This light fixture came with my new house. Cannot find the manual anywhere for it. 5 of the 6 bulbs went out within a few days of each other - likely reached end of life together. But one lives on. These look like MR16s but I’m not sure.

The bulb with the reflector can change position, looks like on a gimbal.

The outer ring around each bulb does rotate, but I have not been able to pull it out. I’m not sure what’s the best way to do that.

Any idea how I could change these 5 bulbs without having to open the frame? And if I could replace them with LEDs?

Sep 8 update:

Thank you all for the answers so far. Took a costco card, put it in the ring of the fixture, and was able to gently pry it out. They are pretty tight fit though! I'm wondering if there is a way to make them come out easily, but I don't see a twist mechanism or something like it. I have taken out two fixtures so far. Added a few more pics. Any ideas??

Bulb info: 44865 12v 35w 36degrees 430lm 2900k GERMANY OSRAM

Glass globe casualties: 1 so far. They are so close, that it's impossible to not have them bump into each other. One cracked in the air, fell off, and shattered all over the dining table.

(click to enlarge images)

  • Could be that how they are wired places all the current on the remaining bulbs, so when one goes the other work harder, until another can't take it, which makes the remaining ones work harder, which....
    – dandavis
    Aug 30, 2021 at 3:33
  • Is the outside surface of the bulb completely smooth? It is a Fresnel lens, but if they went to the trouble of making the outside smooth, that means it's meant to have a suction cup stuck to it. Aug 31, 2021 at 2:35
  • Q: How many stackoverflowers does it take to change a light bulb? A: As of August 30, seven. Sep 7, 2021 at 17:33

7 Answers 7


Those look a lot like pivoting recessed ceiling lights. Assuming that's the the case the assembly holding the bulb is probably held in with some clips and you should be able to pull/pry around the outer ring and the entire thing should pop out. I've had those clips require a decent amount of force and ended up slightly damaging the surrounding drywall getting them out, but since this is all metal that shouldn't be an issue.

Here's an example of such lights, and the short assembly video on that page shows how they're held in (the ones I have required more force to remove than this shows): https://www.homedepot.com/p/Globe-Electric-4-in-Brushed-Nickel-LED-IC-Rated-Swivel-Spotlight-Trim-Recessed-Lighting-Kit-Dimmable-Downlight-4-Pack-90735/205993350#overlay enter image description here

  • This is great info!! Thanks everyone. I’m going to give it a try and report back. Aug 31, 2021 at 9:38
  • Just made some edits! Sep 9, 2021 at 2:23
  • These are not twist lock bulb bases they are pin bases and simply push in/pull off
    – Matt
    Sep 9, 2021 at 3:28

Looks like a GU10 bulb. You can usually remove it by lightly pressing the bulb itself and twisting it anti-clockwise.

  • 13
    Usually recommended to hold the new bulbs with a gloved hand or a rag or paper towel. This helps keep finger grease off the new bulbs which can shorten their life span.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 30, 2021 at 11:56
  • 2
    Also, there are a wide variety of GUxx bulbs. Best bet is to get one removed (take a dead one), then take it to the store to compare with the ones there. AIUI, the numbers are the millimeters between the pins, and they can vary by the tenth of a mm, so getting exactly the right bulb is important if you want the new ones to fit. (i.e. a GU10 is different from a GU9.8, and one won't work with the other.)
    – FreeMan
    Aug 30, 2021 at 14:22
  • 1
    @FreeMan That's advice for handling naked halogen bulbs. The GU10 modules have a protective glass cover to contain the actual bulb, should it explode. The protective glass cover has no particular handling requirements like naked bulbs do. You can clean them, of course, to not have fingerprints on them, but it's not critical to the integrity of the lamp.
    – J...
    Aug 30, 2021 at 16:30
  • I knew that was for halogen bulbs, but figured it applied. Maybe it's GYxx bulbs that I'm thinking of (is it GY? Don't recall now). I had an outdoor flag light that burned through a gob of GYxx bulbs, and the packaging always said to not handle them with bare fingers.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 30, 2021 at 16:33
  • 2
    @FreeMan Yes, GY bulbs are naked bulbs, so the "no-touch" rule applies. The bulb (capsule/envelope) itself gets extremely hot in halogen bulb as the halogen cycle doesn't start working until the inner surface of the glass bulb reaches a temperature in excess of 250C (480F). All halogens operate with the glass well above this temperature, sometimes as hot as 540C [1000F], and the oils in fingerprints can attack the glass at these temperatures. The capsule, unlike the housing of a GU bulb, is also under about 8 bar (116psi) of pressure during operation, so explosion is a real risk.
    – J...
    Aug 30, 2021 at 18:14

