How to Remove a Broken Light Bulb

To Remove a Broken Light Bulb, Think Safety First

By Mark J. Donovan

To remove a broken light bulb, first turn off the power to it. If the broken light bulb is in a lamp simply unplug the lamp. If the broken light bulb is in a ceiling or wall light fixture then turn power off at the Electrical Panel and toggle the light switch to make sure the light is indeed off.

Next put on a pair of protective leather gloves and safety glasses. You may also want to lay down a tarp to catch any broken glass, if you are removing a broken light bulb from a ceiling or wall light fixture.

Using a pair of needle nose pliers grip the broken light bulb base and attempt to rotate it counter-clockwise.

You may have to slightly bend in the broken light bulb base using the needle nose pliers. Be careful not to break the light fixture when doing so.

If there is resistance in turning the broken light bulb base counter-clockwise, slightly attempt to rotate it clockwise and then back again counter-clockwise. This “wiggling” action should enable the broken light bulb to be unscrewed and removed from the light socket without damaging the socket.

After you remove the broken light bulb sweep or vacuum up any broken glass and replace the bulb with a new one. Plug the light back in and/or turn power back on at the electrical panel and test to see if the new light bulb works.

To prevent the removal of future broken light bulbs never over tighten them when screwing them into the light socket.

Screw them in just to the point where you feel a slight resistance and test to see if the light works without flickering. If it does, leave it alone. If it flickers, then tighten the light bulb just until the point the flickering stops.

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