How to remove halogen light bulbs in pot lights

Written by michael straessle
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Halogen light bulbs are among the brightest bulbs on the market. However, they are also the hottest bulbs and can blister the skin when touched. Halogen bulbs in pot lights are excellent for accenting wall decorations and are also used under kitchen wall cabinets to add lighting for the kitchen countertops. When a bulb is burnt out, some of them can be a challenge to remove. Using a small suction cup helps remove the dome lights that install below the rim of the fixture. Whenever removing a halogen bulb, make sure it has been off long enough to cool. (For more information on halogen light bulbs, see "Lighting: Halogen Lighting" in the References section of this article.)

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Suction cup
  • Small soft cloth

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  1. 1

    Pull down on the rim of the pot light fixture. Remove the plastic or glass diffuser if necessary to avoid breaking it.

  2. 2

    Locate the halogen light bulb and determine the necessary removal process. Double-ended halogen bulbs (tube shaped) require grasping the bulb firmly and pressing it toward one of the ends of the socket, freeing the other end.

  3. 3

    Grasp the GU10 dome light bulbs on its edges. Twist the bulb in a counterclockwise direction to remove. If the bulb sits below the rim of the fixture, a small suction cup placed against the lens will enable you to turn the bulb.

  4. 4

    Pull straight down on the bi-pin halogen bulb (two pins) to remove it. Bi-pin bulbs come in various shapes and sizes but have the same removal/installation process.

  5. 5

    Install the new double-ended bulbs by grasping them with a soft cloth, then pushing them against one of the connections and slipping the other end in place against the other connection.

  6. 6

    Install dome lights by inserting them in the holes in the socket. Bi-pins just push into place, whereas the GU10 requires twisting the bulb in a clockwise direction.

Tips and warnings

  • Read the information on the halogen package for further instructions concerning installation and disposal of used bulbs.
  • Most tube type bulbs come with a small spongelike "cloth" for installing.
  • Do not handle halogen bulbs until they are completely cooled down.
  • Do not touch the new bulbs, as the salt in skin oil weakens the glass tube.
  • Never work with a light fixture suspected of shorting out.

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