How to change bulb in jelly jar light fixture? Easy Steps

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We all love the vintage look, and those jelly jar light fixtures are the cutest. They add fun to any room. But sometimes, it’s hard to unscrew the glass jar after a bulb burns out.  

You can twist and turn that jar forever, and it won’t budge!

In this blog, I’ll show you how to change the bulb and even where you can find a replacement light globe (4-inch fit) if you break the old one.

What is a Jelly jar fixture?

A jelly jar fixture looks like an upside-down jelly jar and gets its name from that. Here’s what they’re all about:

  • The “Jar”: The bulb is enclosed within a glass globe, often clear or frosted, shaped like a Mason jar.
  • Metal Housing: A metal piece holds the “jar” and connects it to the ceiling or wall.
  • Vintage Charm: Jelly jar fixtures often have a vintage or rustic aesthetic, adding nostalgia to a space.

Due to their sealed design, many jelly jar fixtures are rated for damp locations. These items are versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Jelly jar fixtures are popular for indoor and outdoor spaces. You can place it on porches, patios, kitchens, dining rooms, and industrial-style lofts to add vintage charm.

 Jelly jar light Fixture replacement steps

The first step is to turn the power off at the breaker box for the light fixture. Never work on a fixture with electricity flowing to it!

How to change bulb in jelly jar light fixture? Easy Steps
image source: Amazon

What You’ll Need

  • A freshly lit light bulb (make sure it’s the right type and wattage for your fixture).
  • Screwdriver (if your fixture uses thumbscrews)
  • Penetrating oil like WD-40 (only if needed)
  • Rubber gloves (for better grip)


  1. Identify How the Glass Attaches: Most jelly jar light fixtures use thumbscrews or twist-off mechanisms. Look around the rim where the jar meets the metal base. If you see small screws, your fixture has thumbscrews. No screws mean a twist-off design.
  2. Loosen the fasteners.
    • Thumbscrews: Gently loosen (but don’t remove completely) the screws holding the glass jar in place.
    • Twist-Off: Grasp the fixture metal base firmly with one hand, and the jar with the other. Twist the jar counterclockwise until it loosens.
  3. Remove the Old Bulb: Carefully unscrew the old light bulb and dispose of it properly.
  4. Install the New Bulb: Screw in the updated bulb, making sure it’s compatible with your fixture’s specifications.
  5. Reattach the glass jar: Carefully replace the glass jar, either by twisting it back on or tightening the thumbscrews. Don’t overtighten to avoid breakage.

What if it’s stuck?

If the jar won’t budge, apply a small amount of penetrating oil to the threads and let it sit for a few minutes. Repeat step 2.

**If the jar remains frozen, apply a lubricant like WD-40 around the threads. Then, try again after a while. 

Read Also: 4 Easy Steps To Add Plug To Light Fixture: Want To Try?

Where to source globe light replacement parts?

If it breaks, you can replace the glass; search for ‘jelly jar light replacement glass’ on your favorite e-commerce site (like Amazon or Walmart). 

Make sure to find a replacement with the right diameter for your fixture.

Read Also: How To Remove Glass From Outdoor Light Fixture? 5 Proven Steps

Why might that jar be stuck?

There are a few reasons why a vintage jelly jar light fixture might become stubbornly stuck:

  • Rust and Corrosion: Over time, the metal threads on the jar and the fixture base can rust or corrode. That creates friction and makes the jar difficult to unscrew.
  • Dirt and debris: Dirt and debris can accumulate in the threads, making it hard for the jar to turn.
  • Heat Expansion and Contraction: Glass and metal expand and contract with temperature changes. That can sometimes lead to the jar being wedged.
  • Overtightening: A tightly screwed-on jar’s threads may become deformed, making loosening harder.
  • Age: Over time, corrosion, dirt accumulation, and heat distortion make threads harder to remove.

Read Also: 10 Simple Ways To Replace UV Fluorescent Tube

How to choose an outdoor light cover replacement for outdoor fixtures

Here are some key tips to choose the right outdoor light cover. If your fixture is outside, take good care of it:

Durability is King:

Consider tempered glass (strongest), polycarbonate (lightweight and shatterproof plastic), stainless steel, or powder-coated aluminum (consider weight).

Match the fixture:

Replace your cover with one that matches your existing fixture’s dimensions and style. You can achieve maximum light output with clear or frosted glass.

Weatherproof considerations:

When choosing an outdoor light cover replacement, consider sealing to prevent moisture damage and ventilation to prevent heat buildup. That is especially true if your original cover had vents.

Light transmission:

Clear covers let out more light, which is good for safety and bright areas. It makes your mood better to have frosty covers.

  • Get a heat-resistant cover if your light uses a powerful bulb.
  • Local Rules: Check with your building department for clarification on outdoor light fixture regulations.

Read Also: What Is An Enclosed Light Fixture LED? Bright, Long-Lasting Choice

In conclusion, a dead bulb doesn’t mean your old jelly jar light is permanently broken. You can easily replace the bulb and maintain the warm glow if you know how.

Don’t worry if the jar is locked! We talked about how to loosen it up. Sometimes, a light tap with a rubber hammer or carefully using pliers on the metal part will help. There are many options on Amazon and lighting stores if your glass jar breaks.

What other parts do you need? Those were discussed, too.

Lastly, fix this light to add style to your space and learn something new about lights!

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