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GE Refrigerator Light Not Working: 5 Ways To Fix It (2023)

GE Refrigerator Light Not Working

You’re sure that your GE refrigerator is running.

But there seems to be a ‘blackout’ inside.

Its interior light isn’t working.

And you can’t figure out what’s going on.

If you’re experiencing this, don’t worry. 

There are easy fixes that you can try by yourself before calling for help.

So what are those?

Read on to find out:

  • 5 ways to fix a GE refrigerator light that’s not working.
  • The real reasons behind this sudden lighting problem.
  • What is “Sabbath Mode” and how you can deactivate it.
  • Steps to check your light bulb and door switch before replacing them.
  • And many more…

Why is my GE refrigerator light not working?

Your GE refrigerator light is not working because it might be in “Sabbath Mode” or it has a system error. You may also have a faulty light bulb or socket which needs to be replaced. A defective door light switch is also possible if the new light bulb isn’t working. As well as a damaged light board.

GE refrigerator light not working: 5 ways to fix

#1: Press and hold the “Lock” and “Light” buttons

Aside from the interior lights, do the other parts of your fridge still work?

Say, the dispenser or ice maker?

If not, your fridge might be in “Sabbath Mode.”

And this is the most common reason why a GE refrigerator light isn’t working. 

“What does it do?”

According to GE Appliances, it sets the fridge in a timed defrost mode.

This is why your lights won’t turn on even if you open or close the fridge doors.

And also, you can’t use your dispenser, touch display, and icemaker.

The reason for this is that it was made in consideration of ‘Sabbath.’

In Judaism, it’s a holy day of rest that’s observed every 7th day of the week. And during this, it’s prohibited to use any electrical devices.

So, the “Sabbath Mode” lets people use appliances without defying their religious traditions. 

And also, they won’t have to turn their devices off which isn’t recommended for fridges.

How to fix it:

  1. Press and hold the “Light” and “Lock” buttons on your fridge panel at the same time.
  2. Do this for about 10 seconds.

This should reset your unit and get it out of “Sabbath Mode.”

Wait for a few seconds for the lights and other parts to work again. Then check if everything is working or not.

#2: Restart your fridge

If the trick above doesn’t work, try resetting your GE refrigerator.

In electronic devices, this is one way to clear up any ‘bugs’ or errors in their system. 

So if it’s the cause of your problem, this might work.

How to reset a GE refrigerator:

This usually takes only a few seconds.

Step 1: Start by removing the plug of your fridge from the wall outlet.

Step 2: Plug it back in after 30 seconds.

In some cases, this isn’t enough to fully reboot the whole system. 

So you may need to turn your freezer switch off and on. As well as your ice maker.

Then check if the interior light is working again.

Continue reading: 7 Steps To Reset Your GE Refrigerator In 25 Sec

#3: Flip its circuit breaker switch off and on

Flip Circuit Breaker Switch Off And On

Did the reset work on your GE refrigerator?

If not, try this other easy fix.

What to do?

Step 1: Go to your electrical service panel.

Step 2: Turn off the circuit breaker dedicated to your GE refrigerator.

Step 3: Wait for about 30 seconds then switch it on.

Afterward, see if the light inside your unit turns on again.

If the issue still persists, proceed to the next tip below.

You‌ ‌might‌ ‌also‌ ‌like:‌ GE Refrigerator Error Codes: Meaning + How To Fix It

#4: Replace the light bulb

Next, if tips #1 to #3 didn’t solve your problem, you might have a defective light bulb.

Fridge lights can also burn out. 

And this could happen if the doors were left open for too long. (This is included in the do’s and don’ts when it comes to refrigerators.)

When this happens, you can smell that something’s burning. And your fridge’s interior light could be hot to the touch.

Then afterward, it might work for a few seconds and die out.

How will I know if my fridge light needs to be replaced?

The most common visible signs are a loose filament and a dark spot.

So, check for these things in your fridge light bulb. 

Then you can also test it using a multimeter.

“What is it?”

It’s a tool used to determine if a component has ‘continuity’ or current flow.

