How to open a round flush mounted ceiling light

Flush mounted ceiling lights are mounted directly on the ceiling. There is no space between the ceiling and the light, as opposed to chandeliers or pendant types. In contrast to recessed lighting, flush mounted lights do not have any components above the ceiling itself. Flush mounted ceiling lights are often round and may have globes or be opened or closed styles. Since the bulbs in flush mounted lights must be changed just like any other type of light, it is important to know how to open them, except for the open styles which are easily accessed.

Locate one or more flat-headed screws on the metal collar of the ceiling light. The collar will be the round part into which the globe is inserted.

Place one hand on the bottom of the globe and support it at all times. It will become loose and you do not want it to fall.

Turn at least one of the screws on the collar counter-clockwise to loosen it. The part of the screw inside the collar protrudes into a recessed rim in the part of the globe inside the collar. Unscrewing the screw takes it out of the rim and you should be able to remove the globe without completely removing the screw. If there is more than one screw, you may have to loosen more than one of them to open the light.

Locate the ornamental finial in the middle of the bottom of the flush mounted ceiling light.

Hold the glass part of the light with one hand. It will become unattached from the light and you must prevent it from falling.

Turn the finial counter-clockwise to loosen it. When it is completely loose, carefully lower your other hand that is supporting the glass part to open the light. You will have to completely detach the finial, so be careful not to drop it.


Use a sufficiently tall ladder to get close to the ceiling for opening the flush mounted lights. Place it beside the light, not under it. It should be close enough so you do not have to stretch your body to open the light. Any time you have to open a ceiling light to replace a bulb, wash the globe or glass part with warm, soapy water and dry it well before replacing it. Dead insects, dust and cobwebs can accumulate inside the light that will show when the light is on.

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About the Author

Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.