I recently moved into a new rental house, and we have a porch light by the front door. It hasn't worked since we moved in, so I'd like to replace the light bulb which is completely enclosed by a glass cover, as shown below.

Porch light

I'm assuming that the cover should unscrew, but try as I might (even wearing rubberised gloves for extra grip) I've not been able to remove it. I don't want to use excessive force, for fear of breaking the light fitting.

Can anyone suggest how I might remove the cover?

  • 1
    check on top for a set screw of some kind? Feb 6 '17 at 11:16
  • 1
    Push up and twist CCW. It may be a bayonet mount so be prepared for it to come loose a fraction of a turn after it comes loose. Feb 6 '17 at 14:19
  • A setscrew might be hiding (often under the overhanging part of the fixture) or it may just be stuck. The suggestion to ask the landlord is a good one, as you have made reasonable efforts to unscrew (which it should do) and might well break the thing in making unreasonable efforts. The cable between the fixtures looks like a probable code violation (appears to be an interior-extension-cord type cable used outdoors.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 6 '17 at 15:16
  • 2
    You may want to look into having the landlord fix that wiring that goes between the two electrical fixtures. The wiring showing there looks like a piece of air conditioner extension cord. This type of application is not normally allowed for a permanent installation as shown.
    – Michael Karas
    Feb 6 '17 at 15:18

It should unscrew, CCW of course. And, before you screw it back in, put wax from a candle on the thread of both the glass and metal part and tighten with little pressure.

  • I'm not quite sure what I was doing wrong before, but after verifying that there were no small screws holding the cover in place I donned my rubber gloves and gave it a firm twist. Unscrewed right away!
    – Richard Ev
    Feb 8 '17 at 8:40
  • So what kind of bulb is it? Is the device next to it a motion detector? Feb 8 '17 at 11:11
  • Standard bayonet fitting bulb, and yes the other device is a PIR motion detector
    – Richard Ev
    Feb 8 '17 at 22:18

Check with the landlord before you do anything more. If you break the fixture, he can take it out of your damage deposit. A strap wrench is the next thing to try. The cover may be a bayonet mount. Is that fixture to the left a photoelectric switch for the fixture? If so, that may be where the fault is.

  • I was confident that the issue was with the lightbulb, as I could hear a quiet click of the photoelectric switch turning on when I moved in front of it.
    – Richard Ev
    Feb 8 '17 at 8:41

Spray WD40 where plastic meets the metallic fixture. Leave for 5 minutes then try with rubber gloves. Sometimes, those brass screws hold the plastic fixture as well. Look for them too by feeling them behind the plastic dome.

  • The globe is quite clearly described as glass, not plastic.
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 6 '17 at 15:10
  • Sorry, replace word plastic with glass in my answer, but try the lubricant, it will work.
    – jujiro
    Feb 6 '17 at 18:26

This type of fixture is commonly referred to as a Jelly Jar. They are normally threaded and have a rubber seal. Some models do have set screws to prevent the glass from vibrating loose. With the set screws loosened or removed I have found it helpful to work the glass both clockwise and counterclockwise. The rubber seal can be the problem (stuck to the glass and the fixture) and or the threads in the aluminum fixture are corroded (heavy oxidation is quite common). By working the globe back and forth I have been able to free many but not all globes from the fixtures. If you do get it to break loose keep working it both ways while unscrewing to help clear the threads. If there is a set screw some penetrating oil added to the hole will act as a lubricant.

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