How to change bulbs in flush-mounted ceiling fixtures

Updated February 21, 2017

A flush-mounted ceiling fixture is a common lighting option in many homes and buildings. The base of this type of light is mounted directly to the ceiling instead of hanging down the way a chandelier or pendant light does. Since the light bulbs on flush-mounted fixtures are typically hidden by a glass globe, you must remove the globe to gain access to the bulb. Removing the globe and changing out the light bulb requires only basic household tools.

Turn the light switch to the "Off" position and place a stepladder underneath the flush-mounted fixture so you can easily reach it.

Climb up onto the ladder and look for a decorative finial on the bottom centre of the globe. If a finial is present, turn it counterclockwise to remove it. If no finial is present, look for small screws on the base of the light near the ceiling. Turn each of these screws counterclockwise to loosen the globe. You may need a screwdriver to loosen the screws on some models.

Lift the globe down gently and set it in a safe location where it will not get broken.

Remove the existing light bulb by turning it counterclockwise and insert a new, identical bulb into the socket by turning it clockwise. Throw away the old bulb.

Lift the globe back up to the fixture until it is flush against the base. Retighten each of the side screws to secure it or reinsert the finial and tighten it.

Turn the light switch on to make sure the new light bulb functions properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Stepladder
  • Screwdriver
  • Light bulb
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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.