Microwave Light Gone Dark? It’s Tricky To Fix

MIcrowave in kitchen

Has your microwave light gone dark, and you’re looking everywhere for a solution?

Believe it or not, the same issue affects thousands of homeowners every day, leaving them confused and squinting their eyes whenever they place something inside their microwave oven’s compartment!

I know how annoying it is to have such a necessary appliance manifest any kind of problem. And while a dim light won’t prevent you from reheating some good old pizza slices, it’s understandable that you want your microwave oven to be in tip-top shape.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a list including 3 potential causes of dim microwave light and an expert recommendation you should consider.

When your microwave light has gone dark, it can be due to a bad wall outlet, a damaged power cord, or a fault with the bulb or the Control Board inside the appliance.

Keep reading to get your microwave back to normal!

Why Your Microwave’s Light Is Dim

While there are many possible reasons why your microwave oven’s light is dim, most of them are related to either a power source issue or a faulty internal component/bulb. Some microwave repairs are simple and quick, but believe it or not, replacing or even accessing a microwave oven’s light can be very complex.

Here are some steps I recommend you take before trying to access the appliance’s light.

#1 Check the Wall Outlet

From what I’ve seen over the years, a bad wall outlet can easily be the reason behind a microwave that’s gone dark for no apparent reason.

When your wall outlet fails, the issue can manifest in several different ways. You might notice that, along with the dim light inside the microwave oven, the appliance also fails to work normally, turns off randomly, or acts weird in general.

Unplugging power cord from wall outlet
Ensure your wall outlet is working normally and not shorting out.

Faulty wall outlets and microwaves are a dangerous combination, so if you suspect something’s wrong with your power source, please stop using the microwave immediately.

Solution: There are many ways to check whether your wall outlet is faulty. Let’s start simple.

  1. Carefully unplug the microwave from the suspicious outlet and move the appliance to a different part of the house.
  2. Plug the microwave back into a different wall outlet and observe the light inside it.
  3. If the light is still dim, the issue lies with the microwave itself rather than with the original wall outlet.

If you want to be 100% sure that your wall outlet is okay and you own a multimeter, you can test it for continuity and write down the readings. It’s completely optional, but if you’re up for a challenge and want to hone your DIY skills, more power to you!

#2 Check the Power Cord

The next possible reason why your microwave light has gone dark or is dim is a faulty or broken power cord. A bad cord is especially likely if you’ve already checked the wall outlet you normally use and determined it’s okay.

Although modern microwave power cords are sturdy, certain bad habits, such as keeping them pressed at sharp angles against a wall, can damage them over time.

Power cord in white background
Keep a close eye on your microwave’s power cord, as any damage to it requires your attention and a potential replacement.

Moreover, if the cable is damaged enough, it can cause a dim microwave light and even a short circuit, which, in my experience, can damage the appliance permanently and pose a safety risk to you.

Solution: Whenever you’re using the microwave, look closely at how it works. Does it smell like burning? Is there intermittence in the heating process? Does the appliance shut off randomly?

If any of the questions above have “yes” as an answer, the power cord is likely damaged. In situations where the damage to the cable is severe, you might even notice fraying and sparks coming from it, at which point you’ll want to stop using your microwave until you can get the cable replaced.

The Power Sources Are Okay, What Now?

After you’ve ruled out your microwave’s main power sources as the potential culprits for the dim light, let’s discuss other possibilities and what your options are moving forward.

If you got this far, chances are either the light bulb inside your microwave or an internal component is failing and requires your attention. However, unless your specific microwave brand and model makes it simple, accessing most of these appliances’ lights can be very tricky and take a long time – not to mention that it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

I recommend you check your User Manual to see whether your microwave has an easily accessible light bulb and the part number for it in case you need a replacement. Provided you no longer have the manual, please refer to our free resource below to find it.

That said, I’ve found that in most cases, a dim microwave light is inconvenient, but other than that, it doesn’t need urgent repair, nor does it represent a threat to your appliance’s internal components. If you can live with a microwave light that’s gone dark, my usual advice would be to do so.

Unless the light situation truly bothers you, trying to repair it isn’t worth the time, money, or effort.

Addressing a Dim Microwave Light

That about covers it!

When your microwave light has gone dark, a thousand thoughts can rush to your head, including the potential cost of repairs and diagnosis you’ll have to pay.

Luckily, as I hope this piece has helped you better understand, addressing the most common causes behind a microwave light that’s gone dark is typically easy and quick. More often than not, simple actions, like checking your wall outlet and power cord, will do the trick.

And even when the issue is linked to something more complex, like a faulty internal component or a bad bulb, repairs are usually unnecessary if you can live with the situation.

Thanks for reading. If this article was useful and answered your most burning questions, please check out our other resources and free guides below and consider subscribing to our newsletter.

Have a wonderful 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