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I have a couple of lighting fixtures in my apartment that look like this:

1]

The metal base goes directly to the ceiling and the posts holding the glass dome, while threaded, do not turn or slide in any direction. I have tried rotating the whole fixture, but it seems to be moving the electrical box in the ceiling without loosening. How might this unit open? 2] 3]

  • Either the white knobs can be removed, or the whole unit can be rotated slightly and removed. It's a bit disconcerting that you say the electrical box in the ceiling rotates, since that should not happen – mmathis Aug 15 '16 at 21:57
  • The whole unit doesn't move. As noted in the original question, turning the metal housing seems to wiggle the electrical box above the fixture without loosening. (Whatever the fixture is tied into wiggles a little, but doesn't turn outright). I have had no luck moving the white knobs despite the threading on them. The head on them is too flat to grab, and pliers don't turn the threading. – RedBassett Aug 15 '16 at 22:00
  • If you can't remove those screws or rotate the entire fixture, the only other thing I could think of is that the glass is threaded and it screws into the fixture like this one. If the apartment is rented, see if you can contact the landlord or building superintendent, if purchased, can you contact the previous owners (perhaps through your real estate agent?) – Johnny Aug 15 '16 at 22:43
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    One more thought (and this is a long shot), but maybe the plastic screwheads are decorative covers that can be popped off to expose a slotted (or hex) screw head beneath. A couple other longshots: It looks like there's a hole in the side of the screw in the picture, maybe the light originally came with a metal pin that you push into this hole to turn the screw? Or... maybe there's a hex head in the top of the screws that you can fit an allen wrench in? – Johnny Aug 15 '16 at 23:43
  • No movement in the glass. It seems to be supported by the screws and doesn't turn. Good thought on the decorative heads! I will double check. I don't think they are (already gone at them with pliers), but I can hope! The place is rented, and I plan to contact the landlord about it, but I was hoping someone on here would, by chance, have the same fixture). EDIT: As I was writing this comment, my partner gave it a try and the screws came loose for her immediately (on one fixture). Guess my months of repeated attempts were what it took? Thanks! – RedBassett Aug 16 '16 at 0:30
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I would think that the white screws that you show in the foreground of 3rd picture can be undone by hand while holding the glass. This would allow the glass to be removed, and the bulbs and mounting screws to be accessed.

  • I would think so too, but there is no way to get a grip on the head of the screws (I have tried, much to the pain of my fingers). I have also tried to grab the threading above the fixture with pliers (it's a tight fit), but I can't budge them. – RedBassett Aug 15 '16 at 22:02
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    Try using pliers on the knob portion, wrapping a cloth around it to prevent marring. – mmathis Aug 15 '16 at 22:03
  • I have. There is nothing to grip. The curve is too flat, and the edge is just a sharp lip. I can get pliers onto it, but the glass blocks half the circle, so not a good enough grip to turn anything. – RedBassett Aug 15 '16 at 22:07
  • The screws do in fact come loose. Despite my repeated attempts, they finally dislodged today. Thanks! – RedBassett Aug 16 '16 at 0:31

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