Electric fireplaces contain some sort of light source, whether it’s LED lights or halogen bulbs. They use electricity in order to generate the flames effects by reflecting light from a bulb or LED onto the front of the fireplace in a specific pattern that mimics the look of flickering flames.
Sometimes these lights inside an electric fireplace need replacing, and so how do you change the bulb in an electric fireplace?
In order to change the bulb in an electric fireplace:
- Have the right bulb replacement ready for your specific model of electric fireplace.
- Unplug the unit from the wall, or isolate the electrical supply if the fireplace is hard-wired into the electrics.
- Remove the access cover to the fireplace, typically located at the rear of the unit.
- Replace the bulb inside the fireplace.
- Re-attach the access cover back onto the unit.
- Plug the electric fireplace back in or turn on the power to test that the replacement bulb works.
We have an electric fireplace stove and we’ve shown in more detail below with pictures exactly how we would change a bulb in our fireplace.
Electric Fireplace Light Bulbs Not Working
Electric fireplaces work by using a source of light to create the look of flickering flames on the front of the unit.
We’ve explained in more detail how an electric fireplace works here, but essentially the majority of electric fireplaces use a light source and set of rotating mirrors to reflect light onto the front screen of the fireplace in a specific pattern that resembles the look of flickering flames.
For certain types of electric fireplace that may not produce any flames effects, such as electric fireplace log sets, there may still be a bulb inside that generates the pulsating glow of the ember bed to imitate a smoldering fire. In this case a bulb may still need to be replaced if the glowing light effects aren’t working.
In order for an electric fireplace to generate these fire effects there needs to be a source of light.
There are two main ways in which an electric fireplace produces light:
- Halogen bulbs
It’s becoming more and more common to see modern electric fireplaces using LEDs as the source of light because (in theory) they will never need to be changed throughout the duration of the life of the fireplace.
LEDs are rated to last many more hours of operation compared to halogen bulbs.
However, many older models of electric fireplace used today still have bulbs as their light source. These bulbs may only have a lifespan of a couple of years and so they may need to be changed a number of times throughout the lifespan of the fireplace.
You can typically tell when the bulb isn’t working in an electric fireplace because the flame effects aren’t being displayed.
You’ll therefore have to replace the bulb(s) inside your electric fireplace in order for the flame effects to work again.
We’ve explained in this article exactly how you can go about changing the bulb in your electric fireplace, but in order to fix the flame you’ll need the right type of replacement bulb(s).
You can find what type of bulb your electric fireplace takes by:
- Checking the instruction manual.
- If you don’t have the paper copy of the manual, give your specific model of electric fireplace a search online for an electronic version of the manual or any other information that will state what bulb it takes.
- Take the blown bulb out of your fireplace and order an exact replacement.
See our dedicated article on common electric fireplace problems and their solutions for more information on why the fire effects in your electric fireplace may not be working.
Where Is The Bulb In An Electric Fireplace?
The bulb in an electric fireplace is typically located within the center of the unit. The access cover, typically located at the back of the unit, will need to be removed in order to reach the bulb.
Electric fireplaces commonly use the rotisserie-style method of generating the flame effects where the light from a light source is reflected off a rotating set of strategically placed and angled mirrors onto the back of a screen.
We have an electric fireplace stove that uses this form of flame effect generation, and the video below shows our fireplace working from the inside.
Depending on your model of electric fireplace there may be more than one bulb that needs to be replaced.
Although our particular model of electric fireplace doesn’t have any halogen bulbs, it has a set of LEDs that serves the same purpose.
In our particular model of fireplace, the lights are located underneath the logs. This helps to light up the fake logs and provide a glow to them, while light is also reflected off the rotating mirrors to create the flickering flame effects.
For your particular model of electric fireplace look for the components that generate the flame effects and you’ll find the bulb that needs to be replaced nearby.
Do You Need To Turn Off The Electric To Change A Bulb?
Before changing a bulb in your electric fireplace you should always turn off the electrical supply to it.
An electric fireplace will be connected up to your home electric in one of two ways:
- Plugged into an electrical outlet
- Hard-wired in
Electric fireplaces are more commonly supplied with a power cable and plug, and simply plugging them into any one of your standard electrical outlets will allow the fireplace to work straight out of the box.
If your electric fireplace is plugged in at the wall be sure to turn the fireplace off on the unit itself and unplug it from the wall before attempting to open the fireplace to change the bulb.
Electric fireplaces that are more of a permanent solution in a home, such as installed within an entertainment center or within a wall, may be hard-wired into the house electrics.
If so then you’ll need to isolate the power to the fireplace. The easiest way can be to manually trip the fuse inside your fuse box that supplies power to it.
What Kind Of Bulb For An Electric Fireplace?
Before changing the bulb in your electric fireplace you’ll need to have the right type and wattage of electric fireplace bulb ready to replace the old one.
Electric fireplaces commonly use the E12 type bulb.
You can find these types of bulbs right here.
Before ordering your replacement bulb(s) be sure to check the instruction manual for your particular model of electric fireplace to see what type of bulb it takes.
You can also remove the current bulb and buy one that matches it.
How To Change The Bulb In An Electric Fireplace
1 – Unplug The Fireplace
Before attempting to undertake any maintenance in your electric fireplace, such as changing a light bulb, ensure that the fireplace is either unplugged from the wall or that the power to it has been turned off.
If you’ve recently used your electric fireplace then also be sure to leave it standing until it has completely cooled down before changing the bulb.
2 – Remove The Access Cover
In order to reach the compartment inside your electric fireplace where the bulb is located you’ll first need to remove the access cover.
The location of the access cover will differ between each type and model of fireplace but it’s typically located at the back of the unit.
There may be a small access cover that can be removed or you may need to remove the whole of the back of the unit in order to reach the bulb.
For our particular model of electric fireplace we need to remove the complete back cover to get to the components inside.
We simply need to remove the screws holding the access cover in place and it comes away from the fireplace once all of the screws have been removed.
3 – Replace The Bulb
Locate the bulb inside your electric fireplace. It should be located near the set of mirrors that are used to create the flame effects.
In order to remove the bulb rotate it in a counter-clockwise direction (using gloves or holding a paper towel) until the bulb comes free.
Screw the replacement bulb into the fireplace in a clockwise direction until the bulb is secure. Don’t over-tighten the bulb.
4 – Re-attach The Access Cover
Simply replace the access cover to your electric fireplace in the reverse way to how you removed it.
5 – Test Your New Bulb
Once the cover has been replaced on your fireplace you can restore the power to it by plugging it back into the electrical outlet, or re-instating the power to it if hard-wired in.
If you have successfully replaced the bulb(s) inside your electric fireplace then the flame effects should start displaying again when switched on.
Before attempting to change the bulb in your electric fireplace ensure that it has been unplugged from the wall, or that the power to it has been isolated.
To change the bulb, remove the access cover typically located at the back of the fireplace before taking out the old bulb and replacing it with the new one.
Put the access cover back onto the fireplace and restore the power. Turn on the electric fireplace to test whether the replacement bulb works.
It the change has been successful then the electric fireplace will be displaying the flame effects correctly.