When you open the door to your Whirlpool refrigerator, a light should come on to help you see inside and to indicate that your refrigerator is working correctly. If the light fails to come on when you open the door, it could indicate one of several problems. Most likely the problem is not a major concern, but it will need some attention quickly to ensure it will not cause other problems.
If the light is not working in your refrigerator, check the power supply. The light will remain dark when you open the door if no electricity is getting to the refrigerator, which will also mean that the cooling mechanism in the unit is also most likely not being powered, which can lead to food spoilage and wasted money. The refrigerator may not be plugged in securely to the wall outlet or the outlet itself may not have power. You can test the outlet by plugging something else into it. If this proves the outlet isn't working, the problem could be at the circuit breaker box. See if the breaker has tripped, and turn it back on to restore power.
Although the light bulb in a refrigerator may continue to work for many years, the bulb will possible shoot, which will leave the refrigerator in darkness while everything else continues to work normally. If you confirm that the refrigerator is still running properly and remaining cool, remove the bulb and buy a matching bulb to replace it, which should be the end of this problem for quite a long time.
Stuck Door Switch
When you open the door to your refrigerator, there is a switch that is released that causes the light to come on. When the door closes, the switch is pressed in, turning off the light to prevent unnecessary use of the light bulb when the door is closed. Occasionally these switches can become stuck in the "Off" position, according to the Whirlpool website. When you open the door there could be some ice formed around the switch or even a piece of food that has dropped onto the switch and caused it to stick in place. Generally you can clean the switch and press it up and down a few times with your finger to make it work again.
The cord leading from the wall outlet or the wiring to the light inside the refrigerator could be damaged. If the damaged cord or wire is affecting the flow of electricity to the light, it could cause it not to come on. Flickering lights could also indicate wiring problems, which is likely to require the attention of a service technician to repair the cord or wiring in the refrigerator. Do not attempt to repair electrical components while the refrigerator is plugged into the wall.