Outdoor Kitchen Lighting

Outdoor Kitchen Lighting Ideas You’ll Love

Once you have your outdoor kitchen designed for your San Diego home, you need to consider lighting. Lighting is necessary for the functioning of your kitchen in the evenings when it will get the most use. More than that, it provides a warm and welcoming environment for family gatherings and entertaining. Outdoor lighting acts as the finishing touch to your kitchen that can pull elements together.

Here are a few things you can do to make your outdoor San Diego kitchen shine!

What is an Outdoor Kitchen?

Outdoor KitchenDo you want to prep and enjoy your meals alfresco-style? Outdoor kitchens allow you to do this in an affordable and accessible way. Your outdoor kitchen can be as functional as you desire. For instance, they can feature:

  • A water supply
  • Direct gas line for grilling
  • Refrigerator
  • High-quality grill
  • Pizza oven
  • Smoker

They can also include extra amenities for entertaining, such as an outdoor bar cart and dining area. However, once you have these features installed, lighting is necessary in order to enjoy meals in the evening and provide a warm, welcoming ambience.

Low Voltage vs. 120 Volt Lighting

You’ll want to consider the voltage of your lighting before making your aesthetic decisions. Low voltage provides many benefits compared to the standard 120 volt lighting, also called “line” lighting. Low voltage lights:

  • Will lower the risk of electrocution and can be installed by anyone
  • Make great fill lights
  • Provide energy savings
  • HOnly need a transformer to convert the voltage coming from the house

On the other hand, 120 volt lighting still gives you more light bulb options. They also don’t require a transformer and can be hardwired into your system directly.

Now that you know the pros and cons of each lighting voltage, using a mixture of the two isn’t a bad idea.

Background Lighting

Low voltage lighting is great to use as filler lights or background lighting that illuminates the rest of your yard. While it’s necessary to have task lighting for your kitchen prep and dining areas, you don’t want the rest of your yard to be shrouded in darkness.

Well Lights

These are lights that are typically used to light up buildings and large landscape features such as bushes and trees. They’re mounted on the ground and usually point upward to highlight these large details. It’s also recommended to use them on masonry walls, and on the walls of your house to highlight texture and emphasize boundaries.

Path Lights

Just as the name describes, these lights are used to illuminate paths and walkways. They’re usually mounted on small posts, and surround driveways, sidewalks, and garden trails.

If you have a pergola in your yard, use path lights to surround the structure and illuminate it in the evening.

Directional Lights

These are similar to well lights but have a more concentrated beam. They can be pointed in any direction and are good at lighting up distance areas of a yard or garden.

Outdoor Kitchen Lighting Locations

Outdoor Kitchen Lighting DesignOnce you have your background lighting established with low voltage lighting, you can then focus on your main 120 volt lighting for the kitchen area. This includes task lighting for prepping food as well as overhead lighting for your dining area.

LED Strips

LED strip lights are not to be ignored or missed. They can be installed under stairs for extra safety during the evenings. Under countertops, bars, and islands, they provide visual interest.

Ceiling Fans

Your overhead lighting should be paired with a ceiling fan, especially if you live in a hot and humid area. Not only do ceiling fans keep you cool and illuminate the dining area, but they also keep mosquitoes away.

Task Light

Remember to install task lights over your grill and countertops where you prepare food. Track lights are typically the best option because they can focus on a small area of your kitchen to add a brighter beam of light that differentiates the area.

Pendant Lighting

Pendant lights are perfect to have over islands, bars, and anywhere other than the dining table that people gather to converse and enjoy each other’s company. There are many different styles of pendant lights that you can choose to establish the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen.


Once you have the main lighting of your kitchen established, use lamps to fill in the rest of the areas that are still in shadow and need a pop of brightness. Typically, in outdoor kitchens there are lounge areas or other seating areas apart from the main dining table where people gather.

These are great locations for floor lamps and table lamps, as they bring the inside out and add a particularly homey feel.

A Warm and Welcoming Outdoor Kitchen

Taking some time to consider how your outdoor lighting can have a huge impact on the function and appearance of your outdoor kitchen. Not only will it be easier and safer to prepare food, but a mixture of low voltage and 120 voltage lighting will provide layers of light that creates a balance between your kitchen space and the rest of your backyard.

Are you ready to create the outdoor kitchen of your dreams? Try a free trial with us today! Our certified lighting specialists will guide you through the processes of design to product choice.

After scheduling a free consultation, you’ll be able to demo temporary lights on your property to see how your lighting ideas look in real life.