You’ve thought of everything for your new outdoor kitchen: grill, cooktop, refrigerator, dishwasher, pizza oven, flat-screen TV, mosquito mister, margarita maker.
What about lighting?
Ignore good lighting, and your festive outdoor entertaining scene will be marred by undercooked meat, spilled drinks and guests tripping on dark steps, tumbling face first into the potted petunias.
Even your famous smoky chipotle baby back ribs won’t save that train wreck.
Take a look at seven outdoor kitchen lighting ideas to keep your cooking and dining time disaster-free.
Grill And Cooktop Lighting
First things first: the food. You really need to see what you’re cooking. Outdoor task lighting will make your chopping, grilling and serving easier.
You’ll want lights installed over your grill and cooktop. They should have a switch to turn them on and off independently of other lighting so you can use them just when needed.
If you have a pergola over your kitchen area, you can mount lights in the beams above, so they shine down on the grill or cooktop.
Counter and Bar-Top Lighting
LED strip lights look great running under the edges of counter and bar tops.
It’s also a good idea to install lighting under cabinets, countertops, and inside lower cabinets where overhead lights don’t quite hit.
Think of any structural element as a potential place for lighting: an island with appliances and cabinets underneath, over countertops or mounted along the edges.
There’s nothing like moonlight to set the perfect mood, but the moon doesn’t always cooperate.
You can provide your own, with downlighting mounted high in the trees near your outdoor kitchen or in the eaves of your home. This “moonlight” offers a gentle wash of light over a large area, perfect for illuminating your outdoor kitchen area with dappled light and intriguing shadows.
Light Steps For Safety
Don’t let a stumble on dark steps spoil your outdoor fun. Reduce trip hazards with tread lighting. Tread lights fit right into the stairs and focus light downward onto the step immediately below it.
If your kitchen area includes a stone sitting wall, you can install lights under the caps that will shine down on stairs and patio edges for safe illumination.
If your outdoor kitchen has a roof, consider a ceiling fan with a light fixture. The fan will help deter pesky mosquitoes, and you’ll appreciate the extra light.
Strings of festive bistro lights, maybe strung from a pergola over your outdoor kitchen, create instant fun.
Professional bistro lighting isn’t like the cheap strings you buy at the department store. High-quality outdoor bistro lights include LED bulbs and UV coated and protected cords. They’ll last 10 to 20 years.
Don’t Forget The Dimmers
Dimmers are great for setting the mood, and you can adjust the light as your daylight gradually fades.
You can even do the dimming with your smartphone.
A Safety Note
Outdoor kitchen lighting should be rated for wet or damp conditions. If your outdoor kitchen is covered by a slotted arbor, the lighting that’s installed should be rated for a wet location. If there’s a solid roof overhead, you can go with lighting that’s rated for a damp location.
Leave Your Outdoor Kitchen Lighting To Neave
Sure, your outdoor kitchen is for cooking and entertaining, but without the right lighting, your evening could be ruined by undercooked meat and guests flat on their faces.
Artistically designed lighting can not only illuminate the tasks at hand, but transform your outdoor kitchen into a magical evening entertaining space.
We’d love to light up your outdoor kitchen. Designing an outdoor kitchen lighting system with Neave Group Outdoor Solutions begins by meeting with a Neave consultant at your home. We’ll get to know your property and discuss lighting options that will meet your specific needs.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.