I need to replace one of the lightbulbs in my bathroom's lightbulb fixture. The bulb itself is a halopin bulb that inserts with a metal hook, but its covered by a glass cage/receptacle that should just screw unto the metal base in the fixture. That glass cage is stuck. Based on other bulbs in the fixture it is supposed to screw off easily but the one that needs to be replaced is jammed. It's hard to put my full force into it because there is a sconce around it limiting my range of motion (I actually broke the sconce on an identical fixture downstairs trying to replace another stuck part). Any ideas on how I can get the glass off the metal more easily?

bulb and glass cage. The cage is the part that's stuck The cage screws onto a metal base

  • have you tried squirting WD-40 or some sort of grease into the part where the glass touches the fixture? Make sure that you minimize getting it on the outside of the cage (hard to grip)... Aug 29, 2015 at 15:31
  • Also, cooling the area by applying a damp cloth and a fan will make the cage smaller (by a very little amount). Do this a few times to loosen the glass. Cycle between cool and hot for more movement. Aug 29, 2015 at 15:33
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    I haven't tried WD-40 because I wasn't sure if that would actually help when glass is involved. Will it? I'll try using a damp cloth to cool the glass and hopefully have the base shrink, that sounds like a good idea.
    – AGK
    Aug 29, 2015 at 15:39
  • Well, you want the glass to shrink, not the base. Yeah, any sort of grease will work to loosening the glass. You might try thinner oils like WD-40 and switch to thicker oils like olive oil. I posted an answer below reiterating my comments. Aug 29, 2015 at 15:41

3 Answers 3


Try squirting some sort of grease such as WD-40, or even more natural and thicker oils like olive oil into the part where the glass cage touches the inside metal.

Make sure to hold the fixture downward in the way that you pictured and try to minimize getting grease on the part of the glass which you grab.

Apply a damp cloth to the glass cage and fan the area to cool and thus take some of the pressure off of the thread in the metal. Switch between the damp cloth and setting it out in the sun to compress and decompress the glass, all the while attempting to turn it back and forth.

Hope this helps!

  • Thanks for the detailed answer. I tried both the grease and the alternation of heat and cold but unfortunately did not make much progress - everything still seems firmly stuck in place. I couldn't even twist it a little bit. Any other ideas?
    – AGK
    Aug 29, 2015 at 18:50
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    @AGK Sorry for the delay. Wow... Stuck! It sounds like the glass may be glued to the inside of the metal base. At this point, I would try opening it with full force (not worried about breaking it). The worst that can happen is the glass breaks which may very well be your only option. Try using something made out of silicone to grab the glass. Also, maybe try bending the metal open with pliers. There isn't much else that you can do... Sep 28, 2015 at 21:24

I'd try one of the rubber pads used to improve one's grip on pot lids. Be careful; you don't want that dome shattering in your hand.


Remove the glass sconce first.

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