BBQ Lighting

Who doesn’t love the smell and flavors provided by a BBQ?  This is the time of the year when more and more people spend a beautiful afternoon or evening outside.  These are the times when family and friends relax to the kind of meal that everyone remembers.

Many view BBQing as a family tradition…it’s a positive experience or at least, it should be.  One can vividly recall the memory of smell and taste.  Maybe it was the tantalizing smell of hickory or mesquite lingering from the smoked ribs.  Or, maybe it’s that funny or scary moment when dad had a roaring fire that was burning the chicken!  Either way, these moments make for wonderful family memories.


Regardless, there is something about the BBQ that lures people to gather around it.  For men, it’s the element of “fire” and how it’s something instinctual…..making them ‘hunter-providers’.  It must be that “caveman” experience.

And for women, it’s all about the warmth of food and being with family.  The BBQ seems to promote love in many ways.  So, with that said, let’s get to cooking!

Testimonial Story

It was several years ago when one of our customers had contacted us specifically about what we could do to help her with some of the problems they were having, as it was associated with their BBQing area.  NiteLiters, Inc. was enthusiastic to find a creative solution with this opportunity.  Here is the story:


“Gary, I wanted to take a moment to pass along how grateful we are about the work that NiteLiters did for me.  My husband (John) was thrilled.  We used it shortly after it was installed.

As you may recall, John was having such difficulty seeing what he was cooking.  We mostly use the BBQ after dark and this was very frustrating to him.  Since your team had installed the lighting at our patio and specifically on the BBQ it has made a world of difference.  No longer do I see the stress on his face as he cooks—this is such a wonderful gift—thank you!!

John’s confidence in cooking is back!  He used to either under-cook or over-cook the meats without consistency, which was very upsetting to him. It’s amazing that having the proper lighting can make such a difference.  If not for you taking the time to explain why and where to put lights, we would still be dealing with these frustrations.  If you recall, we used to use the back porch light to try to light up the grill.  You showed us how the BBQ lid would block the light causing shadows to be cast where we were cooking—it was terrible.

We are thrilled with the work you did.  Thank you so much.”

            John & Mary Lou, Owensboro, KY

Key Points in BBQ Lighting

In order to master the BBQ one must ensure the following:  1) Temperature control, 2) Cook time, 3) Food preparation, 4) Equipment & tools, and 5) Proper lighting.  Our focus in this article will be on the lighting component.

???????????????????????????????????????BBQing is a “task-oriented” activity and it needs direct and properly aimed light.  If the cook cannot effectively see what is being prepared/cooked, then this is a problem.  Typically, this activity occurs towards the evening hours (for dinner), and many times it’s in the dark.  If this is the case, then why hinder yourself with inadequate lighting?  It serves no good to waste time, energy and money in performing this task, if you cannot have a good chance to be successful.  Therefore, your goals are:

  • To work efficiently (proper tools & equipment & lighting)
  • To gain a return on your investment (food & time)
  • ease of use in this task (comfort)

The bottom line is this, and it applies to this setting:

“Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll keep getting what you’re getting!”

NiteLiters, Inc. is confident about our ability to solve problems and in finding solutions.  In this case, it’s finding how best to apply light to the task at hand—the BBQ station.  There are four (4) ways to effectively illuminate the grilling area or BBQ station:

  1. A fixed, overhead light fixture
  2. A fixed, internal, built-in light source within the BBQ lid/cover
  3. A fixed, surface-mount/counter top, flexible arm light fixture
  4. A non-fixed, moveable, clip-on style light fixture

Details & Tips

Let’s take a moment to look at the above testimonial.  It’s an example of a common problem, as it applies to inadequate lighting.  A fact commonly unknown is that most BBQ stations have ineffective and poor lighting.  Most home builders and electricians only plan for a single light source outside of the back door of the home—that’s usually all that the building code requires.  So, unless you are building a custom home and specifically plan for this type of task lighting, then you are out of luck.  You’re only left with a glary light source on the back wall—that’s it!

“NiteLiters, Inc. has the expertise and professional experience to properly locate light fixtures to address task-oriented activities.”

Tip #1:  The best way to apply light to the BBQ station is from above and to the side of the cook/operator.

Note:  One must always remember the many grills/BBQ’s have attached lids that open 90 degrees off of the horizontal plane, which means this will most likely block any light source to this backside of the grill.  The cook will always be in a “shadowed” condition in this scenario.

Tip #2:  A directed light source positioned further from the BBQ unit will provide a better spread of light for the majority of the cooking station.  This is the benefit of utilizing a light fixture mounted up in a patio overhead structure or a tree.  Most of the surface mount or lid mounted lighting units only apply enough light to a small limited area and the rest of the cooking or preparation areas are left in the dark.


It is very important to us to assure you of our company’s commitment–to provide excellence in products and services, to be dependable, and to put your needs first.  Our true measure to success is provided by making you (our customer) happy.

The only way we can ensure this is by solving or eliminating your problems, concerns and fears.  It’s just that simple.  Once you acquire our services, then you become part of our “family”.  We will always be there for you and for the long haul.  This is our promise to every customer.

We have been in business for almost two decades and there is a reason for this—we care.  Our services and abilities are unparalleled.  We lead by example….which means we talk the talk and walk the walk.  We build trustworthy relationships that promote peace of mind.


Call NiteLiters, Inc. now!

There is no better time to enhance your living environment—we would love the opportunity to meet with you and to explore ideas.  One of our team specialists will eagerly set a date and time that best applies to your needs—please contact us at:

NiteLiters, Inc.

(270) 685-7070        Kentucky

(615) 674-9950          Tennessee

(812) 431-7250      Indiana

We serve most any outdoor lighting need within a 200-mile radius of Owensboro, KY, for both residential and commercial properties. This includes the beautiful state of Kentucky, southern Illinois and Indiana, and northern Tennessee.  We are a nationally recognized, award-winning company that is licensed, insured, and certified.

Published by

Mark Carlson

Exclusively serving the landscape lighting design profession since 1999, artistically as a designer-builder. My firm, Avalon Lighting Design is located in the Sacramento region of N. California. Avalon is a multi-award winning company that has performed nationally and internationally. My role is primarily that of an artist of landscape lighting design. Additional roles include consulting, specification writing, blogger/subject writer, and trade expert.

2 thoughts on “BBQ Lighting”

  1. As a designer, we are not only concerned about where the light is, what the beam spread is, but about the color temperature (Kelvin level) of the light as well. Without a proper Kelvin temperature it will not show the doneness of the meat in a true color to determine if it rare, medium or well done. This is one small area where a good company will shine and be worth your investment in them.

    1. Great point David, many would not consider this aspect. This just shows the deeper level of commitment you and NiteLiters have….it’s more than a production, it’s a passion.

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