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Electrical & Lighting

DIY Tips For How To Remove A Stuck Broken Light Bulb

By on Apr 2, 2014
DIY Tips For How To Remove A Stuck Broken Light Bulb

Safety should always be a top priority when removing a stuck broken light bulb for two reasons. First, broken shards of glass can be incredibly sharp. Second, the presence of electricity puts a homeowner or do-it-yourselfer at risk. There are a few precautions that one should always take to ensure a successful and safe experience. It’s also important to have the necessary tools on hand. With safety in mind, a stuck broken light bulb can be removed from a socket with relative ease. 


Before removing a broken light bulb, it’s absolutely imperative to make sure the power is completely off. It isn’t enough to just turn off the light switch. If it’s in a lamp, the lamp needs to be unplugged from the wall. If the broken light bulb is stuck in a fixture, the switch should be turned off and there should be no power going to the socket. Shutting off the breaker is the next step. Additionally, do-it-yourselfers should invest in a non-contact voltage detector. This is an important tool for a variety of electrical tasks around the house. Electrical work can vary from house to house, and not every electrician is an expert. It’s not uncommon for some unscrupulous electricians to wire a light switch to control a neutral leg of a particular circuit rather than a hot leg. This can put do-it-yourselfers at risk. Using a non-contact voltage detector is the only way to know for sure if there is any power still going into the socket. 


It’s important to gather all of the necessary tools before beginning the process. A good pair of heavy leather gloves is extremely helpful for this job. In some tough cases, a set of needle-nose pliers will be needed. It may also be necessary to have a dust pan and broom for cleaning broken shards of glass. A trash bin should be handy for the waste too. 

Removing the bulb

Removing a stuck light bulb begins with putting on a heavy pair of leather work gloves. These gloves will protect one’s hands from getting cut. Most people will first try to remove the light bulb by hand. It may help to have a small sack or shoe box available to catch debris. Sometimes, this method doesn’t work, because the light bulb is stuck or there isn’t enough to grab on to. This is when a set of needle-nose pliers comes in handy. The pliers should be fixed to the metal base of what is left of the broken bulb. With a little bit of strength, the light bulb can be safely removed. All areas should be cleaned, and a new bulb can be inserted before turning the power back on.

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