How To Remove A Stuck Light Bulb From A Ceiling Fan Fixture

Now, just removing a light bulb from its socket is one thing, however, removing a stuck bulb is a whole different ball game.

Anyway, both of these are things you can handle by yourself , and well, today, we will be guiding you on how to get a stuck light bulb out from its socket by yourself with minimum damage.

Before we dive right in, if the bulbs in your light fixture aren’t actually stuck in their socket and you would just like to remove them and replace with new ones, then check out this article, you are sure to find it very useful.

How To Remove A Stuck Light Bulb From A Ceiling Fan
Photo by Evan Dvorkin on Unsplash

Stuff You Might Need

Hand gloves: when dealing with stuck bulbs, it is always very important that you prepare for the possibility of them breaking. So, if it does, you surely would love to have your hands protected, hence the gloves.

And not just any type of gloves, by the way, leather ones preferably. Working gloves or even gardener’s gloves are great to use if you have either of those.

Safety glasses: remember you will be facing upward while trying to get this stuck light bulb out of its socket. So, you would like to have your eyes protected in case the bulb breaks and the glass shatters. Having broken glass in the eyes is something we are sure no one will be looking forward to.

So, yes, it might seem like a simple exercise, but please, use safety glasses or googles.

KLEENGUARD V30 Nemesis Polarized Safety Glasses (28635), Polarized Smoke Lenses, Gunmetal Frame

Click here to check this out and buy on Amazon.

Duct tape: you will need this to get a grip while you try to get the stuck bulb out of its socket base. You will be seeing how this will be applied as we move further.

Step ladder: you need something to elevate you to the ceiling where the bulb is, and of course, a step ladder will do a good job at that. If you don’t have a step ladder, something like a step stool will very much suffice.

Whichever one you use, please, do make sure that it is sturdy and firm against the floor so that you don’t fall from it and maybe even twist your ankle.

Screwdriver: you might be needing a screwdriver if the ceiling fan’s fixture has a dome or a glass covering. Before you reach the bulb and its socket, you will have to first unscrew the dome and set it aside.

Screwdrivers are pretty common, yeah. But if you do not have one, here is a really good one you can check out.

AmazonBasics 12-in-1 Magnetic Ratchet Screwdriver

Click here to check this out and buy on Amazon.

Uncooked potato: yes, a potato! Weird, right? You might be wondering what use an uncooked potato could be of anywhere else in the house apart from the kitchen. Well, we will explain to you later, just make it ready.

So, now, to the big question of the day…

How Can You Remove A Stuck Bulb From A Ceiling Fan Fixture?

1. Turn Off Power

Of course, here is the very first thing you will have to do; turn off the bulb’s control switch.

Here, you will not be needing to go all the way to the fuse box to turn off the circuit breaker. Neither will you have to turn off power for the entire house, as you are not removing the entire fixture. So, just hitting the switch will do.

2. Leave Bulb To Cool

If the bulb was on, and had been on for some time, prior to the time you came to turn the switch off, give it some time to cool. If it is an incandescent bulb, then it is surely really hot at this point, so, you will have to give it like about 10 to 15 minutes to properly cool off.

Incandescent light bulbs give off so much heat when they glow, as opposed to fluorescent or LED bulbs which give off a lot less heat.

Of course, if the bulb had stopped functioning, then waiting for it too cool will not be necessary. However, still make sure that the light switch is turned off before you start work.

How To Remove A Stuck Light Bulb From A Ceiling Fan
Photo by Callum Shaw on Unsplash

3. Remove Any Dome Or Covering

Most ceiling fan have a glass dome or some sort of covering for the light fixture. Unscrew and take out that covering and set it aside. Then you can attend to the light bulbs.

4. Cut Out A 2 Feet Long Duct Tape

Cut out a strip of duct tape that is about 2 feet long then make a loop with it.


Carefully stick the two ends of the tape together so that it actually forms a loop, in a way that the inside part is the sticky part of the tape.

Be careful to ensure that only the ends are joined together at this point. You know how tapes can be with the sticky parts always wanting to stick together, don’t allow it do that.

5. Wrap Your Loop Around the Bulb

Hold the loop you have created with the tape at both ends and gently lower it down the bulb in such a way that the bulb is at the center of the loop.

Now, stick the midpoint of the tape on the bulb, then stick the remaining parts of the tape not touching the bulb together. 

6. Twist The Bulb Leftward

The next step now will be to grab both ends of the tape in between your thumb and your forefinger, and gently twist leftward.

As you twist, you will notice your stuck light bulb begin to loosen. Do that until the light bulb is completely out of its base.

This method usually works just as smoothly as we just explained. However, there is always a slight chance of the glass bulb breaking. If that happens, do not panic!

What Do I Do In A Case Of A Broken Bulb?

So, this is the major reason we insisted earlier that you have on hand gloves and safety glasses while you try to take out the stuck bulb.

If you had them on when the glass bulb broke, then at least, you are sure no harm will be done to your hands or your eyes.

Now, if the bulb breaks while you were trying to twist it off, it is important to know that that breaking does not get all the parts of the bulb out of the socket.

And if you try to go ahead to attach a new bulb in that socket without getting that out, best believe that would be a very futile attempt.

The metal base — and maybe even some parts of the broken bulb — will still be stuck in there.

So, to remove that part which is still stuck in the socket is where your uncooked potato comes in.

Just stick the potato into the bulb socket and twist, and it will be out. Yes, it is that easy.

If the potato you have is too big to fit in the socket, carefully cut it. Make sure that the potato has a firm grip when it goes in. If it is too small for the socket, then it will do nothing to bring out the remaining parts of the bulb that are still stuck.

Now, if the potato is able to get a good grip around the socket, when you twist, you will see the base come off with the potato. Like we said, it is that easy.

You could also try to use a bar soap to do this if you could not get a potato.

Once this is done, you can then go on and install a new light bulb; insert it at the mouth of the socket with a hand on the metal base, and then gently turn turn rightward until bulb is firm in it socket.

Well, if you need guidance on how to change a light bulb in a ceiling light fixture, then check out this article here.

And well, there you have it, simple steps to take in order to remove a stuck light bulb from its base.

PS: even if you don’t walk around your house with shoes, please, do ensure that you have shoes on while you try to remove stuck bulbs, in case they break.

If this happens, there will be a lot of broken glass shattered around the floor, which is definitely not a great surface to place your bare feet.

But with shoes, you protect your feet while you clean up.

Leave a Comment