The lights in our homes are often on the ceiling or high enough up on the wall that we don’t worry about bumping into or breaking them. However, there’s always that one time when something happens, either you hit a low-hanging light fixture with a broom handle or you’re changing a bulb and you drop the glass shade or globe. At Hacienda Lighting, we want every customer to have the perfect lighting in his or her home, and if something has happened to one of your fixtures, we can help you find the ideal replacement for it. If you’ve broken a sconce, or a flush-mount fixture suddenly fell off the ceiling, you can find new options in our showroom!
In this post, we’ll look at how to safely remove a broken light fixture. If, for any reason, you don’t feel comfortable taking a light off the ceiling or the wall, take the time to call a handyman or an electrician to handle it for you. The last thing anyone wants is to be injured while removing or replacing a broken light!
Turn off the Power
With any project that involves electricity, you’ll want to turn the power off before you begin working on the light. This will protect you from being shocked as you remove the fixture. A well-labeled circuit breaker is important here, as it will tell you which breakers need to be switched off while you work.
Get the Right Tools
You may have done this before you turned the power off, but having the right tools is key for any home improvement project. A good set of screwdrivers, with both flat and Phillips head options, are integral, along with safety glasses and a sturdy ladder (if you’re climbing up to the ceiling). Once you have the tools you need, you can begin removing the light.
Most residential light fixtures will have a globe or shade covering them in order to diffuse the light around the room. If you’re removing a flush-mount ceiling fixture, take a moment to see how the globe or shade is attached. It’s likely a small screw or knob in the middle of the fixture, and if the globe is made of glass, be sure to practice caution as you loosen the knob. You’ll want to hold the glass with your other hand to ensure that it doesn’t fall once the screw is loose. If it’s been some time since you removed the glass, it might be slightly stuck, and you may have to gently twist it to remove it. Again, practice caution, as you don’t want to break the glass!
Removing the Fixture Base
Once you’ve taken the glass down, set it aside with the mounting knob or screw. (Be aware that there could be dust and debris inside the glass, as well as dead insects.) If there are bulbs still in their sockets, be sure to remove those before you unscrew the fixture base. If the bulbs are broken, make sure you gather up any fragments and throw them away before you work on removing the bulbs themselves. There are ways to remove a broken light bulb, but that is a topic for another time.
Once the bulbs have been removed, take the appropriate screwdriver and begin loosening the screws that are holding the fixture to the mounting bracket. For many ceiling fixtures, there will also be a central threaded post that connects the base of the light to the mounting bracket. Once everything is loose, you can gently remove the fixture base from the wall or ceiling.
Detaching the Wires
After you’ve taken the light down, you’ll be left looking at a hole in the ceiling with wires sticking out of it. Those wires should still be attached to your light, and you’ll need to disconnect them in order to remove the fixture entirely. The black wire is the hot, the white wire is the neutral, and the green wire is the ground. If you have a circuit tester, you can use it to see if there is still current flowing through the wires. Since you turned the power off before you began, there shouldn’t be any current, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
You should be able, by hand, to unscrew the wire nuts that are holding everything together. The green ground wire might be attached to the mounting bracket with a screw, and you’ll need to loosen that screw. Once everything is loose, you can slowly pull the fixture free of the wires. After that, you can take the light in for repair or throw it away if it’s beyond repair!
At Hacienda Lighting, we love helping people find the perfect lights for their home. If you’re tired of looking at a broken fixture, or you want to replace your outdated lights, visit our showroom today. If you want to tackle the removal and installation yourself, hopefully this post will help. Again, if you don’t feel comfortable with electrical work, there’s nothing wrong with calling a professional. If you need guidance or advice when it comes to residential lighting, our team is always here to assist you.
Our showroom is open Monday through Saturday, and you can reach us beforehand by calling (480) 485-1189 or by filling out the form below. A member of our staff will gladly answer all of your questions and make sure you have the information you need before you make a decision about your lighting.
We look forward to meeting you!