How to Change the Light Bulb in Your Microwave


The light in your microwave is surprisingly important. Because the microwave can only cook closed, the light is your only way of tracking how well your food is cooking. In many cases, the light is essential to spot when food is done, like when oatmeal is about to boil over or when your food begins to simmer. So when that light goes out, you’ll need it repaired pretty fast. There’s no need to replace the whole microwave, you can just fix the light if you know how to do it.

The microwave light can be located in one of two places, so the replacement steps vary. The bulb could be either inside the chamber or tucked in the cabinet, accessed through the back.  

The Replacement Light

The first step is to find the right replacement light. You will need to look up the make and model of your microwave to confirm the correct size and wattage of light bulb. Then order the lightbulb you need online or pick it up from the local hardware store. 

The Tools You’ll Need

You only need two tools for this repair. In addition to the replacement light bulb, you will also need a screwdriver and work gloves. Most likely, you will need a Phillips (cross) heat screwdriver, as that is the type used by most microwaves. If not, you might need a slot screwdriver or a nut driver. 

Safety First

Any time you work on an appliance, pull the plug before you begin. This is important to protect both your hands and the appliance. With the plug pulled, you can’t electrocute yourself or accidentally short a circuit. Fortunately, this repair is simple so you don’t have to discharge the capacitor as well.

When you are opening up the microwave, be sure to also wear the work gloves. The sides of appliance panels and components can be sharp because they’re not meant to be touched by consumers normally. Work gloves will protect you from cuts. 

Inside the Microwave Compartment

Is your light bulb accessible though the microwave compartment? You can tell by peering inside. If you can see the light cover secured by a screw, then the answer is yet.

  • Grab your screwdriver and remove the mounting screws on the light cover.
  • If there is a clip or clamp, release it before pulling the light cover down.
  • Remove the old light bulb and replace it with the new light bulb. Twist securely, but not too tight.
  • Clip the light cover back into place, aligning tabs and slots. Then reapply the mounting screws.
  • Plug your microwave back in and that light should be good to go.

Behind the Microwave

If the light cover is not accessible through the compartment, you’ll need to open the cabinet and change it through the back.

  • Turn your microwave around
  • Grab the screwdriver and remove mounting screws around the edge of the microwave back panel.
  • Carefully pull the cabinet cover away from the top and sides. Set the cover aside.
  • Find the light bulb cover and remove the mounting screws. Pull back the light cover and set it aside.
  • Remove the old bulb and replace it with the new light bulb. Twist it securely, but not too tight.
  • Return the light cover and its mounting screws.
  • Carefully fit the microwave cabinet over the top and sides. Slip the edges into their slots.
  • Secure the cabinet with mounting screws in the back of the microwave.
  • Turn your microwave around and plug it in. The light should now be working

If your microwave light is working correctly, congratulations. If not, the problem may be electrical and we can help. Contact us today, we’ll be happy to get your microwave back into proper working order.

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