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. Absolutely brilliant tips. Once started It still took a while, but it was great to know I was on the right track. Needed the long-nosed pliers too, even though bulbs looked identical.

    Many thanks

  2. Great solution! However the step with pulling the cover out was not so easy for me. I had to use some raw power but eventually nothing broke. The plastic there appears to be very poorly made in terms of dimensions and just got stuck.

  3. It worked! Took a few attempts at pulling the metal contact out with having to pull it out further than I had anticipated, while being careful not to break it. When original bulb blew I wanted to replace it with LED with rising energy prices and being the only bulb left in the house that I hadn’t switched. And at £3.50 off Amazon for a Osram Star Classic less than a third of the price of an original replacement…

  4. Thank you very much for this brilliant advice. I found that a 60cm long cable tie was the ideal tool for removing the lamp cover. I inserted it into the vent on the left hand side and fed it through to the right hand side vent. This made pulling off the cover a doddle.

  5. Expletive deleted! It was an horrendous struggle and I thought I would ruin the cover. However it submitted in the end and cheap LED bulb from B&Q worked. Only problem now is the cover seems to be rather precarious and might need a thump!
    Thanks to all for advice

  6. Thank you so much I had exactly the same as you in the picture and hadn’t got a clue how to get it off . Eventually removed it and found a bulb in Homebase that worked . Thanks again so useful

  7. Thankyou for your brilliant post which gave me the confidence to persevere with replacing the lamp in my RL38SCPS fridge freezer. Removing the cover was still difficult but might have been easier had I known that the 2 lugs (teeth) mentioned by others were on the top edge of the cover pointing up. I bought a lamp from B&Q for £5 (Diall E27 5W 470lm GLS Warm white LED Light bulb) which worked without modifying the socket.

    1. I bought this bulb from B&Q but the light cover ( which is very difficult to remove as everyone has noted ) couldn’t be refitted as this light bulb is too big. So I went back and bought a smaller one, a Diall E27 5.7 watt neutral white LED bulb for £4 . This worked fine if tightly screwed in, no need to modify the contact plate.

  8. My solution to the “lamp too short”, “will not screw in far enough” problem was to lay a tap washer on a sheet of wood and overfill the hole in the centre with solder to create a ‘bump’. Then introduce the solder filled washer between bulb holder and bulb – with the bump touching the bulb holder.

  9. Thank you for that. I used bulb from IKEA that each cheap and worked. Had to be screwed very tight but worked.

  10. Have the Samsung American fridge freezer with the ice machine in the freezer. The light bulb blue and needs removed and replaced but I can’t get the light cover off, comes away at one side but not the the other .
    Has anyone got any tips on how to remove
    Model number is RSH1DBRS
    Thanks in advance

  11. RL38SBPS here. As discussed, look at that “cover off” diagram above to know what you’re dealing with. Pop out the bottom tab with a screwdriver, then the tabs left and right of that. Then you can get your hands round the back part (at the top) and tug it towards you.

    Feb, 2023: Amazon currently have this bulb which worked straight away (2 for £6): OUKAJO E27 Screw Led Bulb,5W,40W Equivalent

    1. These lightbulbs did not work for me, unfortunately. I will try the Homebase ones someone suggested. The cover was a pain to get off and it seems like you have to be quite forceful with it.

  12. Just to say that the information was really helpful. The info gave me the confidence to treat cover a little more roughly than I would normally like to. The cover is pliable which helps. Getting the right bulb was difficult. Too big and the cover didn’t fit back in place. Too small and it would not screw in. A bit like Goldilocks. Anyhoos thank for the info.

  13. Useful info for my Samsung Fridge Freezer (RL38SCPS) – thanks for posting! The bulb cover is scarily tight to remove! It’s held on by the lower central tab, and also a few small bumps along the very top edge that grip surprisingly well. Once the tab was clear, it took a leap of faith to peel it free!

    I used an LED spherical bulb (40W equivalent) from Asda. It’s smaller than the original so fit easily, though I did have the same issue with the contact on the tip of the bulb being too flat, so also opted to bend the spring contact up a little.

  14. This post really saved me a lot of head scratching when trying to remove the casing. It’s a stubborn one for sure!
    As for the lamp, I used the Tesco Home LED Mini Globe E27 ES 40W equiv, £3.50 for two, and it worked first time with no need to bend the contact prong.
    Thanks for the top notch advice!

  15. I first try Philips bulb and dont work. After that try Osram and with no result.

    With Google i found tips from metal bracket, I unpluged power cord, with clamps pull up metal in bulb case, pluged freeze in socket and nothing
    The metal bracket must be pulled much more. In next 2 attemts i finish the job…


  16. Wow, after 6 years of darkness now I have light.
    Osram LED Superstar Classic P40 Dimmable went straight in and worked
    Thank you

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