. The rechargeable light uses chip technology to increase the lumens for bright floodlight illumination that’s more energy efficient than standard LEDs. The light’s head rotates 360 degrees to illuminate the grill surface from virtually any preferred angle. With five light settings, grill masters can also use this light for a variety of tasks around the home.

Even though the Youyoute COB LED work light is an all-purpose work light, it held its own among the grill-specific lights we tested. However, we inexplicably received two different sizes of this light (the product description described two identical lights). While the larger light worked well in our tests, the smaller light was simply too short to serve as a good grill light.

As with other magnetic grill lights, the Youyoute COB LED work light sticks to any steel surface. We had no problem attaching it to our gas grill’s lid or side tables. Once in place, it was easy to rotate the head to adjust the lighting angle to suit both locations. While a single light provided adequate lighting from above when attached to the lid, we needed to use both lights to get decent lighting from the side tables.

We liked that the Youyoute COB LED flashlight is durable and waterproof. And while we appreciated the additional light functions for other uses, they didn’t apply to grilling.

Product Specs

  • Type: Magnetic base
  • Lumens: Not available
  • Power source: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)

Pros

  • Works well as a grill light when attached to grill lid or side table
  • Powerful rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts for a long time and produces bright light
  • All-purpose design means it’s useful for a variety of other applications

Cons

  • Arrived to us with 2 different-size lights in the package

Get the Youyoute grill light at Walmart or Amazon.

Best Handheld

The Best Grill Lights Option: Streamlight ProTac 90X Tactical Flashlight
Photo: amazon.com

This powerful tactical flashlight is a great option for those who prefer to illuminate their grill with a handheld flashlight. With its large lithium-ion battery, the ProTac 90X tactical flashlight puts out an impressive max of 1,000 lumens, which is more than enough to light up even the largest grill surfaces.

In addition to its powerful beam, we loved that its L-shaped design and short 4.39-inch length fit nicely in hand. We had no problems shining it on the grill surface with one hand while operating a spatula or set of tongues with the other. We could even stand the flashlight on a side table to provide lighting, freeing up both hands for other tasks.

In addition to the default high setting, the ProTac 90X has a medium, low, and strobe setting. Grillers can switch settings by pushing the power button rapidly several times—a process we found very challenging to figure out. While cycling through these settings certainly makes the flashlight useful for other applications, simply using the default high setting was adequate for grilling.

The ProTac 90x is a tactical flashlight, so it comes as no surprise that it’s built to take abuse. Its tough metal housing makes it impact-resistant, and it can survive being submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. We also liked the handy belt clip, which kept it at the ready on our waistband.

While we loved the ProTac 90X, given that it costs twice as much as any other grill light we tested, it’s best suited for those who want a flashlight they can use for various tasks in addition to grilling.

Product Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Lumens: 1,000
  • Power source: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)

Pros

  • Capable of brightening large grill surfaces with its 1,000-lumen output
  • Can endure abuse thanks to shock-resistant and waterproof construction
  • Compact size and light weight make it easy to manipulate while wielding grill tools

Cons

  • Costs twice as much as other grill lights
  • Can be difficult to switch between different light modes

Get the Streamlight grill light at Amazon.

Best for Gas Grills

The Best Grill Lights Option: Cave Tools Barbecue Grill Light
Photo: amazon.com

With 10 LED bulbs that bathe a grill surface in a broad swath of light and a mount style that allows users to direct the light on the fly, we found the Cave Tools barbecue light to be an excellent option for gas grills.

The Cave Tools light attaches to the grill lid handle via a universal clamp. From this position, grillers can pivot the light up and down 180 degrees and rotate it 360 degrees, making it easy to direct light to various parts of the cooking surface. With two sets of LED bulbs, however, it illuminated our Weber Genesis’ 500-plus-square-inch grill surface in bright light without the need for adjustment. We had no problem monitoring a group of hot dogs at one end of the grill and three pork chops at the other.

The Cave Tools light was also durable. It showed nary a scratch after we dropped it repeatedly on ceramic patio tiles. It also survived a night of subfreezing temperatures and a day of rain.

Unfortunately, we had the same gripe with the Cave Tools light as with all the lid handle-mount lights we tested. We couldn’t close the grill lid without pivoting the light straight upward to avoid hitting the grill frame. This meant we needed to reposition the light whenever we opened or closed the lid. And, if we didn’t turn off the light before tilting it upward, we’d end up shining those 100 lumens directly into our eyes.

It’s important to note that since the Cave Tools light mounts to a round handle, it’s pretty much limited to gas grills and some smokers. While it worked well on our round-handled Weber Genesis gas grill and Masterbuilt smoker, there was no way to add it to our kettle-style charcoal grill, Kamado grill, or any portable grill in our collection.

Product Specs

  • Type: Lid handle mount
  • Lumens: 100
  • Power source: 3 AA batteries (not included)

Pros

  • Produces bright light that covers a broad grill surface
  • Rotates 360 degrees and pivots 180 degrees on the fly
  • Durable shock-resistant and water-resistant plastic housing

Cons

  • Must pivot light straight up in order to close the grill lid

Get the Cave Tools grill light at Amazon.

