Fridge Hack - Internal Light Conversion to LED



Introduction: Fridge Hack - Internal Light Conversion to LED

About: An engineer who likes to tinker with electronics and make stuff!

This is a mini instructable about the conversion of my fridge light from the original fluorescent lamp to LED. Why? Well, I've had the fridge/freezer for about 18 years now an I've had to replace the fluorescent lamp every 2-3 years. I guess the repeated opening/shutting of the doors along with cool temperatures and possibly some condensation means the life of these lamps is very short, particularly when you consider the lamp is only on for a few seconds/day.

The lamp is both difficult to obtain and very expensive. A quick look online reveals a AU$29.95 to AU$41.95 (US $21 - $30 roughly)

Here are a couple of links for this Samsung part (4713-000175)

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Step 1: Warning - Electrical Hazards

This project is on a mains powered fridge - please don't attempt to do this if you are not confident and competent!

However, having said that, once the inverter board is removed and replace by a 12vDC plug pack the rest of the project is easy to complete and quite safe due to the low voltages downstream of the plug pack.

Step 2: Parts List

There are only 2 parts to this project.

The existing fluorescent tube is driven from an inverter on top of the fridge. I removed this part and replaced it with a wall wart style plug pack. The LED strip replaced the fluorescent tube inside the fridge, I actually used a couple of different types as the first strip gave a slightly odd colour/hue change in comparison to the original cool white of the fluorescent.

1) 12VDC power supply - This is a plugpack or wall wart as I like to call them - you will only need a very low power one - this one is only 400mA

2) 12V LED strip. You can find this on your favorite buying site such as ebay/Amazon/Bangood etc - just search for "12v LED strip" There are soooooo many to choose from I'm not going to provide a direct link. You might want to consider using a waterproof version as the fridge environment can get damp through condensation. I just used what I had left over from previous projects.

Step 3: Installation - the Plugpack

After powering off the fridge I removed the inverter that powered the fluorescent tube (keep this for future use or refitting). I then installed the wall wart in its place which just fits! There were 4 wires going to the fluorescent tube I just used 2 of them to wire the 12VDC +ve and -ve to the connector inside the light fitting inside the fridge.

WARNING Possible Electrocution Risk

NB Even when the fridge is turned off be very careful removing the inverter board as the capacitors may retain a charge for some time!

Step 4: Installation - the LED's

As I said in the video and earlier in the instructable, I used 2 strips of different LED's which were left over from previous projects. The 2 strips were laid inside the housing and held in place by a couple of spots of superglue and 2 short lengths of insulation tape. Once the housing is clipped back in position there should be little disturbance to the strips so I've not been over careful about ensuring they don't move. In fact it's 2 years since I did this and everything is still OK.

The wiring is minimal. I simply added a short length of copper wire to the ends of the strips and poked them into the 2 connections on the 4 way plug that I'd used to deliver the 12VDC.

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