How to replace the globe on a light fixture

Written by dave donovan
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A globe light is a standard ceiling light fixture that features a glass or plastic globe that covers the light bulb. There are two different types of globe fixtures: the type that feature screw-on globes (typically glass) and the type that feature screws that hold the globe in place. Knowing how to replace the globe on this type fixture is the key to replacing a bad light bulb or gaining access to the socket area.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Rubber gloves

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    Removing and Replacing a Screw-Based Globe

  1. 1

    Allow the light fixture to cool off (if it was recently on) before attempting to remove the glass globe. Glass will hold heat for a little while.

  2. 2

    Put on a pair of thin rubber gloves. The rubber will make it easier for you to grasp the smooth globe so you can twist it.

  3. 3

    Twist the globe in a counterclockwise direction. If the globe is locked tight, it may take a few tries before it begins to loosen. Once it is loose, keep turning it until it comes free from the fixture.

  4. 4

    To replace it, slide the globe over the light bulb, and set it into the fixture base as straight as possible.

  5. 5

    Turn the globe clockwise to screw it into place. Take your time so the threads on the globe don't go crooked, or you can accidentally lock the globe in a crooked position in which it can be difficult to disengage.

  6. 6

    Screw it into place, but don't over-tighten it, or it will be significantly more difficult to get the globe off the next time you need to replace it.

    Removing and Replacing a Globe with Screws on the Fixture Base

  1. 1

    Hold the globe in one hand while you loosen each screw with your needle nose pliers.

  2. 2

    Loosen each screw until you can pull the globe away from the fixture.

  3. 3

    Replace the globe by sliding it back over the light bulb and socket until it touches the inside base of the fixture.

  4. 4

    Tighten each screw by hand until each screw is evenly touching the globe.

  5. 5

    Continue to tighten the screws by hand until the globe is immobile. Do not use pliers to tighten the globe screws as you may accidentally over-tighten them in which case the globe may crack.

Tips and warnings

  • If your globe is glass and the fixture has screws around the base that secure the globe, try placing a rubber band around the neck of the globe where the screws touch it to help prevent it from vibrating or rattling.
  • Never bang a glass globe to try and loosen it; it may shatter.

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