How to change a Samsung fridge freezer 40W light bulb

Samsung fridge interior lampWith every previous fridge we owned, replacing the light bulb was as simple as removing the cover and inserting a new 15W SES appliance bulb.  When the bulb blew in our Samsung fridge freezer (model RL38SCTB), it was a rather surprising challenge to replace.

The cover is tricky to remove and the lamp holder base is recessed.  Its 40-watt bulb is smaller than a typical GLS size.  Even with a bulb that screws in, it may not even light!  The instruction manual was anything but helpful, advising to get a service engineer to replace the interior bulb.

Before we get started, we need the following tools:

  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Long nose pliers

Before sourcing a replacement light bulb, I recommend removing the failed light bulb to check its base type and dimensions.  Before proceeding, unplug the fridge and remove all items from the top shelf.

Removing the lamp cover

To remove the cover, push the bottom tab up with a flat-blade screwdriver (1), then pull the cover out (2):

Remove Samsung Fridge lamp coverUnplug the fridge and remove the bulb by screwing it anti-clockwise.

If the cover does not come off easily, see the comments section below this article for additional tips that users posted.

Choosing the right light bulb

The original bulb from our fridge is 9cm long and 5cm wide.  The base is recessed, so the new bulb cannot be any wider than 3cm for about 1cm above the base.  For example, a typical golf ball bulb will not fit.  If the bulb is longer than 9cm, the lamp cover will not fit.

After looking for potential replacements, I found two LED bulbs that should fit.  The Osram “Star Classic” 6W E27 LED bulb and the Philips Lustre 6W.  I chose the Osram 6W as it was cheaper.  Both bulbs claim to be the equivalent of a 40W incandescent light bulb.

The following image gives a comparison of the Osram bulb to the original fridge bulb (middle) and a standard GLS size LED bulb (right):

Samsung 40W size comparison

When I screwed in the new Osram bulb, it would not light.  When I tried it in a Samsung fridge 40W base vs normal bulbtable lamp, it lit up fine.  Upon closer inspection of the base against the failed bulb, the genuine bulb has a slightly pointer tip, as shown to the left.  As a result, the tip did not reach the metal contact inside the lamp holder.

To overcome this, I used a pliers to pull the metal contact out a little, as indicated by the red arrow below.

Caution: Make sure the fridge is unplugged first!

Samsung fridge 40W bulb holderThe following image shows how little clearance there is around the bulb base.  This is why a golf ball bulb will not fit:

Samsung Fridge new bulb fitted

Switching on the light

Close the fridge door and plug in the fridge.  Wait about 30 seconds before opening the fridge door.  If the fridge door is open while plugging it in, it will not power the bulb.  Finally, fit the lamp cover by sliding it directly to the back until it snaps in place.

The following shows our fridge lit with the Osram 6W bulb.  It appears to light the fridge just as evenly and bright as the original bulb.

Samsung fridge lit up

90 thoughts on “How to change a Samsung fridge freezer 40W light bulb”

  1. Lovely. I was stumped when my new bulb didn’t work after fitting it. Your pliers trick worked perfectly. Much appreciated.

  2. Thank you- perfect advice and really clear to follow. Much better than the guidance on the Samsung site.

  3. Wow. I tried all the steps and I got the light working perfectly again after months of darkness..thank u! 🙂

  4. I came across this whilst trying to find out how to wrestle the cover off, came back to it when I couldn’t get the new bulb to work…thank you so much for the pliers tip, I think I’d be without a light in the fridge until I bought a new one without you as the new bulb wasn’t very obviously more shallow than the old one but clearly enough to not make contact! Brilliant!

  5. Glad I found this, I have one of the similar model and its bulb stopped working with a little bang which also blown our fuse box. The fridge also stopped working. Called somebody who named himself as a fridge mechanic but had no idea how to remove this cover, he damaged this bulb cover base with screwdriver in a failed attempt to remove cover when at this point I realised I did big mistake calling this guy in. I called someone else whose call out charges were £25, strange thing was when this guy was at my door step, my fridge started working on its own, sadly I still had to pay call out charges. Now its time for bulb replacement and I am going to get the one you mentioned above. Sorry for this lengthy story but I thought I should share this.

  6. Hi Sean
    Followed your instructions, popped out tab but light cover will not slide forward, cover is held at the front in two places, left and right of the screws visible in your picture with the cover removed.
    Any advice?

