I had recessed lights installed at my house a few years ago, using the Elco EL39ICA housings and Elco EL2688W trims. I love this trim because it looks extremely clean. However, as I've learnt recently after contacting the manufacturer, if you want to replace a light bulb, which is what I'm after, you need to access the light from the attic. The manufacturer recommends that an electrician does the job; but, c'mon, do you want me to call an electrician to replace a light bulb?

I went up there, failed to open the housing. The whole housing looks like this (image from the manufacturer web site):

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The housing has 4 screens on the top, and 4 on each side, which you may be able to see in the image below. I tried unscrewing those, but it didn't get me anywhere.

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The whole housing is nailed (4 nails) and screwed (8 screws) to the beams:

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Could it be that I would need to remove those screws and nails? The screws are not a problem, but the nails are more tricky to remove, and I thought that there must be a better way to open the housing. Maybe some parts slides out? Any idea or suggestion?

1 Answer 1


There is absolutely NO WAY this is true. Even if this info came from the manufacturer (which scares me BTW). Lights like this are designed to also be installed between floors, so what do they suggest then??

Just pull down on the trim ring and the whole trim should come down. The lamp should snap into the trim and the socket goes on the lamp with a slight twist.

  • Yup it makes no sense. The trim will without a doubt come out but if there is a transformer present, there will likely be another part of the can that pulls down to let you access the transformer.
    – Steven
    Oct 27, 2014 at 1:30
  • GU10 MR16 halogen lamps are 120V, so there should be no transformer. Oct 27, 2014 at 10:47
  • Speedy Petey and @Steven, this is also what I thought. But see this info I got from the manufacturer: dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6900/resources/20141028-elco.png. You can also see on the pictures that there are 3 concentric circles, and to change the bulb, you'd need to squeeze that "V spring" on the most inner one (see the orange annotation, which is mine), but you can't do that from the bottom. From the bottom, I can push on it, and dislodge it, but I can't access the bulb (there is a safety glass), and wouldn't be able to put it back in place. Can you make sense of this?
    – avernet
    Oct 29, 2014 at 2:32
  • Correction to my previous comment: to use the same terminology as in the ELCO instructions, it is the "two fingers" (silver) that need to squeezed to let the cup face out, not the "V spring" (black), which holds the MR16 lamp.
    – avernet
    Oct 29, 2014 at 5:35
  • I am re-reading the instructions and looking at the actual recessed light in my living room, and it becomes clearer to me that this can't be done from the bottom. The instruction says "looking down the chimney, you will see two black fingers [...]. Those two fingers hold the cup face in the cup body. If you squeeze these fingers togethers, the cup face should fall out from the cup body." There is no way they can be squeezed from bottom, and the instructions talk about "looking down the chimney".
    – avernet
    Oct 29, 2014 at 5:41

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