Jump to Our Top Picks



What to Consider When Buying a Grill Light

There are lots of options to consider when picking the best grill light, but the most important factor is its brightness. Other considerations are how the grill light is powered, its cost, and how it attaches to a grill.

The Best Grill Lights Options

Photo: Tony Carrick

Lumens vs. Watts

Lumens measure a light bulb’s brightness. More lumens means it gives off a brighter light, and fewer lumens means it’s dimmer. Most grill lights produce 50 to 120 lumens.

Wattage, on the other hand, measures the amount of electricity the bulb uses per hour. Higher wattage does not necessarily equal a brighter light. For instance, a 6.5-watt LED bulb produces the same number of lumens as a 50-watt halogen bulb.

For this reason, measure a grill light’s brightness by its lumens. Measure its efficiency and energy use by determining how many lumens it produces per watt. The higher the number of lumens the bulb produces per watt, the longer it will run on a charge and the less it will cost to operate the light.

Light Color

The color of light produced by bulbs ranges from cool white to warm yellow. That light color is measured on a Kelvin scale ranging from 2,000 to 8,000 Kelvins (indicated by a K after the rating number). Bulbs with lower numbers on the Kelvin scale have yellow-toned light, while bulbs with higher numbers on the Kelvin are cool white or blue.

Generally, cooler light makes objects appear brighter, so it’s the best choice for task lighting. Grill lights in the 3,500K to 4,000K range emit a clean, focused, white-hued light that most clearly shows the color of the cooking food.

Some grill lights feature changeable hues like red, blue, or green. These options are for creating a mood, not precisely lighting a work space. Colorful lights won’t help grillers see the difference between a medium rib eye and one done medium well.

Bulb Type

Most grill lights use LED bulbs, with a light typically having three to seven bulbs per fixture. LEDs use little power while producing bright white light. They also last a long time on a charge, with some LED bulbs rated for up to 10 hours of use.

Adjustability

It’s important to look for an adjustable light to direct precisely where it’s needed. Some grill lights provide a flood-type beam that illuminates the entire cooking surface. These lights can be adjusted by tilting them up or down to center the beam.

Other grill lights have a gooseneck that allows grillers to point the light from various angles. These super-adjustable lights work well with deep grills.

Attachment Methods

There are two basic ways to attach a grill light: magnets and clamps.

  • Magnetic lights attach the light to the grill via a magnetized base. They’re easy to use and work well as long as the grill isn’t made of aluminum or any other nonferrous metal and there’s a flat surface for attaching it. It’s a good idea to test the grill to see how magnetic its surface is before buying a magnetic light. Magnets do not stick to some stainless steel grills.
  • Clamp-on lights attach to the grill with a screw-tight clamp. They’re usually padded so they won’t scratch the grill.

Some grill lights have both magnets and clamps, making them functional with a wider variety of grills.

Power Supply

While some grill lights plug into an outlet, most use AA or AAA batteries. Battery-powered lights are more portable, and many can use rechargeable batteries. Some feature fixed battery packs that are rechargeable via a USB port.

Rechargeable batteries use either lithium-ion or nickel metal hydride (NiMH) technology. NiMH is less expensive but produces less power, and output tends to fade as the charge drains. Lithium-ion batteries provide full power until they are drained, and they hold their charge longer. A grill light that runs on lithium-ion batteries will give brighter light and have a longer battery life.

Budget

Grill lights won’t break the bank. The best grill lights cost less than $50, and good ones cost less than $20. Good-quality LED technology is available at different price points, so light brightness is not sacrificed by going with the value option. Higher-end models offer more bells and whistles, like more bulbs inside the light, variable brightness settings, or different color settings.

FAQs

After choosing a new grill light, you may still have questions. Read on for answers to some of the most frequently asked grill light questions.

Q. Do aluminum grill lights get hot?

Grill lights attached to the handle or hood of a grill get hot. Adjust them for proper focus before turning on the grill, not after, to avoid injury.

Q. Should you get AA- or AAA-battery-powered grill lights?

AA batteries provide the same voltage and more current than AAA batteries. That means AA batteries have about three times the capacity of AAA batteries, so a light powered by AA batteries lasts longer and gives brighter light than one powered by AAA batteries.

Q. When should you use a grill light?

Use a grill light to illuminate the grill’s cooking surface whenever the ambient light is insufficient.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series, including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Meet the Tester

Tony Carrick is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, landscaping, technology, home security, and design. His articles have been featured on such sites as Angi, Popular Science, Futurism, 360 Reviews by U.S. News & World Report, Domino, and more. Tony has conducted rigorous product testing on everything from power tools to home security systems to backyard grills. With each review, his goal is to help readers determine whether a product meets their needs and if it is or isn’t worth its price tag.

Additional research was provided by Mark Wolfe.