    1. Hi Ged,

      I’ve just achieved this today after an hour of head scratching and wrestling with it. The design is shockingly bad at best and in the end it took some brute force. I levered the bottom tab up and managed to pull the bottom out enough to get my fingers around each side at the bottom. In theory it should slide straight out towards the front of the fridge, but there are two very small plastic lugs at the top (as you say left and right of the screws) which hold it in place. I used a combination of a small flat screw driver at the top (separating the lens from the plastic above it) and hard pulling. I have tried clicking the lens back in (quite easy) and removing it again and it wasn’t much easier the second time!
      Hope this helps a bit.

  7. Would you be able to offer any further advice on how to remove the cover? I press the bottom tab in and try to pull the cover toward me but it won’t budge. That is probably the most difficult part for me and after that it should be smooth sailing. Thanks

  8. I’m founding it extremely difficult to take the cover off, it’s not budging, I’m out of breath trying to remove this cover, why couldn’t they make it simply to remove, building a sweat here. Can someone put up a video, on how to remove it please.

    1. Phew! What a bummer this fridge is. Part of the problem is the tab itself. It’s only after finally prising the cover off that you can see clearly how the tab connects to the fridge

  9. Great guide. Thanks very much for taking the time to create this guide. I found some considerable brute force was required to remove the cover, but managed it in a couple of minutes. There was swearing!

    Alas the bulb had failed with such force that the glass had separated from the metal thread, which stayed in the socket. I was able to remove this with needle-nose pliers, having turned off the electricity first (easier than moving the fridge out to unplug!)

  10. Thank you for making this guide because the user manual is useless when it comes to the simple thing of changing a bulb (it instructs you to contact a service engineer!?!) and the design of the cover is not very obvious. Yes, the cover does not come off easily, but a combination of two flat screwdrivers will do the trick (one to pull up on the bottom tab and one to separate the cover from the back at the same time, left or right). Thank you again.

    1. The only thing I can suggest is remove the cover, unscrew the bulb inside and use a ruler to get a rough measurement of the base diameter. If the screw base of the bulb is 27mm wide (roughly 1 inch), the above LED bulb I suggested should fit fine. If the screw base is 14mm (slightly over 1/2 inch), you’ll need an 15W SES bulb, which you can pick up at most hardware stores.

  11. Thanks alot…
    I went to the store 6 times. I got to a fight with couple of managers. On the study lamp they all worked. I even took the bulb from my other samsung fridge it worked. To me it had to be the brand of bulbs. Then also I believed in Philips. I went for it, still the same happened.

    So today, I decided to search this issue of mine as it has been 12 days with the fridge bulb. And you saved the day. All works 100%
    Thanks again..

  12. Thank you so much, this blinking light cover had me totally flummoxed!
    Your tip about pulling the metal contact out a bit was magic, all working. Just need to get a smaller bulb now, will look at that one you suggested.
    Heartfelt thanks, I was going nuts here trying to remove the cover without breaking it!

  13. Thank you !
    I was about to get a hammer and a crowbar…
    pressing the tap up and then with brute force yanking the cover untill it released from the fridge.
    was sure I broke something, and that it wouldnt fit back inn, but it looks factory fresh..

    Most apreciated


  14. Thank you for the detailed instructions. Thanks to you, I did not damage the fridge. The covers in these refrigerators are mounted very specifically.

  15. Right, I have the cover off!
    Use: 2 small flat screw drivers: Had to push that tab up with a bit more force than expected, being cold hard plastic.
    Then stuck the 2nd screwdriver between the light shade and the fridge, then the back was loose.
    Net I loosened the back left and right of the shade, then stuck my fingers in both sides and pilled straight forward and Bob’s your Uncle!

  16. Thanks do much Sean – my bulb had been blown for about two years! I got the bulb you recommended in the comments from Amazon and it’s worked a treat!

  17. Dude, you’re a legend!
    Somehow, for 2 years I couldn’t find a decent instruction written in English, and today I stumbled upon your site. Fixed the light within 10 minutes (8 of which was fumbling with the cover, as I was afraid to break it).

  18. Yeah. As with everyone else here. Better than Samsung. U should start a YouTube channel and put videos up on how to do these things. Ur really good at this sort of thing. Thanks a million from South Africa. Had my fridge for 5 years and finally got it right.

  19. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and share these instructions. Had no idea how I was going to get that cover off until I found your post.

    Followed your link and purchased the Osram lightbulb which worked a treat, without having to mess around with the contact plug.

    Thank you again!

  20. Another who’d like to show appreciation for your post. A huge help.

    That cover though, it had no intention of just slipping out. A brutal battle!

    Thank you.

  21. Thank you very much. It was quite a fight even when we had released the little plastic tab/ lug. I used a flat small children’s knife to wrestle the top of the bulb cover free. We have an ASDA LED bulb which has a contact point sufficiently raised to avoid having to do the pliers work on the bulb holder – different makes seem to vary.

