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How to replace the globe on a light fixture

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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

  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. 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.

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

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

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

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

  11. 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.

  12. Tip

    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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Things You'll Need

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Rubber gloves

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.

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