Light bulbs often break while still in the socket of a lighting fixture. Although a recessed ceiling socket is often inconvenient to access, you can remove a broken bulb base from a recessed socket quickly and easily with a ladder and a pair of pliers.
Things You'll Need
- Needle-nose pliers
- Eye protection
Turn off the light switch and the circuit breaker that controls power to the room in which you are replacing the broken bulb. If you are not sure which breaker controls the power, turn off the main power switch.
Set up and climb a ladder to access the socket containing the broken bulb. Use a step stool for lower ceilings. For higher ceilings, use a sturdy stepladder or telescoping ladder.
Insert needle-nose pliers into the base of the broken bulb. Expand the pliers so the outside edges of the tips apply firm pressure to the inside rim of the base. Turn the pliers counterclockwise until the base comes out of the socket.
Alternatively, bend one edge of the bulb's base with the pliers to create a lip. Grasp the lip with the pliers and turn the base counterclockwise until you can remove it. Use longer pliers or a long clasp for deeper light sockets.
Tips & Warnings
- Many bulbs break when they are being removed because they were tightened excessively during installation. When installing a new bulb, tighten it only until you feel slight resistance.
- Wear eye protection when removing broken bulbs from ceiling sockets. Shards of glass can fall into your eyes as you look up toward the socket during removal.
- After shutting off the circuit breaker, engage the light switch several times before you remove the bulb to confirm that power to the socket is off.
- "Black & Decker Basic Wiring & Electrical Repair;" Creative Publishing; 1991
How to Remove a Stuck Light Bulb
Changing a light bulb really only takes one person, but that person's job is a whole lot harder when the light bulb...
How to Remove a Broken Light Bulb Base From a Socket
Whether the bulb was broken accidentally and needs to be replaced or it broke when you were trying to replace it, getting...
How to Replace a Ceiling Fan Light Socket
If one of the light sockets on your ceiling fan has gone bad, don’t despair--at least not before you’ve checked things out....
How to Replace the Socket in a Recessed Light
Recessed lighting is used for many different types of lighting and in many different areas of the home. In the dining room,...
How to Change a Recessed Light Bulb on a High Ceiling
Recessed lighting offers a clean and modern look. It increases the amount of light in a room and updates the look of...
How to Remove a Broken Light Bulb From a Refrigerator Socket
Most refrigerator lights are protected so you can't break them by knocking against them with something hard. Nevertheless, unusual accidents have a...
How to Remove the Light in a Shower Ceiling
It's no secret that water and electricity don't mix. As a result, you need to be careful when working with anything electrical...
How to Remove a Broken Light Bulb
Removing a broken light bulb can be done by cutting a potato in half, pressing the potato into the broken shards of...