It’s quite needless to try to convince anyone of the importance of lighting to outdoor kitchens. Some things make absolute sense on their own, don’t they? I mean, even the most romantic soul in the whole wide world would surely appreciate the convenience of artificial lighting, right?
And then, should I also point out that there’s a need for outdoor lighting? Not just any lighting, but fixtures designed and rated for outdoor use?
Now, with all that out of our way, let me focus on more essential things, like your soon-to-be outdoor kitchen lighting. To make your choice (and life) much easier, let me just say that there’s truly a time and place for everything. Should we see all that together?
The factors to consider for the outdoor kitchen lighting
To choose the right lighting for your outdoor deck or patio kitchen, you need to consider several factors. The most important ones? The location and the purpose of your backyard kitchen.
The location of the outdoor kitchen
Is this an outdoor decking kitchen? Perhaps, close to the pool? No pool in your house but a rather large patio with an extraordinary gazebo construction?
When we are talking about the location of the outdoor kitchen in terms of lighting, we need to focus on how open up it is. How much natural light it gets! If it is sheltered or not. You need to consider these things together with the size of the outdoor kitchen and your habits to decide which fixtures will be best and how much light you’ll need. Simply put, if it’s rather dark where your outdoor kitchen is located and you usually hang out there at nighttime, you need pretty bright lights.
What’s the purpose of the outdoor kitchen?
Is this a simple backyard bar, where you like to pour a drink and relax gazing at the horizon? Or is this a fully equipped outdoor kitchen, which is often used to cook for the family and entertain friends? Consider your habits, the actual structure, and the whole purpose of the outdoor construction to determine if you want to invest mostly in task or accent lights – or both.
Outdoor kitchen lighting solutions
Although our intention is to see how to use lights for outdoor kitchens, there’s one more thing to consider – related to the location of the structure. Safety.
If, for example, there’s an outdoor kitchen on deck by the pool and there’s quite a path or stairs to get there, you need lighting throughout the route. Or, you may want to put lights around the pool to both protect and decorate.
With all that said, let me define some must-have lights and some solutions which will make the moments you spend outdoors more pleasant.
Must-have outdoor lighting
• You need over the counter lighting – very helpful if this is a pergola kitchen outdoor construction.
• If there are under the counter cabinets or shelves, it’d be very helpful if you place lights there too.
• You need lights over or around the dining area.
• Place some task lights over the grill or any other cooking appliance.
• Don’t forget to brighten up the stairs or path leading to the outdoor kitchen.
Optional lighting solutions for your backyard kitchen
• Hang several pendants over the backyard bar or over the kitchen, if it’s sheltered.
• Get dimmers – you can easily create the environment you want and save on energy too.
• Place LED strips to the sides of the island or countertop to set the visual boundaries and create an interesting environment.
• How about a ceiling fan with light? You get both your light and cool.
• Did you also think of having an outdoor fireplace or pit built? You won’t only get some warm light but also the warmth you’ll seek when it gets chilly.