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How to change spotlight bulbs

Updated February 21, 2017

Changing spotlight bulbs is a little more involved than changing a simple light bulb. A spotlight is a powerful beam of light that shines on a specific limited area, and is most often used in a theatre. The main difference between these bulbs and standard light bulbs is the size and the heat they produce. Both aspects are cause for caution when changing them.

Turn the power off to the light socket. If the bulb is intact and simply burnt out then turning the light switch off is sufficient. If the bulb has broken then you will want to unplug the fixture or switch the power off at the circuit breaker.

Let the bulb and fixture cool. Spotlights generate an intense amount of heat. Before working with the fixture, give it at least ten minutes after shutting off to cool.

Remove the old bulb. If the bulb is still intact simply turn it counterclockwise by hand until it comes free from the fixture. If the bulb is recessed than you can use a small plunger to grip the bulb and turn it. If the spotlight bulb is cracked or broken you will need to use a pair of rubber-coated pliers. Reach the pliers down to the base of the light bulb and slowly turn the broken bulb counterclockwise until it comes free.

Wrap the old spotlight bulb in old newspaper and discard it in the trash.

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About the Author

Steve Bradley is an educator and writer with more than 12 years of experience in both fields. He maintains a career as an English teacher, also owning and operating a resume-writing business. Bradley has experience in retail, fashion, marketing, management and fitness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and classics.