How to Remove a Stuck Light Bulb Recessed

If you’ve ever attempted to change a light bulb in a recessed light fixture and ended up with the bulb stuck, you know it can be frustrating.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to remove a stuck light bulb recessed safely and easily.


There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to change a light bulb and finding that the darn thing is stuck. Whether it’s recessed or not, it can be a real pain to get out if the bulb won’t budge.

But don’t worry, with a little patience and some simple techniques, you can get that light bulb out without any trouble. So grab your tools and read on for our tips!

Few Drawbacks of Recessed Light Fixtures

1. Bulbs Burn Out

Almost all recessed lighting fixtures have several small halogen bulbs that will burn out over time.

This is because the light-emitting diodes are actually inside this unit, so each time a bulb burns out, you’ll need to wait for a flooring contractor to come and remove the entire fixture from the ceiling so it can be repaired or replaced.

2. Breakable

Whenever you break a light bulb, it’s going to shatter and create a huge mess inside the recessed lighting unit itself.

If a bulb breaks, simply call a flooring contractor because they’ll need to remove the fixture from your ceiling to clean up any glass fragments that remain inside this unit.

3. Bulb Gets Stuck

Removing a stuck light bulb from recessed lighting is something that every person will have to do at least once in their life.


Recessed lights are very convenient because they provide great lighting and take up less space than regular ceiling lights.

However, over time, the bulbs inside these units tend to burn out and get stuck inside the fixture itself.

When this happens, you’ll need to call a flooring contractor so they can remove recessed light fixtures and replace your bulbs for you.

4. Broken Spring Brings Down Ceiling

Most recessed lighting fixtures have a small spring that holds the bulb inside of the unit.

If this spring is broken or if it pops out, then you’ll have a big mess to clean up because the bulb will shatter, and pieces of glass will fall from your ceiling.

In order to prevent this from happening, always make sure that you turn off your recessed light before changing its bulb.

5. Not Enough Lighting

While many lighting fixtures provide plenty of light to a room, recessed lights tend to be much dimmer than other types of ceiling lighting.

Therefore, you’ll need to calculate how many recessed lights you will need in order to take full advantage of all the light that a given space can provide.

Step by Step Process: How to Remove a Stuck Light Bulb Recessed 

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

Turn off the power to the light fixture using either your home’s circuit breaker or by unplugging it. Examine the fixture to ensure no power flows through it with no glowing or flickering lights.


If the light switch is on, there is power flowing through your fixture. Be careful not to touch any metal parts of your recessed lighting until you are certain that all the power has been cut off.

Step 2: Remove Covering and Bulb

Shine a flashlight into the light fixture, and locate the screws that hold the recessed lighting bulb in place.

Unscrew these holding screws to release your stuck light bulb from its socket. Next, pull out the smoky-hazed bulb through the opening of your recessed light fixture.

Step 3: Using Safety Glasses

Hold the new recessed lighting bulb by its edges, and insert it into the light fixture. Place it in the same position as your previous stuck recessed lighting bulb.

Replace the holding screws onto either side of your uncovered recessed lighting bulb.

Step 4: Wear Gloves

Put on gloves before touching any of the inside parts of your recessed lighting fixture. This is to prevent dirt or oil that might be on your fingers from fouling the metal contacts on your bulbs.

When finished installing your new recessed lighting bulb, it may be a good idea to clean the contacts with an alcohol-moistened cotton swab.

Step 5: Twist the Bulb

Twist your bulb 1/4 turn in either direction before locking it into its socket.


Turning the bulb counterclockwise should be enough to unlock it from the socket, but this may vary depending on which type of recessed lighting fixture you are using.

Once you remove your stuck lightbulb, replace it with a new one that uses the same amount of wattage as your old bulb.

Step 6: Turn on Power

Reconnect the power to your recessed lighting fixture in reverse order of how you cut it in the first step.

Next, test the new recessed lighting bulb by flicking the power switch for your recessed lighting on and off.

