You can remove the fluorescent light cover in your kitchen in a matter of seconds once you understand what kind of cover you're dealing with. Wraparound and flat acrylic panel covers don't have any clips holding them in place, so you'll be understandably frustrated if you're looking for hardware to help you remove these panels. On the other hand, some fluorescent lights do have frames that swing down, but there's a trick to getting the hinge to open up all the way.
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Regardless of what kind of fluorescent light cover is in your kitchen, you'll be ready to tackle the project in just a few minutes and gain full access to those burnt-out fluorescent lights. The light covers go back on just as easily as they come off, too. Ready to knock this one off your to-do list?
Remove Fluorescent Light Cover: Acrylic
If you've spent all this time thinking your kitchen light was covered by a thin pane of glass, you're in for a surprise: it's actually a flexible acrylic panel. You'll know you have this type of fluorescent light cover in your kitchen if there are no levers visible around the perimeter of the light. These lights also typically have a decorative frame made to look like the wood in your kitchen.
That decorative frame stays put when you replace the bulbs or install a fluorescent light cover replacement. Only the flat panel is removed. Push up on the panel to help you drop one corner out of the frame. Angle the rest of the panel diagonally, and it should slide right out.
Wraparound Panel Covers
The next type of fluorescent light cover typically found in kitchens is called a wraparound. This cover is made of more rigid material and has sides that wrap up and around the light fixture, locking in place over a lip at the top. While supporting the panel's long sides with both hands, push up on one side to bring the panel over the lip, and then pull it down. Repeat on the other side.
Single Fluorescent Bulb Fixtures
If your kitchen is lit by a single fluorescent bulb instead of several, its cover may be held in place with a nut on the side. Use pliers or a wrench to twist this nut counterclockwise. When it comes off all the way, you can slide the bulb cover away from the nut.
Hinged Fluorescent Light Fixtures
Your kitchen's fluorescent light bulbs might have a cover that is held in place with levers. When the levers are unlocked, the cover will swing open, according to Octo Lights. Sometimes the hinges in these light fixtures are hidden, however.
When you unlock the levers, see if the cover will open all the way without force. If it only opens a few inches and then stops, slide the entire cover toward the opening. This drops the cover into a special area of the frame that allows it to hinge open the rest of the way. When you close this type of a cover, don't forget to push the cover back toward the hinges before closing and locking the cover.
Circline Fluorescent Covers
If you have circline fluorescent light bulbs in your kitchen, the cover will likely be a spring-loaded ceiling light fixture. With one hand supporting the cover, use your other hand to pinch and loosen the clips until the cover is completely free. The bottom of the dome may also have a nut that loosens to release the cover.