Can You Use A Regular Light Bulb In A Refrigerator?

Yes, you can use only a regular LED light bulb for refrigerator. Other regular lights like incandescent and CFL won’t work. However, it could be hard to find a regular LED light that fits the base of refrigerator light fixture and they won’t last long.


The best solution is to use a appliance light bulb specifically made for refrigerators. So, you won’t have to bother about light shattering or dying off issues.

For more details, keep reading!!

Using Any Random Light Bulb In A Refrigerator. Does It Matter?

You cannot use any random bulb in a refrigerator. There are few factors to consider:

  • The base of most refrigerator bulbs are A15. So, you need to match the base.
  • The bulb should be able to handle low temperatures.
  • It should have a long lifespan considering the constant on/off and hassle of installation.

What Regular Bulb Would Be Appropriate For A Refrigerator? And Does It Work?

Out of all the regular bulbs like LED, fluorescent and incandescent, LED bulbs are the most suitable to use in refrigerator environment. 

Although it’s not perfect, but it can do a good job.

Just remember to get the wattage and the base right. Usually, refrigerators use a 40-watt bulb. So, you need to replace it with 40-watt equivalent LED bulbs.

Protip: You can use an LED bulb that is marked as suitable for damp places. These LED bulbs will have a better chance of surviving the moist and cold environment inside.

What’s The Best Light Option To Use For Refrigerator?

The best light option for a refrigerator is buying an appliance bulb which are commonly known as GE bulbs. But make sure it’s dedicated to use inside refrigerators.

You can easily find LED appliance bulbs which have a A15 base and has wattage equivalent to the original fridge bulb. A 4.5 watt LED appliance bulb will be equivalent to a 40 watt normal appliance bulb.

If you buy lights of higher or lower wattage than what is recommended, it will leave you at disadvantage. High wattage appliance bulb might overheat and damage the socket. Whereas, lower wattage will diminish visibility.

Can You Use Regular Incandescent Light For Refrigerator?

No. Incandescent bulbs heats up quickly and won’t be able to tolerate the low temperature conditions inside a refrigerator.

The filaments of these lights aren’t strong enough and the glass outside can even shatter because of vibration of opening and closing the fridge. The heat from the incandescent bulbs can also disturb the cooling mechanism of a fridge and is best to avoid them.

Incandescent lights are best suited for ovens and other appliances where heat is involved.

Are Fluorescent Bulbs Safe To Use In Refrigerator?

CFL is also not suitable to use inside a refrigerator like incandescent. Though these bulbs don’t have the heating issues, but they tend to break easily.

If a CFL light breaks inside a fridge, it will splash mercury inside. This you don’t want by any means as mercury is poisonous and will be really hectic to clean it.

Moreover, CFL bulbs take a few moments to completely light up. But with a refrigerator you need bulbs that lights up instantly.

Are regular LEDs Suitable To Use In Appliances Like Fridge And Ovens?

Regular LED lights are perfect to use inside a refrigerator as they don’t overheat and can handle cooler temperatures to some extents.

The better option would be a appliance LED light.

However, LED lights are not suitable for ovens. The reason is oven has a high temperature environment which can melt the circuits and the diodes inside LED bulbs.

How Different Is Appliance Bulbs From Regular Bulbs?

Appliance bulbs are different than regular bulbs because:

  • Appliance bulbs are smaller in size
  • The base and the light itself can tolerate extreme low/high temperatures
  • These bulbs have more filament supports so that it can survive vibrations
  • They have a longer lifespan compared to other bulbs as such a higher price
  • Has a frosted coating so that light doesn’t cast shadows, illuminates the entire fridge and protects from moisture.

What About Ceiling Fan Bulbs? Are They Suitable For Refrigerator?

A lot of people think that ceiling fan bulbs can work inside a refrigerator because of their smaller size and reinforced filament.

However, ceiling fan bulbs can’t tolerate extreme temperatures and the base will also not match with that of the refrigerator light base.

Final Thoughts

It’s always best to use a dedicated appliance light bulb for your refrigerator or freezer. It will be much safer and long-lasting.

Only a few regular bulbs will fit the requirement of low-temperature conditions.

So, why take the hassle? Just spend a few dollars more for appliance-rated light bulbs.

About Annabelle B. Malcolm

Howdy, readers. This is Annabelle B. Malcolm and I’m a content curator. Don’t tell anyone but I low-key take pride in having a treasure of random knowledge. I co-manage this website with my husband Jamie who is a lighting technician by profession. The idea for this website stemmed out of boredom. Out of nowhere really, Jamie came up with the idea of having a website and since he is an authority on lighting fixtures, we decided to play to our strengths.

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