Bulb for the refrigerator: characteristics, types, selection rules + how to replace it yourself

Evgenia Kravchenko
Checked by a specialist: Evgenia Kravchenko
Author: Zoryana Barna
Last update: June 2019

High-quality interior lighting is a determining factor in the aesthetic perception of cold rooms of various sizes. A burnt out light source in a refrigeration unit can cause a lot of inconvenience, therefore, in case of a breakdown, it must be replaced immediately.

A new lamp for the refrigerator should have an appropriate level of light output and the type of base. About what characteristics the lamps on the market of spare parts for refrigerators have, and how to choose the right one, we will talk in this article. We also give detailed instructions for replacing the bulb with your own hands.

Why in the refrigerator lighting?

Cold rooms are systems isolated from the influence of the external environment, doors with a rubber seal of which do not let in heat or light waves. But if the door of your refrigerator does not fit snugly against the body, we advise you to think about seal replacement.

Due to the design of refrigeration equipment that looks like a cabinet, its own lighting is provided, making it easy to find food at any time of the day.

The light bulb power circuit in a refrigerator typically includes a start relay. Such a scheme ensures that the lighting automatically switches on each time the door is opened. This mechanism makes it possible to save energy and use the lamp life wisely.

Fridge lighting
Artificial light provides the most convenient and quick search for products, as well as their optimal placement inside closed boxes

Sometimes the simplest incandescent lamp is connected to the circuit bypassing the start-up relay, since lighting in a domestic refrigeration unit may be needed even when the compressor is idle.

In this case, a special button is placed under the door inside the chamber, which opens the circuit when closed.

At first glance, a burned out lamp in the refrigerator may seem like a minor breakdown, which, in addition to aesthetic discomfort, does not pose any threat to household appliances.

However, this is not quite true. The lack of internal lighting leads to the door being left open longer than with a working light.

As a result, the load on the compressor, which out of order prematurely. Therefore, it is very important to quickly replace the light bulb, because the life of the refrigerator may depend on this.

Existing varieties of lamps

The first models of household electric refrigerators with compression cycle technology were not equipped with lamps at all. But with the growing popularity among consumers, food storage cameras have been constantly improved.

Over time, low-power vacuum lighting devices with electric circuits began to be built in them. It was almost the same as in the chandeliers, incandescent bulbs, only lower power.

LED block
Today, high-class household refrigerators are equipped with energy-saving LED electronic control units to indicate operating modes and current equipment status

Management of economical LED-lamps is realized through special relays or a regular button under the door, as well as using microcontrollers.

In modern refrigerators, 4 types of lighting devices are used:

  • with a filament;
  • halogen;
  • gas-filled fluorescent lamps;
  • LED light.

Let's talk about each type of light bulb in more detail.

Features of incandescent lamps

The first type of lamp (incandescent) is easy to operate and affordable. They emit yellow light that is comfortable for perception, but they become very hot.

Incandescent light bulb in the refrigerator
The life of light bulbs with incandescent wire is short - up to 1000 hours. With unstable voltage in the network, their service life is significantly reduced

More information about incandescent lamps we have given in another our article.

Halogen light bulb

Halogen in design resemble the previous ones. When working, they heat up, but shine brighter. Consume a minimum of electricity at high light output. The service life does not exceed 4000 hours of operation.

We talked in detail about the device and the types of halogen bulbs in following material.

Fluorescent lamp type

Luminescent emit cold white light, serve up to 15,000 hours. The resource of work depends on the number of cycles on / off.

They are used in stores and shopping centers to illuminate refrigerated display cases, allowing you to give products an attractive look.

The main disadvantage of these lamps is the content of hazardous mercury vapor. Used devices must be taken to specialized points or collection points for further disposal.

The device, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of fluorescent lamps we have covered in detail in this publication.

LED or LED bulbs

LED are environmentally friendly products that practically do not heat up. They have high mechanical strength and consume a minimum amount of electricity. To learn more about the characteristics of LED bulbs, please go to this link.

The service life is 100,000 hours. After this time, the LED lamps do not collapse, they only decrease the luminous intensity by about 2 times.

Currently, manufacturers of refrigeration equipment increasingly prefer to install LED backlight.

Neon lights
The popularity of the use of LED-lamps in domestic refrigerators is due to high efficiency indicators. They last much longer than fluorescent and halogen bulbs, not to mention incandescent devices that often burn out

Unlike gas-discharge light sources with mercury vapor, diodes are ignited instantly and can generate lighting of any color.

Lighting Specifications

The quality of interior lighting in refrigerators directly depends on the type of bulb used and its power, the design features of the lamp, as well as its location.

In most models of domestic refrigeration units, a single light source with a power of 15 W is installed, and in some cases 25 W.

In large-sized equipment such lighting is clearly not enough. They solve this problem by installing two 15/25 W bulbs at once or installing a single 40 W power.

Attention should be paid to their socles, provided for different types of fastening. The standard lamp for a domestic refrigerator has cap E14.

But there are also devices with socles T-click on two terminals E12as well as compact four-pin models 2G7. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with marking and types of cap light bulbs.

