Can You Use A Regular Light Bulb In The Refrigerator?

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins
It’s easy to take the light in a refrigerator for granted until it goes out and needs to be replaced. Refrigerators generally contain appliance bulbs, and it is not ideal to replace them with standard light bulbs. Whether it be longevity or finding the perfect fit, let’s take a look at what happens when you put a regular light bulb in your fridge.

We all have done this as a kid; we try to close the refrigerator door and peek to see when the light turns off. It is an anomaly that still baffles kids to this day. The light in the refrigerator is something that always seems to be on. When the electricity goes out, opening a dark refrigerator is not normal, almost to the point where it seems completely wrong.

It’s best to use an appliance bulb when it comes to replacing the lightbulb in your refrigerator. This allows your bulb to have the longest life possible and also reduces the risk of the light exploding.

So, when the fridge goes dark because the light is burnt out, there can be some confusion about what type of light bulb you can replace it with. You may find yourself even going to the fridge and looking at your light bulb right now. It can be tempting to replace it with any light bulb you have around the house, but you should think twice before doing that.

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What Is The Best Lightbulb To Use In A Refrigerator?

Unlike your other appliances, like your dryer or oven, the refrigerator has a brighter and wider range of light bulb wattages to choose from. They range from 25 to 40-watt standard base appliance bulbs.

The other appliances in your home average 10 to 25 watts. Some refrigerators use an appliance bulb with a T8 intermediate base, which is a more sturdy and versatile base.

What Is The Difference Between An Appliance Bulb And A Regular Bulb?

Appliance bulbs and regular bulbs share the similarity of the same style and size bases but where they differ in their construction makeup. A standard bulb may fit in the oven, but once you turn the oven on, the base will more than likely melt.

With refrigerators, appliance light bulbs are manufactured to withstand extreme temperatures like the cold. They have a stronger filament and glass to prevent shattering in a cold environment.

LED Bulbs in the Refrigerator

LED bulbs are the most common bulbs used in newly manufactured refrigerators. However, some use incandescent or some other form of bulbs than LEDs.

If your refrigerator is not an LED bulb and you want to update it, there are a few things to consider first. You want to match your new LED bulb with the correct base size as well as the recommended wattage for your appliance.

Appliance Light Bulbs

An appliance light bulb can fall into any of the common categories, but they differ from your average light bulb. They are used in ovens, microwaves, and refrigerators.

They can also be used in decorative lightings, like chandeliers and bathroom fixtures. Unlike standard a19 light bulb appliance, light bulbs are considered a15.

What Is An A15 Bulb?

A 15 bulb ranges from 10 to 40 watts and is equipped to withstand extreme temperatures. So regardless of how hot or cold, it gets it will still turn on.

This is due to them being made of thicker glass and a strong filament than the standard light bulb. They also appear to be dimmer than that of the traditional bulb.

What Is The Size Of The Base For An Appliance Light Bulb?

The base of light bulbs is categorized based on style and size. There is a range of letters that defines the type of the base. Then the number with that letter refers to the width of the base in millimeters. Most appliance light bulbs have smaller bases, and their size category is “E12”. A standard light bulb is much bigger and is a size “E26”.

Will My Refrigerator Light Burn Out?

All good things must come to an end. If your fridge is dark, more than likely, the bulb in the appliance has burnt out and reached maximum life expectancy for the bulb. Once you remove the bulb, you can inspect it for a dark spot, or when you shake it, the broken filaments will rattle around inside the bulb. Unfortunately, you will need to replace it.

How Long Will the Light Bulb in my Refrigerator Last?

Unlike other light bulbs in your house, the refrigerator light bulb has very low usage. The usage time is dependent on how often you (or your kids) open the refrigerator. The life expectancy of an A15 appliance light bulb is rated at around 1750 hours. This is 750 hours more than the average A19 light bulb. So, if you minimize daily fridge browsing, your light bulb will last a very long time.

Light Bulb Types

So not only are there different bulbs that the fridge uses, but there are different types of bulbs altogether. We felt it was relevant to briefly fill you in on those as well so you can understand more of what we’re talking about and what to look for.

Incandescent Bulbs

This type is the most common and least expensive type of bulb. They give off a warm light and can last up to a year. They, unfortunately, are not energy efficient. They use less than 5% of the energy produced to create the actual light that you see. The bulb puts off heat, losing the other 95% of the energy. This bulb is excellent for incubators and heat lamps.

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs are energy efficient, but they do get warm very quickly. Due to the heat they emit, if you touch it with your hands, the oil from your hand can make it explode. It has the shortest life span and gives off a white light. They are used for fixed lighting like floodlights or in theaters for stage lighting.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Bulbs

This is the most efficient type of bulb and is long-lasting. They also do not generate any heat and give off a bright light. Furthermore, they do not have a warmup time and turn on to their full potential.

They are broad-spectrum light bulbs and use for general and special purposes. They are also the bulb that is capable of emitting different colors.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Bulbs

CFL bulbs take time to warm up and will get brighter the longer they are on. They are energy efficient and can emit different colors depending on what you want.

Since they use less power and last longer than incandescent bulbs, they were created to replace them. Due to the energy efficiency of them, they are strongly encouraged to be used.

Will It Matter What Light Bulb I Choose?

The number of watts for your light bulb does not matter when you are looking at the amount of light that is being produced. Watts is the value used for the amount of energy that is being pulled to provide the light.

Light is measured in lumens for brightness. So, when choosing your light bulb, you will want to ensure that the watts of the light bulb matches the recommended watts for your circuit.

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Related Questions

Is there a lightbulb in my freezer?

A lot of freezers do come equipped with a light bulb, so if your freezer is dark, you should check. There is a chance that it could be burnt out, or your freezer may not have one.If your freezer does have one, you may not have to replace it for years. It is proven that people do not open the freezer as often as they do the refrigerator.

Is a bulb considered an electrical appliance?

An electrical appliance is defined as a device that transfers the energy of electricity and transforms it into another form of energy. A bulb is a device that creates visible light from the electricity that is supplied to it. The most common fixture that we can relate to is a lamp that provides us light; however, the bulb in your fridge is the same.

Which light bulb should I use in a Frigidaire refrigerator?

When replacing your light bulb in the refrigerator, it is imperative to use the same size and type that originally came with the fridge. If you have a Frigidaire refrigerator, then the light bulb you want to use is Frigidaire 241555401 Light Bulb Refrigerator. Appliance light bulbs have a wide range of variances, and some models, like GE, may require a regular incandescent bulb.

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Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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