How To: Remove a broken light bulb from the socket

Remove a broken light bulb from the socket

Use this safe and easy technique next time you need to replace a shattered light bulb.

You Will Need
* Needle-nose pliers
* Work gloves
* Safety glasses
* Electrical tape (optional)


Working with electricity is dangerous. Be extremely careful and, if you have any doubts, contact a professional.

Step 1: Turn off electricity
Unplug a lamp from the wall plug. For a permanent fixture, shut off the circuit breaker.

Step 2: Insert pliers into fixture
Wearing your gloves and safety glasses, insert your needle-nose pliers into the rim of the light bulb.

For added friction, wrap electrical tape around the ends of your pliers.

Step 3: Unscrew bulb
Spread the pliers' handles apart so that the ends push out against the inner wall of the light bulb. Turn the pliers counter-clockwise to unscrew the bulb.

If you're having trouble extracting the bulb using the needle-nose pliers, try using a raw potato to unscrew the bulb.

Step 4: Discard bulb
Discard the broken bulb and screw in the new bulb firmly, but not forcefully.

Step 5: Turn on power
Turn the power back on or plug the fixture back into the wall, and let there be light!

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) use approximately 75% less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs.

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