Sanjeev Sabhlok's notes on technology, hardware, gardening

How to open/ twist off the cover of some really stupid/ awkward/ flush mounted ceiling light dome fittings/ fixtures to replace/ change light bulb

You’re here because you are trying to replace a bulb and can’t. I had a similar issue some time ago and failed. I had to call a professional electrician. I have posted my research on this post. A lot of other people have provided their ideas, as well.

1) SCREWED TYPE : Remove the screws 

IT IS UNLIKELY THAT YOU’VE GOT SUCH A SYSTEM, ELSE YOU’D NOT BE HERE.

Most dome ceiling lights have screws that

(A)  screw in from the side to hold the dome in place or

(B) the dome has a metal frame that supports the glass dome. Ones with a frame generally have 2-3 screws through the frame that hold the frame to the ceiling flange. Metal “objects” on the frame should be screws. Unscrew them and the dome should come free. If they are not screws they may be some sort of decorative head on a threaded post but they should still unscrew.

1. Locate one or more flat-headed screws on the metal collar (the round part into which the globe is inserted).

2. Place one hand on the bottom of the globe and support it at all times.

3. Turn at least one of the screws on the collar counter-clockwise to loosen it. Take it outwards – without removing it from the fitting.

4.You should be able to remove the globe without completely removing the screw.

DOESN’T WORK? 

  • Try twisting the lamp in either direction.

HAS A METAL THING

  • Pull the metal “thing” out as if it were a nail. Pull the little metal button out – parallel to the ceiling. That could move two prongs (like large metal staples) inwards, thereby releasing the shade.
  • Slide that little metal thingamajig sticking out of the top of the lamp sideways.

2) NOTCH/GROOVE MECHANISM: Twist and pull down 

The glass dome may have been fitted onto the base through a notch/grove type mechanism.

  • Pressing up on the glass lightly while twisting the pulling down may release it.
  • Turn slightly until you find the notch, then you push up into the notch & pull down

COMPLEX

  • One person should pin the metal against the ceiling with the end of a broom stick while the other person should push or move the dome

For a fitting with a metal pole coming through the centre of the dome:

  • Hold on to the glass, but pull the metal piece a bit to one side and then unscrew it.

EXAMPLE FROM Trung Le Quoc: “we figured out how to open this light fixture: we just simply pulled the cover downward.”

3) SPRING LOADED: Pull/ tap/ turn/ nudge

If not “screwed”, then you may have a spring-loaded frame. This is quite challenging, with tens of options. These type have clips inside the globe, spring loaded that press outwards holding the globe in place.

1. Flush-mounted light fixtures that are spring-loaded will typically have two springs holding the metal collar in place.
2. Using the flathead screwdriver or razor knife, loosen the paint by moving around the metal collar where it attaches to the ceiling.
3. Attempt to pry the light fixture from the springs by pulling down with your hands.
4. If you cannot remove fixture with your hands, use the flathead screwdriver or razor knife to pry it off by sliding it under the mouth of the metal collar and prying down.
5. The light fixture will hold itself in place as you change the bulb. Simply remove the existing bulb and replace it with the new one.
6. Replace the fixture by popping it back into place.

PULL

Simply pull the globe off.

Carefully tug a bit on the metal frame and see if it will pull down. The whole frame and dome will come down enough to swing out of the way so you can change the bulb.

For the one with two big metal clips INSIDE the glass bowl, just pull to one side until the first side unclips (putting it back on is more nerve wracking!)

Hold metal frame and pull down on glass fixture. One side starts coming out giving confidence to pull more. Finally remove the glass to find three spring clips that hold the glass fixture.

TAP

Tap the metal ring gently the dome pops out.

TURN

Turn the glass globe – there should be a peg on the holder and a slot along the base of the glass. It might be pretty heavy so hang on and use a ladder.

NUDGE

Use a screw driver to nudge the dome and it comes off.

PRESSURE ON THE EDGES

Apply pressure not at the center but around the edges

4) COMPLEX: Turn and pull down (SLOTTED CONNECTORS)

Some have slotted connectors so that you turn it about 1/8 to 1/4 turn and then pull down, similar to the way a smoke detector is removed from its base.

OTHERS

TWIST the glass counterclockwise and it unscrews (there are three metal bumps on the INSIDE that hold it when you screw it back.

Scroll down to see if you find the light fixture you are looking for.

FLUSH MOUNTS

See this for types. A flush-mounted light fixture has its rim positioned flush against the ceiling.

1. Locate the ornamental finial (round thingy – bolt) in the bottom of the light.

2. Hold the glass part of the light with one hand.

3. Turn the finial (round thingy – bolt) counter-clockwise to loosen it.

4. When it is completely loose, carefully lower the glass part. You will have to completely detach the finial, so be careful not to drop it.

