How To Remove a Light Bulb From a Recessed Socket (2023)

If you’re asking yourself how to remove a light bulb from a recessed socket, you are in the right place. This is not necessarily the easiest task and detailed instructions will surely help you. 

Make this job more manageable with our clear manual and have one worry less in mind.

How to remove a light bulb from a recessed socket?

Recessed lighting is a type of lighting fitting that is placed into a small hole or recess in the ceiling of a room.

This is a new and modern method of lighting, which gives a more appealing look to the area. Recessed lighting is one of the amazing indirect lighting ideas for a variety of reasons, but it can be very tricky to remove or change the bulbs. 

You can remove a light bulb from a recessed socket by taking off the retaining collar and then using duct tape, a suction cup, or even a bulb charger to remove a bulb.

If you recognize yourself in this problem, we recommend using some of the methods below.

Removing a light bulb from a recessed socket

Take off the retaining collar

If you want to know how to remove a light bulb from a recessed socket, first we need to start with taking off the retaining collar.

The retaining collar holds the light bulbs in place and sometimes it’s necessary to remove it in order to remove light bulbs from the recessed socket.

You need to be careful while doing this, it is a delicate job that requires precision and focus.

First, recognize if you have an outer ring or inner ring. This way you will avoid potential damage. In some cases, the metal collar will be painted over, and in this case, you need to remove the paint before doing anything else.

After removing the paint, feel free to remove the collar. Some metal collars need to be unscrewed, while others are kept in place with buttons.

In case your light fixture is jammed with the metal collar, a screwdriver or knife might be of use. While placing it in the gap between the light fixture and a collar, make sure you’re careful and you don’t break anything.

After taking off the retaining metal collar, it’ll be super easy to remove the light bulbs.

Duct tape might help

How to remove a light bulb from a recessed socket without being a pro? Duct tape is the way to go.

Let the bulb cool down and make sure that there’s no electricity connected to the light fixture. After these two conditions are met, get to work.

Cut about 12 inches of duct tape and fold the ends of the duct tape toward the center. After that, stick the center part of the duct tape with the bulb.

You will use the tape handles to unscrew the bulb. Turn the bulb counter-clockwise when unscrewing the bulb. You’re finished with the turning when the bulb is out. Fear not for that is not the only option.

Another method is to wrap the duct tape in a circle so that the sticky part stays out. The circle should be big enough to hug your arm.

The next step is to glue the duct tape to the flat surface of the recessed bulb. Slide your hand through the handle and start unscrewing the bulb counterclockwise.

If you need to replace the old bulb with the new one, repeat the same process to install a new bulb, this time using the clockwise method.

Help yourself by using a suction cup

It’s possible to use a special suction cup that grips a light bulb.

Ensure that you’re getting optimal suction power and turn the handle counterclockwise when unscrewing the bulb. 

Check out 10 amazing lighting tips and tricks that everyone needs to know.

Use a bulb charger that has an extension pole

Place the bulb changer on the bulb to unscrew it. The cup of the bulb changer must be placed precisely on the recessed bulb. Turn the pole counter-clockwise until the bulb is completely released.

If you don’t have one, you can always buy one.

As always, take care of your own safety.

A video on how to change a bulb in a high place

Hire professionals

If none of these methods work, or you simply think you cannot do it by yourself, feel free to seek professional assistance.


Now when you know how to remove a light bulb from a recessed socket, we hope that this job will not be too big of a challenge for you. The methods listed above have been tested and work flawlessly. 

All you need to do is take the time and try to be completely focused so you don’t hurt yourself or break something. 

Since this job is not easy for everyone, there is always professional help that can jump in. It is up to you to choose the best method according to your capabilities and conditions.

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