Worried Your Fridge Light Is Too Hot? Try This

Fridge light too hot

Are you stuck trying to figure out why your fridge’s light bulb is hot?

You’re not alone! I know how concerning it can be when your refrigerator’s light is too hot, especially when it has started to cause temperature issues or damage the interior.

Don’t worry, though. I’m here to help.

If your fridge’s light is too hot, please reduce the amount of time you leave the door open, check the type of light bulb you’re using, inspect the door switch, and make sure the door is aligned. If the issue persists, please check the control board and consult your warranty status.

Read on to learn how to keep your fridge’s light from getting too hot!

Why trust us? This article was written by Craig Anderson and Andy Fulenchek.

Craig has helped thousands of other homeowners repair their appliances since 2016.

Andy is one of our resident appliance repair experts with over a decade of experience. He currently runs his appliance repair company with a team of trusted technicians.

6 Fixes for a Fridge’s Light That Is Too Hot

Unfortunately, when the interior light becomes too hot, there’s a risk of burning or warping the fridge’s plastic lining, which will damage the interior and result in temperature fluctuations.

Luckily, in this section, I’ll guide you through the steps you must follow to fix your fridge’s interior light.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

#1 Minimize Door Openings

When I see a fridge’s light that is too hot, I always start by checking how long the door was left open.

When you open your refrigerator’s door, the interior light turns on. So, if the door remains open for an extended period while you’re cooking or gets opened frequently during a party, the light can become warmer than usual.

Unfortunately, leaving the door open for extended periods not only keeps the interior light on but also leads to temperature fluctuations. Therefore, it’s crucial to open the door only when you really need to.

You can cut down on how often you open your fridge by organizing it and taking a moment to think about which food containers you need to grab before opening the door. If you live with others, please make sure you talk to them about the importance of minimizing door openings.

#2 Check the Type of Light Bulb

If you haven’t left the door open for an extended period, but your fridge’s light is still too hot, you’ll need to check the type of light bulb you’re using.

While most modern refrigerators have LED lights, some older models can have other types of light bulbs that are not as efficient and can emit a significant amount of heat.

To check your fridge’s light bulb, please unplug your appliance from its power source or turn it off at the circuit breaker and wait until the light cools down. Then, remove the light bulb cover. Keep in mind that some covers can be held in place by a screw.

Fridge interior light
Remove the protective cover to access the light bulb.

Once you’ve removed the light cover, unscrew the bulb by turning it counterclockwise and inspect it. LED bulbs often have small squares or dots and a plastic or frosted covering. If you notice your fridge’s light bulb isn’t LED, please replace it with a new one.

It’s also worth mentioning that higher-wattage bulbs can produce more light and generate more heat. Therefore, referring to the manufacturer’s manual is crucial to ensure you’re getting the right replacement.

Find any replacement part:

#3 Inspect the Door Switch

I find that when a fridge’s light is too hot, it’s typically due to a malfunctioning door switch.

Your refrigerator’s door switch is responsible for turning on the interior light when the door is open. Therefore, if the door switch is faulty, it can mistakenly think that the door is open even when it’s not, causing the light to remain on and leading to overheating.

Note: A faulty door switch can also trigger your fridge’s beeping alarm and cause other performance issues.

The easiest way to test your fridge’s door switch is by pressing it (the switch is typically located on the side, top, or along the door frame). If the light doesn’t turn off, then the switch is not working.

You can also record a video and place your phone inside your fridge. Then, close the door, wait for 30 seconds, and watch the video. If the light stays turned on even when the door is closed, then you’ll need to replace the door switch.

Here’s how to replace the door switch:

  1. Unplug your fridge from its power outlet or turn it off at the circuit breaker to prevent electrical hazards.
  2. Locate the door switch and carefully remove it by inserting a putty knife into the gap between the switch and the fridge wall.
  3. Gently pull the door switch out to partially expose the attached wires.
  4. Remove the wires and get the new door switch.
  5. Reconnect the wires to the replacement and plug your fridge back in.
  6. Test the door switch again by pressing on it or recording a video.

Remember that if you’re uncomfortable replacing the switch yourself, it’s best to call an appliance expert.

#4 Align the Door

In my experience, a misaligned door can explain why your fridge’s light bulb is hot.

Let me explain. If the door is misaligned, it won’t press the door switch adequately when closed, causing the light to remain on and overheat.

Note: Keep in mind that a misaligned door can also affect the seal, resulting in temperature issues and frost buildup. Therefore, fixing a misaligned door promptly is crucial to ensure your fridge’s effectiveness.

To determine if the door is misaligned, close it and observe if it sits flush with the fridge’s body or seems skewed in any way. You can also look for an uneven gap between the unit’s body and the door.

If you notice that the door is misaligned, please make sure your fridge is level. To do so, you can place a spirit level inside the unit and check if the bubble is centered. If it’s not, adjust the leveling legs or adjustable rollers until the bubble is centered again.

spirit level inside a fridge
Make sure your fridge is level.

If your fridge has adjustable doors, please adjust the door height by tweaking the hinge placement or using the adjustment screws. Raise or lower the door to its optimal position.

However, if your fridge’s door is not adjustable or you’re still struggling with the issue, you can use shims or cardboard as a temporary fix to align the door and ensure it presses the switch.

#5 Check the Control Board

If you’ve tried all of the fixes above, but your fridge’s light is still too hot, it’s time to check the control board.

While uncommon, the lighting mechanism in some refrigerators, such as Frigidaire, is integrated with the control board. So, if the control board is not working as it should or the relay fails, your fridge’s light can become too hot.

Unfortunately, replacing the control board can be very challenging and expensive. So, I recommend considering your fridge’s age. If it’s over 12 years old and experiencing different performance issues, it’s probably more cost-effective to replace the entire unit.

However, if your fridge is relatively new, don’t forget to consult your warranty status. Read on to learn how to do it.

#6 Consult Your Warranty Status

If you’re still struggling with the issue, there’s a very good chance that the fridge’s light is defective from the factory.

In such cases, checking if your refrigerator is still under warranty is crucial. To do so, simply read the documents that came with your fridge or visit the manufacturer’s website, where you’ll typically find details about the warranty duration and its terms and conditions.

If you can’t find the warranty information, you can also reach out directly to the retailer where you bought the fridge, as they probably have records of your purchase and the associated warranty.

When a component is faulty right from the factory, the manufacturer usually addresses the issue at no cost.

Wrapping Up: Cooling Down Your Fridge’s Light

Hopefully, now you know how to fix your fridge’s light issues.

Remember that if your fridge’s light bulb is too hot, you’ll need to open the door only when necessary and check the type of light bulb. It’s also important to test the door switch and replace it if needed.

If the issue persists, don’t forget to align the door, inspect the control board, and check the warranty status.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this guide. If you found it helpful, please check out our related articles below. We love fixing all sorts of appliances.

Have a wonderful rest of the day!

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more