EXAMPLE

20150926_083148

20150926_083103

“the video (below) shows how to install this fixture. Reversed the directions and fast forward toward the end to find out how to remove the lamp itself. Prior to watching this video I had a hard time unscrewing the little bolt that holds the lamp to the ceiling.”

FROM A READER: I could not get the glass dome to budge on a flush-mounted ceiling fixture.  It seemed like it should twist counter clockwise.  So, I sprayed WD40 between the glass dome and the metal holder (and caught the dripping with a paper towel), waited about 5 minutes, and then gently smacked the glass dome twice in a counter clockwise direction with the heel of a walking shoe.  Yes. A shoe.  Worked like magic. The dome moved about 1/8 of an inch each time.  It was then loose enough for me to twist off.  I had read on another site about a guy using a rubber mallet to do the same thing.  I didn’t have a rubber mallet, but I figured a show might work.  See attached dome and shoe!

[Sanjeev: I’m posting the dome, not the shoe]

light-fitting-31mar2016

FROM Strat Egerie ON 29 JANUARY 2017

I put CFL bulbs in two of these maybe 15 years ago, and one one burnt-out I was at a total loss on how to change it. I took another look and realize that if I held the metal part and twisted the Dome counterclockwise it popped right off.

I’m putting in LED bulbs this time and hope to never have to change them again.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

How to replace indoor recessed lighting bulb

Hints: http://www.beaconlighting.com.au/lighting/flush-mount-lights/energy-saving-flush-mounts.html

To open the above see this: http://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/20740/how-do-i-remove-a-flush-mounted-ceiling-light-fixture-dome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To open this:

See this:

To open this see:

ALSO:

For this (below)

See this: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/lighting-light-fixtures-ceiling-exhaust-fans/509597-how-open-ceiling-light-fixtures.html

For this:

See this: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=533955

NOW HERE’S ONE THAT ROTATES

Here’s one that a reader sent – along with a solution:

2016-09-07-14-33-06

Solution: “We carefully pushed one end away from us (horizontally), and gently pulled it down. It came undone/unsnapped, and then the other end was easy. ”

Here’s one that a reader sent – he can’t open it and I have no idea either:

unknown-fixture

ANOTHER SOLUTION

Received by email on 8 December 2016: “Squirt some Bang foam cleaner or other glass cleaner solution around rim of light cover.  Wait a minute & easily twist off!!”

“CAN” TYPE

There’s also apparently a “can type” ceiling fixture. No idea what it looks like.

I hope I’ve helped you in some way. If not, please make note of actions taken by your electrician to fix the problem and send me your notes at sabhlok@gmail.com. I’ll add your notes to this post.

SOLUTIONS NOT YET FOUND

Someone sent me this on 16 February 2015, with a comment “I have tried twisting pulling but won’t budge. I’m afraid of taking the ceiling down with me.”

RECEIVED FROM JACLYN ON 19 MARCH 2015

I have two of this light in my hall. The first bulb blew and we tried to change it and couldn’t but didn’t worry about it because we had a second light. Well, two days ago the second one goes. So we are trying to no avail.

RECEIVED BY EMAIL ON 29 MARCH 2015 FROM MIRANDA

Any advice? Here is a close up–there are two of these not-screws on two sides

RECEIVED FROM ANGELA POOLE ON 26 DECEMBER 2015

IMG_1318

RECEIVED FROM TOM ON 24 FEBRUARY 2016

image-thenuck

Tom says: “I am confused by the metal tab.  It doesn’t seem to do anything and I can’t pull it off.  Turning doesn’t seem to work either. Any ideas?”

A FAN LIGHT

Thanks for your website about lighting fixtures. Crazy that one is needed! Hoping you can help us.

We have a Hampton Bay Caswyck ceiling fan (pictured below) and the bottom dome lights have burnt out. But when we try to loosen the bottom bowl, the top spins too. It only moves about a 1/4 or 1/2 inch each way and I haven’t tried harder for fear of breaking. No manuals are available online. What do you think? Any advice??

ADDENDUM LED LIGHT SYSTEMS

LED light systems are equally or more complex. I have the following model installed in my bedrooms: dl13smd3000k ip44 saa. I think the model type is “3000k”

Picture: 

dl13smd3000kimg_20160929_105151143

I found a clip on this that comes off. I suppose that will allow other similar ones to be installed.

KEYWORDS/PHRASES [ignore]

Stupid light is not opening

Ceiling light not opening

What fools make these light fittings and waste millions of hours of mankind

Bulbs in recessed light fixtures can be hard to remove.

overhead lights without screws, tabs, nothing.