Either - a bayonet fitting - push up a little, turn anti-clockwise 90 degrees, with a protected hand, or- a screw fitting, again, slight push up, and unscrew anti-clockwise for several turns. best to make sure they're switched off before removing/replacing.


It may be possible to pull out the entire fixture by pulling the outer metal ring downwards, maybe by inserting some plastic tool or card between the parts.

This looks a little non-standard to me due to the additional metal rings on the (probably GU10) lamps themselves. Maybe these are just clamped on the lamps and can be transferred to the replacement bulbs.


Some version of push and twist of the inner bulb part.

At least, that has worked for all the versions I have come across.

Not found on that needed access from behind though (yet…)


make sure first the related circuit breakes are switched off.

if your metal halide lamp fixture model is not a half ccw turn and pull, then u just need a circlip plier to bring the stopping ring both ends nearby eachother, what reduces the ring size and allow it to be released from around the light bulb.

once unclipped the lamp is free to fall a little to allow you pulling it out along with the wires cord.

you will notice the simplicity of the connecting plug made usually from a small ceramic fixture where the lamp is plugged with 2 metallic pins. just pull them apart and that's it.

from here you have 2 possible models.

A its a direct 110 or 220 VAC you can immediately replace with similar shape and voltage LED type.

B its a low voltage model (12 or 24 volts) that is normally driven with a transformer (inductive or electronic). usually the inductive transformer is used for a group of lamps and in this case you have to decide either to change the whole design or not.

aesthetically it's better to change the complete set of lamps and avoid having different light temperatures that eyes can immediately identify

good luck

  • Welcome to Home Improvement. This is a nice, thorough answer! It could be improved by the use of proper capitalization and spelling, but I guess those are just niceities these days. I do have one question - you mention using circlip (or snap ring) pliers - could you maybe edit one of the pics from the OP to indicate where this circlip might be? Maybe my coffee just hasn't kicked in yet this morning, but I've not seen any indication of where that could be hiding.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 31, 2021 at 11:32

Some fixtures like this come with a small suction-cup device, for the express purpose of removing these lamps. Look in a nearby junk drawer for an odd soft-plastic suction cup with a knob or handle on the back. Failing that, any suction cup about an inch in diameter will work.

As others have posted, it's probably a bayonet, so a slight push and twist will do it. Aligning the pins on the replacement may test your patience.

Yes, LED replacements are readily available, but may have wider beam spread. In this application that's probably fine. A larger concern is whether this fixture allows for dimming of these lamps; if so, it may be difficult to get LEDs that dim properly. Probably they'd work ok at full power but you may get flicker at partial power. Even "dimmable" LEDs don't work with all dimmers, and some work ok if they're the only LED on the circuit, but not if they're chained with others. Without knowing the details of the dimmer, it's trial and error.

If you choose to replace them with halogens, make sure to get a lamp with an integrated quartz-glass face, as this fixture does not provide an enclosure with one. Halogens can produce rather a lot of ultraviolet. The (cheaper) lamps that don't have a glass face are intended for use in fixtures that provide a quartz lens, and if you use them unprotected, your eyes will be getting more UV than they should.

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