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The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

The Best Outdoor Kitchen Lighting For Al Fresco Dining

The best outdoor kitchen lighting will brighten up your al fresco dining!Imagine the scene: a group of your best friends have come over to check out your great new outdoor kitchen. You have the menu planned, the music selected. Ice cubes clink festively in the drink glasses.

Dusk settles over your party scene, as you tend to the pork tenderloin on the grill. Except you can’t quite see if it’s perfectly done. Should be OK, you figure, so you serve it up. Later, the sound of your guests’ illness is overshadowed only by the sound of them tripping on the patio steps because they can’t see where they’re going.

You get the idea. Lighting your outdoor kitchen is really important. Here’s a look at six outdoor kitchen lighting fixtures you’ll need for your al fresco dining plans to go off without a hitch (or a stitch).

Outdoor Task Lighting

You really need to see what you’re cooking. The best outdoor kitchen lighting will make your chopping, grilling and serving easier. You’ll want outdoor task lighting placed above your grill or flexible lighting next to it. It should have a switch to turn it on and off independently of other lighting so you can use it just when you need it.

If you have a pergola over your kitchen area, you can mount lights in the beams above, so they shine down on the grill. Flexible stainless steel grill lights are another option.

Counter and Bar Top Lighting

Much like outdoor task lighting for grilling and counter top work, LED strip lights can 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.

Tread Lights For Safety

Tread lighting in your outdoor kitchen lighting will help keep you safe.It’s natural to think about illuminating things overhead in your outdoor kitchen lighting. But don’t forget down below. 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 sitting wall, you can install lights under the caps that will shine down on stairs and patio edges — there are lots of ways to add landscape lighting to concrete and other stone.


What’s more beautiful and festive than moonlight? It’s a great mood setter. But the moon doesn’t always cooperate.

Luckily, you can provide your own, with downlighting mounted high in the trees near your outdoor kitchen or in the eaves of your home. This “moonlighting” offers a gentle wash of light over a large area, perfect for illuminating your outdoor kitchen area with dappled light and intriguing shadows.

Cafe Bistro Lighting

Nothing says “party” like strings of festive cafe bistro lights.

Strung from a pergola over your outdoor kitchen, they create instant fun.

Professional bistro lighting isn’t like the cheap strings you buy at a big-box store. High-quality outdoor bistro lights include LED bulbs and UV coated and protected cords. The best outdoor kitchen lighting, including bistro lighting, should last 10 to 20 years.

Professional bistro lighting is also dim-able, so you can adjust your lights as much or as little as you need to create the perfect atmosphere.

Don’t Forget The Dimmers

Dimmers are great for setting the mood, and you can adjust the light as your daylight gradually fades.

Even our bistro lighting is dim-able — and you can do the dimming with your smart phone.

The Best Outdoor Kitchen Lighting

Sure, your outdoor kitchen is for cooking and entertaining, but without the right lighting, your evening could be ruined by under cooked meat and guests flat on their faces.

Artistically designed lighting can not only illuminate the tasks at hand, but also transform your outdoor kitchen into a magical entertaining space.

Ready to light up your outdoor kitchen with artistic and functional lighting? We’d love to hear from you. Give us a call at (801) 440-7647 to schedule a free consultation, or fill out our simple contact form.

Located in Sandy, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah serves customers throughout Utah’s residential areas, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper and Holladay. Our outdoor lighting portfolio includes projects from Salt Lake County and Utah County, to Davis County and Summit County — and beyond.

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