10 Best Outdoor BBQ Lighting Ideas

Tara Williams

Food Writer & Editor For KitchenSanity

Tara Williams is a seasoned food writer and editor who's been with KitchenSanity since its beginning. With a knack for experimenting with food and creating delicious recipes, she's your go-to for straightforward kitchen advice and practical tips from personal experiences. As a mom of two, Tara understands the value of time. She crafts articles that enhance your cooking skills and free up time for what matters most—like family moments.

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I love summertime! The sizzle of the grill, the laughter of friends and family, and the aroma of delicious food filling the air.

But as the sun dips below the horizon, you’re left in the dark without proper lighting, squinting to see if those burgers are done just right.

I’ve been down that dimly lit path and gathered some of the best BBQ lighting ideas to brighten your outdoor space.

String Lights

These lights, often called fairy lights or bistro lights, transform any space into something straight out of a dreamy outdoor magazine.

One of the best things about string lights is their adaptability. You can drape them in a zigzag pattern overhead, wrap them around tree trunks, or even line the fence with them.

They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. From vintage Edison bulbs that give off a warm, golden hue to colorful LED bulbs that can change colors with a remote, there’s a style for every BBQ theme you can think of.

While many string lights need to be plugged in, battery-operated and solar-powered options are also available. This means you can light up even the most remote corner of your yard without worrying about extension cords.

Over the years, I’ve seen some creative folks add their spin to string lights. Some hang little lanterns or origami creations from them, while others intertwine them with garlands or flowers. It’s a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your BBQ setting.

Solar Lanterns

The beauty of solar lanterns lies in their ability to be placed and almost forgotten about. Just plant them and leave them.

During the day, the solar lights use sunlight to store energy, and as dusk approaches, they come to life, illuminating your entertaining space without consuming any electricity.

Solar lanterns come in a variety of designs and sizes. Whether you’re a fan of vintage lanterns with intricate patterns that cast mesmerizing shadows or modern, sleek designs that add a contemporary touch, there’s something for every taste.

The best part? No cords! This means you can place them anywhere in your garden, be it on tables, hanging from trees, or even lining a pathway. Their portability allows you to get creative with your BBQ setup.

They’re pretty low maintenance. Just ensure they’re positioned in a spot where they receive ample sunlight during the day. Occasionally, you might need to clean the solar panels to ensure they charge efficiently.

I’ve had countless BBQs where the solar lanterns set the mood. Their gentle, flickering light creates a cozy and enchanting ambiance, making your guests feel right at home.

LED Grill Lights

LED lights are known for their brightness and are energy efficient. They provide clear, focused task lighting, ensuring you can see every detail of what you’re cooking, from the grill marks on your burgers to the char on your veggies.

While they’re called grill lights, they don’t necessarily attach directly to the grill.

Instead, you can clamp them onto nearby tables, grill carts, or even umbrella stands. Some models come with magnetic bases, allowing you to stick them to any metal surface nearby.

Most LED grill lights are battery-operated and tend to have a pretty impressive battery life. This means you won’t find yourself constantly changing out batteries in the middle of your get-together.

Given that they’re designed for outdoor use, many of these lights are weather-resistant. Grilling in the rain or shine, they’ll have your back, ensuring your BBQ game remains strong.

But it’s not just about seeing your food. It’s also about ensuring everything is safe around the grill.

Tiki Torches

Tiki torches instantly add a touch of the tropics to any setting. Their flickering flames dance in the evening breeze, creating a laid-back, island-like atmosphere that’s perfect for a BBQ.

One of the added bonuses of tiki torches is their ability to keep those pesky bugs at bay. Fill them with citronella oil, and you’ve got yourself a natural mosquito repellent.

While citronella oil is popular, you can also use paraffin oil or bio-ethanol. Each fuel type has its benefits, from longer burn times to pleasant aromas. Choose what works best for your BBQ setting.

Tiki torches come in various materials, from bamboo and wood for a more rustic look to metal and glass for a modern touch. Depending on your outdoor decor, you can pick a style that complements your space.

It’s essential to ensure your tiki torches are securely planted in the ground and kept away from flammable materials.

Battery-Powered Table Lamps

The beauty of battery-powered table lamps is that you can place them wherever you like, be it on the main dining table, side tables, or even on the ground to light up a pathway.

From rustic lantern styles to sleek modern designs, there’s a battery-powered table lamp to suit every theme. Some even come with adjustable brightness settings, allowing you to set the perfect mood with ambient lighting.

