How to change a round fluorescent light bulb

Updated April 17, 2017

Fluorescent lighting uses a different method to produce light than halogen or incandescent. Fluorescent lighting tubes contain a gas, a combination of argon and mercury. At both ends of the fluorescent tube are two electrodes; electricity flows through the electrodes and the electrons interact with gas floating in the tube. The gas becomes excited and when it returns to an unexcited state, it puts out an ultraviolet light. Fluorescent light is a cheap and efficient lighting solution. Be cautious when changing out the light, the tube casing is brittle. Changing the fluorescent tube takes only a few minutes.

Check the light switch to ensure it is in the off position.

Remove the diffuser in the fixture. Push up on an angle until the diffuser clears the ridge that it sits on.

Put on work gloves. Gently wiggle the fluorescent tube to ensure the problem is not a poor contact. Twist the fluorescent tube 1/4 turn clockwise, you will feel the tube come free. Slide one side of the tube straight down 6 inches. Gently pull to free the other side of the tube. Carefully dispose of the defective tube.

Hold the new fluorescent tubes horizontally so the electrodes on each end are vertical. Slowly slide the tube into the fixture until the electrodes hit the stop. Twist the bulb counterclockwise 1/4 turn until the tube locks into place.

Turn on the light switch to ensure proper operation.

Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves
  • New fluorescent tube
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About the Author

Based out of Orlando, Fla., Yvonne Grant has since 1997 done everything from designing and outlining company handbooks to preparing reports for the IRS. She maintains a popular interior design blog where she gives advice and design tips. Grant has bachelor's degrees in both business and interior design from the University of Central Florida and the International Academy of Design and Technology.