Can You Use Any Light Bulb In A Fridge?

It is essential to know what kind of light bulb you have to use inside a refrigerator. You probably wonder if you have to use a specific light bulb in your fridge. We have researched what light bulb is best for refrigerators and have the answer you are looking for.

You can not use any random light bulb in a fridge. The shape and size need to be the same as the bulb you removed to properly fit into the light socket. It should be 40 watts or lower so that the inside of your fridge is bright enough for you to see what is inside, yet the wattage isn't so high to cause concern of possible overheating.

Continue reading to learn about the differences between a regular light bulb and an appliance light bulb, how long refrigerator light bulbs tend to last, whether or not you should unplug your refrigerator, and more.

Handyman with checklist on clipboard checks lighting in refrigerator - Can You Use Any Light Bulb In A Fridge?

What type of light bulb goes in a fridge?

Handyman with checklist on clipboard checks lighting in refrigerator

The best type of light bulb for a refrigerator is an appliance bulb. They are specifically designed to be used inside appliances. Appliance bulbs are more expensive than a regular light bulbs.

You should not use a regular light bulb in an appliance. You mustn't use light bulbs that are too high in wattage either. A 60-watt bulb, for instance, has the potential to overheat and damage the light socket in your fridge.

Typically, the light bulb in a fridge is 40 watts. You can go dimmer if you so choose. For example, a microwave uses a 25-watt bulb. It is helpful to have a 40-watt bulb in your fridge so that you can easily see what is inside without having to worry about the bulb overheating.

Can I use an LED bulb in my fridge?

You can use an LED bulb to omit the concern that your bulb will overheat. Incandescent bulbs overheat, but LED bulbs do not. There are appliance-rated LED lights available to handle the cold temperature in a fridge or freezer.

It is okay to use an LED bulb in a fridge but not in appliances that get hot such as a microwave or an oven. LED bulbs will melt in a hot appliance. It is always helpful to check your manual or product description to ensure the size, wattage, and type of bulb you are using is correct.

What is the difference between an appliance bulb and a regular bulb?

A light inside the fridge, refrigerator close up, a lamp that response to turn on when the door is open,

An appliance bulb is exactly what it sounds like. Appliance bulbs are specially made to be used in appliances. They are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and not shatter.

This type of bulb is shatterproof and has a stronger filament inside. Refrigerator bulbs vibrate more than a typical light bulb as the fridge is opened and closed, so they are built to take more force.

When looking for an appliance bulb, it should be marked either on the bulb itself or the packaging. The size is A15 as opposed to the standard A19. The base of an A19 is slightly larger and longer than the base for an A15.

Click here to see this 40-watt bulb on Amazon.

Keep in mind you can always check the manual that your refrigerator came with or the product description online. There should be a description of the appropriate bulb to use according to the model and make of fridge that you have.

Can I use a ceiling fan bulb in the refrigerator?

Indoor Home Ceiling Fan on a White Ceiling

Ceiling fan bulbs have a reinforced filament like an appliance bulb, so hypothetically you could use a ceiling fan bulb in the fridge. The only problem is ceiling fan bulbs are not made to withstand extreme temperatures like an appliance bulb is. It is not the best idea to use a ceiling fan bulb in an appliance.

Another reason a ceiling fan bulb is not a good substitute for an appliance bulb is because not all ceiling fans have the same size base. The light socket in your fridge is the size meant for an appliance bulb, not necessarily a ceiling fan bulb.

Never use a regular bulb or ceiling fan bulb in an appliance that gets hot such as an oven. Doing so is dangerous and not worth the risk.

How long do refrigerator light bulbs last?

Refrigerator light bulbs tend to last a much longer time than other light bulbs. There are a few reasons for this, but a fridge light bulb lasts approximately 1,750 hours on average. The average light bulb lasts 1,000 hours, which is a significant difference.

When it comes to 1,750 hours and using a fridge, that is a lot of hours. A refrigerator bulb is only in use while the fridge door is open. How long the light in your fridge will last slightly differs from household to household.

They last longer because they are a lower wattage than the average light bulb we use throughout our homes and because the light is not turned on unless the refrigerator is open. If you have a lot of guests in and out of your home, children, or grandchildren, your light bulb will probably wear out a little faster than someone who lives alone. This all depends on how often your fridge is opened and how long it is kept open.

To make your bulb last longer, do not leave the fridge door open for extended periods. Only open it when you are getting something out or putting something in. Try not to stand with it open for very long.

If you organize what you have in your refrigerator, it will help you keep track of where everything is, which will help you not have to keep your door open longer while searching. Ultimately, this is one way you can put forth an effort to make the bulb last longer.

Do I have to unplug my fridge to change the light bulb?

To be safe, you should unplug your fridge to change the light bulb. This is because there is potential for your light bulb to become energized if you put a new bulb into a socket that has power going to it. Any time you are working with electricity, you should take safety precautions.

An alternative to unplugging your fridge when changing the bulb is to push in the switch that turns the light off when the fridge is closed. If you hold down that button, the power to the socket is shut off until you let go.

Do not forget to plug your fridge back in after installing the new light. You don't want water everywhere from your freezer defrosting or for your food to get ruined because you forgot to turn the fridge back on.

Does a fridge still work if the light goes out?

If the light goes out due to the filament inside the light bulb breaking, then your fridge will still keep the food cold. All you need to do is replace the burnt-out bulb in this instance.

On the other hand, if the light in your fridge is not working because of a power outage, then you need to keep your refrigerator closed as long as possible. If this is the case, keep your fridge and freezer closed for as long as possible to preserve the food inside.

An easy way to check to see if your fridge is staying cold is to place a thermometer inside. They are used to make sure refrigerators and freezers are the temperature they should be.

Click here to see this fridge thermometer on Amazon.


Craftsman with checklist checks the lighting in the refrigerator to save energy

Overall you should not use a regular light bulb inside of an appliance. You should use an appliance bulb that is designed to be put into appliances. The wattage of the light bulb you use in your fridge should not exceed 40 watts. It is best to unplug your fridge when changing the light bulb.

Before you go, check out the following links related to refrigerators:

What Happens If You Overfill A Fridge?

Should A Refrigerator Run All The Time?

How Long Should Refrigerator Water Filters Last? [And When To Replace Them]

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