When the sun sets, barbecuing can become a challenge, especially if you don’t have any lights installed around your grilling area. I tried using my smartphone as a flashlight, but only having one hand to grill was tough. I decided it was time to get a grill light, but I wasn’t sure which light would work best for me.
So, I did some research and selected five of the top-rated grill lights to see which could best illuminate my grill for after-dark barbecuing. From versatile magnetic models to durable LED lights, here are my tried and tested picks for the best grill lights.
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Top Grill Lights Reviews
After rounding up the most popular grilling lights and using them extensively, these are my findings and thoughts on them. To be honest, none of them blew me away. One stood out as being slightly better than the others, though I still don’t like aspects of it.
TLDR? The Cave Tools Barbecue Grill Light has a brighter light compared to the rest of the BBQ lights, and it lit up my entire grill while using it. It feels secure on the grill and can be mounted in various places.
Top Choice: Cave Tools Barbecue Grill Light
The Cave Tools Barbecue Grill Light is a high-performing backyard BBQ light that improved my evening grilling sessions. It’s easy to set up and made from aluminum to ensure longevity and weather resistance.
These are the notable attributes I like:
- Mount fits seamlessly and can be tightened for a better grip
- Brightest LED light among the products I reviewed
- Light coverage spans my entire grill surface
- Comes with a screwdriver for the batteries
- Can rotate the grill light in any direction for better coverage
When I received my package, I was pleasantly surprised it had a tiny screwdriver included. This made it easier to insert the 3 AA batteries (not included), though they were still a bit difficult to install.
The build quality on this isn’t great – it feels a little cheap, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it breaks if I accidentally drop it.
It uses a twisting mounting bracket, making it easy to attach it to different parts of the grill. I’ve been mounting it on the grill handle, and it’s worked fine there. However, based on the design, I need to readjust the mount when I want to shut the burner gas grill. So, opening and closing the grill is a pain.
It’s the best at lighting up my grill and helping me see every piece of steak or chicken without squinting. Since the light covers the whole grill, I don’t have to readjust it much as I cook to see specific areas of the BBQ and it’s the brightest of all the lights I tested.
The Cave Tools brand put a lot of thought and resources into the brightness level of this product. So far, this is the best feature and why I like this one more than other grilling lights.
- Ten individually bright LED bulbs make my grill station fairly bright
- Casts a wide net of light over the whole grill
- Water, heat, and dust resistant
- Batteries are hard to install
- Need to adjust the grill light every time I open and close the BBQ lid, which is inconvenient
- On/off switch is a very sensitive touch button - any slight motion can trigger it to turn on and off
Runner Up: Cuisinart CGL-555 Mount Grill Light
The Cuisinart CGL-555 Mount Grill Light is a solid BBQ light you can use on and off the grill. The bulbs are bright enough to help you see your meat clearly and perfectly cook it.
If you’re big on convenience, user-friendliness, and durability, I suggest giving this product a shot.
Some notable highlights include:
- Durable and likely won’t easily break if dropped
- Light is expansive enough to cover the grill surface
- User-friendly design is efficient and easy to operate
- Compact and simple to assemble
I particularly liked the Cuisinart Mount light. After unboxing it, I was impressed as I examined the build quality. It’s not going to win any awards with how it looks, but it feels durable, and you don’t need to be tech-savvy to know how to use it.
Like the Cave Tools light, this one was also hard to install the batteries due to needing a very small screwdriver to open the battery compartment. Unlike the Cave Tools light, the screwdriver wasn’t included in the package.
On the upside, attaching the heat-resistant strap to my grill handle was easy. It’s sturdy enough to withstand being accidentally forgotten in the rain or dust. You could easily use this light for years before considering a replacement.
In terms of lighting, it allowed me to see the items on the grill without squinting. Although I wish it were brighter, it was just enough to cover my grill’s surface.
This Cuisinart light stands out because it uses COB technology (for extra brightness) and fits on most grill handles. It is compact, lightweight, and fairly resistant to wear and tear.
- Uses COB LED technology, which creates an even lighting that spans the whole grill surface
- Water (IPX3), dust, and heat resistant
- Six notches for adjustability to diverse grill handle types
- Power button is easy to press
- Batteries are hard to install, and you need a very small screwdriver to open the battery compartment
- Can’t turn the light from side to side
Most Versatile: Permasteel PA-12002-AM Flexible Gooseneck LED Light
Introducing the most versatile barbecue light I got my hands on: The Permasteel PA-12002-AM Flexible Gooseneck LED Grill Light. It comes to mind when I think about portable, easy-to-install, and well built grill lights. It’s sold in a set of two, so you can install each one wherever needed.
