How to Remove Ceiling Light Cover Without Screws

Whether it be your light flickering through its cover or spring cleaning being on the horizon and you having to change the bulbs, removing a ceiling light cover (that does not take screws) is a lot easier than you’d expect. 

How do you remove ceiling light cover without screws? It will vary based on the type of light cover you have, but there are various different methods you can use to remove a ceiling light cover. These range from lightly forcing it open with a screwdriver—to allowing the spring loaded fixture to pop off after applying pressure. 

According to FamilyHandyman, light covers are out and about in every aspect of your home. Most people are familiar with light covers that go over fluorescent lights (those grooved, semi-transparent panels of glass seen throughout schools and government buildings), but every home has light covers about. They masque the light and still give off plenty of gleam to your room. 

Changing a light cover is one of the easier DIY projects you’re able to accomplish, you may not even require any tools to remove if your light fixture is spring loaded (or equivalent). But since there are so many different types (and ways) for you to remove a light cover, it can be hard to decide the best route and way of doing so, as to not damage the cover as well as the light fixture. 

Why are Light Covers Used?

Light covers help refract light, allowing a softer glare that doesn’t damage vision.

Lampshades, light covers, they all exist for one reason— to protect your vision from the glare of the bulb. If you’re already sensitive to light (photophobia) then a light cover will be more than necessary in helping you maintain your vision. 

The normal, incandescent bulbs that line most fixtures of our houses, produce a subtle amount of blue light. This type of light can lead to disruption of the circadian rhythm, it’s why we sleep with our lights off. Sleeping with the T.V on, still playing a show or keeping your lights on while you sleep can be comforting to some, but know that it can have detrimental side effects. 

According to Healthline, exposure to blue light can lead to a wide array of health risks (ranging from higher risk of obesity, diabetes, decreased melatonin production). Now if you’re napping with the lights on that’s not a problem, but prolonged exposure to them for even a couple days can negatively affect your overall mood and health. 

Healthline also states that sleeping with the lights on can disrupt your circadian rhythm, and you may lose out on precious REM (sleep cycles). When you’re sleeping, your eyes move rapidly in a range of directions, though they do not send visual stimuli. Leaving the lights, the television, or even your smartphone can disallow you from getting the necessary sleep. 

LED lights from your phone and/or tv give off more blue light than your light bulbs, so it’s always best to turn those off before you go to sleep.

Types of LightUses
RedThe perfect darkness light, allows production of melatonin at a higher rate than any other light.
BlueUsed in LED’s and can provide high levels of productivity during the day while negatively affecting circadian rhythm and can lead to health concerns.
GreenMimics moonlight for plants. Gardeners use these in sheltered green houses due to them not interrupting a plant’s night period.
WhiteEmits a naturalistic lighting that is used for outdoors and camping activities. Also commonly found in interiors of households.
YellowCan fend off insects at night, also commonly found in interiors of households.

Light covers are helpful in that regard in that while leaving them on is still not recommended by health professionals, they do block the glare of light. 

What Kind of Ceiling Light Cover Do I Have?

From Spring-Loaded to Clip Mechanism, Threaded Retainer to Flush Mount, there are various types of light covers, many of which not having screws.

Most Common Light CoversFunctionality
Spring-LoadedThe most common type of ceiling light cover, the spring is usually attached beneath the cover. It’s a small metal spring. 
Clip MechanismThese light covers have a small clip that holds the cover in place.
Threaded RetainerThis light cover is circular (usually in a black color) and will have a shade covering the top. 
Flush MountA flush mount fixture looks like a spherical (or semi-sphere) glass that has a hardened base. 
Notch and Groove MechanismA fixture that is twisted into a groove.

If your light fixture is none of the above, the best method in order to remove it would be through using a screw or something with a handle and elongated head. All you would need to do at that point is to jimmy it under the fixture and slowly pry it open until you’re able to pop it off. Do be weary though, as doing so can break the light cover and you would have to replace it.  

Always be cautious: Make sure you are using something that has a rubber handled base or some type of insulator that inhibits electricity. If you’d rather, you may also turn off the breakers in your home of the light cover that you are trying to remove. The breaker is most commonly located in your basement or garage, either there or in another area of your house that has low traffic (think utility closet, or storage room.)