No locking mechanism or thread.

Examples of search text that brings people to this post. Clearly there is a HUGE issue re: ceiling lights. Is the industry listening? At a minimum, this is getting really amusing…

  • how can you loosen a ceiling light that wont turn
    changing difficult light bulbs covers
    light fixture dome with no screw cant open
    how to remove stupid ceiling light
    how do you open stuck light bulb cover
    bathroom light mount how to twist
    stuck light fixture dome
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82 thoughts on “How to open/ twist off the cover of some really stupid/ awkward/ flush mounted ceiling light dome fittings/ fixtures to replace/ change light bulb
  1. andrew

    Hi,
    thanks for setting up this page; I’m sure it helps many folks. I had a different kind of light & can send you some pics of how to open it, if you tell me your info.

     
    Reply
  2. GingerJ

    A 12"-14" Drum-style Flush Ceiling Fixture/Heavy Glass purchased at Lowe's 2 yrs ago!!

    Needed to replace bulbs! Imagine 3 unknowledgeable sisters & a do anythg for his Nana grandson standing in a chair( very wrong), &1on a step stool trying to take down a fixture that feels like 50 pounds suspended and we all are taking turns holding it up! (Good

    I thought to Cut the Power Off!!)

    We can't figure out how to get the glass globe off! We end up dismantling the entire fixture because we couldn't leave it hanging TOO Heavy &couldnt line it up with the 2 screws to put it back!!

    It was all attached to ceiling by the hot cold &grounding wire & the suspended weight was unbearable.

    Once on the counter we're Still unable to budge this globe! We've twisted poked prod NOTHING!

    A Sat evening so no maintence crew available &theyre scared they'll break it!I

    Googled our dilemma & Your blog popped up!

    About to try the pushing up method -whn we figure this out we'll put a 10yr bulb lol before we tackle this again- who are the idiots making this?!

    Stay tuned &I'll post a photo…hopefully when all is said & done this will help someone else thank you blogger, these can be extremely helpful especially with photos.

    3ladies & aKid

     
    Reply
    1. Serina

      Hi Ginger
      I have the same problem with a drum ceiling light fixture don’t know how to change the bulb? Any solutions anybody?

       
      Reply
  3. glory

    I’m a widow and I don’t want to worry the kids- so happy to find this forum. I still haven’t got the dome off, but I feel better knowing there are others out there who have trouble with what SHOULD be a simple task.

     
    Reply
  4. Vyomaj

    Open-Ceiling Mounted Fixture: If there is a gap between the ceiling and the glass dome cover (no rim, not flush with the ceiling), then you will notice a pin with a knob protuding from the whole assembly – it will be parallel to the ceiling. Just hold the glass cover SECURELY with one hand and firmly pull or tug the knob outward. The cover will be immediately released and resting on your hand.

    Twisting the cover, as you will have noticed, is USELESS regardless of the pressure or no pressure in any direction. I spent a week trying to figure this out.

     
    Reply
  5. Worried me

    We’ve got 62 – 62! – stupid little halogen ceiling lights. They are an absolute sod to remove. In the living room we have given up trying and bought some free-standing uplighters instead.

     
    Reply
  6. Irene

    I had a contractor install my bathroom ceiling light. I did not know how to change the light bulb so I went on the internet. I went to the manufacture’s web site and was instructed on how to change every light fixture but the one I purchased. First I had to learn from other sites, that my light was a flush mount dome ceiling light, then I ask the question. How do I change the light bulb on a flush mount dome light? Every dome light website out there came up except the one I have. Thank god your web site was among them. The lightning company has not gone berserk. They know exactly what they are doing and so do I.They have produced these user unfriendly ceiling lights so we have to buy the globe from them if we break it trying to change the light bulb.

     
    Reply
  7. E Levin

    Got the lightbulbs replaced, but it’s one of the stupid single screw types with a heavy glass cover. Now I can’t get the stupid thing to stay up and holding a glass cover over my head is getting exhausting!

     
    Reply
  8. Meinir Jones

    Our bathroom ceiling light has 2 screws with triangular head which needs a key to open. Where can I get hold of such a key?? Helps me to know that I’m not the only one having difficulty to change a light bulb!! Probably a hammer will do it!!!!!!!!

     
    Reply
  9. A Chandoo

    I think we should recruit monkeys or school children to design these things.
    I bet there is a BSI kitemark WHAT A JOKE.

     
    Reply
  10. Linda Lynn

    I am remodeling a rental and bought 3 used closed dome flush mount style that twist off at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Now I know why the people that donated them got rid of them. With the fixture sitting on a table I pushed down in the middle as I twisted with all my strength and it would not budge. Because they were not installed yet I was able to gently tap the metal edge on a table repeatedly as I rotated the fixture. That did the trick, but now I am worried that after they are installed in the rental the tenants won’t be able to get them off in the future to replace bulbs. I am hoping for ideas on how to prevent the covers from being jammed so I don’t have to go out and buy new fixtures that don’t twist off.

