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How to change a small halogen bulb in a light fixture

Some light fixtures in your home use halogen bulbs instead of regular bulbs, called incandescent bulbs. Smaller halogen bulbs are a bit different than incandescent bulbs. First, halogens burn brighter and give off more heat than incandescents. Most fixtures that use small halogen bulbs, as such, have covers. Small halogen bulbs also do not screw into a socket like standard bulbs. They have pins that lock the bulb inside the fixture. Changing a small halogen bulb in a light fixture requires a replacement bulb with the same wattage as the old. The wattage is printed on the end stem of the halogen bulb.

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  1. Disconnect the power source from the light fixture. Either unplug the light fixture power cord or turn off the circuit breaker to the light fixture. Allow the bulb to cool for 10 minutes, if it has not burnt out, before removing it from the fixture.

  2. Position a step stool under the fixture so you can safely and comfortably reach the halogen bulb. Remove the cover on the light fixture, if the fixture uses a cover. Removal differs from one cover to another, although most screw on and off. Some have wire clips and others might have a set screw securing the cover, requiring a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the cover.

  3. Place a paper towel over the bulb and press the bulb into the socket. Turn the bulb counterclockwise to release it from the socket. The pins on the side of the bulb fit under a groove inside the socket. When turning the bulb, you align the pins with the notches releasing the bulb from the socket.

  4. Pick up the new halogen bulb with a paper towel between your fingers. The paper towel prevents oils from your skin from adhering to the glass. Align the pins with the notches inside the socket.

  5. Press the bulb into the socket and turn it clockwise to lock the bulb into place. Install the light fixture covering in the reverse order of removal. Reconnect the power to the fixture.

  6. Tip

    Replacement small halogen bulbs are available at hardware stores and home improvement centres.

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Things You'll Need

  • Step stool
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Paper towel
  • Replacement halogen bulb

About the Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.

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