I have a lot of 4 inch floodlight bulbs that are recessed in cans and that are very difficult to change by hand (you cannot get your hand around the bulb within the can that it is recessed in).

I bought a "Universal light bulb changing kit" from home depot that does not work at all (in fact, the suction cup does not suck, period).

Can anyone suggest one that is really well designed and built, that actually works ?

  • I think I've used the same tool from HD, does it have a string on the suction cup? I used it for changing bulbs I couldn't reach, but it's tricky. Moistening the suction cup seems to help. Mar 6, 2021 at 22:38
  • Does "lick your fingers, push & twist" not work? idk quite what a 4" flood is, compared to say an R63, but I used to change dozens of those a day with the wet fingers technique.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 7, 2021 at 10:21

3 Answers 3


My answer is duct tape. Make a loop, sticky side out, room enough for a couple of fingers on the inside, and press the tape to the front of the dry and clean light. Put your fingers inside the loop, and twist counterclockwise. Important: make sure you have a secure ladder and an assistant with a phone handy in case you need help. Let us know how you do.


Update: after finding better (i.e., thicker, stickier) duct tape, I was able to screw / unscrew these bulbs much better with the 'duct tape loop' method.

(specifically, gorilla tape worked well)


Silicone tongs?



These are barbeque tongs with grippy silicone ends. They should work great. I got the idea from obstetric forceps which were designed for a similar problem.

If you got the same kit from Home Depot that I did, I had a lot better luck with the spring thing than I did with the suction cup. The spring thing holds the new bulb too. It is hard to use the spring thing to screw them in tight but if it is 15 feet up in the ceiling I am happy to get it in to the point that it lights up.

  • I tried the silicone bbq tongs, to no avail. And the duct tape loop does in fact work, but I find it tricky. sometimes I go through 2 loops of duct tape just for one bulb ... I will try the 'wet finger' trick, tho...
    – karlk
    Mar 7, 2021 at 21:20

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