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If your refrigerator light has gone out for good, you’re in the right place. We provide brand specific instructions to get your back up and running. For the majority of you, an appliance bulb is all you need, such as this GE 40W Appliance Bulb. Read on to see how to choose the correct bulb!

About Refrigerator Light Bulbs

There are some key differences between refrigerator and regular light bulbs.

  • Refrigerator light bulbs are usually 25W-40W and either clear or frosted
  • They are more heavy-duty than regular bulbs and have a protective coating to handle the cold damp environment
  • More filament supports for shocks and vibrations (The filament is the small thread-like coil).
  • They don’t take any time to warm up and light up to full brightness when switched on

Step 1 – Confirm the specific bulb type you need to replace

Not all refrigerators use standard appliance bulbs. You’ll have to check the exact type, wattage, size, as well as color before buying a replacement. 

Your user manual can help you with this however if you can’t locate your manual, you can check the current bulb itself. Be careful though: when you open your refrigerator door, power is supplied to the light. Make sure to disconnect power from the refrigerator beforehand.

You’ll have to remove the housing covering your light bulb. Some housing covers are screwed in in which case it’s best to use a magnetic screwdriver.

Step 2 – Get a replacement bulb

You usually have lots of choices for common bulb types, including those from aftermarket manufacturers. But you’ll have to check the specific wattage and base. Not all threads fit and some products have maximum watts indicated. Find a bulb that is an exact or close match to your existing faulty bulb. 

We’ve listed the most popular replacement refrigerator light bulbs below.

9.5
Top Pick
A general purpose appliance bulb
Top Features
  • Good resistance to your fridge’s low temperatures; also made to work well in high heat such as microwave purposes.

  • “Rugged” filament that’s designed to work well against shocks and vibration.

  • Has an expected lifespan of 1 – 3 years depending on usage

This is a bestselling bulb from General Electric. It is a medium base (E26) incandescent light bulb powered at 40W.

This bulb has good resistance to your fridge’s low temperatures. It’s also made to work well in high heat such as microwave purposes. It also highlights its “rugged” filament as that’s designed to work well against shocks and vibration. 

That should be good enough to help it last its expected lifespan of 1.4 years. But that’s given an average of 3 hours of use every day. Many households don’t get that much usage with a fridge.

The bulb is clear with a good, balanced white light at 2700K and gives you 415 lumens, which is bright enough for your fridge.

Tech Specs

ManufacturerGE Lighting
Part Number15206
Product Dimensions6 x 5 x 2 inches
ShapeA15
ColorClear
Voltage120 Volts
Wattage40 watts
Type of BulbIncandescent
UsageAppliance
What we liked
  • General Electronics is a long-established trusted brand
  • The bulb has good, balanced white light at 2700K (some people prefer this to very white light at around 5000K) and 415 lumens.
  • This product has an expected lifespan of 1.4 years based on an average of 3 hours of use every day. You could expect up to 3 years with lighter usage.
What we didn't like
  • Bulb is not an LED which has a longer lifespan
  • Incandescent bulbs emit heat which results in more cooling needed within the refrigerator.
Top Features
  • This LED light has a better energy efficiency that its incandescent competitors. 5W for a 40W incandescent equivalent.

  • 550 lumens and 5000K color temperature

  • 12-month warranty, with a 25,000-hour expected lifespan.

Top Features
  • Great durability with an IP54 waterproof certification, and designed with shatter protection.

  • LED power-saving and efficiency advantages, with bright white light

  • 12-month warranty with a 10,000-hour expected product lifespan

Top Features
  • Genuine OEM part for Electrolux & Frigidaire branded refrigerators.

  • Blue light glass finish

  • 25 Watts

Top Features
  • Compact T8 E17 size, small footprint.

  • Warm incandescent 2700K color that lights up for 370 lumens

  • Because of the advantage of coming in 8 pieces, could last a decade with up to 2,000-hours lifespan per bulb!

Top Features
  • A good list of device compatibility with many major brands including Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag, and Kitchen Aid

  • Quality design and LED advantage

  • 1-year warranty for “peace of mind”

Top Features
  • This product is a genuine OEM light from the innovative and established brand, LG.

  • LED for energy-efficiency and long-lasting benefits

  • Compatible with LG refrigerators and a few other models from Kenmore.

Top Features
  • The Samsung name brand is backed by a track record of reliability, great quality, and value.

  • Incandescent 5/8” bulb

  • Compatible with other brands

Step 3 – Install the bulb

How to change a refrigerator light bulb

With the same precaution we mentioned in Step 1, make sure your fridge is powered off and unplugged. Safety first!

