Asked on Jun 20, 2015

What would make a ceiling light fixture suddenly crack?

by Elizabeth
My son was sitting in his room and called to me. He said he heard a cracking noise and looked up and his ceiling light fixture began cracking on two sides.
  12 answers
  • Ann Sutton Ann Sutton on Jun 20, 2015
    If it is resin, the fixture has gotten too hot, and split. This is very common from flush-mount fixtures purchased 5-10 years ago. Because of this problem, fixures are now made of metal vs resin.
  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Jun 21, 2015
    It is glass, not resin.
    • Ann Sutton Ann Sutton on Jun 21, 2015
      @Elizabeth the glass broke, not the fixture? it still could have gotten too hot, if you are using higher wattage bulbs tan what is recommended. Also, if there is a finial (holding the glass to the fixture), and it is screwed on too tight, it can also crack the glass. Hope this helps.
  • Tudyrunningwater Tudyrunningwater on Jun 21, 2015
    I would turn off the electric in that room and take it down, there may be an exposed wire. then if your comfortable with re-doing what has been damaged, also if there are burn marks, call someone ( an electrion ).
  • Barb Barb on Jun 21, 2015
    The light bulb is too big - most lights only take 60 watt bulbs.
  • Kaioverbeck Kaioverbeck on Jun 21, 2015
    Throwing stuff around the room and Ooops
  • Pete Wells Pete Wells on Jun 21, 2015
    Several possibilities..maybe the nut holding the shade is too tight, maybe the bulb is higher wattage than 60 watts, my vote goes to doesn't break by itself...
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Jun 21, 2015
    cold room and hot bulb...(wattage too high as others have mentioned)
  • Darla Darla on Jun 22, 2015
    Sometimes, if there is an area with a flaw or that got knocked before, it will just crack by itself, generally just as you turn on the light. I had a glass mug do that all by itself, no visible cracks, as I poured coffee into it.
  • Jean Jean on Jul 22, 2015
    Heat from the bulb - I've had this happen numerous times because I like 100 watt bulbs and they're really only built for 40 or 60 watts. Especially the over head fixtures and the attached fixtures (the kind you find in bathrooms and kitchens). Now is a good time to go green with a lower wattage 'curlicue' lightbulb in the overhead! If you're reading or doing close work you should have a good lamp anyway with a higher wattage (and thus brighter) bulb, not the light from an overhead fixture.

    I'm dumbfounded my glass light fixture was taken apart cleaned and put back together later that evening the light was on and hear some crackling noise ,then suddenly I hear a loud pop,that's when I noticed the bottom part of the light fixture which happens to be pretty thick blew out. I can't figure it out.

  • Rodney Porter Rodney Porter on Jul 01, 2022

    I also had this happen recently. No one else in the house. Occurred at night while I was sleeping, light was off. Next morning I almost stepped on the big chunk of glass that broke out and fell on the floor. I use all LED lights. They don’t get hot.

  • Sharon Sharon on Aug 23, 2023

    This happened to me. I was unlucky and stupid. I put stronger bulbs in and later the whole ceiling fixture came crashing down in my bedroom. I have neuropathy in my feet and can't feel anything in my feet .later shards of glass came out of my foot not even knowing I had it in my foot. I had to throw six Quilts away from my bedroom and the glass got mixed up in my quilts especially the one on my bed. I threw them all away. I had glass in other parts of my body but not as big as on my feet. Luckily I didn't get it in my eye as I was laying in bed when this happened. I ended up having to vacuum my a whole entire house very carefully and shake all my laundry out as I washed it. I noticed today that in the other room the light fixture was cracked in the ceiling. I don't know if it's because the whole fixtures are too old ( HUD housing) or because the lights are bulbs are too strong for them. Enclosed are some photos of my light fixtures on my ceiling.