An outdoor kitchen is a fantastic addition to any home. It turns any backyard into a gathering place for friends, family, and neighbors and brings character to your evening.
However, all the cooking and entertainment stops with the sunset. Cooking outside suddenly becomes less fun when you have to wield a spatula in one hand and a flashlight in the other. No one wants to sit in the dark while eating and talking, either. This is when homeowners start looking into outdoor kitchen lighting ideas.
With proper lighting in your outdoor kitchen, food preparation and hanging out in your outdoor living space becomes much more fun.
Start With A Plan
Before you start buying lights and putting them everywhere, it’s a good idea to think about how you plan on using your outdoor space. The mood you want to set determines the type and amount of lighting you should install.
For pool and dinner parties, you need variable lighting. You need dim, soothing lights for an intimate and romantic backyard getaway. For game nights and extravagant banquets, you want bright lights and ceiling fans to keep bugs and circulate air.
No matter what lighting you need, it’s a good idea to seek out the help of a qualified technician to hang even one lighting fixture. Electrical work is hazardous, and only electricians and skilled technicians should do the job. They will help you do the work, and they’ll also help guide you and show you what you need based on your space and your plans.
Here are some of our favorite outdoor kitchen lighting ideas to help you narrow down your plans and determine what you truly want.
Outdoor Kitchen Lighting Ideas
It’s challenging to cook on a grill at night with no light. You have to use a flashlight to turn steaks and burgers or run to the nearest light source with meat in your hand to see if it’s done cooking.
Installing a light above your grill will make cooking outdoors at night much more manageable and enjoyable.
Overhead lighting above the grill and food prep area will give you the light you need to chop vegetables, patty burgers, or drive skewers into shrimp. A light over your grill area also lets you show it off when you aren’t using it. Who doesn’t like seeing the shine from stainless steel grills?
We recommend putting this light on a separate switch, right next to the grill area, so you don’t have to turn on every light in the yard to cook.
LED Strip Lights
LED strip lights are a great way to spruce up any outdoor space. They don’t look extravagant by themselves since they are just white or black strips of electrified tape with attached LED lights. But, if you install them correctly, all you’ll see is their beautiful shine.
LED light strips are a great way to illuminate countertops. If you have a cabinet over the counter or a bar top that sits higher than the counter, you can hide the strips under the cabinets or the bar top.
They’re low energy and low heat, so you won’t have to worry about it scorching the cabinets or countertop.
Another excellent place for LED strips is on the underside of a bar seating area, often called a seat wall. When the light shines down on a textured or shiny tile, it makes the seating area stand out. Putting them under bottom cabinets and other lower areas with a lip is a great way to bring attention to patio floor designs.
Most LED strips also allow you to change the color and brightness of the lights, meaning your seating area can stand out even more!
Navigating a dark yard at night while carrying food is nerve-wracking and dangerous. Watching for obstacles on the ground, steps, and more isn’t always easy, even with a porch light. One wrong step, and food goes flying on the ground.
Installing one or more of the various types of path lights is a great way to illuminate walking areas, provide safety, and reduce tripping hazards. You can use them to create a walkway of light leading to and from your outdoor kitchen area.
Path lights also provide great ambient lighting. On those calm, romantic nights, you can turn off every other light and sit outside with your significant other. You can enjoy the soft glow of the moon and stars while still having enough light to eat and drink.
String lights are generally the first lights people look at when trying to spruce up their outdoor space. They have a modern look to them and are often used over decks and patios, too.
String lights are versatile, and the rope-like power cords are surprisingly non-invasive. The power line disappears against the night sky with the lights on. They are also very affordable and easy for someone to DIY install.
If you want to give these lights extra flair, consider putting them on a dimmer switch. That way, you can turn them down for ambient lighting or up for a brightly lit entertainment space. The possibilities are endless with string lights.
Like LED strips, you hide these lights except they go on the insides of your outdoor kitchen cabinets. Many cabinet lights are aftermarket and battery-operated, making them easy to use and install. However, there are more expensive options that electricians wire into your house’s power grid.
Installing lights in your cabinets makes it significantly easier to find things. You can flip a switch, open the doors, and the cabinet lights up to show all of its contents. Once you have lighted cabinets, it’s hard to see how you’d get by without them.
Contact Perfect My Home For Your Outdoor Kitchen Needs
Outdoor kitchen lighting is essential if you want to get the most from your outdoor space. You’ll be able to use it more and for longer.
If you’re considering upgrading your outdoor kitchen lighting in Missouri or Illinois, Perfect My Home has years of experience transforming backyard living spaces. Fill out our contact form to get started and find your perfect lighting fixture!