Removing a broken light bulb requires multiple safety precautions, but with the right tools even a jammed bulb should come free without the need to call an electrician. If your light bulbs are always difficult to remove, read further for ways you can solve this problem.
Put on gloves and safety glasses. Always put on thick gloves before handling broken glass to avoid cuts. Ideally, you should put them on over rubber gloves or glove liners to protect yourself from electricity, in case the power is turned back on while you are working. Safety glasses will protect your eyes from glass shards, and are especially important if the light fixture is on the ceiling.If the light fixture is on the ceiling, a hat in addition to the safety glasses will keep broken glass out of your hair.Even though you will be removing the power to the light fixture, there is a small chance the fixture is still charged due to faulty wiring. Wear insulating gloves to protect yourself from this scenario.
Remove any broken pieces of glass from the floor. You can use a broom, rag, or vacuum cleaner to sweep the glass into a dust pan and throw it away. Smaller fragments can be scooped up with a piece of stiff paper or cardboard, while glass powder can be picked up with a piece of sticky tape.Warning: Compact fluorescent lightbulbs, also known as energy saving lightbulbs with a coiled shape, can let off mercury vapors when broken. Open windows or doors to the outside, shut off your house's heating and air conditioning, and only use a vacuum cleaner as a last resort.
Unplug the lamp if the fixture is plugged into the wall. If a lamp is broken, all you need to do to remove the power is unplug the cord from the wall socket.
Turn off the power to that part of your house if the bulb is on a wall or ceiling fixture. Locate the panel containing your fuses or circuit breakers and turn off the power to the part of your house that powers the light fixture. Remove the fuse by unscrewing it, or set the circuit switch to the off position.If your fuses or circuit breakers aren't labeled, remove the power from every circuit. Don't assume the power to the light fixture is off just because you removed the power from a nearby outlet.If there is no natural light in the room with the broken fixture, find a flashlight before you shut off the power.
Use needle-nose pliers for more force and precision. Needle-nose pliers allow you to safely grab the metal base with the narrow, precise ends of the pliers. They should allow you to twist the metal base off using a bit more force than you can with your fingers. Always twist counterclockwise.Don't worry if the metal light bulb base begins to tear. This will make it easier to remove, and you will be throwing away the light bulb anyway.If you do not have needle-nose pliers, borrow some from a neighbor or buy some. Do not try alternate methods without first reading the Warnings section below.
Try using the pliers from the inside of the lightbulb base. If you can't grip the outside of the light bulb base, or twisting it counterclockwise from that position, try pointing the pliers on the inside of the broken lightbulb, and spreading the arms outward against either side of the metal base. Twist counterclockwise as before.