You’ll want to check first if the panel or housing is screwed on to avoid breaking it by force. If so, you’ll do best to use a magnetic screwdriver. 

After removing the housing, replace the bulb with the new one, then screw it in all the way. Work your way back in reverse starting with replacing the housing. If reattaching the housing takes some time, you can try powering the fridge back on to check the light bulb first.

How to remove the plastic shield to change the refrigerator light bulb?

Make sure your fridge is powered down and unplugged.

Open your refrigerator door wide enough to be able to assess the plastic shield well. You’ll check to see what direction it slides out. Some panels can be removed by unclipping or sliding off. Use a flat-head screwdriver for some that are hard to detach.

Some refrigerators involve a combination of those steps. To figure out the best way, refer to your user manual.

Manufacturer specific instructions

Hotpoint

Hotpoint users can use the online service for their product’s specific requirements. Check your product's model on the label or sticker at the bottom area of your fridge.

Some models use an E14 bulb behind a housing that you can easily unclip, but some might need a screwdriver. If yours isn’t one of these, you might need to consult customer support.

Electrolux AEG

For replacing your Electrolux AEG fridge’s light, turn off the power and check your product’s model in a label in the bottom area. Enter the model in parts search sites such as AEG or eSpares to determine the specific bulb.

Whirlpool

Whirlpool Service and Support has a helpful video on replacing your Whirlpool refrigerator’s light bulb. They have some reminders and steps for detaching slide housings.

For Whirlpool models that use a LED light panel, check out this video to learn how to navigate through the cover, module, and wirings. It also reminds you to be safe by unplugging your fridge.

GE

Here’s a replacement video for GE fridges along with other compatible brands. This is for products that use a screw-on A15 bulb.

Frigidaire

For Frigidaire refrigerator bulbs, this video shows you how easy it is. There are also some tips for issues that might arise.


Considerations when replacing a refrigerator light bulb

LED vs Incandescent

A light-emitting diode (LED) uses electricity to flow through a semiconductor diode to emit light. There are usually several of these diodes in a single bulb, while some appliance lights employ wider LED panels.

Incandescent light bulbs pass electricity through the wire filament, which heats it. Because of the characteristic of the filament, the heat causes it to radiate light.

LED developments have given them a power-saving advantage as well as longevity. So it’s best to choose them if possible. We recommend going with OEM parts though.

Brightness

Brightness for appliance light bulbs, such as the one found on your fridge, is usually hovering around 300-550 lumens at 40W for incandescent bulbs. Anything around the middle of this scale is bright enough and would work well with most fridges.

LED bulbs are more efficient and have less wattage for the same brightness.

The difference between clear and frosted bulbs is the coating, where there is a diffusing substance for frosted ones. This would help soften the lights which would be especially helpful for easily irritated eyes.

Bulb Size & Type

Size A15 bulb, which uses the regular pear shape, is very commonly required among appliances. Aside from LED panels, which have long frames, a few bulbs also use fluorescent parts with T8 turn-type or similar sockets. Although CFL bulbs are fluorescent, they are not recommended.

Standard appliance lights use the E26 “medium” or “standard” size. The number refers to the thread size. You’ll have to check the product’s manual for the exact bulb required. Some products go as small as E14.

Avoid CFL

CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs are not recommended due to their components. They are not made to withstand the cold environments of refrigerators. They also contain mercury, which is risky due to its toxic nature and sensitivity to temperature. You don’t want this hanging around your food.

CFL bulbs also don’t light up as quickly as other alternatives. You’ll find this type uncommon around appliance bulbs.


Common Questions relating to Refrigerator Light Bulbs

What is an appliance light bulb?

Appliance light bulbs are not just for refrigerators. They’re designed to work for multiple appliances and are heavy-duty in nature. They are built to withstand high or low temperatures, shocks and vibrations, and damp environments.

These bulbs are usually low in wattage, with enough brightness to help make the insides of appliances visible. They come in clear or frosted, which makes their softness differ. You have the usual popular choices of incandescent or LED bulbs, while some refrigerators use LED panels.

How does a Refrigerator Light Work

A refrigerator light bulb functions much like the regular bulbs on your ceiling. Like your ceiling lights, the fridge light also has a switch but functions a different way. It’s located on the door, usually on the hinge side.

The door is pressed on the switch while it’s closed, and upon release of the switch when opened, it triggers the circuit to turn on the light. Electricity flows through the fridge’s internal wiring to power the light.

Sources

parts.hotpoint.co.uk

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