I am running up against a poorly designed ceiling fan design.

Short version: I have a couple of bulbs stuck in my bedroom’s ceiling fan/lamp combo.  The problem is that the bulbs are set in those stupid cone things where you have to remove the bulb first before you can remove the cones.  This is a particular problem because the housings for the light sockets are no longer secured to the lamp itself anymore.  There’s no exposed wiring or fire hazard — I checked that, ya, you betcha — but when you turn the bulb it just twists the socket, so I can’t get the bulb out.  And I am reluctant to take some pliers to the socket housing to keep it stable while I somehow unscrew the bulb with a third hand or something, for obvious reasons.

Suggestions? I can’t be the first person that this has ever happened to.


  • nicklevi86 says:

    Perhaps just shut off the breaker and take the pliers to it if there’s space; needle-nose preferably. How much space *is* there between the lamp and the socket?
    As a side note, we’ll finally know how many internet nerds it takes to change a light bulb.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      A couple of inches at best. I’m half tempted to pull the entire fan and install new fixtures.

      • acat says:

        Might be cheapest (and simple enough) to pull the fixture off the fan and work on it at the kitchen table .. or just replace the fixture.
        Usually they’re fairly interchangeable, and petty easy to take off, just need to drop the cover off the “pod” and disconnect the wires that thread up into the fan itself.
        Saving Moe money on fans means providing Moe (and clan) with more money for family outings .. to Pennsic, forex.

      • BigGator5 says:

        I was just going to suggest that.

  • Belcatar says:

    Perhaps a small set of vice grips could be employed to clamp the threaded part to the plastic housing. It think at this point it would be a good idea to turn off the breaker regardless of which option you take. Of course, you’ve very likely solved the problem already, so I’m probably just catching up again.

  • Spegen says:

    Sounds like a home improvement project that’s just begging for the proper application of a sledge hammer

      • Luke says:

        I have learned this weekend that ceiling fans are surprisingly easy to replace. (Provided you have wire strippers handy.)
        Just expect it to take a bit over two hours the first time through.
        But if the fan itself is fine, acat has the right of it. Replacing the light fixture would be the route that will cost you the least money, aggravation, and time. It should seriously be no more than a couple of screws and a couple of wire nuts (which ought to come packaged with the fixture.)

        • acat says:

          Based on Moe’s above comments, I suggest paying the general contractor with an excellent meal including leftovers.
          Most contractors respond well to food.

          • qixlqatl says:

            Yes.Yes we do respond well to food, as a general rule. I’ll do stuff for a good meal that I wouldn’t bother with doing for the money. Also, beer can be an excellent chore solvent, properly applied 😀

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