Light sources can be installed on the upper wall inside the refrigeration unit, on the rear and side panels of the camera, on top of the visor.

Control block
Often, lighting devices in household refrigerators are assembled into a single control unit together with a switch and a temperature controller

Uniform illumination in refrigerators is ensured by luminaires of a vertical design mounted on the sides on the back inside a closed chamber. Lamps located in the middle of the side wall also provide a satisfactory illumination.

But those mounted on the top panel brightly illuminate only the upper shelves, while the lower ones remain in the twilight.

The most unsuccessful location are the light bulbs fixed on the visor. In this case, they are unable to provide sufficient coverage of all areas in the refrigerator.

Rules for choosing the right device

Manufacturers of cold rooms install special lamps inside household appliances that are resistant to low temperatures and moisture, as well as to voltage surges in the network. Therefore, it is recommended to use only original spare parts for replacement.

If there is no access to those, you can use universal ones. However, it must be clearly understood that lamps not recommended by the manufacturer will heat the air and often burn out. In this case, internal lighting will have to be restored constantly.

When it is necessary to replace a faulty incandescent bulb in an old refrigerator, the logical step is to buy a similar device of the same power.

But, as practice shows, it is advisable to replace it with an energy-efficient LED lamp.

Light power table
Installing an LED-bulb instead of other types of lighting devices, you need to select an analog with the appropriate level of light output. Here is a table of correspondence of light power for different types of bulbs

When choosing a lighting fixture for a refrigerator, there are three important points to keep in mind:

  1. Power should not exceed 11-40 watts. It depends on the model and dimensions of the equipment, the type of bulb and its location inside the refrigerator.
  2. Cap - mismatch of the type of lamp cap to the lampholder is unacceptable.
  3. Size and shape - the bulb should be freely located inside the protective lampshade or diffuser, without touching the walls.

The type of light bulb and its operating power affects the illumination of the surfaces of the inner chamber of the refrigerator, as well as electricity consumption.

Halogens and devices with an incandescent filament emit warm yellow light, luminescent ones emit cold white, and LEDs can generate radiation in the entire visible spectral range.

Lighting for the refrigerator
Correctly selected lighting for the refrigerator helps to detect food spoilage in a timely manner. Therefore, it is better to give preference to lamps that emit cold light, so as not to artificially make the appearance of food more attractive

It is noteworthy that the transparency of the bulb also affects the quality of lighting. Matte reduces the level of radiation flux by 10-30%. If this is critical, it is better to purchase a light source with a transparent bulb for the refrigeration unit.

Step-by-step lamp replacement instructions

To replace the light bulb in the refrigerator, you need to perform several simple operations.

Step # 1 - disconnecting the equipment from the network

First of all, household appliances are disconnected from the power supply. This is the main safety rule, which in no case should be neglected.

Step # 2 - Release Access to the Light Bulb

Then, if necessary, they remove everything superfluous from the shelves, and sometimes the shelves themselves, as well as the baskets, in order to gain access to the lighting device.

Step # 3 - Dismantling the Diffuser

Next, you need to dismantle the transparent diffuser, which is important for refrigerators Bosch and some other brands, or a cover, if any.

Refrigerator door
To easily remove the protective cover, experienced craftsmen recommend holding the refrigerator door open for 15 minutes. This will greatly facilitate dismantling.

Design shades are different. In the fridges Atlant and Samsung they are screwed in cameras Stinol - special latches.

In refrigeration units Indesit and Ariston the plafonds are not completely removable, but are fixed with a holding screw, which allows only one side to be freed.

To gain access to the bulb, unscrew this screw and carefully bend the dynamic part of the lampshade.

Remove the protective cover very carefully so as not to destroy the coating of the inner walls.

Step # 4 - installing a new lamp instead of a blown

Now you can unscrew the blown bulb and install a working one.

In household refrigerators from SamsungBefore dismantling the old lamp, disconnect the connectors and wires, and then remove the protective tape.

If an LED lamp is installed in the refrigerator, the plafond can only be removed with the electronic unit, and then the bulb should be replaced.

Sometimes it is very difficult to dismantle a unit with a microprocessor independently. If you do not have relevant experience with electronics, it is better to seek the help of specialists.

Step # 5 - testing lamp performance

Check the correctness of the work performed. To do this, turn on the replaced light bulb.

Light check
The last step is to check the operability of the lighting device. If everything is in order, you can replace the protection and connect the refrigerator to the power supply

The nuances of replacing various types of bulbs

It is worth noting that different types of lamps need a different approach. For example, the usual an incandescent light bulb may be taken by the glass partbut do not crush or squeeze it.

Be sure to screw in smoothly so that the base is correctly positioned in the thread cartridge.

In the process of such a replacement lamp, glass sometimes bursts. In this case, it is important to be careful and not try to get the remnants and fragments by hand.

Round-nose pliers or pliers will come to the rescue. You just need to grab the edge of the base with a tool and unscrew the lighting fixture.

Unlike vacuum bulbs, halogen can not be taken with the bare hands on the glass part. At the point of contact, local overheating may occur. This reduces her resource of work.

