November 21, 2013
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.
- 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
- 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.
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 the metal ring gently the dome pops out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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]
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.
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:
To open this see:
For this (below)
NOW HERE’S ONE THAT ROTATES
Here’s one that a reader sent – along with a solution:
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. ”
RECEIVED FROM ANGELA POOLE ON 26 DECEMBER 2015
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!!”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll add your notes to this post.
SOLUTIONS NOT YET FOUND
RECEIVED ON 14 APRIL 2018
The white bulb doesn’t work but I can’t get the cover off to replace it – wedging a screwdriver I can see the dome has a lip all the way round inside which sits on the lower rim of the upper section, so no slots or clips. Both are plastic and the upper section is half inch away from the ceiling. Ruining a finger round the top I can’t feel any springs or clips. I’d like to be able to get the cover off and change the white bulb plus remove the green light
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 TOM ON 24 FEBRUARY 2016
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?”
Lisa wrote on 14 July 2017: After weeks of trying I have finally got the fixture off! My light is like the unsolved one submitted by Tom on 24 February 2016. Push metal tab to left at the same time as twisting lamp cover to the right. Sorted!
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??
On 13 August 2017 Luther Reames asked: Any suggestion on how to change the bulb in this thing?
Here’s one that a reader sent – he can’t open it and I have no idea either:
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 found a clip on this that comes off. I suppose that will allow other similar ones to be installed.
Lawrence Leibowitz sent me this on 10 October 2017:
He asked: “How do I remove for replacement? No visible screws. Bar does rotate about 15-20 degrees in either direction so maybe that’s the key but I don’t want to force it any further.”
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
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