The standout features include:
- Dual lighting system – each light has 9 LED lights and casts a spotlight effect
- Compact and lightweight, which is great when storing them or taking them on a trip where you might be grilling
- Magnetized mount that adheres well and maintains a firm grip while grilling
- Removing or repositioning the grill lights is straightforward
My experience with the Permasteel light has been good for the most part. For starters, the build quality, design, and ease of use are better than most of the other grill lights I tested. Given that this is the most expensive light, I’d expect that the features reflect this.
Each light has a flexible gooseneck that is 4.3 inches long, which I found to be slightly shorter than I hoped.
For example, when I mounted the lights to the grill lid, they needed to reach over the grill handle. In doing this, they weren’t quite long enough for an optimum angle to see into the back of the BBQ. In comparison, the 72-3101 Chef Buddy light has a gooseneck that is 15 inches long.
The batteries were easy to insert, and you can open the battery compartment without a screwdriver. Although I had to get 6 AAA batteries for the two lights, I had no issues installing them.
Attaching the lights to my grill with the strong magnets was a piece of cake, and they felt secure.
That being said, I was slightly disappointed when I grilled with these BBQ lights for the first time. Despite using the two simultaneously, they weren’t bright enough to fully illuminate my grill. The bulbs are too focused and produce a spotlight effect.
This meant that anytime I wanted to grill more than a couple of pieces of meat at once, I needed to reposition the lights so I could see what I was doing.
The Permasteel brand split the light source into two pieces for user customization, which is great. You can set them at different grill parts to generate light from multiple directions.
- Convenient and user-friendly
- Can bend or rotate the flexible neck in any direction
- Strong magnet that allows versatile and customizable use
- Lights are portable and easy to store
- Can’t be used if your grill or smoker isn’t metal
- 4.3 inch neck isn’t always efficient - this limitation makes it harder to supply light to some parts of the smoker
- Lighting isn’t bright enough for a big grill station
- Most expensive grill light I reviewed
Best Budget: 72-3101 Chef Buddy Adjustable LED Grill Light
Of the top five grill lights, the 72-3101 Chef Buddy Adjustable LED Grill Light is the most budget friendly. While it is the lowest priced light, it’s also my least favorite of the bunch.
Before getting into why I prefer others, here are some highlights:
- Battery compartment opens easily
- Has a long gooseneck that rotates and pivots in every direction
- Two ways to set up the light on your smoker
When taking it out of the box, I thought this grill light had the potential to be awesome. The long 15 inch gooseneck, dual lights, and multiple attachment options were all features I was looking for.
However, when it was time to use it, the quality of the light didn’t measure up – I kept squinting and adjusting the grill light because it wasn’t very bright.
It’s too directional and has a spotlight effect instead of a broad beam. The best way to use this device is by moving it close to your food. Even then, it’d only be effective when you focus on a piece of meat at a time.
The grill light has a somewhat tricky mount, even though there are two ways to mount it. You can clamp it directly onto your grill, but it can’t fit on round handles. I wouldn’t recommend attaching it to the lid either, since the plastic device could melt.
If you don’t want to (or can’t) clamp it, there’s also a magnet on the base of the clamp. With this though, the magnet is not very powerful and the light could fall pretty easily, depending on where you try to attach it.
The primary selling point of the Chef Buddy LED light is its dual-mount feature. While it seems the brand aimed for broader compatibility, it still needs some refinement.
- Two rotating light heads and a flexible neck
- Gooseneck is 15 inches long, so you can turn and use it as required
- Most affordable grill light I tested
- Flimsy and feels like it’s going to break
- Neither mounting method is great
- Lighting is not bright and too directional
Best Compact: Weber Handle Grill ‘N Go Light
The final option on my list is the Weber Handle Grill ‘N Go Light. It’s portable (4.4 inches long), pretty bright, and easy to travel with.
Here are some of the features that stand out to me:
- Designed to slide across the grill handle to make it easy to reposition
- Has two parts – a mount and the flashlight head
- Comes with batteries, unlike the other four grill lights
Before I dive in, it’s important to note that this light is designed specifically for Weber grills. If you’re using another grill brand, this light might not mount properly to it.
First off, the Weber feels well-built. It’s durable, and I like how compact it is. Seeing that it needs 3 AAA batteries, I thought it was a nice touch that those were included.
The brightness of the light is okay. The light is a natural color and spreads evenly across my grill. I wish it were brighter like the Cave Tools, but it was just bright enough to see everything on the grill.
When it came time to attach it to the grill, I found it involved a two-part setup. First, I had to install the clamp on the grill handle. Once that was securely fastened, the light could be installed.
I didn’t love that each piece had to be installed separately, especially when it came time to detach the light. Removing the light was extremely difficult and took me 10 minutes. I’m pretty handy and know how to use tools, and this was a challenge.
The functionality of getting the Weber on and off the grill is tough and a pretty big negative for me.
