Simple Solutions

How to Clean Glass on Outdoor Light Fixtures

By: Joe Truini

The glass panes on the inside of exterior light fixtures can be difficult to clean. Here’s a way to make the job easier:

  • You’ll need glass cleaner, paper towels, and two foam paintbrushes with a width that fits your outdoor light fixture (we used 2” wide brushes).
  • Make sure the light bulb is cold before cleaning.
  • Spray window cleaner on one of the foam brushes, and use it to wipe the glass clean on both the inside and outside of the fixture.
  • Wipe the glass with the dry brush to remove any excess cleaner from the glass.

Watch this video to find out more.

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5 Comments on “How to Clean Glass on Outdoor Light Fixtures”

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  • Official Comment:


    Lindsay Hughes Says:
    April 7th, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Dan, if they are lead-soldered in place, you’d be better off buying a new light fixture. Could you send us a few photos showing both sides of the glass, so we can better advise? I’ll email you with more info.



  • Dan Ellis Says:
    March 23rd, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    I sent this inquiry 5 years ago and, to the best of my knowledge, did not receive an answer. In any event, It still applies. I hope you can answer my question. My cell is 703.405.2502 if you would rather call me.

    Dan Says:
    November 12th, 2011 at 5:39 pm
    I have outdoor light fixtures with multiple flat panes of glass individually framed in metal, and the various frames appear to be soldered (or leaded?)together. My problem is that a number of the glass panes are broken(but still retained in the respective frames). I want to replace the glass panes, but I’m not sure of the proper approach to do so.

    1) Are you familiar with this kind of fixtures, and
    2) Can you tell me the proper approach to replacing the broken panes?

    I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and I’m hopeful that you can supply the information that I need – or direct me to someone who can.

    Thank you so much,
    Dan Ellis



  • s. wilson Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Dan,
    In your video on cleaning outdoor light fixtures you said you don’t know why someone would design a light that had 6 pieces of curved glass. I know who. The same people that designed an outdoor lamp head that gets watered by the sprinkles in the summer and the six pieces of curved glass are not glass but now are made of plastic. Glass you can scrap the hard water deposits off and use a bit of ammonia to help. But plastic??, Dan how can it be cleaned without scratching the plastic lens. Keep in mind Dan a new replacement costs about $30.00. So I do want to clean it in a short period of time. If it takes an hour to clean and $30.00 to replace guess what wins but that’s not being very GREEN to the environment. Can you help?


  • Official Comment:


    Joe T. Says:
    November 12th, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Dan, It’s hard to advise the proper approach without seeing the light fixture. Unless it’s a very old fixture, I assume the frames can either be disassembled, or the glass panes themselves can be removed. Look inside the fixture, at the back of the glass panes. You should see some sort of clip or screwed-in-place metal strip or tab, which secures the glass panes. Remove or loosen this piece and you should be able to remove the glass. If there are no such strip or tab, I’d be surprised. Unless, as I said earlier, it’s a very old fixture. In some cases you can take off the top of the fixture and then pull the panes straight up and out of the frames. Again, without seeing the fixture, it’s hard to say. Sorry I can’t be more specific, but I hope this helps. Good luck.–Joe T.



  • Dan Says:
    November 12th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    I have outdoor light fixtures with multiple flat panes of glass individually framed in metal, and the various frames appear to be soldered (or leaded?)together. My problem is that a number of the glass panes are broken(but still retained in the respective frames). I want to replace the glass panes, but I’m not sure of the proper approach to do so.

    1) Are you familiar with this kind of fixtures, and
    2) Can you tell me the proper approach to replacing the broken panes?

    I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and I’m hopeful that you can supply the information that I need – or direct me to someone who can.

    Thank you so much,
    Dan Ellis


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