I feel like I'm taking crazy pills...I can't for the life of me figure out how to access (and ultimately change out) the bulb inside this recessed can.

I've tried twisting, pushing, prying, twisting, bopping...everything short of kicking these things.

Someone please save me from insanity.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Looks like an LED integrated into trim. The entire trim would pull down.
    – Kris
    Jul 24, 2017 at 1:57
  • Maybe the trim unscrews first, to give you access to the bulb? How wide is the bulb? How wide is the overall trim/fitting?
    – MrWhite
    Jul 24, 2017 at 10:48

2 Answers 2


The shroud around the bulb should just pull down and out a few inches before the tension wires lock. If it seems really solid then someone probably painted then replaced before drying and glued it there with the paint. Try using a flat scraper or 5in1 between ceiling and ring.

  • This was it! The whole enclosure actually slides down...the tension wires were just really tight.
    – Shpigford
    Jul 28, 2017 at 14:38
  • Great! Good luck on all your future endeavors☺ Jul 28, 2017 at 15:05

It looks like a bulb that size and shape isn't a good match for that can (or at least the ring), since it doesn't give you a simple way to grab it for replacement. One way to grab the bulb is with a suction-type bulb changer, like this:

enter image description here

They're designed for changing bulbs without a ladder. The suction head is normally mounted on a sufficiently long pole to reach the bulb. Different size and shape suction cups are available for different types of bulbs. This example is for floodlight bulbs. You push the suction cup against the bulb. It grabs firmly enough to screw the bulb in or out. The cable on the side is to break the suction and release the tool.

If the can is easily accessible, you could just try wearing rubber gloves, or gloves with rubber dots or lines on them. Pressing against the face of the bulb may give you enough friction to twist it.

BTW, there is bulb lubricant that makes it easier to get bulbs in and out. It's some type of non-insulating grease that you put on the threads. I've never used it, but some people swear by it for hard to access bulbs.

  • I have used these and they work. Much safer than standing on a tall ladder.
    – SDsolar
    Jul 24, 2017 at 3:11
  • These dowork but are not recommended for most LED lighting enclosures since the bulb does not rotate out. Jul 28, 2017 at 15:07
  • @DavidMoritz, you're referring to the integrated, one-piece LED fixtures rather than LED replacement bulbs? You can't be right because those last forever, they never fail. Just read the ads. :-) Now that you mention it, the one in the picture does look like an integrated LED.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 28, 2017 at 16:32
  • Funny fixer but yeah they do fail. Biggest problem is most fixtures hold to much heat and the LED'S electronics power driver melts. And yes that specific light fixture in the picture is a one piece bulb and ring combo so it HAS to be pulled not unscrewed. And if anyone has bulbs in high fixtures the pole is a great option for the homeowner since most will use a ladder incorrectly anyway. Jul 28, 2017 at 19:35

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