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How Do I Replace Indoor Recessed Lighting Bulb?

Recessed lighting bulbs are not shaped like traditional bulbs.

Recessed lighting bulbs are not shaped like traditional bulbs.


Recessed indoor lighting gives your room a streamlined look that resembles natural light. It eliminates the need for bulky light fixtures that you need to dust. However, the bulbs in the recessed lighting wells are often almost as wide as the well itself, making it difficult to grip the bulb once you need to replace it. When the bulb burns out, you can easily remove it with a strip of sticky duct tape.


Difficulty: Easy


Things you need

12-inch strip duct tape

  • Footstool or stepladder
  • Soft, dry cloth
  1. 1

    Tear off a strip of duct tape 12 inches long. Turn the light switch off and let the bulb cool at least two hours.

  2. 2

    Step onto your stepladder or stool, if you need it to easily reach the bulb.

  3. 3

    Press 3 to 4 inches of the duct tape across the middle of the bulb. Fold the ends of the duct tape onto themselves, sticky side to sticky side. This creates two small handles for you to grasp.

  4. 4

    Hold the handles firmly in one hand and turn the bulb counterclockwise until it comes out of the socket.

  5. 5

    Remove the piece of duct tape and place it on the new bulb in the same fashion. Insert the bulb into the socket and turn it clockwise to secure it. Remove the tape. If it leaves a sticky residue, buff it off gently with a cloth.


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