I have an old light fixture I'm trying to open, but I cannot figure out how to do it. It's placed quite close to the ceiling which also makes it difficult to get a good look at it.

I've trying push a screw driver in several places, but apart from where the wires can be seen and the two holes on each side it seems to be one piece of plastic. I cannot see or find anything useful from the holes on each side.

I've also tried twisting the entire thing, but it doesn't seem to move at all.

Does anyone know how to open it?

Bottom of fixture

Bottom of fixture

Front of fixture

Side of fixture

Side of fixture

Top of fixture

Top of fixture

  • What happens if you stick a couple of screwdrivers in those holes, and pry?
    – Huesmann
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 13:26
  • So far, nothing happens. However, it is difficult for me to determine if I just need to use more force or if that will just break it. If I cannot figure out the "right" way, I will most likely end up trying that even if it breaks it - and then afterwards figure out how to put a new fixture there.
    – JenserCube
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 13:30
  • 3
    A strap wrench may work better for attempting to rotate it.
    – Armand
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 14:44
  • 1
    Is it powered? Have you probed it with a non contact voltage tester? What country is this? What is that crusty light colored material in the center of the front? Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 15:46
  • 1
    You posted 7 photos of something and I still can't tell what I'm looing at. How about a photo of the whole thing? I'm not even sure that should open.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


I would expect it to either twist or pry loose, but it's obviously been painted to the point that it will be difficult to get it to move, making the diagnosis of whether you need to twist harder or pry rather difficult.

I also have doubts about calling it a light fixture - it appears to be simply a point from which a cut-off cord used to dangle a light.

My sure-fire approach would be to buy a complete replacement, make sure power is off, and remove it without regard for it remaining re-usable (thus, quite possibly destructively.) That might involve slip-joint pliers, hammers, or other implements of destruction.

If you have some desire to preserve its painted-over-ancientness, remove the paint and look for clues, but probably the paint that's causing problems is in between the part that stays and the part that comes off and won't be removable until it comes apart, so unless removing the paint reveals a now-hidden-by-layers-of-paint screw, I doubt it will lead to easy removal.

  • You are probably right about it not being a light fixture, but that is due to my English. What is the right name for such a thing?
    – JenserCube
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 13:31
  • 4
    Perhaps run a knife blade around the that seam and try to unscrew it?
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 15:22

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