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I thought I'd be able to lift the plastic shade and angle it out of the trim, but it doesn't lift at all. It slides side-to-side a bit, but the flanges are large enough to keep it firmly behind the trim. The trim is attached on the two rounded ends and doesn't seem to slide down or unclip in any way. The long sides of the trim will bend down a bit if I pull on them.

I just want to see if anyone has any obvious suggestions I'm missing before I try prying the trim off the ceiling. A lot of things in this house seem to have been done in the cheapest way possible that wouldn't be immediately noticed by a potential buyer, and I'm guessing this bulb that can't be changed without reinstalling the trim around the fixture might be one of them.

ceiling light fixture

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Have you examined the shortest ends for some kind of clip or clasp? Something that sort of slides, just above the trim? –  Tim Post Nov 29 '12 at 12:22

2 Answers 2

After an hour of searching google

Home Depot

light image

Looks like your light

Taking the description from the Home Depot page, I found this PDF for installation instructions

PDF

Looking at the PDF and the photos, it looks like there is a white trim ring around the glass. Instead of prying from the trim that touches the ceiling, see if theres another lip closer to the glass where it flattens out. It is probably held in via compression.

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+1 for some good googling, though those are some of the worst instructions I've seen. –  mac Nov 29 '12 at 14:36
    
Another possibility is that the plastic dome is very flexible and you just pry it out. I have a smallish circular light where the dome is removed this way. –  Craig Nov 29 '12 at 21:22

this might be a cover similar to ones I've seen used for bathroom exhaust fans/lights, where you pull the entire cover down to remove. This type of cover uses some long spring wires to retain the cover to the enclosure. They can be a bit unnerving at first as you have to pull pretty hard to get them started coming off. Generally they'll then hang from the spring clips, as they're kinda hook shaped.

fan cover

spring clip

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The question stated "doesn't seem to slide down or unclip in any way"... –  Steven Nov 28 '12 at 21:12
    
Yup. I could easily see that as the description of how the fan cover I'm describing feels. In fact, I once scratched my head in quite the same way as the OP when trying to replace a bulb in one of these. I've got a strong suspicion this is what the OP is up against. –  mac Nov 28 '12 at 21:17
    
Well, tonight I tried taking a pry bar to one end of the trim where it seems to be attached, and I used so much force it felt like I was going to break the trim into pieces rather than remove it if I pushed any harder. It will come down perhaps less than a centimeter from the ceiling with a lot of force, and then retract as soon as I stop prying. So it isn't just a matter of pulling it down. I'm not sure what to try next, other than prying harder and probably breaking it. –  Nick G Nov 29 '12 at 6:37
    
@NickG well there goes my idea. glad you didn't break anything (yet) –  mac Nov 29 '12 at 14:37

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