This is in my bathroom ceiling, I can't figure out how to remove it. Any help is much appreciated. enter image description here

  • More pix, from more angles? Could the entire "cone" come down from the ceiling?
    – gnicko
    Oct 6, 2022 at 0:48

4 Answers 4


Rotate it about 20 degrees counterclockwise. It should go "snap". Very gently keep unscrewing it. If it goes "bonk" almost immediately and won't freely rotate further, it's a GU style socket and it should practically fall out at this point. If not, try another 10 degrees counterclockwise and jiggle it.

Don't be forceful. It's glass and if you break the glass you get a mercury shower. Not that dangerous, just a messy tedious cleanup.

If it shows a willingness to keep unscrewing, and you've gone 1/4 turn or more, then it's definitely an Edison socket. It should turn quite free by now, you know what to do.


Should just turn out, the same way as the old style incandescent bulbs.

It is a CFL bulb. They used to contain Mercury so cannot/should not dispose in normal household garbage.

  • I tried it but it doesn't come out, I almost broke the light bulb.
    – user157410
    Oct 6, 2022 at 0:41
  • 2
    Should be a base unit below the tube and above where the threads are, that should take a bit more force.
    – crip659
    Oct 6, 2022 at 0:45

It's also possible that it pulls straight out (downward, in your case).

There are 3 major base types for CFL bulbs:

  • Screw-in, a.k.a Edison (E26, E27)
  • Bi-pin Screw-in (GU10, GU24)
  • Push-in (Gx24q, etc)

enter image description here

Ice-cream bulbs come in all 3 base types, but there are a few ways you can rule out one or the other.

  • Self-ballasted bulbs are almost always Edison. These are direct retrofits for incandescent bulbs in pretty much any lampholder. Unscrew them like any light bulb.
  • Bulbs with an external ballast are a mix of GU (large pin, turn 20 degrees counterclockwise to remove as Harper mentioned) and GX (push-in, pull-out). You'll just have to be careful and test for these ones. Don't pull too hard and always try to pull on the base if you can, never the glass.

FWIW, every single recessed can CFL I've ever encountered is push-in. I've encountered GU style bases on sconces and things like dome fixtures and fans, but never in a RC.

At one point between my house and the buildings I maintained, I had a huge box of pretty much every length, style, and base type you could imagine. The most common were definitely push-in (Gx24q).


Those pigtail (CFL) lights are potentially being outlawed in parts of US as well as other countries. I highly recommend you use a LED prefered or a tungsten lamp which is also being banned starting about 2023. Also when removing it were eye protection and do it over a container; I use a waste basket. Technically in the if you break it you need to go a difficult process to clean it up or call hazmat people. I do not know of anybody that makes the call. This link will give you instructions on what you technically need to do. https://www.epa.gov/mercury/cleaning-broken-cfl#:~:text=home%20after%20cleanup.)-,Use%20sticky%20tape%2C%20such%20as%20duct%20tape%2C%20to%20pick%20up,glass%20jar%20or%20plastic%20bag.

  • ummm... you may want to take a look at your link. It seems broken.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 7, 2022 at 14:18

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