During installation, the quartz lamp bulb must be kept through a clean cloth or gloves. In case of accidental contact, it is recommended to wipe the surface with a cloth that does not leave marks, for example, microfibre with an alcohol solution.

Fluorescent Lamp
Fluorescent tubes have very fragile tubes with mercury vapor. Therefore, it is forbidden to hold them by the glass part - you can only take them as a base

Such lighting devices must be removed very carefully so as not to break the flasks with harmful mercury vapors. They are used mainly in the field of food trade.

Recommendations for use

Compliance with the basic rules for using the refrigerator will help extend the life of even the simplest light bulb. So, it is necessary to ensure that the doors are closed tightly, and also to prevent their prolonged shutdown in the open state.

It is equally important to control the humidity inside the unit. Condensation can cause irreparable damage to electronic equipment.

To connect refrigerators, electricians recommend specially ground outlet. Using uninterruptible power supplies or connecting a line filter will help to avoid breakdowns due to power surges.

If the lamp burns out without fulfilling the period declared by the manufacturer, be sure to check the light off key, which is usually located on the side or upper inner wall of the camera.

Bad light key
A faulty lighting key can cause not only a breakdown of the light bulb, but also a burnout of the lampshade, and sometimes cause a short circuit

Deformation of this element leads to uninterrupted operation of lighting and a quick breakdown of the light source. In most cases, the spring breaks down in the key, which is responsible for fixing the position On / off.

And although the type of interior lighting of the refrigerator is not an indicator of the quality of household appliances themselves, when buying it is better to choose models with LED lamps. They are resistant to low temperatures, reliable and durable.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

DIY LED backlighting on the door and in the chamber of the old Minsk-15M refrigeration unit:

How to quickly replace a lighting device in Atlant refrigerators with different protective shades, step-by-step instructions:

How to replace a blown bulb in a Nord refrigerator:

It is not difficult to replace a faulty lamp in the refrigerator yourself. It is only important to observe safety precautions and not experiment with the electronic part of the refrigeration unit.

The characteristics of the bulb, as well as recommendations regarding its installation in specific models of household appliances can be found in the operating instructions.

Have you recently changed a light bulb and want to share your experience with other users? Share your experiences in the comment section of this publication.

If you still have questions about dismantling or installing a new light bulb, or you can’t decide what type of light bulb is suitable for your refrigerator, ask our experts and other visitors to the site for advice - ask your questions in the block located under this article.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Sergei

    Conventional LED lamps provide savings if they do not often turn on / off, and shine for a long time without turning off. Therefore, in a toilet or bathroom, where the light turns on occasionally for a short time, the savings when replacing a conventional lamp with an LED are not significant. Maybe this is true for the refrigerator - is it easier to buy the same as it was? In fact, they rarely burn out, judging by my experience.

    • Expert
      Evgenia Kravchenko

      Hello. Yes, you are partly right. Replacement, taking into account the cost of the LED bulb and its operation, is often impractical. And yes, instrument manufacturers are advised to purchase bulbs similar to those that were delivered at the factory.

  2. Victor

    I have this problem: after ten years of service, the branded light bulb from the Indesit refrigerator has blown out. Since then, sheer torment: no matter how I buy a replacement, everyone will burn out after a couple of months. And they burn out so that the glass of the bulb becomes almost black, I have not seen this before. What could it be? Power difference? How much power should a bulb have to fit?

    • Pavel

      For Indesit refrigerators, 15 W bulbs are used. Although if they often burn out, then you need to check the cartridge, maybe there is something with the contact.

    • Expert
      Evgenia Kravchenko

      Hello. At 15 watts. Check also if the light turns off at all when closing the refrigerator door. Sometimes, due to deformation of the sealant or due to the fact that the door itself has ceased to fit correctly, this happens. And of course, it is better to choose the light bulbs closest to the "native" or just like that. I know that in the old Indesites there were such in the Leroy network.

  3. Albina

    Hello! What kind of bulb is better to buy in the Indesit refrigerator and in the hood Combustion? There are 1,500 tenge Philips and 200 tenge each. What is the difference?

    • Expert
      Evgenia Kravchenko

      Hello Albina. First of all, it is worth noting that completely different bulbs can be used in the Indesit refrigerator and the Gorenje hood. For a more accurate consultation, it would not be bad if you wrote a refrigerator model and a hood model. For example, Indesit refrigerators, like many others, mainly have 15-20 W bulbs with an E14 base. If you use the same lamps in the hood, then this is good. Simply, many Gorenje hoods use halogen lamps with a GU10 base, which has a rotary-pin design.

      If you have the same lamps, the only question is the price, then most likely the difference in characteristics (power, type of lamp, etc.).

      Attached photos:
  4. Glass incandescent lamps were installed in the refrigerator, gradually they burned out. Installed LED, everything is fine. The question is that on old glass bulbs, closer to the base, white rubber seals were put on.

    It is not clear their purpose. Are they needed at all? new bulbs of a different shape, and they don’t fit on them.

  5. Damir

    Logically, this may be a detail of waterproofing electrical circuits from moisture in the internal volume of the refrigerator.