Acrylic or plastic covers are a type of plastic covering in front of a light that covers the light and locks into frames placed inside the frame. These lights are usually hung higher up on the walls and the plastic covers are locked into place. At first, it may seem difficult to unlock or remove this cover.
There may not be any obvious steps as to how you can remove this. Also, you might be afraid of damaging the cover itself, which is understandable. Nevertheless, you don’t need to worry about anything as it is very easy and simple. Follow this guide to learn how to remove plastic cover from a fluorescent light.
Before we start getting into the actual bread and butter, we will need to prepare some items to do the work.
Things You’ll Need
To be fair, you won’t need that many things. You mainly need a large step-ladder to reach the light itself. Far more important is to know which kind of cover your light uses. The covers themselves are lightweight and have a simple mechanism.
The following steps are useful to follow if you want to learn how to remove plastic cover from fluorescent light.
4 Steps to Follow on How to Remove Plastic Cover from Fluorescent Light
The first step before working on anything is to know what kind of a cover your light uses. This may range from drop ceilings, wraparounds, or flats.
Each of the types will dictate what kind of work you will need to do as the mechanisms will differ from one kind of cover to the other.
2. Gather your Supply
After you identify what kind of cover you are working with, you will need to gather your equipment. You will need a ladder to reach the ceiling lights. Moreover, having a screwdriver is a good option as some covers may not have thumbscrews. With these, you are good to go!
3. Removing an Acrylic Cover
There are quite a few variants of acrylic covers for fluorescent lights In this guide, we will cover three kinds of covers. These are the most common kinds of acrylic lights available in the market. These are:
- Drop Ceiling Lights Fixture
- Wraparound Fixture
- Flat Acrylic Cover
How to Replace Drop Ceiling Light Fixtures
These are the more common fixtures or fluorescent light covers available. Typically seen in commercials as well. The lights are set up inside the cavities made in the ceiling and the cover goes over the said opening.
These covers usually have two levers that can be used to lock and unlock the cover from the frame. You can identify them around the frames laying flat. Pull the levers or hooks at a right angle (90-degree angle) and the frame will come loose. You can then remove the frame and work on the light if needed.
How to Remove a Wraparound Fixture
The second type of fixture we are going to talk about is the wraparound light cover. When you learn how to remove plastic cover from the fluorescent light, you will encounter this kind of structure on lights that usually hang down from the ceiling. They usually don’t have a decorative frame. The plastic covering wraps around in the shape of the letter ‘U’. The covers adjoin the frame in an opening at the side.
Opening these kinds of covers is relatively simpler. You have to use your ladder to reach the light. Then, simply you need to identify where the lip of the cover is. Pushing into the lip will release the plastic cover from the frame. Afterward, pull the cover down slowly. This is how you can remove a plastic cover from a fluorescent light.
How to Remove a Flat Acrylic Cove
The difference between a flat acrylic cover and the previous versions is that the acrylic flat cover is flexible. These are the kinds of covers used in kitchen lights and it is common to have decorative frames as well. However, removing this kind of cover may be a bit tricker than usual
For a flat acrylic cover, you have to carefully push up one end of the frame. This is to create a gap inside the frame. The idea is to use the gap to position the cover and ease it out. A safeguard to this is the fact that these kinds of covers are flexible to be inserted and replaced. So, you will be able to bend them slightly when pulling them out.
4. Replacing an Acrylic Cover
Replacing the cover is relatively simple. Once you have removed the cover from your respective frame, you can work on the lens. For each type of variant used, you can purchase a replacement panel. Installation is as simple as the removal process. It is quite literally a reversal of the process of removing the frame in the first place
There you have it. The task might’ve seemed difficult, but it really is quite simple. You now know how to remove plastic cover from fluorescent light. Keep in mind which kind of acrylic cover your lights have so that you can easily replace them if needed.
Frequently Asked Question
Why Do Fluorescent Lights Turn Yellow?
Fluorescent lights have chemical coatings on the tubes where the filaments are. Every time the switch is turned on, the filaments are heated before light emits. Over time, the coatings on these filaments will dry up or burn away.
Therefore, the power consumption will increase. The change in chemical component and output from a fluorescent light will cause it to change color, usually from white to yellowish.
How Do You Open an Overhead Fluorescent Light Fixture?
Overhead fluorescent lights are installed either by hanging from the ceiling or the ceiling itself. Depending on which type, you will need to know how to remove plastic cover from fluorescent light.
There might be clips or hand screws that can be opened or closed. Moreover, the covering may wrap into a lip in the shape of a ‘U’. In either case, undo the screws and push the cover into the lip to cause the cover to come open.
Acrylic lights aren’t that expensive. So, it might be useful to you to work on these relatively inexpensive things yourself. A bonus to this is the satisfaction of doing your work.
It takes away nothing and gives you experience as well, even if for a niche topic. It is not that complex to know how to remove plastic cover from fluorescent light.
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I am a fellow LED light enthusiast who has completed his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and now has been doing my Master’s on the same subject. Born in 1994, I am a big fan of shiny things since I was just four years old!