How to replace a fluorescent light tube

Written by elizabeth arnold
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When changing a light bulb, there are several types of fluorescent varieties to choose from. The two most common types of fluorescent bulb models have either a single-pin base or a bi-pin base. Single-pin types have only one pin sticking out from either end of the fluorescent bulb, and are typically used for lower-wattage applications. Bi-pin base models have two pins sticking out from either end, and are most commonly used for higher-wattage applications.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Remove the protective cover of the fluorescent light fixture. Most fixtures have a sliding latch located to the right or left side. Disengaged the cover so it swings in a downward motion to reveal the fluorescent bulb.

  2. 2

    Inspect the ends of the fluorescent bulb to determine if it has a single or bi-pin base.

  3. 3

    Pull out a single-pin base fluorescent light bulb in a backwards motion. Once the single pin is disengaged, swing the fluorescent light in a downward motion to remove it. Single-base light fixtures are spring-loaded at the ends so that the bulb can be pulled back and removed.

  4. 4

    Grab a bi-pin base fluorescent light bulb at both ends, and turn in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion to disengage the base from the light fixture. When the bi-pin base is disengaged, the two pins will be in a vertical position. Pull down on the fluorescent light to remove it from the fixture. Bi-pin base fixtures have swivel-type mechanisms that turn to lock the bulb in place.

  5. 5

    To insert a single-pin base bulb, insert one pin into the fixture and pull back so that the other pin can be inserted into the other end.

  6. 6

    To insert a bi-pin base bulb, insert both ends of the fluorescent light into the slots at each end of the light fixture, so that the pins in a vertical position. Grab the light bulb at both ends and turn it in a counterclockwise or clockwise motion so that the bi-pins turn and lock into a horizontal position.

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