Halogen light bulb removal

Updated February 21, 2017

A halogen light bulb, or halogen lamp, is a type of incandescent light bulb. They have become increasingly more popular because they emit a whiter, stronger light, and last two to three times longer than traditional incandescent lamps. Removal of halogen light bulbs can be slightly more difficult than your average bulb, depending on the type of light fixture it is installed in. Remember to always to care when dealing with electrical components, and if in doubt, consult a licenced electrician.


Whenever you remove a light bulb from its socket, you are exposing a live electrical current, which can pose an electrocution risk. Make sure the light is turned off at the switch before you attempt to remove any bulbs. For extra safety, you can turn off the entire circuit at the main power box.

Beware that halogen bulbs can get very hot and cause serious burns if touched with your bare hands. After you turn the light off, wait at least 10 minutes for the bulb to cool down, or use a cloth to cover your hand when removing the bulb. You should also have a new bulb ready to be installed so that the bare socket is not left exposed, as this could pose a safety hazard if the light is within reach (ie on a wall light).


A halogen bulb can connect to its socket in two ways. The most common is a two prong push-in type, found on the base of the small dome shaped bulbs used for downlights. To remove this type of bulb, simply grip the sides of the bulb with your fingers and pull gently. The bulb should release from the socket easily. If your bulb is difficult to grasp, there are tools available from your local hardware store that may help. A small plunger-type tool, with a suction cup on one end, is useful if the edges of the bulb sit flush with the surrounding lighting fixture.

Another less common type is a screw-in halogen bulb. These usually have a more tubular or oval shape. Grip the bulb with your fingers and twist gently in a counter-clockwise direction until the bulb is free from its socket.

Halogen bulbs do not contain any harmful gases or chemicals. You can dispose of them as you would dispose of a broken drinking glass. Wrap the bulb in newspaper and place in the trash.

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About the Author

Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.