Puzzle: how to get this light fixture open?

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Client has a ceiling light fixture in her kitchen that I cannot figure out how to open to replace bulbs.
Has a circular glass dish held in place by three metal brackets around the edge. Each bracket appears to be solid metal (appear bronze or bronze-finished). Each bracket is in a square U-shape, with the U on its side; the top is against the circular metal plate below the ceiling; the bottom of each bracket is under the glass dish. The brackets don't budge in any direction.
It appears the the only way to open this would be if the brackets slid outward to release the glass, or if they turned outward, but they don't move at all in these directions.
So then it occurred to me that maybe the whole fixture twists off from its mount on the ceiling. The whole thing is rather loose, and can be pulled down from the ceiling about 1/2", but not enough to get a finger inside it (it springs back up when released).
Anyone ever seen a fixture like this and know how to open it up?
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Some pictures would help.... -- aem sends...
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I second that.....
have the brackets been painted to the point of fixity?
cheers Bob
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On 2/4/2010 6:14 PM DD_BobK spake thus:
>

>>

WTF??? Painted???
No; I said (you can read it right there above) that the brackets "appear bronze or bronze-finished". And they *are* fixed to the baseplate; that's the whole problem.
So I take it you have no experience with this type of light fixture, right?
So to reply to the previous message: don't have a digital camera, so no pics.
Let me describe it exhaustively so that there's no ambiguity here. (You know, even before there were cameras, people were capable of describing things using those things called "words" so that other people could understand what they were talking about.)
It's a circular fixture. There's a shallow circular metal baseplate on top (against the ceiling). Attached to this are three metal brackets around the edge of the baseplate, at 120-degree intervals. Each bracket extends outward from the baseplate, downwards, then inwards again (hence the U-shape). Image the letter "U" turned on its side, with angular strokes instead of a curve. The legs of the "U" point towards the center of the fixture. The brackets are firmly attached to the baseplate.
The glass dish goes into each bracket, so that the bracket holds the glass captive. The brackets extend beyond the glass dish. The only way to get inside the fixture would be to move the brackets somehow--either straight out (away from the center of the fixture) or by turning them on their axis--to release the glass shade.
Got the picture now?
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wrote:

What an absolute ASSHOLE!...you ask for free help and then give people shit for asking for a photo... ever think perhaps YOUR WORDS and your impression on the fixture may be totally WRONG??? A PHOTO would help people perhaps see beyond your freaking WORDS and make a better analysis of your current situation..
total asshole... Jim
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take a look on ebay
search for canon digital camera A10
you can get a complete set up for less than $20 (including shipping)
I used to use one of these until my son bought me a Canon SD1000.
The A10 is a decent but dated camera and for less than $20 you cannot go wrong
btw it could be identical to the fixture in my entry way but without a photo I cannot be sure
cheers Bob
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wrote:

Or just take a couple of cell phone pics.
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Metspitzer wrote: (snip)

He doesn't have a digital camera- my cell phone only makes phone calls. (But that is all I wanted it to do. And I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into owning one, about 5 years ago, when I needed it for a particular set of circumstances. I may make 20? calls a year on it. Thank heavens for cheap pre-paid.)
Point being, never assume any one person has a particular bit of technology, just because 'everyone' has it. (and, no, I'm not defending OP, who I thought showed unneeded attitude.)
-- aem sends...
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wrote:

You have to make lots of assumptions on Usenet. You do know that, right? BTW, I wasn't really assuming he had a picture phone, I would hope if he had one he would already have used it. I was just suggesting, that if he wanted a picture bad enough, a cell phone is pretty handy for that.
A cell phone is very portable and always handy. I pay a grand total of 11 bucks a month for mine. Pictures are extra, and to be honest, I don't even know how much it costs to send them, but if I had a "impossible" situation, I would consider it at any cost.
Another plus, that I have never used, is you can have a Google map sent to your phone. If I get lost, I can call friends with a computer from any intersection in the USA, and have directions send to the phone.
I consider a phone in the class with a gun. It is better to have one and not need it, than to need one and not have it.
- Beam me up Scottie
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Metspitzer wrote:

How the hell do you get a cell phone plan for $11 a month?
Jon
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Jon Danniken wrote:

I am on one of the Virgin Mobile pre-paid plans, set up to top itself off automatically every 90 days, from the expendable credit card I only use for Internet. Works out to about 8 bucks a month, and I probably have $250 in unused air time on it by now- haven't checked lately. They ride Sprint network, so the coverage is not the greatest, but it is available almost all the places I go more than once a year, so it works out okay for me. Phone lives in my briefcase unless I am expecting a call, or I am on call that day. I try to remember to check the voice mail once a week or so- almost always they are wrong numbers. I haven't been on their web site in over a year- not sure if the plan I am on is still available, or if I am grandfathered. I only NEED a cell phone 3-4 times a year, so there was no way I was gonna get under one of the $30+ per month plans. Kind of hard to not have one these days, seeing as how pay phones have basically vanished, at least in this part of the country.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

The only plan I see from them is ~$30.00 a month, how did you set it up to only be eight?
Jon
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Jon Danniken wrote:

Like I said, not sure if the plan I am on is still available. Buy a phone, activate with 20 bucks (online or scratch-off card), and every 90 days, throw another 20 bucks at it to keep the number hot. Unused minutes/units/whatever roll over forever, which is why I have $200+ in unused air time sitting on it. ISTR the 30 a month is for unlimited use. I pay some token fee per call, plus ten cents or something a minute. I use the thing so little, I'll probably never burn up the air time. By modern standards, a stone-age phone (it is silver- remember silver cell phones?), but I have never used half the features on it. I know it doesn't have camera or internet, though. I can text to an email address, and get text sent to a pseudo-email address. I've tried it a couple times out of mild curiosity, but is so cumbersome to use it would be useless for more than a 5-word note.
-- aem sends...
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Jon Danniken wrote:

There are quite a few prepaid ones under that. Reviews here: > http://tinyurl.com/av2t2 > http://tinyurl.com/yhcz6tm
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Dean Hoffman wrote:

Thanks for that Dean, I never would have found those!
Jon
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On 2/6/2010 5:43 PM Metspitzer spake thus:

But *I* don't want a picture at all. It's other people who want one here. I'm fine. (And yes, no digicam and no cell phone for me. By choice.)
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It sounds like a fixture I've seen a few times. One of the three brackets is spring loaded and pulls straight out allowing the glass to slip down
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On 2/4/2010 7:05 PM RBM spake thus:

>

So it seems like I need to try pulling harder on one of the brackets (or maybe twisting one, as another reply suggested). That occurred to me, and I'll try it next time I go over there.
It also sounds you actually have some experience with this kind of fixture, and aren't just idly speculating and then complaining that I didn't post a photo of the thing. Thanks for that.
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I've installed several of this type of fixture. The first time I hung one, I thought that it was a really stupid mechanism. The three clips look identical. How would anyone know to pull straight out on one of them, and how do you guess which one. I think that some things should be obvious
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*I have installed the type that RBM mentions. Another type has it where the brackets are held on by screws. It is a pain to hold the dish and install the brackets with a screw. Sometimes these types of fixtures can have their bulbs replaced from the top.
David, people are trying to help you here and no one knows the caliber of your experience. When you post a question to the entire world you will get all kinds of answers. Be nice. Based on reading many of your posts I suspect that you are doing electrical work in California without a license. Am I correct?
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