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How to Change a Halogen Spotlight

Updated February 21, 2017

Halogen spotlights burn brighter than regular bulbs. Therefore, they work well for shifting the focal point on a wall to a painting or other item on display. While they produce the spotlight effect, homeowners need to be aware that they also burn hot. Take precautionary measures to prevent injury. Halogen bulbs for these fixtures vary in wattage as well as how they secure to the fixture’s light socket. Check the fixture to be certain the new bulb matches the existing bulb. The main difference in the bulbs is in the base (the part of the bulb that plugs into the socket).

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  1. Locate the switch for the halogen spotlight and turn it to the off position. Put a glove on your hand or use a towel to protect your fingers from the heat of the halogen bulb, if necessary. If the fixture has a removable outer ring holding the bulb in place, go to Step 2. If it has a clip holding the bulb, go to Step 5.

  2. Twist the outer ring of the fixture that holds the bulb in place. The outer ring either unscrews or twists about a quarter turn and lifts off. Remove the ring and set it aside for now. Grasp the bulb on its edges and twist it in a counterclockwise direction to remove it.

  3. Align the pins on the new bulb with the holes in the fixture socket. Insert them and twist the bulb in a clockwise direction so it makes connection with the contacts in the socket.

  4. Place the outer ring back on the fixture and turn it in a clockwise direction until it is secure. Turn the halogen bulb fixture on.

  5. Place the ends of a pair of tweezers on the ends of the clip. Squeeze the tweezers to pull the ends of the ring together and remove the clip. The bulbs in the fixture with clips pull out instead of unscrewing or twisting.

  6. Insert the new bulb and replace the clip. Turn on the fixture switch.

  7. Tip

    Choose a lesser wattage bulb for the fixture, if desired.


    Do not place your fingers on halogen bulbs. Do not leave burnt-out bulbs within reach of children.

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Things You'll Need

  • Glove or towel
  • New bulb
  • Tweezers

About the Author

Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.

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