With no stuck recessed lighting bulbs, you should have a working light fixture with a bright new bulb.

Step 7: Clean Up

When you are finished installing your recessed lighting bulb, clean up all tools and materials used to install the new one.

Dispose of old light bulbs following your local laws on how to dispose of hazardous materials. Ensure that no more flicker or power is running through the light fixture.

Some Helpful Tips and Tricks

1. Try using a twist tie to get beneath the socket and break it free.

2. You can also try inserting an Allen Wrench into the screw area and attempt to turn it counterclockwise while trying to pull up on the bulb at the same time.

3. If the above two tips do not work, you can take a wooden spoon and wrap a towel around the handle. Then, use it as a lever to gently twist the bulb counterclockwise while you pull up on it.

4. If those tricks do not work, try using your fists and hitting them together directly above the stuck lightbulb from both sides several times, which should jar it loose and fall into your hands.

5. If the bulb is still stuck, you can try running a string under the lightbulb and tie it around your hand so that when the bulb falls into your hands, it will not drop too far.

6. If everything fails, you can use a cup of hot water to heat up the bulb. Then, when it becomes soft enough, hold the bulb’s base in your hands and twist it counterclockwise until it comes loose.

What to Do if a Light Bulb Stuck in a Socket?

Recessed light bulbs are also commonly known as “pot lights” because the fixture itself looks like a large pot.


They are designed to bring indirect lighting to different areas of your home or business, such as bathrooms and basements.

Unfortunately, the lamp holder or ballast can burn out, leaving you with a light bulb stuck in its socket.

These light fixtures are secured with screws that hold the cover in place. Removing a recessed light bulb requires access to the fixture. Change the bulb through an exterior access panel if you cannot reach the fixture.

If there is no exterior access panel, consult a professional to change the light bulb for you if it is too high or if you are not comfortable working at heights.

Safety Precautions & Warnings

1. Always switch off the power.

2. Never touch a bulb or socket with your hands; always use gloves for safety reasons.

3. Use proper equipment when removing bulbs to avoid accidents caused by exposure to heat and glass fragments when the bulb is broken.

For example, having protective glasses will protect you from fragments if the light breaks when trying to remove the lightbulb.

4. When removing a broken bulb, remember to wear gloves and place the broken piece of glass, including attached wires, in an insulated container.

Be sure you don’t put it on bare metal or on any surface where it can cause injury or damage.

5. A step ladder should be used when working with taller fixtures suspended from roof trusses or high ceilings.

6. Make sure not to leave exposed bulbs in place for more than a minute, so it doesn’t overheat and cause injury.

7. When replacing an exposed bulb, use gloves when handling the bulb to protect your hands from any hot glass that may move around if the bulb breaks while changing.

Also, use protective glasses to protect your eyes from fragments of glass.

How to Remove a Stuck Light Bulb From a Socket Without Breaking Anything?

If you’ve ever had a problem with a recessed lighting fixture, or a can fixture that uses an R-style bulb, then the glass encasing around your bulb may have cracked and shattered.


It’s inconvenient to be sure, but worse things could happen. For example, cracked glass could fall into the light fixture, or worse, onto your head. All of this is less of an inconvenience if you have a recessed lighting toolkit nearby.

But, if not, there are still some ways you can remove a broken bulb without touching any glass with your bare fingers. And even before you run out and buy one, you might be able to improvise.


Once you know how to remove a stuck light bulb recessed, it will be easy for you to do the job. Read on and learn more about this process so that you can take care of your own home’s lighting needs whenever they arise.

If there is one thing every homeowner should have in their toolbox, it’s a good set of screwdrivers.

You need these because being prepared with tools before any potential repairs save time and frustration down the road when something breaks or goes wrong!

So, to remove a stuck light bulb from its socket, follow the steps mentioned in this article, and you are good to go. If you still got any questions, then feel free to comment below!

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