  22. Can I just add my very grateful thanks for you taking the time to post this. My mum had a terrible struggle removing the cover (before discovering your post) and then bought a bulb that didn’t fit. After searching online and finding your post and the bulb I have just fixed my mums fridge light after 6 months of being out of action. The manual was next to useless! Thank you so much!

  23. Thank you so much for your very helpful tips with clear photographs. The comments were also valuable, particularly with advice about getting the cover off. May I suggest that you add a note in the main text to look through the comments first!

      1. In the same boat as everyone else. Luckily for me I googled a solution and came across your article. After 5 minutes got the cover off . Went to B +Q and got one of their own brand bulbs. Worked perfectly. Dont know if it will help but I smeared a bit of vaseline around the cover when I replaced it. Thanks for a very helpful page!!

  24. Thanks a lot for this info. Just been been struggling to change the bulb in my daughters fridge. All I can add is that the force needed to pull off the cover is a lot more than you would imagine. We now have to get a bulb but I think replacing the cover will be easier than getting it off.

  25. I tried everything to remove cover but yes its stuck. Not moving at all. Any suggestions please. I need to remove the cover.

    1. s. my comment, I brought the fridge to room temp iot to make the plastic cover more flexible. After you released it at the bottom ist will stick on the top

  26. thanks a lot for the advise. Finally I managed to remove the (fuking) cover. After releasing the lower part I had still to apply (brutal) force and was afraid it may break. Afterwards I noticed that on top 2 pins in additon to the guiding rails were in place. I cut it off before I reinstalled the cover.

  27. Just been through this as well, thanks for your help. I think i found the sticking point. There are 2 little teeth sticking up at the front which prevent the cover being pulled forward once the back tab is freed. I brute forced it to find out but if i had it to do again i would: 1: prize up the back tab until its free then gently lever the bottom of the cover forward till its free of the housing, it will flex down when its free. 2: prize the cover front down about 1cm in from each front rounded corner there is a tooth, this should free these and it should slide forward with no further resistance.

  28. Hi. This article is a great help. Can anyone send me a link for a bulb though as the one on amazon is not available. Thanks.

    1. That’s a bummer that both the Philips and Osram mini bulbs appear to be discontinued.

      I had no luck finding a branded 6W LED of similar dimensions as most have a wide neck near the base. However, I did find lower wattage bulbs which would be the equivalent to a 25W bulb, which should still provide plenty of light.
      Sebson 3W –
      Philips 3W –

      The following is a 6W non name brand. I’m not fully sure if the neck is narrow enough fit:

  29. After about 6 months without a fridge light & finally getting the cover off, I get lucky; I find I have a couple of spare bulbs in the drawer that fit, Hyundai 4801m G45 LED 6W. Don’t think they’re hard to find

  30. Glad I looked on here first looked at photos to see where the tabs were and prised them off, still not easy though.just ordered the Phillip’s bulb.

    1. Many thanks for excellent info. To get cover off, I used the photo with the cover off to locate the fixing tabs and had to use 2 flat head screwdrivers. Once the bottom is loosened and out of fixing location, I used the 2 screwdrivers at the top, simultaneously, to remove the upper fixing points.

  31. Thanks from me too nightmare to get cover off but brute force got it free. Found a bulb that fitted and excellent advice regarding extending the contact

  32. Very grateful for you help even though I think I might have broken the cover with force I needed to use to prize the cover off…
    I got my light bulb from Amazon I just googled the model of my fridge hopefully when the bulb arrives I can get the cover back on with no issues

    Thanks again

  33. Hi all i did this in 10min. The giving here was out of this world,may i say.
    its the only reson i could do it so ty ty an did i say TY

    Now as for the buld i went to B&Q found this was £4.
    Diall E27
    LED neutral white.
    40w 470 lm
    LED bulb which has a contact point sufficiently raised to avoid having to do the pliers work.
    I will add this tho..the fridge has never been so bright

    1. Hi Luis,
      Agreed Sean’s post on how to do it was brilliant – didn’t have the confidence to go the extra bit of force until I saw the position of the retaining tabs (there will certainly be a bit of doctoring to the fixing before putting back !)

      Thanks for the steer on replacement LED bulb – our fridge has been dark for several years, bet the thing breaks after it gets a new bulb ! hahahaha

  34. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and share these instructions. it would have bin a much longger fight.

    The bulb: went to B&Q found this one. Diall E27 LED
    Neutral White 40W 470 lm 5.7W. no pliers work on the bulb holder. i will say this tho,the fridge has never been so bright.

  35. Thanls for writing the guide – the pics helped understanding how the cover is fitted – it didn’t want to come off!!!

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