How important is proper BBQ lighting? It’s as important as anything else you can do to ensure that your barbecue experience lives up to expectations. The proper lighting should make the food look delicious and make you and your guests feel at home and excited to eat it, and it should also make the experience fun and create an environment where everyone feels like they’re part of the party. Use these eight tips for better BBQ lighting to get started on the right foot this summer!

Consider your environment


When it comes to lighting your BBQ, there are some very specific considerations you need to make depending on where you’re grilling. Outdoors, it’s all about ambient light. If you’re grilling in your backyard or if there are street lamps nearby, you don’t need additional lighting; however, if you plan on grilling out at night (or early in the morning), setting up floodlights is essential. Of course, you can choose between halogen lights and LED lights—but each will affect flavor differently. Halogen lights create a lot of heat and flavor changes may occur while grilling with LED lights because they aren’t as hot as halogen bulbs. What works best for one person may not work best for another, so finding what fits into your lifestyle is essential!

Consider your food

One of the most important elements of any barbecue is good lighting. The right lighting can help you create a more inviting environment, while bad lighting can make your food look dry and unappetizing. Food is much more appetizing when it’s well-lit. Food is much more appetizing when it’s well-lit. To make sure your BBQ is picture-perfect. Color plays a big role in making your food pop on camera, especially if you’re planning on doing any food photography at home (or want to improve what you’ve already got). In addition to white light, consider how adding red light can improve photos of BBQ ribs and yellow lights can bring out details in pork chops and other browned meats. Don’t be afraid to mix different types of lighting. Metal halide bulbs are great if you have relatively high ceilings.

Stick to solid colors

BBQ lighting

It can be tempting to make your party stand out by lighting it up with every color of the rainbow, but in reality, most BBQ lighting uses one or two solid colors (usually white and/or yellow) in addition to amber to illuminate people’s faces. Anything else tends to look over-the-top and tacky—unless you’re shooting a postcard that says Look at my colorful BBQ party!

Know where to put them

When planning a barbecue, it’s important to account for lighting. The sunsets at different times throughout the year, so you might have to adjust your schedule depending on what time of year it is. In summer, you could start as early as noon and continue until midnight or later. In winter, start around 5 or 6 PM and plan to be done by 9 or 10. It all depends on where you live—and how much daylight there is when you cook. (It can be hard to get that perfectly-smoked brisket right after sunset.

Consider output and range

Are you looking to add more lighting to your grill so you can cook on it long into the night? Do you want a portable grill that travels well and that will allow you to take your BBQ anywhere? There are many things to consider when picking out a BBQ lighting option, and if you’re like most of us, it can be hard deciding what features and benefits matter most. By considering the output and range of these products, you’ll be able to find something that’s perfect for your needs.

Avoid overcomplicating things

When it comes to barbecue lighting, there are a lot of great solutions out there that you can use. Sure, some are fancier than others, but all that really matters is that you have some good light while you’re cooking your delicious barbecue. Simplicity is key, so don’t try to jazz up your life by adding lights that aren’t necessary and avoid overcomplicating things.

Reconsider your light sources

Once you’ve got your charcoal or gas grill ready to go, it’s time to start thinking about lighting. If you’re grilling at night, light is essential so you can see what you’re doing. It’s also important to have sufficient lighting so others can see where they are walking and cooking areas are clearly visible. When choosing lights, look for LED fixtures with sealed lenses that won’t let smoke back into your home.

Create balance between ambient and spot lights

Ambient lights are softer, lighting up a room from all directions. Spotlights are more focused and can be used to light specific areas of your BBQ. When setting up your outdoor BBQ lighting it’s important to strike a balance between ambient and spotlights. Use ambient lighting to create an inviting atmosphere that sets the mood, while spotlighting specific pieces of furniture or areas of your garden that you want to draw attention to. For example, if you have planters filled with colorful flowers on your patio consider using dimmer-style wall lights to accentuate them. Alternatively, if there is a seating area in your garden where guests congregate consider installing hanging spotlights so they can enjoy reading or playing cards without having to use extra electric power.

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