How to Remove Light Bulbs From Recessed Lighting

Updated February 21, 2017

Recessed lighting fixtures, ones embedded in the ceiling, can be adjusted to allow a specific amount of light into a space. Create a soft, intimate ambience by keeping the lighting on a low setting, or turn the lighting up to accent an object. Because the fixtures are located in the ceiling, you will need a ladder or a specially designed light bulb changing tool to reach the bulb.

Turn the recessed lighting fixture's power switch to the "off" position.

Determine how you will reach the bulb located inside the recessed fixture. Use an A-frame ladder to reach the ceiling. You can also use a light bulb changing tool, an extension pole featuring a grasping mechanism on the end.

Grasp the light bulb with your hand or with the end of the light bulb changing tool. Rotate the bulb in a counter-clockwise motion to loosen.

Recycle the old bulb rather than throwing it into the trash. Some compact fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which is harmful when released into the environment. Some light bulb companies have implemented recycling programs that allow you to mail the old bulb back to them. Your trash service may also recycle light bulbs.

Insert the new bulb. Rotate the new bulb in a clockwise motion to secure it into place. Finally, turn the power switch to the "on" position to ensure the bulb works.

Things You'll Need

  • Light bulb
  • A-frame ladder (optional)
  • Light bulb changing tool (optional)
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About the Author

Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.