     
    Reply
  11. Tasha

    Still cannot change my lightbulb (been trying for 2 months to no avail) but at least I got a laugh from your site and know I am not alone. Why do they design lights like this? This should be a simple task! My daughter uses a flashlight to get into her closet because her widowed mother cannot figure out how to change the lightbulb.

     
    Reply
  12. sabhlok

    RECEIVED BY EMAIL ON 22 APRIL 2015 FROM JONNY

    This one I can only classify as a veritable ship-in-a-bottle.

    It's a four sided outdoor, flush mounted ceiling light with not one single screw to be found anywhere. It has four panes of glass (or should I say, "pains" of glass?) that are all trapezoids of the same size and shape, that taper inward at the bottom.

    Each pane of glass relies on gravity to stay in place and each can be easily tilted in such a way that offers a glimmer of hope at being able to reach in and change it, but I can't figure out the proper method or sequence to do so.

    Do you have any experience with such a ridiculous design? A freakin rubik's cube is easier to solve.

    We are selling our house and our first night showing is tonight. Any ideas?

    Thanks!

     
    Reply
  13. Jerry

    Have one of these lights and since the unit is for rental I guess the best option is to replace it. What a light designer? No, a idiot is the proper name.

     
    Reply
  14. Melissa

    Happy I found your site! First time I’ve had to change a flush mount ceiling light since moving into this new house. Haven’t attempted it yet but have gathered enough info here to know what to try. So how many homeowners does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the light bulb really has to want to change 🙂

     
    Reply
    1. Janet tale

      I had similar one as you described. I tried once and could not figure out and then left it no fixed for 2 ms w/o light in the bathroom :-(( which is really bad). I decided to find out the problem today. Firstly, since i did not find any clue from the bulb and the cover. I decided to go to the attic to see if I can change the bulb from there. When i went to the narrow attic and screw off one of the nail, i was thinking it should not be that complicated. I went down to the bathroom and investigated closely to the cover, tried to turn the metal square/or press on the glass cover/or turn the glass cover around, none of them worked. But when i pressed on the glass cover, I found it had some space to move from right to left. So I tried to move it the maxim limit from left to right, i found a little knot in the middle of one side of the square. I pressed up and finally took this side off and the other side was easier.

       
      Reply
    1. TIM

      I HAVE HOME ENTRANCE FLUSH FITTED SENSOR CEILING DOME LIGHT NO SCREWS EXACTLY LIKE THE ITEM REFERRED TO IN UPLOAD 2013/11 I AM TRYING TO REPLACE A BLOWN GLOBE

       
      Reply
  15. Angela

    Just had the same problem in my new home thank you for posting this.
    The fact you have to push up so hard you feel your going to break it is a tad scary these things are going away soon…

     
    Reply
    1. Linda Lynn

      I have found that if I put a small piece of painters masking tape on the raised metal area that hold the shade on it helps later when you want to twist it off, the glass shade does not get jammed on tight that way. I tried to put in on the glass shade when I first tried this but it would not stick as well.

       
      Reply
  16. ruthgh

    I have the fixture that you posted a picture of above, with the note “a reader sent – he can’t open it and I have no idea either”…I just pull down on the whole fixture, and the metal frame pulls down and away from the base that holds the light bulbs.

    Only problem is, tonight (it’s 15 years old so I’ve done this many many times before) the base pulled away from the ceiling as well; the one screw attaching the base to the ceiling came out and it will be nearly impossible to thread it back into its tiny hole while holding onto the base and a screwdriver!!!

    Now I’m at a loss.

     
    Reply
  17. jay edwards

    No picture of my problem light fixture. It has a slot for the spot light to shine through. Help someone,

     
    Reply
    1. Rick

      Hi Sam. I’m struggling with same ceiling light. Did you ever get it figured. I’ve resigned myself to paying an electrician a stupid amount of money just to change a light bulb. Thanks.

       
      Reply
      1. m

        I feel everybody’s frustration! My frustration was centered around the same type of domed glass that sits within three hooked metal tabs (Samantha’s pic).

        Solution: One of the tabs is spring-loaded. Find the spring-loaded tab by pulling each one outwards, away from centre of light fixture. Push the dome towards ceiling as you pull the spring-loaded tab outwards so it can clear the lip of the dome. Keep ahold of the dome. There is just enough clearance to slip that edge out, then you can slip the dome out from the other two tabs. (Found the answer on an old thread on a gaming site of all places!) Good luck!

