Thread Number: 34817  /  Tag: Major Appliances
Refrigerator LED light bulbs
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Post# 375789   7/24/2017 at 11:38 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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So I have this Maytag refrigerator, which is about 10 years old, has the double doors on the fridge up top and a pull-out freezer drawer down below. It temporarily stopped cooling a couple of weeks ago, but fortunately, I was able to 'jump start' it by turning the thermostats all the way cold. Using the home warranty that I pay through the nose for, I got a technician out to the house Friday to replace the main control board (a.k.a. self-destruct device) and while he had things apart in the top of the fridge, we noticed that the incandescent light bulbs, which to my knowledge were the factory originals, had melted the top of the refrigerator above where the control board goes. Although the damage is not visible when the pieces of the control board housing are snapped into place, the technician expressed concern over the damage and left the bulbs out, suggesting that I consider replacing them with another type of bulb that would generate less heat.

I put them back in after he left, lest the cats find them and claim them as toys, but I started thinking about that idea and went to Home Depot yesterday and got a three-pack of LED bulbs for $10 and change to replace the two in the fridge and one in the freezer. They each supposedly put out 40 watts worth of light while pulling maybe four watts of power and I love the stark, white light they put out. It actually improves visibility inside the fridge.

The old bulbs were putting out a ridiculous amount of heat. In the time it took to remove and replace one bulb in the fridge, the other one had gotten so hot it actually blistered my finger. I had to close the fridge for about five minutes for it to cool down sufficiently--even though it was still quite warm to the touch--for me to remove it. No wonder those suckers had melted the top of the fridge!

While I am quite satisfied so far with the new LED bulbs, I have to wonder how well they will perform long term under those extreme temperature conditions, especially in the freezer. The LED bulbs are physically the same size as the incandescent ones that they replaced but there wasn't any verbiage on the packaging to suggest they were designed for use in a refrigerator, nor were there any warnings not to use them there. I also didn't see any LED bulbs at the store marked specifically for use in a refrigerator. Anyone have any insights into the suitability of LED bulbs for that application?

Post# 375851 , Reply# 1   7/25/2017 at 01:00 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I bought a GE LED bulb for my fridge-18 yr old KA-the LED lamp works just fine!Replaced an incandescent lamp.

Post# 375860 , Reply# 2   7/25/2017 at 11:21 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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That's good to hear. I'm happy with LED's so far, except they make it more obvious that I need to do some cleaning in the fridge.

Post# 375879 , Reply# 3   7/25/2017 at 13:56 by luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

That's interesting. What was the wattage of the bulb(s)? It sounds like you have more than one bulb in there. Do you typically leave the refrigerator door open long enough to cause the incandescent bulb the generate that much heat? Perhaps it melted the inside over time? I checked my Frigidaire fridge and above the bulb, there is a piece of silver foil. I believe its purpose in the reflect some of the heat from the incandescent bulb. I've never had a problem with it generating much heat though or causing problems. I think mine is 40w frosted bulb.

Post# 375885 , Reply# 4   7/25/2017 at 16:25 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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It had two 40-watt bulbs, clear glass with a blue tint. They heated up unusually fast. In about 45 seconds, they were hot enough to give a second degree burn on my fingertip. There is a thin metal reflector plate above the bulbs, which apparently transmitted heat from the bulbs onto the ceiling of the refrigerator. The plastic above the light bulbs is discolored and slightly deformed from the heat.

Normally, I don't have the door open more than a few seconds at a time except when I'm putting groceries away, searching for something in its nether reaches or cleaning it. I did have it open for quite a while when I first brought it from my parents' house and had to re-install all the shelves and drawers, cleaning many of them as I went. Sometimes, if I'm not careful, the door will stay slightly ajar as it takes a firm touch to close it. Light leaking out of the interior is often my first clue that this is happened. Needless to say, I've learned to be vigilant but accidents do happen.

Post# 375903 , Reply# 5   7/25/2017 at 21:29 by Luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

Yeah after this issue, I would try out the LEDs. I think they would be fine to use in cold applications.

Post# 375950 , Reply# 6   7/26/2017 at 14:05 by DaveTranter (Central England, U.K.)        
'Fridge/freezer LED lamps

I had initially wondered about the low temperature performance of the electrolytic capacitors in the freezer lamp ballast, but a quick look in the first component catalogue I could find (which still took some digging out!) reveals that even the worst low temperature figure was -25C (-10F ish), most being a good way below that. Carry on, and let us know how they hold up.

All best

Dave T

Post# 375954 , Reply# 7   7/26/2017 at 14:56 by parunner58 (Davenport, FL)        

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When we moved down here to Florida in 2010, we bought a GE Profile side by side and one of the selling points for me was how cool it looked when you opened it. It has about 10 LED lights in it. I love the brightness to find thing in the freezer and fridge. they have them across the top and down the sides of the comparments, they illuminate the cripser drawers. The Ice and water on the door are also illuminated with LED. It is now almost 7 years old. and the lights are working fine.

Post# 376973 , Reply# 8   8/17/2017 at 22:59 by Dustin (Jackson, MI)        

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We have a 17 year old GE refrigerator, and now probably 6 months ago the light burned out for the umpteenth time. I put in a standard daylight LED bulb (one of the cylindrical shaped GE bright sticks) and it's working wonderfully. We've switched to all LED lighting throughout the house and haven't looked back.

Post# 376974 , Reply# 9   8/17/2017 at 23:06 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

Maytag had this problem in their Neptune washer/dryer. The real rating of the candelabra bulb was supposed to be 10 watts, but everyone put back 15 watts when the OE's burned out. 15 watts over a long period made the holders brittle and runined the lenses.


If you wanna run incandescent, reduce the wattage. No problem with the LED lights as long as they are supposed to direct replace incandescent. In old analog gear, you can't replace the panels bulbs with LED unless you use a resistor.



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