The staircase light next to my flat broke down and I would like to fix it. The ceiling lamp is pictured below:

The Lamp

I have a problem with unscrewing the screw. The screw is of rather peculiar shape with a little bit of space on the side and a full middle, reverse to a normal screw. I attempt to show this in the picture below:

enter image description here

I tried to budge it from left and right with a small screw driver but it doesn't work. I would be very grateful for any advice on how to unscrew this things. If someone could kindly point me to a tool / special screwdriver that I could cheaply buy on eBay to move this thing it would be amazing :)

  • 2
    Have you tried needlenose pliers? Oct 4, 2015 at 13:24
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate the ones I have a little to big to fit in this but I'm guessing that this may be a way to go if I find pliers with thinner ends.
    – Konrad
    Oct 4, 2015 at 13:38
  • Does the screw have sides to it like a hex head?
    – WarLoki
    Oct 4, 2015 at 14:04
  • Have you tried just pulling down? Maybe they are clips not screws
    – Steven
    Oct 4, 2015 at 14:07
  • It's probably some kind of tamper proof screw. Can you take a better picture of the screw and make a drawing?
    – Brian Duke
    Oct 4, 2015 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


Depending on your stair, lighting might be the responsibility of the council. If there's a sticker/notice that has a number for "concerns/ complaints", they'd be the right ones to call. If there's nothing posted, it might be a communal thing. Part of the reason I bring this up is that the replacement bulbs for that lamp seemed really expensive when bought in small quantities. (Or maybe that was just me being a cheapskate. From memory, it was just shy of a tenner.)

But a pair of small-ish needlenose pliers should allow you to unscrew them. If you're naughty, replace with a normal bolt.

If your ceiling is high, be careful on that ladder.

  • Thanks, actually someone fixed it yesterday. Out of curiosity, how much is the bulb?
    – Konrad
    Oct 6, 2015 at 6:02
  • 1
    How much? Now that you ask, I'm doubting my memory. I think each unit took two bulbs at 4 or 5 pounds each. Oct 7, 2015 at 1:14

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