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I feel like an idiot. I just bought my first starter home which happens to be a renovated home. The seller told me I have LED recessed lighting but I would like to change those lights to less harsh white light. I tried to remove the trim to change the light but it seems that its stuck on the ceiling. I cannot twist or wiggle the trim or anything. Was the trim caulked to the ceiling ? Please advise, I am scared to cause a mess on my ceiling.

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In almost every case, recessed lighting trim is held in place by springs on two sides of the unit. If you can get purchase on the edges, pull down on opposite sides. The unit should lower by several inches.

If you cannot get a grip, you could pry first one side, then the other with a thin plastic putty knife or a plastic spatula. Once you can grip it, again pull down a few inches.

You can then usually release the springs holding the unit to the ceiling. Be careful, because on many LED units, the trim and lighting portions are integral, and they may have wiring going up into the fixture that may need to be disconnected.

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I recently had to deal with this for a particularly difficult pot light. The fixture would only pull down from the ceiling by about 1/4 inch because the two wire clips holding it in place were placed into a groove inside the “can”. The wire clips are sharp, very strong, and just pretty nasty to get to. Here was my solution:

  1. First When first installing the pot light, it is temping to put the wire clips into the grooves inside the can - it even appears logical to do so. Don’t do it! Slide the clips up anywhere else in the can - they will hold fine.
  2. If you didn’t do 1 above, try the following, which worked for me:
  • first, I was able to push the light bulb upward, further into the ceiling. Be careful if there is also a glass cover.
  • I then was able to push the inside ring which holds the bulb, further up into ceiling. Possibly you can pop up both the ring and the bulb at once but I didn’t try this.
  • I then was able to work from above the metal clips. I located one of the two metal clips. I needed to get to the back of the clip, where it was stuck in the groove of the can. I was able to work a quarter (ie, a 25 cent piece) down between the metal clip and the edge of the can. This pushed in the clip just enough to disengage it from the groove in the can, and the fixture came down easily from the ceiling on that side. From there you are home free!
  • remember when putting the fixture back in place, don’t slide the metal clips into the grooves of the can, or you will be back to square one the next time you need to replace your bulb!

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