         
        Reply
        1. Willow

          Thank you, thank you! I’ve puzzled about those very same style of fixtures off and on for the past 4 years!! No burned out bulbs, but they sure needed cleaning! I bought LED bulbs so was determined to figure it out this time. Your post was spot on and very helpful!

           
          Reply
  18. pat wolf

    Thanks for your site. My dome had 3 meatl prongs inside the globe that held the glass in. It was easy to push up and then twist and pull down. I would of never figured it out. THANKS FOR THE ADVICE

     
    Reply
    1. Annie

      I have a confounded spring loading dome fixture with two metal tabs. Easy to pull it off. Cannot get it back for the life of me many tries.
      Any suggestions??

       
      Reply
  19. Jo

    Most ceiling dome lights are crap. Replace the three bulbs, two ALWAYS ALWAYS, burn out in a couple months. The remaining lone bulb shines for years. The screw at the bottom to hold the glass dome in place always unscrews the entire bolt making it frustrating and time consuming to fix things. The twist in glass dome held by three bumps in the casing do not work. The dome just pops out and shatters on the floor at some unforseen future date. Avoid ceiling dome lights. Just spackle over the hole and paint the ceiling.

     
    Reply
  20. Dennis

    The real helpful hint here was using a broom stick to hold the fixture against the ceiling.
    With my wife holding the stick I was easily able to twist off the globe.
    thanks.

     
    Reply
  21. Cindy

    I moved into my new home where the previous owners had already installed kitchen ceiling lights which are quite modern in design. The acrylic cubes covers are long and I cannot get my fingers in to replace the pin type halogen lightbulb. I already tried twisting the cubes in either direction but they don’t loosen and don’t appear to come off. Has anyone ever had experience with this type of light fixture? Is there a tool I need to use? Thank you to anybody who has a suggestion, short of replacing the lights. I really like them and the directed light they provide.

     
    Reply
  22. Siva Rama

    My ceiling light glass cover is threaded, but its very tight and when I twist it anticlockwise , it does not come out. Any suggestion to help me fix it, I held it up and not using since 2 months :(. Please help

     
    Reply
  23. steve

    Small old frosted screw in dome on a aluminum base. Slowly pry a rocking clockwise-counterclockwise action with minnie screw driver between glass and base “gently, its glass”, you’ll get a space going. Soon you get a bit of play. Now twisting it, worked.

     
    Reply
  24. Sharon

    I talked my husband into letting me hold a broom on the metal piece, and it worked! He has been trying to get the glass cover off for a long time.
    Thanks,
    Sharon

     
    Reply
  25. Eve

    My daughter has just moved into a place where the kitchen lights only had two of nine recessed lights working.I have replaced one led bulb for her, though it’s hanging, which is explained by the second which was held by a clip which I cannot for the life of me replace. The third had been painted over to such an extent I won’t touch it. And I’m a reasonably good electrician! Any ideas. Thanks!

     
    Reply
  26. Diane

    When I tried to turn the globe counter-clockwise, I managed to shear off a metal peg that was holding the whole ceiling fan from turning with my globe efforts. I’m almost afraid to turn the fan on….
    Now that I’ve broken it, will I get a refund? This really sucks!

     
    Reply
  27. Jenny

    I have the same light as someone posted at the bottom of this. The Yosemite flush mount. I also watched that same video on INSTALLING IT! Just to learn that decorative screw is in fact a screw. Sure didn’t help in REMOVING IT!

    There is no way to grip it. It’s too rounded to get with pliers, vice grip, fingers… Thing will NOT budge. I can wiggle the glass globe a tiny bit but that screw isn’t moving. Tried grabbing it with a bit of suede thinking it might grip better. No good.

    I’m about two seconds from putting a paper bag over the thing and just hitting it with a flipping hammer!!!!! Buy one that makes SENSE!

    I found the website selling these. (made in china, go figure.)
    http://www.yosemitehomedecor.com/lighting/jk103-16sn
    Sent them a note. We’ll see if they come up with something.

    That thing was in the house when we bought it. Boy I’d NEVER INSTALL a piece of S*** like this. Don’t they realize real people will need to change a bulb once in awhile? And a KITCHEN light is one of the most likely ones to get a little cruddy inside? (Bathroom is worse, and that one is already broken. No loss trust me. Wall mount lights. Easier, less likely to get bopped when a tall person gets dressed. That came crashing down on my daughter.)

