How to Take the Cover Off of a Fluorescent Light

Updated February 21, 2017

Fluorescent light fixtures come in a wide array of styles and types and provide many years of maintenance-free operation. The time will come when you need to gain access to the inner workings of the fixture whether to change the fixture's tubes or to install a new ballast or socket. Knowing how to properly remove the fixture's cover will ensure it does not break. While fluorescent fixtures are typically inexpensive, replacing a broken cover can often be expensive.

Place your thumbs along the bottom of cover and your fingers on the upper, inside edge of the cover.

Push the cover up with your thumbs and pull your fingers back toward you to lift the cover's edge up and over the fixture's lip. You may have to do this a couple of times along the length of the cover before the entire side is free. Once the entire side is free, the cover will be hanging from the other side.

Lift the lens cover off the lip on the other side of the fixture to remove it completely.

Loosen and remove the locknut on the end of one of the end caps with needle-nose pliers.

Hold the cover with one hand and pull the end cap off with the other hand.

Slide the fluorescent light cover out from under the other end cap and it will fall free.

Place your fingertips along the outer edge of the circuline cover.

Twist the cover counterclockwise until it becomes free.

Lower your hands and the cover should come off in your hands.

Pull the two metal tabs down using needle-nose pliers or a straight screwdriver.

Pull the cover down on the side with the tabs and it will fall free but still be hanging from the other side.

Slide the side of the cover with the longer corner slot toward you. This frees the corner prong. Once one corner prong is free, pull the other side out to remove the cover.

Things You'll Need

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Screwdrivers
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About the Author

Based in Atco, NJ, Dave Donovan has been a full-time writer for over five years. His articles are featured on hundreds of websites, and have landed him in two nationally published books "If I Had a Hammer: More Than 100 Easy Fixes and Weekend Projects" by Andrea Ridout and "How to Cheat at Home Repair" by Jeff Brendenberg.