How to test a refrigerator light bulb:
  1. Take out the bulb from the fridge. (You can see it on the compartment’s ceiling.)
  2. Get your multimeter and put it to the Rx1 setting.
  3. Make one probe touch the bottom part of the light bulb.
  4. Place the other probe on the bulb’s threading.
  5. Look at the reading. If you see an infinity, your light bulb needs to be changed.

How to replace a refrigerator light bulb:

Is your fridge still new and under warranty?

If so, contact the store or vendor to assess and fix the lighting issue.

But if not, replacing a light bulb is quite easy.

  1. Unplug your refrigerator from the power outlet.
  2. Open it and look for the light bulb on the topmost part of the compartment.
  3. Hold the faulty bulb and turn it counterclockwise. Do this until you take it out of the socket.
  4. Get the new light bulb and turn it clockwise until it’s secured.
  5. Plug your fridge back in.
  6. Check if the new light bulb is working.

If it still doesn’t work, you might have a different problem.

#5: Replace your door light switch

Like any other light, the one inside your fridge is also operated by a switch.

It turns the light on automatically whenever you open your unit. And turns it off when the fridge doors are shut.

So if a new light bulb didn’t resolve the problem, you might have a faulty door light switch.

How to fix it:

Before replacing the switch, test it first.

Open your GE fridge and look for it inside.

Note: In new models, there are 2 door light switches at the top part of the refrigerator. While in older fridges, there’s only one on the right wall – near the door opening.

Once you’ve found it, press it to double-check if the light is working.

If not, do a ‘multimeter test.’

To do this:

  1. Unplug your fridge cord from its power source.
  2. Take out the door light switch.
  • If it’s on the right side – Insert the tip of a flat screwdriver behind its lower half. Pull the switch and wiggle it out (just enough to expose some wires). Disconnect the plug of the switch from the wiring.
  • If the switches are on the top part – Detach the top cover panel by removing the screws that hold it. Take out the faulty switch and unplug it from the wires.
  1. Prepare your multimeter.
  • For analog: Rotate the dial to the lowest setting for ohms of resistance (X10). Put the 2 probes over each other and pinch it using your fingers until the needle reads “0.”
  • For digital: Turn the dial to the lowest setting (200).
  1. Using one probe, touch the ‘common terminal.’ (The short flap on the side with label “COM”).
  2. Touch the ‘normally open’ terminal using the other probe. (One of the plugs with “NO” label.)
  3. Press the switch using your finger (the longer flap on the side).

If your multimeter reads “0,” this means your door light switch has a current and is working.

But if there are no changes on the reading or display, you have a defective switch.

How to replace a GE refrigerator door light switch:
  1. List your GE refrigerator model number. (This is usually found on a square or rectangular sticker inside your fridge.)
  2. Get a new switch. You can buy this on Amazon or at GE’s website.

Note: Go to GE Appliances Parts Search page. Type your fridge’s model number on the search engine. Then find the door light switch to get its part number and purchase it.

  1. Repeat steps #1 and #2 to remove the old door light switch.
  2. Install the new one and reconnect the wires. 

Close and open the fridge to see if the interior light is working.

If you want to see how it’s done in actuality, here’s a short video:

The model used is an older one. However, the process of changing the light switch is similar.

Note: If it’s still the same, the culprit might be the light socket. To check this, again, unplug your fridge first. Then inspect the socket if you can see burned or discolored spots. If you see any, go to this page. Enter your model number and find a new light socket.

#BONUS: Get a brand new light board

If you’ve tried everything but nothing works, you might need to change your fridge light board.

You can also order it online – like this one. Then install it at home.


Follow these steps:

  1. Unplug your fridge first.
  2. Open the fridge and locate the light board assembly. (This is normally on the ceiling of the compartment.)
  3. Remove its cover by pulling it down or removing its screws. (This will depend on your model.)
  4. Detach the old light board to the wire connector. (Remember how it was placed.)
  5. Gently tug or pull it downwards to take it out from the housing.
  6. Get the new light board.
  7. Insert it in the same position as the old one and snap it in place.
  8. Reattach the wire connector.
  9. Put the cover back in its place. Make sure it’s closed and secured.

And there you go.

Plug your GE refrigerator. Then see if the interior light is working again.

Note: The refrigerator LED light board I shared above is compatible with the models below:


Don’t forget to check out: 15 Best Ways To Maintain Your Refrigerator (Checklist)