The light bulb in my refrigerator burned out. It was a 40w incandescent appliance bulb like such: GE appliance bulb

I'm wondering if there is any reason I can not put a 9watt A19 LED bulb such as this one (home depot link) in the fridge?

I've read this question, but it is concerned with the heat from an oven. Heat obviously would not be an issue here. On the contrary I'm thinking that the LED would be helpful to the fridge (heat output of the incandescent bulb vs the LED).

Can I use a regular LED bulb as a replacement for an appliance bulb in a refrigerator?

  • Be warned, if the LED is not able to overheat, it may last a very long time. Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 3:55
  • Heat of the bulb has less of an effect than the hot air in /cold air out from opening the door. Remember the monkey inside turns off the light every time you close the door :-) Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 5:49

3 Answers 3


In theory, any LED bulb should work. There are bulbs designed specifically for refrigerator/freezer use like this one. The bulb you listed is a 60-watt equivalent, which might actually be too bright - due to glare you really don't want your refrigerator to have too much light as it can actually make it harder to see things, as counter-intuitive as that may seem. The bulb I linked to mentions vibration resistance, among other things. In theory, "appliance bulbs" in general should be a bit more "heavy duty" than regular bulbs.


If you can't find an LED bulb marketed specifically for refrigerators, look for one that is specifically marked as suitable for damp locations, because many of the standard LED bulbs I've seen specifically say "not suitable for damp locations" directly on the bulb.

NOTE: Some LED replacement light bulbs are not recommended for wet/damp environments. Refrigerator fresh food and freezer compartments are considered wet/ damp environments.


Note that not all bulbs are created equally. I bought a 2-pack of Philips LED bulbs that were marked as being "suitable for damp locations" directly on the bulb and both burned out within a few months. However, I replaced those with a different brand of LED bulb that has been working fine for over 6 months now. That bulb wasn't marketed specifically for refrigerators but it did say "suitable for damp locations."

As manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact mentioned I would also try to match the wattage equivalency of the existing bulb. 40W seems pretty common although my refrigerator actually seems to use a 60W bulb; I tried a 40W-equivalent bulb and it wasn't bright enough.


An LED bulb with appropriate base should be perfect. Some LED bulbs have oversized plastic bodies that might not fit well in a fridge's compact light fixture so pay attention to the exact size and shape when buying.

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