If you have found yourself in a situation where you have a broken light bulb in a light fixture, you must remove it carefully and safely to avoid any unwanted accidents. Fortunately, this article gives you different methods for removing a broken bulb from a light fixture.

This article contains 4 methods for how to remove a broken bulb from a light fixture that can be applied to most situations.

Before you begin

Removing a broken bulb from a light fixture can be an extremely dangerous task if it isn’t done correctly. Firstly, you need to make sure that the power to the light source is cut off. Rather than simply turning it off at the switch, cut the power at the main source so that you are confident it is off. If you are still cautious, then use a non-contact voltage detector to check that there isn’t an electrical field present.

As you are going to be removing broken glass, it is imperative that you wear thick gloves and eye protection for your safety.


One of the most common methods for removing a broken bulb is through the use of pliers. To remove a broken bulb with pliers, the more intact the base of the bulb the betters as this will allow you to get a good grip on it. You’ll also need to use a pair of needle nose pliers to grip the filament properly.

Once you have your pliers, grip the filament of the bulb and start twisting the bulb anti-clockwise, you should feel it start to loosen. Keep turning the bulb until you can pull it out.

Quick setting epoxy

If your broken bulb is in a hard to reach place or it is particularly stubborn, then quick-setting epoxy could be the solution for you. Once again, you need to remove any remaining broken glass so that you are left with the metal base of the bulb.

Once you have removed the glass, tightly pack the epoxy into the bulb base. Then, push a flathead screwdriver into the epoxy, then remove it. Once the epoxy has set you will be able to put the screwdriver back into the epoxy and use it to unscrew the base of the bulb.

Use a potato

Although it may seem odd, this DIY trick has worked for years. All you need to do is cut the potato so that it will fit into your light bulb base. Before you begin, remove any broken glass so you are left with the metal base of the light bulb.

Once you have removed all of the glass, stick your potato into the light bulb base as far as you can so it is tightly packed in, then start turning the metal base anti-clockwise. As the potato sticks to the metal base of the light bulb, you should be able to twist it and pull it out.

Broken bulb extractor

If you would prefer to use a tool rather than a DIY method, you can buy a broken bulb extractor online or from a hardware store. They are specifically made with rubber tips that can be used to extract the bulb base by rotating it anti-clockwise and pulling it out.

Now you’re ready to remove a broken bulb

Now that you know how to remove a broken bulb from a light fixture, you should be able to remove your broken bulb safely and efficiently. Depending on the state of your bulb base, you may need to try a couple of methods before you find the one that works for you.