     
    Reply
  28. Lily

    Please help. I bought two of these cos I thought they looked good. Silly me. I know it takes 2 people to access old bulb, but even then I can’t see how it’s done. The hanging metal screws don’t seem to turn, neither does the glass cover. I daren’t push hard as I think I can feel electric wires loosening on the ceiling. I hate these things with a passion. They weren’t cheap; i “treated” myself. Has anyone come across this before, and how to deal with them? (Picture is in website)
    http://www.peclights.com/product/plafon-mirror-flush-light

     
    Reply
  29. IHateEngineers

    I swear engineers that design these things are literally retarded. Anyone hiring engineers? I’m not am embineer, but I could design a light far better than the ones sold today. So annnoying.

     
    Reply
    1. Paul

      Extremely good point! Apparently some engineers are total sell-outs for incredibly inferior quality; preferring financial rewards to the ethics of a decent product. It reminds me of some US cars built in the 1970’s.

       
      Reply
  30. john

    Thank you for this site. Like many others I was stumped which led me to this site. I was able to finally get to my bulbs and change them but the ordeal reminded me of something i was told when i was young. If you hear hoof beats, don’t start looking for zebras, its probably just a horse. Meaning if you can’t get the dome off your flush mounted ceiling light its probably not because you have some bizzarre fixture, its probably something simple. In my case after pulling and twisting and prying and pressure up down and sideways, i finally gave the outer metal ring a few taps around, and then the dome easily screwed off. Sometimes things just get stuck.
    Thanks so much for all the content and for making me feel less foolish knowing i was not alone. And how many lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb? Three. One to climb the ladder, one to knock the ladder over and one to sue the ladder company.

     
    Reply
  31. Steve

    For the picture posted by Angela Poole, you just pull down hard on the two sides with clips… the whole fixture front will extend with the clips.

     
    Reply
  32. Tommy

    I am having trouble with a different type of light. Specifically a vanity light with the glass globes. Also seen on ceiling fans. Basically, the base light fixture mounts on the wall and has the ceramic light bulb sockets. Difference being, they are externally threaded. This comes into play when you put the glass over it and then put this nut on it to hold the glass. It’s pretty simple. However, I have a fixture that my hand does not fit into. Short of having someone with smaller hands come over I’m at a loss. Does anyone have an idea for or know of a tool to unscrew these? I’ve linked to an image of what I mean.
    http://www.lowes.com/projects/images/how-tos/bath/install-med-cab-light-install-light-step4.jpg

     
    Reply
  33. Martha

    Help Please!! I have a rectangular plastic light cover in the shower that spins around but does not come off and I am showering in the dark. Does anyone know how to get the cover off to change the bulb? The cover is dropped slightly from the ceiling now and you can see a black rectangular foam piece that fills the space between the ceiling and the cover. The cover turns but that’s it. If you can offer some advice I’d appreciate it.

     
    Reply
  34. Rebecca Claypool

    Thank you, thank you. I have the spring loaded type, I was pretty sure that was the way to open it, but it was stubborn that I would not have continued without your help

     
    Reply
  35. Wendy

    Having recently moved into my lovely flat I needed to remove the cover from my bathroom light because over the years there’s quite a lot of dust accumulated inside.
    Having tried to dismantle it for a couple of days I’ve now decided to leave the dust where it is!
    Why do they make things like this?

     
    Reply
  36. AJ

    Your website is remarkably useful. Thank you for maintaining it. Was able to get information on two separate light fixtures that had been giving me fits in this ‘built-in-the-40s-refurbished-in-the-60s-and-again-in-the-70s-and-again-in-each-decade-following’ house we just started renting.

     
    Reply
  37. Patti T.

    Here is my problem. Whoever wired the house we just bought did NOT wire the light switches to the ceiling light–they are wired to turn on an outlet plug. So, to turn on my ceiling fan and light, I MUST pull the chains. Well, I had on both fan and light and went to turn them off. The fan chain broke off in my hand. So, the fan is running and I can NOT figure out how to get the confounded dome off to reach the end of the chain. There is a metal “cap” but it is flat and does not turn. Help! And thank you.

     
    Reply
  38. Edward Green

    Regarding Angela Poole’s fixture.

    Look carefully through the grate. You’ll find two screws. Loosen or remove both, then twist the whole thing, grate and all, counter clockwise and it will come down.

     
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  39. Edith Emmenegger

    Help please. I have a globe hanging on a metal rod with 2 metal plates. The top plate is solid round, whereas the bottom one has a cut-out. I suppose I should start with one of the cut-out side and try and rotate the globe in? It just doesn’t work and I have now cut my finger as I rotated the glass so much round the metal plate that splinters have appeared. I am ready to smash the globe. Help

     
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  40. Pawpcorn

    Thanks to your site and so many user comment… that gave me the courage to try and tackle this myself…

    Turns out, after I finally got the two spring side clips to unspring… that it was an LED lighting fixture…!!!

