New here, so apologies in advance if my site etiquette isn't up to scratch.

I've searched the site and found similar answers but the solutions don't work for me.

I'm trying to remove a CFL bulb from a recessed ceiling fitting. The fitting is small and fiddly, and in my attempt to pull out the bulb, the glass part is now loose in the base. If I pull any harder, the glass will detach from the plastic base of the bulb. Should I try that and just bag it quickly or is there a safer/easier way to remove this?

As per images, I can't get to the base of the connector as there's no space, and it seems the can can't be removed any further from the ceiling without causing damage (can't see any springs, clips or levers that can be adjusted).

Advice on how to proceed?

Light Housing


1 Answer 1


I've had this problem several times and the way to remove the bulb is simple.

The recessed light fixture can be removed from the ceiling if while you gently pull on the outer edge of the fixture and press the clips in that you see in picture #2. You may have to pull and press alternating sides. There should be enough cable to allow the removal of the entire fixture. Make sure the power is off. The fixture is made from two parts. There should be an indent or clip that can be pressed in to allow removal of the cone piece from the base.

Once they are separate you should be able to have a better grip on the bulb to remove it.

  • Thanks ojait. Unfortunately, those metal clips don't push in - they are flush against the can, and from what I can tell, the ends extend pretty far in. There are also two clips at the very top (out of reach) preventing the unit from coming down any further. Am I missing a trick here?
    – Ubercolt
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 18:14
  • Drat! Ok. Hail Mart play: Ensure the breaker for the light is off. Since the bulb is already coming apart yoink it out (wear eye protection) This should leave the base screwed in place. Using needle nose pliers grasp the base and unscrew.
    – ojait
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 22:34
  • The design of this needed a lot more thought! IMO Thanks, will try that today. Think it's my only play left - with any luck, the whole bulb will come out, even though broken!
    – Ubercolt
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 10:41

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