How to Change the Light Bulb on a Whirlpool Refrigerator

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.
Image Credit: Karen Moskowitz/The Image Bank/GettyImages

Whirlpool makes a wide range of refrigerators, including French-door models and models that have a single refrigerator door with the freezer either above or below the refrigerator. Different refrigerators have different styles of light fixtures, so before you can replace the light bulb in a Whirlpool refrigerator, you may need to remove the light shield.


Basic Steps to Whirlpool Refrigerator Bulb Replacement

Video of the Day

Details differ, but here are the basic steps for replacing the refrigerator bulb:

Video of the Day

  1. Unplug the refrigerator from the power source.

  2. Locate the light bulb, which is typically behind the temperature control.

  3. Remove the light shield if necessary.

  4. Take out the light bulb and put in a new one.

  5. Replace the light shield if necessary.

  6. Plug the refrigerator back into the outlet.


How to Remove an Unshielded Bulb

Unshielded light bulbs are visible behind the temperature control panel in the refrigerator compartment.

  1. Reach behind the control panel to unscrew the bulb.
  2. Screw in a new appliance bulb that is rated no more than 40 watts.


How to Remove a Shielded Bulb

Whirlpool uses a few different styles of light shields, but the directions for removing them are the same:

  1. Place your hand on the light shield and squeeze in on the sides.
  2. Pull the light shield straight down to remove it.
  3. Unscrew the light bulb. Replace it with an appliance bulb that's the same shape and size as the original bulb.
  4. Push the light shield back in place.


How to Replace the Freezer Light

Your refrigerator may also have a light in the freezer compartment. Here's how to change that bulb:

  1. Unplug the refrigerator.
  2. Open the freezer compartment.
  3. Release the light shield by pushing it toward the back of the compartment. When the shield is moved, you can access the light bulb.
  4. Unscrew the light bulb. Replace it with an appliance bulb that's the same shape and size.
  5. Put the light shield back in place by pulling it forward.
  6. Plug the refrigerator back in.


Many Whirlpool refrigerators use sealed LED light modules in the refrigerator and freezer compartments. The company says these lights don’t need to be replaced. If your freezer or refrigerator has a sealed Whirlpool LED light module that doesn’t turn on when you open the door to the compartment, you may need to call for service. Check your Quick Start Guide for contact information. The U.S. service center number is 866-698-2538.


Some LED replacement bulbs aren’t designed for wet or damp environments, so they shouldn’t be used in a freezer or refrigerator. If you use a bulb other than what Whirlpool recommends, read and follow the directions on the bulb package.

If you replace an LED bulb with an incandescent bulb, use an appliance bulb rated 40 watts or less.