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How to Change a Recessed Light Bulb: The Step-by-Step Guide

recessed light bulb in ceiling

It’s the middle of the night and you wake up to find that the light in your bedroom has gone out. You get up to change the light bulb, but when you try to unscrew the old one, it won’t budge. What do you do?

If this has happened to you before, don’t worry—changing a recessed light bulb is not as difficult as it may seem. With a few simple tools and a little bit of know-how, you can have your light up and running in no time.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of changing a recessed light bulb step-by-step. We’ll also explain how to choose the right bulb for your fixture and what to do if you can’t seem to get the old bulb out.

So, whether you’re dealing with a burnt-out bulb or just want to upgrade to a newer, more energy-efficient model, read on for everything you need to know about how to change a recessed light bulb.

Tools You’ll Need

Before you get started on replacing a recessed lighting bulb, there are a few tools you’ll need to gather:

  • A ladder: You’ll need a ladder to reach the fixture. Be sure to choose a ladder that’s tall enough to reach the fixture and sturdy enough to support your weight.
  • A screwdriver: You’ll need a screwdriver to remove the trim of the fixture. A Phillips head screwdriver should do the trick.
  • A bulb: Make sure to choose a bulb that’s compatible with your fixture. We’ll explain how to do this in the next section.

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

The first step in how to replace a recessed light is to turn off the power to the fixture.

You can do this by flipping the switch on the wall or breaker in the fuse box. Once the power is off, test the fixture by turning it on—if the light doesn’t come on, you’ve successfully cut the power to the fixture.

Step 2: Remove the Trim

Once the power is off, it’s time to remove the trim of the fixture. This is usually held in place by a few screws. Use your screwdriver to remove the screws and set them aside.

Step 3: Remove the Bulb

With the trim removed, you should now be able to see the bulb. In most cases, you can simply unscrew the old bulb and screw in the new one. However, if the old bulb is stuck, you may need to use a pair of pliers to loosen it.

Once the old bulb is out, screw in the new one and hand-tighten it. Be careful not to over-tighten the bulb, as this can damage the socket.

Step 4: Replace the Trim

Once the new bulb is in place, replace the trim and screw it back into place. Be sure not to over-tighten the screws, as this can strip the threads.

Step 5: Turn on the Power

Now that the trim is back in place, you can turn on the power to the fixture. Again, you can do this by flipping the switch on the wall or breaker in the fuse box. Once the power is on, test the light to make sure it’s working.

If the light doesn’t come on, double-check to make sure the bulb is screwed in tight. You may also need to replace the trim if it’s not seated properly.

How to Choose the Right Bulb?

man replacing light bulb

When wondering how to replace a recessed light, it’s important to choose a light bulb that’s compatible with your fixture. The last thing you want is to buy a bulb only to find out that it doesn’t fit!

To choose the right bulb, start by checking the label on your fixture. It should have the following information:

  • The type of bulb: This could be “incandescent,” “halogen,” “LED,” or something else.
  • The size of the bulb: This is usually expressed in inches or millimeters (mm).
  • The wattage of the bulb: This is the amount of power the bulb uses.

With this information in hand, you can head to your local hardware store or home improvement center and purchase a replacement bulb.

What to Do If the Bulb Won’t Come Out?

If you’re having trouble removing the old bulb, there are a few things you can try:

  • Use a pair of pliers: If the bulb is stuck, you may be able to loosen it with a pair of pliers. Be careful not to over-tighten the pliers, as this could damage the socket.
  • Use a light bulb changer: This is a tool that’s specifically designed for changing light bulbs. You can find one at your local hardware store or home improvement center.
  • Call a professional: If all else fails, you may need to call a professional to change the bulb for you.

Changing a recessed light bulb is a relatively simple task—just be sure to choose the right bulb and take the proper safety precautions!

Looking to Buy New Recessed Lights?

If you’re in the market for new recessed lights, we’ve got you covered. At Cavelights, we offer a wide selection of recessed lights, and home lights in general. Shop our selection today!