This was the second most expensive light I tested, so I expected more from Weber.
If the clamp and disconnect features were designed better, this would have been a notable feature on the Weber light. Unfortunately, it’s not very functional with its current design.
- Very portable and compact
- Light is a natural color that covers the surface of your BBQ
- Can move the light around once installed on the handle
- Very difficult and time consuming to remove the light from the grill mount
- Could be brighter
- Compatibility limited to only Weber grills (and possibly select others)
Product Selection and Evaluation
I know how important brightness is for evening BBQ sessions. At the same time, I’m big on value for money, quality, features, performance, and user feedback when choosing what to buy.
The top five grill lights I’ve been talking about made it to my list because they meet these requirements or at least rank high in some way.
As a quick recap, here are the top grill lights I reviewed:
- Cave Tools Barbecue Grill Light was my top choice because it’s the brightest and has great coverage
- Cuisinart CGL-555 Mount Grill Light is easy to install and spreads light generously across the smoker
- Permasteel PA-12002-AM Flexible Gooseneck LED Light is designed with versatility and customizability in mind
- 72-3101 Chef Buddy Adjustable LED Barbeque Grill Light has the easiest battery installation process and a long gooseneck
- Weber Handle Grill ‘N Go Light has a bright natural light and is compact
I’ve thoroughly tested and reviewed each BBQ light’s features, specifications, benefits, and drawbacks. My review process includes rigorous testing to evaluate each product’s performance, quality, and durability to discover the unique features that set each product apart.
Let’s explore the strengths and weaknesses of the bestselling grill lights by comparing them.
After using all five grill lights at night, I’ve rated them all on how bright they are and how much of the grill they light up.
- Cave Tools: Brightest device and the light fully spans the entire grill
- Cuisinart CGL-555: Third brightest, just slightly dimmer than the Weber light. Casts a wide net of light over the entire grill
- Permasteel PA-12002-AM: Fourth brightest, but much dimmer than the top three. Lighting is very directional and it’s hard to see much on the grill at once
- 72-3101 Chef Buddy: Dimmest light on the list, and also has directional lighting. Wouldn’t recommend this one based on how poor the lighting is
- Weber Handle Grill ‘N Go: Second brightest on my list, and has a nice natural colored light that spreads evenly over the grill
Design and Functionality
While brightness is a significant factor for whether or not you choose a grill light, the overall design and functionality also matter if you use it a lot.
- Cave Tools: Nice design but could be built better. It’s easy to assemble and fits on different grill handles
- Cuisinart CGL-555: Durable design, compact, and simple to install and detach. Made with weather resistant material
- Permasteel PA-12002-AM: Best quality, well built, and simple to set up
- 72-3101 Chef Buddy: Worst quality, fragile design, and hard to mount
- Weber Handle Grill ‘N Go: Compact and easy to carry, but very difficult to remove from the grill based on the multi-piece design
Price and Value for Money
I based my value assessment on each product’s features and benefits.
- Cave Tools: Attractive price point, especially considering this is the brightest light and most functional one reviewed
- Cuisinart CGL-555: Great value for the overall quality and decent brightness
- Permasteel PA-12002-AM: Most expensive option, though it includes two lights and has the best build quality
- 72-3101 Chef Buddy: Cheapest option, though it’s not very functional or effective
- Weber Handle Grill ‘N Go: High price point for how hard it is to attach, though it has the second best brightness
Ease of Use
I evaluated how easy it was to use each device, and here’s what I think of each.
- Cave Tools: Very easy to operate, though the power button is a little too sensitive
- Cuisinart CGL-555: Straight forward installation and removal, with little to no complications while setting up and grilling
- Permasteel PA-12002-AM: Effective magnetic base that’s very strong
- 72-3101 Chef Buddy: Hard to find a good place to mount on the grill, even though there is a clamp and magnet
- Weber Handle Grill ‘N Go: Very hard to detach the light from the mount
Which Is The Best?
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each of these grill lights. I wish they were all brighter, even my favorite one.
Based on reviewing these five, the Cave Tools light is the best option because it’s the brightest, has excellent coverage, and is easy to assemble. It has essential features like heat and water resistance, complete rotation, and compatibility with diverse grill conditions.
The Cuisinart CGL-555 Mount Grill Light is the next best option. It has an adjustable strap that’s also heat-resistant and versatile. This light is easy to mount on the BBQ and has a wide cast in terms of lighting.
Even though the Chef Buddy Adjustable Light is the cheapest, I recommend going with Cave Tools if you’re on a budget. You get a brighter and more functional tool for a slight price increase.
All the grill lights I reviewed had various features and benefits that made them unique. When picking a light that’s best for you, consider how often you’ll be using it, the overall size of your grill, and where you’d position it on your grill to help you select the best device.