    And thus my hopes of getting a dimmer to work…. here in the bedroom… were dashed…. :-0

     
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  41. Ellie

    Sanjeev…. you deserve a medal of honor… nay… a nobel piece prize… this is the second review i have EVER written on any website, i usually reserve my commentary, however, it needs to be said… you sir are a genius. Thank you for helping my with my light, thank you for making this site, thank you for being top website on google for this issue so I could come here first… THANKKKKK YOU!

     
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  42. Old rebate

    Square ceiling light fixture – just spent two of the most frustrating hours in my old life. Bulbs needed changing and could not for the life of me figure out how to access the bulbs. The person (idiot) who designed it should be locked up. Never have I encountered such a devious mind in designing something that would confound a genius. Last resort decided to try to rip it off the ceiling. In the process discovered it pulled straight down to a point and retained by springs suspending fron the base. What a farce this was. If you have one take a hammer to it like Hillary.

     
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  43. Bonnie

    Heeeeelp! trying to remove my flush ceiling light cover which is acrylic and has a metal ring flush to the ceiling.no screws no clips nothing. The light bulbs are completely out and need to be changed. I have tried to turn it in both directions to unscrew the Dome. I have tried to pull out ,push in and do both at the same time.nothing! Help.

     
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  44. Bad Dome

    Use re-enforced packing tape (the kind with thread in it) and wrap it around the glass dome cover. Make sure you don’t tape to the chrome base. At about the half way point, create a ‘handle’ by folding the tape to itself and then continue to wrap around the rest of the lamp cover. Wear safety glasses and then slowly turn counter-clockwise (think of unscrewing a light bulb). The make-shift handle will give you better leverage to control and turn the dome cover. Use Vaseline on grooves when putting back together. Better yet, replace the piece of crap with a new lamp fixture with external nut or easier disassembly process.

     
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  45. Jo

    Ceiling lights in bathroom. Flush/ inset flat halogen.
    The bulb has gone and needs replacing. All of the other lights unscrew from their metal casing no problem. This one won’t turn and come away from the soft plastic in order to access the bulb casing. It will pull down intact but can’t access the bulb.
    Any suggestions to loosen it please?

     
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    1. sabhlok

      A comment received by email: Squirt some Bang foam cleaner or other glass cleaner solution around rim of light cover. Wait a minute & easily twist off!!

       
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  46. Eli

    Solution for Tom’s problem! I had the same issue as the one described by Tom (see “RECEIVED FROM TOM ON 24 FEBRUARY 2016”). A glass dome with zero metal, no screwing of the dome itself, no springs. I guess reading here gave me inspiration: I slipped a finger between ceiling and dome (1.5 cm space there), and felt with the tip of my finger all around the narrow ring that connects the dome to the ceiling. Ah! A metal thingy, felt no bigger than 2 mm wide, sticking out of the ring. Tried pulling it, pushing, moving it sideways – to no avail. Then my nail accidentally scratched it – it wasn’t smooth. Started probing it with my fingernail – Ah! A slit! A screw??? But even it I manage to get a screwdriver in there, how will I put it in place without looking? Well, I guided the tip of a screwdriver with the tip of my finger, and – bingo! Started turning – yes, it turns! I started feeling the the thingy is getting longer- it was coming out! Tried supporting the dome with one hand while turning the screwdriver with the other until at once it was free in my hand. Turns out the mechanism is agonizingly simple. The dome, at the narrow circular opening that faces the ceiling, has a groove all around. Think of it as wool collar of a sweater that hangs at the very end leaning outside. The circular (glass) collar fits inside a metal plate the is screwed to the ceiling, the metal plate surrounds the glass collar of the dome. The screw passes through the edge of the metal plate and fits into the groove in the collar. In this what keeps it up there. One screw and a groove. The Occam razor of stupid-awkward-flush-mounted-ceiling-light-dome-fittings.

     
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    1. Marcus

      SOLVED – I have the same light as Tom. No hidden screws unfortunately, just the metal tab that slides in and out. Move the tab 60 degrees clockwise (looking up from below) it pulls in three supports holding the glass on the inside. Support the glass before moving the tab as it will fall off as soon as the supports are retracted. Presumably the tab slides in just to hide it. My ceiling plate was loose so had to hold it to stop it rotating when moving the tab.

       
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    2. Metnp

      you should take a picture of it when it was open, … so what was the “tab” purpose, does it show screw position, or there was no tab in your case?