Many of these lamps are designed with outdoor use in mind. They’re often made of durable materials and are resistant to light rain or splashes, ensuring they stand up to the elements.

One of the things I love about these lamps is their simplicity. There’s no fiddling with cords or looking for outlets. Just switch them on, and you’re good to go.

Plus, when the night’s over, you can easily store them away for the next BBQ.

Umbrella Lights

Umbrella lights fit snugly around your umbrella’s pole or attach to the underside, casting a downward light that’s ideal for illuminating the table below.

Many umbrella lights come with the convenience of being battery-operated, meaning no messy cords. Some even have solar panels on top of the umbrella, charging during the day and lighting up at night.

From LED string lights that drape down the umbrella’s spokes to disc-shaped designs that provide a uniform glow, there’s a style for every preference. Some even come with color-changing options, letting you set the mood just right.

Most umbrella lights are a breeze to install. They often come with clips or fastenings that easily attach to the umbrella, making setup a cinch.

And when the BBQ’s over, you can leave them in place for next time or remove them for storage.

Given they’re outdoors, many umbrella lights are designed to withstand the elements. They’ll keep shining bright, whether it’s a light drizzle or heavy dew. Just remember to check the weather rating before purchasing.

Glow-in-the-Dark Furniture

What’s fantastic about this furniture is that its rechargeable batteries will last all night!

The market offers a range of glow-in-the-dark furniture options. Whether you’re looking for stools, chairs, tables, or even planters, there’s something to suit every style and preference. Some pieces even come in different colors, letting you mix and match for a vibrant setup.

Most of these furniture pieces are designed for outdoor use, meaning they’re built to withstand the elements. Rain, sun, or wind, they’ll keep glowing strong.

Apart from being a fun decor element, glow-in-the-dark furniture also adds an element of safety. It can light up pathways or highlight obstacles, ensuring your guests can move around easily without any mishaps.

One thing’s for sure. This furniture is bound to get your guests talking. It’s not every day you see a glowing table or chair.

Rope Lights

The beauty of rope lights is their flexibility. You can wrap them around tree trunks, line garden edges, or even create shapes and designs on walls.

Rope lights come in a spectrum of colors, from warm white lights to vibrant hues. Some even offer color-changing features, allowing you to switch up the ambiance as the night progresses.

Whether you need a short segment to highlight a specific area or a long stretch to drape across your entire yard, there’s a rope light for that.

Most rope lights come with mounting clips or ties, making it a breeze to set them up. And since they’re often weather-resistant, you can leave them out for extended periods, ready for your next BBQ.

While many rope lights are plug-in, there are also battery-operated and solar-powered versions. This versatility means you can light up even the most remote corners of your yard without fussing over power sources.

Mason Jar Lanterns

One of the joys of mason jar lanterns is creating them yourself. You can fill them with fairy lights, tea candles, or even colored sand with a candle on top.

I added some dried lavender to a jar with a candle, and the gentle heat released a subtle, calming aroma throughout the evening.

You can place them directly on tables, steps, or pathways to guide your guests. If you’re concerned about open flames, especially in areas with kids or pets, opt for battery-operated fairy lights or LED candles. They offer the same warm glow without the fire risk.

Mason jars come in various sizes, from tiny jars perfect for tea lights to larger ones that can hold pillar candles. You can also decorate the outside with paint, lace, or ribbons to match your BBQ theme.

They’re a great idea that shows that beautiful outdoor lighting doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.


The primary advantage of spotlights is their ability to provide intense, directed light. Whether you want to highlight the grill, a beautiful plant, or a water feature, spotlights let you draw attention to specific areas.

Spotlights can be staked into the ground, casting an upward glow, or mounted on walls and trees for a downward or angled beam. The choice depends on what you’re aiming to illuminate and the effect you’re going for.

Many modern spotlights for backyards use LED bulbs, which are both energy-efficient and long-lasting. This means you can keep the party going without worrying about the lights dimming or energy consumption.

Beyond the BBQ, spotlights also enhance safety and security in your yard. By illuminating pathways, steps, or uneven terrain, they help prevent trips and falls. Plus, a well-lit yard can deter potential intruders.

Written By Tara Williams

Tara Williams is a seasoned food writer and editor who's been with KitchenSanity since its beginning. With a knack for experimenting with food and creating delicious recipes, she's your go-to for straightforward kitchen advice and practical tips from personal experiences. As a mom of two, Tara understands the value of time. She crafts articles that enhance your cooking skills and free up time for what matters most—like family moments.

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