Here we have a pair of grill lights brought to us by Innovations By Chance, the same folks who brought you the clever Grate Rack that attaches to the legs of your cooker and will then hold your rack out of the way. There are two The Bright Grill Light models for attaching to cookers with different handles, as you will see below. First let's show you what comes in the box for each model.
As you can see, the warning sticker indicates that you can't leave the light suspended over a hot burning grill for too long lest you damage the unit.
Here are photos of the two models. The photo on the left is the model for your standard-width cooker handle. To the right is the model for cookers that have wide handles, also showing the warning label as it comes out of the box. It easily peels off leaving no residue.
Next we have some photos of the light unit itself. It just pops out of the bracket. First, on the left you see a closeup of the array of 24 LEDs that make up the main light unit. In the center is the small 3-LED lighting element that resides on the end of the light. Depressing the on/off button cycles the unit between 24 LEDs on, off, 3 LEDs on and off again. Finally to the right we see the back side of the unit. It has a magnet and a hook for placing the light in other locations than the bracket on your cooker. The unit is powered by 3 AAA batteries.
You may have seen units like these in places such as Ace Hardware. However, these lights are specially made for Innovations by Chance with a high temperature lens on the front. Standard units have a polystyrene lens which starts to lose its shape at 162°F. These units have a special polycarbonate lens which will not start to deform until 252°F, so they will stand up to the rigors of hanging over a hot grill.
Installing The Unit For Narrow Handles
As you can see, the unit is intended to be used with cookers that have a detachable handle. (Our large and medium Big Green Egg cookers have welded handles, so we demonstrate the light on our small cooker which does have the bolt-on handle.)
So installation is simple. Remove the two cap nuts that hold the handle on, remove the handle, place the bracket on the two bolts, replace the handle, and replace the cap nuts.
Once you have attached the light to the cooker, you can open the lid and bend the bracket so as to point the light at the center of the cooking grid. As you can see below, the light itself pops right out of the bracket if you want to use it as a flashlight, or remove it for storage. While the light is somewhat weather resistant, it isn't weather proof and should not be left out in the weather.
Ok, now for the important part. How does The Bright Grill Light perform in the dark? The next three photos show the cooking surface of our small Big Green Egg cooker a) in normal light, b) in the dark, and c) in the dark with The Bright Grill Light turned on. As you can see there is plenty of light over the cooking surface. In the next section, we'll repeat all of this for an XL-class cooker, the Kamado Joe Big Joe cooker.
Installing The Unit For Wide Handles
The second model of The Bright Grill Light is intended for use with cookers that have wide handles. Instead of two arms that attach to the two bolts holding smaller handles, the bracket has one arm that is attached to either of the two bolts holding the wide handle.
So how does The Bright Grill Light handle this larger cooking surface (24 inches in diameter vs. 13 inches on the small cooker)? Here are the same three photos for this larger cooker:
As you can see the right side of the cooking surface is brighter than the left, but the entire cooking surface was adequately lit. We later fiddled and found that the light can be adjusted in the bracket to shine on the center of the grate. (You will see this in the photos below comparing the old and new lights.)
Update: A Brighter Bright Grill Light
As we were about to publish this review, the makers informed us they have started using an even brighter light. We took some photos to help you see how much brighter. If you own one of the older models, you might want to upgrade to the brighter light eventually. The first photo was stopped down to make the photo artificially darker so you can see the relative brightness of the two models. The second two photos show the difference at night when used on a Kamado Joe Big Joe cooker:
We think that in order to see the difference best, ignore the brilliant glare off all the stainless steel and focus on the inner walls of the cooker and the inside of the dome. Quite a difference! (For the techies, we let the camera set the exposure for the first shot and then we kept that same exposure for the second shot.)
As you can see, The Bright Grill Light does a great job of illuminating the cooking surface of cookers. In addition you can pop them out to use in other locations. You can buy them from Big Green Egg dealers around the country. The price will vary from dealer to dealer but you should find them for $35 to $40. Also you can find Innovations By Chance on Facebook.
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