My niece is quite influenced by the current social media food trends. Be it the dalgona coffee or the baked feta pasta; she wants to post it all on her Instagram account. Considering my love for photography, I, obviously, am in-charge of all her videos. And why not! Aunts are meant to be at the service of their nieces and nephews. Last week, she called me to shoot a video of my favorite recipe of hers – the banana walnut cake. With the fee so delicious, I agreed in less than a minute and decided on my home as the venue for the shoot.
I set up everything for the shoot only to realize that two of the Swivel recessed lights of my kitchen had burnt out, and I needed to replace them. I am a great fan of recessed lights as they are an unobtrusive and effective way to light your spaces with class. While recessed lights have many advantages that make them an excellent choice for your space, it can be challenging if they burn out and you have to replace the light bulb.
A recessed bulb is installed tightly in a recessed light fixture; hence, it has almost negligible gaps in the sides for you to grip the light bulb and unscrew it. However, if you are looking for ways to change the light bulb on your recessed fixture, you can either use duct tape or remove the cover of the recessed light. Using a suction cup is another way to remove and change your recessed light bulb.
This article is a walkthrough on how to change the recessed light bulb easily. But before that, let us understand what a recessed light is.
What Is A Recessed Light?
Recessed lights, also known as downlights or can lights, are an excellent way to illuminate a home without taking any extra space. These lights sit flush with the surface for a sleek and modern look as they are installed directly inside a ceiling, wall, or other surfaces.
Structurally, the recessed fixtures comprise three major components- the housing, the trim, and the light bulb.
The housing is the part of the recessed light fixture installed hidden within the wall or the ceiling. The housing contains all of the recessed light’s electrical components, including the wire connections and bulb socket. The Trim is the visible, decorative part of the recessed light fixture that can be seen from the outside. The most important component of a recessed light is the light bulb, the part of the fixture that produces light. When installed, the housing and electrical wiring components are concealed, and the light bulb appears to illuminate from within the opening.
What Kind Of Bulbs Go In The Recessed Lights?
While you can use various kinds of light bulbs in recessed lights, the four major light bulb types commonly used in residential recessed lights are incandescent, halogen, CFLs, and LEDs. Halogen and incandescent light bulbs produce a bright, white light, but they generate a considerable amount of heat and consume more energy than other light bulbs. CFLs and LEDs are energy-efficient lights that produce very little heat and are energy-efficient; hence, they are the best lights for recessed light fixtures. This is why many urban users are looking for ways to replace can lights with LED lights.
How To Replace Bulbs In Recessed Light Without Cover?
Despite their ability to make your space look edgy and somber, it is a difficult task to remove light bulbs from a recessed fixture. However, some methods can help you make it possible. I can assure you that if you know the lighting hack of how to change a can light bulb, one day, you will have the chance to be the smartest person in the room. This section of the article will discuss these methods in detail.
The easiest and highly efficient recessed light bulb replacement method is replacing the bulb using duct tape. Duct tape is easily available online and on the market at a nominal cost and acts as a great tool for you if you are looking for how to replace bulbs in recessed light fixtures.
Let us learn the process in steps.
- Step 1: Turn off your recessed light power supply and wait until the light bulb is cool. While most light bulbs cool down in around 5 minutes, halogen lights may take up to 20 minutes to do the same.
- Step 2: Tear off a duct tape strip of about 12 inches.
- Step 3: Loop your duct tape strip around to turn it into a double-sided tape. The sticky or adhesive side of the duct tape should be on the outside of the loop, and the inner loop should be non-adhesive.
- Step 4: Stick one adhesive side of the looped duct tape onto the surface of the bulb facing you. Use enough tape to cover the entire diameter of the light bulb. The unstuck side of the duct tape works as a handle for you to hold.
- Step 5: Hold the unstuck side of the duct tape firmly and twist the tape to unscrew your recessed light bulb. Most light bulbs use standard screw threading so you need to turn the bulb counterclockwise to unscrew it.
- Step 6: Once you successfully loosen the light bulb from the recessed fixture, peel off the duct tape and finish the rest of the unscrewing by hand.
- Step 7: Take the light bulb you wish to install in your light fixture and screw it into it as much as you can using your hands by twisting it clockwise.
- Step 8: Once you can no longer screw the light bulb, stick a looped piece of duct tape on the light bulb along the diameter. If the duct tape used to remove the light bulb from the fixture is sticky enough, you may use the same tape.
- Step 9: Hold the loose end of the duct tape and twist it to tighten the screw of your recessed light bulb.
Following the above steps, you should no longer be looking for how to replace a pot light bulb, as duct tape is an easy and efficient tool for recessed light bulb replacement. However, if you are looking to replace the light bulb of a recessed light with a cover, you can do so by removing the same. Read the article further to learn how.
