How To Remove Bathroom Light Fixture With No Screws (Solved)

Not all light fixtures have screws and the realization that your bathroom light is screwless may leave you wondering what to do. Although they seem difficult to remove, they aren’t. In fact, a screwless light fixture is just as easy to remove as one with screws once you know how. 

When you remove a bathroom light fixture that has no screws the method will depend on the mechanism being used. Support the cover with one hand and either push and twist the fixture to loosen it or use a screwdriver to create space or to remove the finial. 

How To Change Bathroom Light Fixtures Of Different Types Without Screws

Removing light fixtures is easy but if there are no screws it’s important to know what type of mechanism or mount you are dealing with. The type of mechanism will determine the method of removal. We have outlined how to remove the main bathroom light fixture types below. 

Notch Mechanism 

A notch mechanism secures the fixture with a notch at the base. It’s a simple design that is effective and easy to remove. This mechanism is usually released by pushing and twisting and is a lot easier to do with someone else helping. 

How To Remove A Ceiling Light Fixture With Notch Mechanism

Step 1. First, apply pressure at the base of the fixture. You want to gently push the base towards the ceiling.

Step 2. Secondly, you need to twist the fixture while still applying pressure. This is easier to do with two people as one person can push the base while the other person twists.  If the light fixture has not been removed for a long time it can be quite stiff. It may take a couple of attempts to twist the fixture enough for it to be removed.

Step 3. Finally, you can gently detach the fixture. You should feel the base slotting away from the notch as you twist it. When you feel this you can bring the fixture away from the ceiling and it should simply slide off as you hold it. 

It’s just as easy to reattach the fixture too. Simply put the fixture back into position and push while twisting until you feel the base slot into the notch. Once it is in the notch you should be able to remove your hands and the fixture will stay in position. 

Spring Loaded Light Fixture Mechanism  

A spring loaded mechanism uses a tightly coiled spring to keep the light fixture in position. Although there are no screws, don’t put away your screwdriver. To remove this fixture you will need a flathead screwdriver. 

How To Remove Spring Loaded Mechanism 

Step 1. Gently insert a flat head screwdriver between the ceiling and the base of the light fixture. Don’t force the screwdriver in as you risk damaging the fixture and the ceiling. As the screwdriver is inserted into the gap you can move the base away from the ceiling slightly. You will see the gap open up as you do this. 

Step 2. Once the gap is large enough, put your fingers in and find the spring. When you can feel the spring you should be able to remove the light fixture from it. Gently pull the fixture from the springs, use your fingers to help guide the springs. The fixture will now move away from the ceiling.

Spring-loaded mechanisms are designed to move away from the wall while remaining attached. This is to give you enough space to change a bulb. When the bulb has been changed you can push the fixture back into position with ease. 

Slotted Connectors

A slotted connector locks the base into position using raised bumps. 

How To Remove Slotted Connectors

Step 1. Hold the dome and twist it. You need to twist the dome so the bumps are no longer in line with it. When the bumps are no longer aligned you should feel the light fixture has more movement. 

Step 2. Now you can pull the fixture gently towards the floor. It should come away without a problem. 

It’s easy to put the dome back into position too. Simply line up the bumps and the grooves and twist so the connectors fall into position. You can then let the fixture go and it will stay securely in place. 

Flush Mount

A flush mount is one that sits flush with the ceiling. This is the most fiddly fixture to remove, so take your time and make sure you support the dome at all times. You will need a screwdriver to remove this light fixture mechanism. 

How To Remove Flush Mount Ceiling Light

Step 1. Look at the ceiling light and locate the decorative screw, called a finial. This is usually in the centre of the dome. The finial looks like a decorative piece so is usually sphere-shaped and is shaped or carved.  

Step 2. Rotate the finial while you support the dome with one hand. Rotate the finial anticlockwise to loosen it. As you turn it you should feel the dome begin to move away from the ceiling. It can be awkward to loosen the screw with one hand but you need to make sure you are holding the dome with the other so it won’t fall. 

Step 3. Unscrew it until the dome is no longer attached. Now you can lower the ceiling light and put it to one side. 

It can be a bit fiddly to reattach a flush mount ceiling light. It’s worth getting a ladder so you can stand on a secure platform while you reattach it. Hold the base of the fixture in position and screw the finial back into position. Continue to screw it in until it is firmly back in the finial port. You can then move your hands away and the fixture will stay where it is. 

Ceiling Light Cover Won’t Come Off: Here’s What You Can Do

A stuck light cover is very frustrating. There is usually a simple solution that will get you back to your DIY in no time. These tips will help you get even the most stubborn cover off:

Tip 1. Use A Tall Ladder

Although the ceiling light cover might be within reach if you stand on a chair this is challenging for your arm muscles (and your balance). By standing on a tall ladder you can position yourself properly. The ladder will give you a secure platform to work from. The higher position will give you more leverage. This will help you unscrew the cover with a lot less trouble. 

Tip 2. Use Gloves

The problem may be that you can’t get a good grip on the cover. In this case, put on some gloves to help you gain traction. Use both hands to help you get enough of a hold on the cover to be able to move it. If the problem is with screws rather than the fixture you can use a rubber grip to ensure you have a firm hold on the screws you need to remove. 

Tip 3. Rotate Counterclockwise

Don’t forget lefty loosey, righty tighty. Move the cover to the left (or anti-clockwise) to loosen it. 

Tip 4. Apply Lubricant

Put some petroleum jelly around the ceiling light cover to help loosen it. 

Tip 5. Tighten the Screw 

Although you are trying to loosen the screw, tightening it can help if it is stuck in position. Once the screw has moved a little bit one way it may be easier to move the other. Although this seems like a strange thing to do, when you get the screw moving it should help you remove it. 

Tip 6. Use A Hair Dryer

Before you laugh, a hair dryer is useful for applying heat to the screw. This is a simple trick that will help loosen a stuck screw. If you don’t have a hair dryer you can hold a hot towel on the screw instead. 


Below we’ve answered common questions about light fixtures.

Can I change a light fixture without turning off the breaker? 

No, this is dangerous and can damage the wires. It is best to turn off the breaker before you do anything with a light fixture. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Do you need an electrician to change light fixture? 

No, you can change a light fixture yourself. If you plan to move the location of the light and need a new circuit installed then you need an electrician for this. 

Can a handyman install light fixtures? 

Yes, a handyman is able to carry out small electrical tasks including installing light fixtures. 

Final Thoughts

Different light fixtures require different removal methods. Once you know the fixture mechanism that is in use it is very simple to remove it. Removing a light fixture is not difficult, just be careful to ensure you don’t damage the fixture. Always support the light cover with one hand while you remove it.

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