       
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  47. Isabella Hawnt

    I did it!!!!! None of the above seemed to help, so I simply stuck a knife in between the metal and glass … (at the point where I notice a small bump) and slowly pulled it down! Five hours of researching and several hands on attempts later.. IT WORKED ……. I did’nt give up…… BRAVO me! 🙂

    Sometimes one just has to praise oneself when there is no one else around to do so ! Hahaha

     
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  48. Sheila T

    Sometimes you just have to take a step back… after trying to get my fingers between the ceiling and the top of the glass fixture to turn the little screws unsuccessfully, looked for help online. After looking at your posting, realized the the little screws actually needed a screwdriver to turn them! Amazing how dumb a simple light fixture can make you feel. Thanks for prompting the ha-ha moment

     
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  49. Jannette

    Thank you! I couldn’t get the one that has the single groove up inside to twist to open – it really helped to see that it was an actual problem and not just me. I was prepared to break the globe to get it down and buy something more user friendly. I got a screwdriver and prodded the edges – I was afraid to squirt liquid at an electrical thing – since others have survived this tactic I will know what to use next time. There was some rust or brown deposit that was sticking the globe to the base and I will put Vaseline or tape on the thread for next time. Your website has saved the life of an endangered glass globe!

     
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  50. Pam

    Thank you for this. The bulb went in my original 1950s light fixture and I had no idea what to do. Now I know it’s a closed style flush mounted fixture with a finial. It was a bit tricky to get off because I have high ceilings and am actually sick at the moment (dizzyness isn’t helped by trying to reach high above your head) but I did it and won’t need to spend a second evening in darkness.

     
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  51. Percy Throgbottom

    Mine was a notch/groove type thingy. Took me ages to fathom it perched on a dodgy stepladder and in the end the whole s*dding contraption came out of the ceiling. I had to re-rawlplug the ceiling to put the b*st*rd thing back up. I found it helpful to swear fulsomely. Thanks for this website – we must all stand together to defeat these stupid bl**dy things.

     
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  52. Alan Redden

    I have gate lights that have globes over the bulbs. I need to replace a light bulb, BUT I simply cannot get the globe to unscrew from its base. I’ve replace the bulbs before (a few years ago) and didn’t have trouble, but one of the globes just refuses to budge. I do not want to break the globe, but I want to replace the bulb. Do you have any suggestions to my getting the d— globe to turn so I can lift it off to replace the blub? SIncerely I am.

     
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  53. Neil

    Hello,

    This is a solution for the Yosemite type “Single screw in the middle dome fixture” a user had posted. Tried many things, including some of your guy’s advice and failed repeatedly :-(… but this is what worked for me. I slowwwwwlllly worked a box cutter in between the nut/cap and was able to then unscrew without any problems.. Here are some photos, hope they help some of you frustrated/desperate people like I was haha

    http://imgur.com/MBddvo8
    http://imgur.com/khFIbcq

     
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  54. Catherine M

    Thank you. The guy with the WD40 suggestion and the shoe solved our problem. We were able to get the dome off to change the bulb. Wonder if we can buy a screw with a protruding small handle instead of that flat difficult to work with flat ring?

     
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  55. Robert

    Thanks for maintaining this page. I finally found a solution that you may want to share. Ironically, the people tempted to use a hammer in frustration were close — using a hammer gently.

    Mine was the type where it seemed the glass dome should unscrew from the metal flange. There didn’t appear to be any internal hinges to let it swing down. But the glass wouldn’t budge. So, it must be some other fastener that I’m missing, right?

    Nope. The glass needs to unscrew, and unbudging it is the problem that needs to be solved.

    The fix for that is light taps with something rubber. The rubber end of the handle of a hammer, for example. (I started smaller, but the handle of a screwdriver doesn’t have enough mass.) Naturally, you have to proceed carefully, but if you don’t hit it with metal and give it a few light taps all the way around, that unsticks it without breaking the glass.

    Then return to the effort of unscrewing the glass. You may still need a helper to hold the metal flange in place if it is loose.

    Incidentally, I got this solution from this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol6ikKG8UR4

     
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  56. Patricia from Houston

    Thank you. After reading this I closely examined my flush mount fixture. I had the kind where the glass dome has grooves and it twists onto the metal. Low and behold, at some point the prior owner must have painted the metal ring white and there was a tiny amount of paint sealing the glass to the metal. Once I broke that seal the glass dome moved and I was able to replace the bulbs. THANKS for this helpful website

     
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  57. gregg

    Page is missing HUGE HUGE fundamental. To take off dome do you move it clockwise or counterclockwise? Thanks.

     
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    1. sabhlok

      You tell me. I don’t know. This page is a piece of research + public feedback. We are building the truth from each other’s limited time and knowledge.

       
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  58. Richard I

    Just to add my two cents worth.

    WD-40 helped a lot with one of them.

    For the other, a knife between dome and flush mount seemed to do the trick after liberal amounts of WD-40.

    Thanks for keeping this page active.

     
    Reply

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