How To Change Recessed Light Bulb With Cover?
- Step 1: Turn off your recessed light power supply and wait until the light bulb cools. Gather a ladder to reach the ceiling safely if you are looking for how to change the bulb in the recessed ceiling light with a cover.
- Step 2: Locate the edge of the recessed light trim. Some recessed fixtures hold the light bulb in with a metal collar which is often removable. In such a case, remove the collar and reach the edge of the inner ring.
- Step 3: Cut the paint around the ring using a knife or a cutter to prevent large chunks of the paint from peeling off. Be careful that you do not damage the paint or the trim.
- Step 4: Insert a flat sharp object like a screwdriver under the edge of the recessed light trim. Be careful about not damaging the ceiling or the light trim.
- Step 5: Pull the object down without prying it against the ceiling. You will notice that the side of the trim will get exposed.
- Step 6: Use your hands to remove the trim of the recessed light bulb finally. Ensure that your hands are not sticky to have a better grip.
- Step 7: Once the metal collar or the cover is removed, replace the light bulb by unscrewing the old light bulb and screwing the new one.
- Step 8: Place the trim in its place and push it upward with both your hands to fix it back. If your trim has a screw thread, screw it back into its place.
How To Remove A Stuck Light Bulb Recessed
Imagine trying to replace the light bulb of your recessed light fixture to find that your light bulb is jammed and won’t come off easily. Changing the light bulb of your recessed light fixture can drive you crazy if your light bulb is stuck. This usually happens when either your light bulb was not properly installed, or the screw got too tight while installation. Either way, removing your recessed light bulb will be difficult.
Since there is very little space between the light bulb and the trim, it becomes challenging or impossible to get a firm grip on the light bulb. If the light bulb is stuck, the removal of the light bulb becomes all the more difficult.
To defeat the frustrating issue, try gently pushing the light bulb up with a finger and thumb from each hand and twist it in a counterclockwise direction. That should loosen the light bulb so you can easily spin it out and solve the issue of how to remove the stuck light bulb from a recessed socket.
You may also use a suction cup to remove a stuck light bulb in a recessed fixture. Press the suction cup tightly against the light bulb and twist the handle counterclockwise. If the suction fails, try wetting the suction cup and pressing it against the light bulb.
To avoid the issue of a stuck recessed light bulb, you can lubricate the screw thread of your light bulb before installing it for an easy come-off.
Q1. My recessed light fixtures have incandescent lights installed, but I plan to replace my can lights with led for energy efficiency. Can I install LED lights in incandescent recessed fixtures?
Answer – You can install LED lights in recessed light fixtures as most fixtures have an E26 base or medium screw base that can be installed with an incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, or LED light bulb. However, if your recessed light screw base is different from the standard, you can use the guide to identify your light bulb screw base type and buy the LED lights accordingly.
Q2. How to remove a light bulb from a recessed socket using a suction cup?
Answer – A suction cup that can be purchased online or in a home store can be used to remove a light bulb from a recessed socket by pressing it tightly against the bulb and twisting the handle counterclockwise. Try wetting the suction cup and pressing it again if the suction fails.
Q3. Why are incandescent bulbs not a great choice for recessed or can lighting? How to replace the can light with LED light?
Answer – Incandescent light bulbs are known to generate a significant amount of heat. Since recessed lights are enclosed in an area with little ventilation, there are high chances of your recessed lights burning out. Since LED lights produce very little heat, I would recommend installing them rather than incandescent lights in your recessed light fixture. You can replace your recessed or can lights with LED lights using any of the methods mentioned in the article.
Q4. My light bulb is very tightly screwed into the recessed light fixture, and I cannot unscrew it using duct tape. What should I do now?
Answer – If your light bulb is stuck in your recessed light fixture, try gently pushing the light bulb up with a finger and thumb from each hand and give it a twist in a counterclockwise direction. That should loosen the light bulb so you can easily spin it out. You may also use a suction cup to remove the stuck light bulb.
Recessed lights can make your room look bigger because of lesser visual distractions. But since these light fixtures are flushed against the surface, it is difficult to reach the light bulbs if you need to replace them. Having recessed lights installed at your home means you will certainly have to replace them sooner or later. The article discusses the methods to change the recessed light bulbs in detail. It also talks about how to remove a stuck recessed light bulb.
In case you are looking for how to change a recessed light bulb, this article must have helped you in understanding the lighting hack. If you have more questions about recessed light bulbs, write to me in the comment section, and I will try my best to answer them.
As an interior decorator, I am always looking to make homes beautiful but with minimalism. As a part of my occupation, I am always in touch with smart devices that makes your life easy, beautiful and comfortable. I take care of the smart living section for BringUptoDate.