If you’re looking for a rustic, down to earth light cover, the Westinghouse Mushroom Ceil Shade is a great alternative to your usual light cover. It’s made from glass, and touted as easy to install. Click here to get yours on Amazon. 

How do I Remove a Ceiling Light Cover?

Utilizing either the Notch and Groove Mechanism, or various other functionalities, you remove your ceiling light cover by knowing what type it is, and the way to remove it. You’ll have to turn, unscrew, unlatch or various other methods that are distinct to the cover.

Types of Light Fixtures and How-To Remove

Spring-loaded: This type of cover/fixture as stated above, has tight, metallic springs that hold both of the base and dome together. In order to remove you will need a screwdriver/knife.

  1. Tease the knife/screwdriver underneath the base of the fixture and the ceiling. 
  2. Move the tool up and down until you’ve created a gap big enough for your fingers to crease through. 
  3. Pull the fixture away from the springs. 

Note: In order to put the fixture back into the wall, you must simply push it towards the base, you will hear a rash clicking noise signifying that it has been reset into place.

Notch/Groove Mechanism: The notch and groove mechanism fixture is set into place through being twisted into a grooved position against the ceiling/wall. You can do this single-handedly, but having another person to help can be paramount in its success.

  1. Apply pressure to the wall.
  2. Twist out the dome, enough so that it detaches itself from the base. 

Note: If using two people, do the following: 

  1. Person A applies pressure to the wall.
  2. Person B should twist the dome away from the base. 

Additional Note: Putting it back into the wall is as simple as using the steps above, but in reverse order. Allow yourself to push the base back into the ceiling/wall, then twist the dome into the base until it twists into the groove. 

Flush Mount: The Flush mount has a very decorative screw, called a flush. Dismantling this piece of hardware is extremely easy, but do be aware that putting it back together can be quite a handful. 

  1. Find the Finial (this is that decorative bit at the center of the light fixture)
  2. Turn that Finial screw counterclockwise to loosen the base up. Always keep a hand on the dome, not applying pressure but allowing your hand to catch it once the mount releases. 
  3. Continue turning counterclockwise until you completely unscrew the finial and if done properly, the dome should lay on your hand. 

Note: Resetting and putting the flush mount back into place can be easy, you just need a steady hand. Refit the cover back around the light and screw the finial back into place. Continue doing so until it is set back into place. If you’re finding it troublesome to do the final turns on the screw, grab a pair of pliers and turn carefully. 

Slotted Connector: This fixture uses raised bumps that warp and lock the base to the dome. Removing this is very similar to a Notch/Groove mechanism fixture. 

  1. Twist the dome, taking it out of line with the bumps. 
  2. Pull down gently and it should come away with your hands. 

Note: In order to put the cover/fixture back in place, line up the raised bumps with the grooves of the dome. Twist teasingly to allow the connectors to fall back into place, allow the dome to secure itself with the base. 

Clip Mechanism: This is by far the easier light cover/fixture to remove. Putting it back on is even easier. 

  1. Locate the clips (depending on how many your light has, this can range from three to more).
  2. Slowly pull the clip away from the base. 
  3. Do so with every other clip, keeping your hand steady under the cover. 

Note: In order to put the cover back into place, simply fit it back under each clip, then pushing every clip back into place.

Here is a handy video if you’re having a hard time, though this video deals specifically with the Clip Mechanism Light Cover.

Now that you know how to take off a light cover, you may want to clean it. Get all that grime and dust off from the outer and inner layers of the cover. Water and a paper towel will do the job, but spritzing with any cleaning products approved for glass is also a great benefit. 

Change out any unnecessary bulbs, as lightbulbs should be replaced every four months (Depending on their usage). I recommend a 6 Pack of LED Light bulbs. They’re able to last for years and come in many different wattages depending on your needs. Get Yours on Amazon Today! 

Types of BulbsLife Span
Incandescent 750 to 2,000 hours of light (83 days)
Halogen 2,000 to 4,000 hours of light (160 days)
Fluorescent24,000 to 36,000 hours (Three Years)
LED40,000 to 50,000 hours (Five Years)

This Information was found here.

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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